AMD is doubling the number of CPU cores it offers Chromebooks

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Enlarge / HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook.

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AMD is upping the ante again with Chromebooks. While it’s still a long way from having Chrome OS devices with the capabilities of the Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs, Team Red announced the Ryzen 5000 C series for Chromebooks on Thursday. The top chip of the series has eight Zen 3 cores from AMD, giving systems using it more x86 CPU cores than any other Chromebook. The chips aren’t just a nice idea; HP and Acer already have detailed Chromebooks they plan to release with the chips later this year.

The 7 nm Ryzen 5000 C series ranges from the Ryzen 3 5125C with two Zen 3 cores and a base and boost clock speed of 3 GHz to the Ryzen 7 5825C with eight cores and a base clock speed of 2 GHz, which can be boosted to 4.5 GHz. For comparison, Intel’s Core i7-1185G7 found in some high-end Chromebooks has four cores and a base clock speed of 3 GHz, which can be boosted to 4.8 GHz. You can check out the full specifications of the Ryzen 5000 C series below:

Specifications of the AMD Ryzen 5000 C series.
Enlarge / Specifications of the AMD Ryzen 5000 C series.

AMD

The chips alone aren’t that exciting. They appear to offer similar performance to the already released Ryzen 5000 U-series chips. The Ryzen 5000 C-Series also uses years-old integrated Vega graphics instead of the updated RDNA 2 found in Ryzen 6000 mobile chips, which AMD says are “up to 2.1x faster” at release.

But for someone who constantly pushes their Chromebook to do more than just open a Chrome tab or two, the chips deliver potentially higher performance than what’s currently available. Like Chromebooks, for example, the Ryzen 5000 C series isn’t about pushing 1080p gaming in some titles. There is more focus on productivity performance, particularly multitasking. AMD claims the new chips offer up to twice the multitasking performance of last-gen Chromebook chips.

Specifically, AMD claimed that the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 5825C will improve multitasking performance by up to 107 percent compared to the Ryzen 7 3700C and up to 25 percent compared to the i7-1185G7, based on Geekbench 5 testing.

Based on the WebXPRT 3 benchmark, web browsing performance is said to be up to 67 percent higher than AMD’s previous generation and 7 percent higher than the i7-1185G7.

When it comes to graphics, AMD claims it has improved performance by up to 85 percent compared to the last generation and 10 percent compared to the Intel chip, based on Motion Mark 1.2 tests.

However, since these are all AMD-provided benchmarks with no information on things like test conditions, you should use them with caution.

Zen 3 Chromebooks

Acer Chromebook Spin 514.
Enlarge / Acer Chromebook Spin 514.

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The HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook and the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 and their respective Enterprise versions use the new AMD chips in a 14-inch design. With respective starting prices of $559 in early June and $580 in Q3, they’re more expensive but not the most expensive Chromebooks. Keep in mind that there are four-digit Chromebooks.

HP's clamshell offers up to 512 GB of storage, 16 GB of RAM and a resolution of 1920 × 1080.
Enlarge / HP’s clamshell offers up to 512 GB of storage, 16 GB of RAM and a resolution of 1920 × 1080.

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AMD claims its Zen 3 Chromebook chips can offer up to 13 hours of battery life. HP hasn’t specified battery life for the c645 G2 Chromebook, but the Chromebook Spin 514 claims up to 10 hours.

The Spin 514 offers up to 256GB of storage, 16GB of RAM, and 1920×1080 resolution.
Enlarge / The Spin 514 offers up to 256GB of storage, 16GB of RAM, and 1920×1080 resolution.

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With HP and Acer poised to release Chromebooks with more x86 cores than ever before, we should expect more mid-to-high-end Chrome OS devices to also take advantage of AMD’s new chips.


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