AMD Ryzen 8040 chip battles Intel for AI laptop supremacy

AMD Ryzen 8040 AI laptop processor
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If you thought Intel was the only major PC processor with AI in mind, think again. AMD recently unveiled its Ryzen 8040 series of laptop processors, harnessing a built-in neural processing unit (NPU) to push machine learning performance to another level.

As is standard fare with any announcement from a major tech brand, there are a lot of competitor comparisons. AMD claims that its new top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 8945HS processor is up to 64% faster at video editing, 37% faster at 3D rendering, and runs games 77% faster than the competition.

Looking closely at its claims, these figures correspond to comparisons made against the previous-generation Intel Core i9-13900H. We won’t know how AMD’s chips stack up against the newly launched Intel Core Ultra processors until both are available to the public. To be fair, Intel’s own comparisons also referred to previous-gen hardware: using the Ryzen 7040 series in benchmarking.

AMD Ryzen 8040 details

Clock speed is one area AMD claims an early advantage. It advertises a peak CPU clock speed of 5.2GHz, slightly ahead of Intel’s 5.1GHz. AMD’s chips max out at eight cores and 16 threads, while the Intel Core Ultra range houses up to 16 cores and 22 threads.

Like the AI-positioned Intel chips, the AMD Ryzen 8040 series aims to spread system workload further, reducing strain on the CPU and GPU. Tasks like background blur and visual effects during video calls use AI, and a dedicated NPU – included on most, not all, Ryzen 8040 chips – should free up more bandwidth for the CPU and GPU to allocate to other tasks.

One interesting AI use case AMD showcased recently was how its hardware optimises several Adobe Premiere Pro features. Aimed at creative professionals and content creators, several features enable transcript-based editing, rapid scene detection, and automatic subject centring when transforming landscape video to portrait for social media.

ModelCores / ThreadsBoost/Base FrequencyTotal CacheTDPNPU
AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS8C/16TUp to 5.2 GHz / 4.0 GHz24MB45WYes
AMD Ryzen 7 8845HS8C/16TUp to 5.1 GHz / 3.8 GHz24MB45WYes
AMD Ryzen 7 8840HS8C/16TUp to 5.1 GHz / 3.3 GHz24MB28WYes
AMD Ryzen 7 8840U8C/16TUp to 5.1 GHz / 3.3 GHz24MB28WYes
AMD Ryzen 5 8645HS6C/12TUp to 5.0 GHz / 4.3 GHz22MB45WYes
AMD Ryzen 5 8640HS6C/12TUp to 4.9 GHz / 3.5 GHz22MB28WYes
AMD Ryzen 5 8640U6C/12TUp to 4.9 GHz / 3.5 GHz 22MB28WYes
AMD Ryzen 5 8540U6C/12TUp to 4.9 GHz / 3.2 GHz22MB28WN/A
AMD Ryzen 3 8440U4C/8TUp to 4.7 GHz / 3.0 GHz12MB28WN/A

Between the new AMD chips, Intel Core Ultra, and Apple’s M3 processors, there’s a lot of strong competition afoot. Expect to see the new AMD 8040 series processors in 2024 laptops from the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Razer.

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