AMD’s latest generation of mobile processors is here. We already know a lot about them, thanks to AMD’s CES 2022 keynote, like that they’re the first processors to ship with Microsoft’s Pluton security processor, which was built to block new attack vectors that have been used to compromise PCs. More importantly to gamers, some of these new processors (including AMD’s new discrete graphics offerings) seem very powerful.
You’ll be able to find Ryzen 6000 H-series processors in laptops from Alienware, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Razer, and more releasing in the coming weeks and months. But right now, all eyes are on Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14, which is among the first to launch with AMD’s latest components. Here’s our verdict on that laptop.
The G14 has become somewhat of a showcase product for AMD’s high-end Ryzen H-series processors, and this year’s model is the first to use the Ryzen 9 6900HS paired with its Radeon RX 6800S discrete graphics. In short, this machine aims to set the bar for what kind of performance is possible from AMD’s latest components in a thin 14-inch gaming laptop. It boasts other noteworthy improvements, like the addition of a webcam and a stretching of its screen to a preferred 16:10 aspect ratio.
AMD has also released some benchmarks that show the ways in which its Radeon RX 6800S discrete graphics in the G14 comes out on top against some tough competition. For instance, in a gaming benchmark that compared the top-of-the-line 2022 Zephyrus G14 to last year’s Razer Blade 14 that has a last-gen Ryzen 9 5900HX and an RTX 3080, the G14 got the edge.
That benchmark compared 1080p performance across several games on max graphical settings, and the 6800S won over the RTX 3080 in most cases. The Ryzen 9 6900HS with the Radeon RX 6800S delivered better performance on average than the RTX 3080 in games like Far Cry 6, Halo Infinite, and Hitman 3 (though it was bested by the RTX 3080 in Deathloop). AMD claims that its components deliver up to 15 percent better performance — in this particular benchmark, at least. We didn’t test the same games in our review of the G14, though our impressions of the 6800S’ performance didn’t exactly line up with AMD’s benchmark with similarly demanding games.
What the chart doesn’t highlight, though, are a few important factors. Like how the numbers might change if this were a (more interesting) battle between games running with Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD’s comparatively nascent FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). My guess is that it’d be a closer fight, and currently, Nvidia comes out on top in terms of being an available setting in more PC games. Although, the tide might change if AMD’s upcoming Radeon Super Resolution can deliver on its promise to work within a wide range of games.
What’s also important to note is that Asus’ new G14 and the 2021 Blade 14 have different RAM speeds, which could have an impact on performance.
Other models that will get speedy Ryzen 6000 H-series chips
As I mentioned before, the ROG Zephyrus G14 won’t be your only option (or the most powerful one). The bigger Zephyrus G15 — the follow-up to our current favorite gaming laptop — will support the same CPU with up to the RTX 3080 Ti. Outside of Asus, the 16-inch Lenovo Legion 5 Pro for 2022 is one that I’m particularly excited to test out. It comes with up to the Ryzen 9 6900HX processor but is sticking with Nvidia for the graphics (up to the RTX 3070 Ti). You’ll be able to get that same high-end processor in Razer’s 2022 Blade 14, which tops out at the RTX 3080 Ti for graphics. It starts at $1,999.99.
Perhaps no company so far is going bigger (literally) with AMD than Alienware’s M17 R5 Ryzen Edition, a 17-inch gaming laptop that may have considerably faster internals than the options that I listed above. It can be configured up to AMD’s Ryzen 9 6980HX processor, with a Radeon RX 6850M XT graphics chip. We still don’t know the price for this one, but don’t expect it to be affordable in the slightest.
Acer’s latest revision of the Nitro 5 should give gamers a more affordable way to get a Ryzen 6000 H-series-equipped laptop. It starts at $1,099.99 and can be configured with up to the Ryzen 7 6800H and Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti.
We intend to test as many of these AMD-equipped models in the near future, so keep it locked to The Verge for upcoming reviews.