AMD has announced its new “Mendocino” Ryzen 7020 and Athlon 7020 series of mobile processors. The chips, competing with the likes of Intel’s Core i3, are meant to power lower-cost and lower-powered devices — in the words of AMD’s presentation, “the everyday laptop.” These are technically among the first chips we’re seeing from AMD’s new Ryzen 7000 mobile line, though not all that much about them is new.
The first three Mendocino chips to launch are the Ryzen 5 7520U, the Ryzen 3 7320U, and the Athlon Gold 7220U. All three have 8-15W TDP and Radeon 610M graphics. The two Ryzen chips have a 6MB cache and four cores / eight threads, while the Athlon has a 5MB cache and two cores / four threads. The chips are built with AMD’s “Zen 2” architecture on a 6nm process.
Zen 2 is not a new architecture (Zen 4 is AMD’s most current architecture; Zen 2 was released in 2019), so these chips would only be advisable buys in very cheap laptops. Among the models these chips will power is Acer’s Aspire 3, models of which can currently be purchased for under $400.
AMD claims that the new chips will deliver up to 12 hours of battery life and claims that its chips beat Intel’s Core i3 in productivity and multitasking performance, as well as application launch speed. The Radeon 610M graphics will likely lead to a better gaming experience than we’ve seen from budget laptops in the past, but we generally wouldn’t recommend that this category of laptop be purchased for gaming.
AMD has released the naming scheme for its 2023 chips, and much has been revamped from previous years. The most significant tweak is that the third digit of every chip’s name now makes clear what version of Zen architecture that chip uses. The goal was to hedge against customers claiming that the company was being shady by selling new chips with old architecture (which AMD has done before — previous iterations of lower-powered Athlon and Ryzen CPUs have included chips with striking similarities to processors multiple years old). That particular change made it seem possible (perhaps likely, even) that the upcoming 7000 series might include some older parts. At least now, buyers who are disappointed in these chips’ performances can’t say they weren’t informed.