AMD challenges Intel as HP, Dell, and Lenovo announce 'Ryzen Pro' business PCs

AMD (Image credit: Windows Central)

AMD is going hard after Intel with the addition of new Ryzen Pro mobile processors and Radeon Vega Graphics aimed squarely at the favorite vPro line of CPUs. The company recently held an on-site briefing with media along with various partners – including Microsoft – to lend support to the rapidly-growing competitive landscape in PCs.

The Ryzen Pro processor and accompanying Radeon Vega Graphics are being released in a series of new enterprise-focused laptops.

All new AMD processors

The new AMD processors include:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700U processor with Radeon Vega Graphics (2.2 GHz base frequency, up to 3.8 GHz burst frequency, 6 MB cache, and four cores)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor with Radeon Vega Graphics (2 GHz base frequency, up to 3.6 GHz burst frequency, 6 MB cache, and four cores)
  • AMD Ryzen 3 2300U processor with Radeon Vega Graphics (2 GHz base frequency, up to 3.4 GHz burst frequency, 6 MB cache, and four cores)

All the processors feature AMD's security suite, which includes Guard MI (secure boot), AES 128-bit encryption engine, fTPM/TPM 2.0, and Windows 10 enterprise security. AMD also promises commercial-grade quality assurance and 24 months of planned availability for stability in IT departments.

Prominent partnerships



But it was not only the processors that made the news, as AMD had a small army of PC companies on hand with product announcements. HP, Dell, and Lenovo all shared the stage to promote their new lines of enterprise-level PCs featuring the new Ryzen Pro, with availability starting as early as May.

The all-day event took place at AMD's new headquarters in San Jose, Calif. HP announced its new EliteBook 735 G5, 745 G5, 755 G5, HP mt44 Mobile Thin Client, and HP ProBook 645 G5 – all enterprise level laptops. The 700 Series G5 features an option for Sure View privacy screens, Ultra Bright display panel, sliding privacy camera, and a new aluminum chassis. Display sizes range from 13 inches, 14 inches, and 15 inches, with up to 4K resolutions.

HP also announced its new EliteDesk 700 series including its one-liter sized PC that can fit and be mounted behind any PC monitor, yet still pack a punch with discrete graphics, USB-C and more. All of HP's new business PCs should be available starting in May.

Lenovo was also on hand with its ThinkPad A285, A485, ThinkCentre M725s, and ThinkCentre M715 Tiny. The A285 and A485 are variants of the Intel-based laptops with similar specifications but powered by AMD Ryzen Pro.

Dell Latitude 5495 F and Latitude 5495 B are AMD variants of the popular 14-inch Latitude 5490, which weighs just over three pounds and comes with an assortment of options including a full HD display, HDMI, VGA, RJ-45, SmartCard Reader, fingerprint sensor, and more. The AMD-powered 5495 should also be available starting in May through Dell's business channels.

AMD is not afraid of Intel

AMD's new HQ in San Jose, California.

AMD's new HQ in San Jose, California.

During our visit to AMD's headquarters, it was clear the company is planning a full-frontal attack on Intel (which is now located just across the street in San Jose). Between Ryzen Pro and its new 32-core EPYC single-socket server processor, the company sees an opportunity to challenge Intel on price, value, performance, capacity, and more.

AMD Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson presented the company's roadmap for 2018 and beyond, and it is clear AMD has a lot of ammo to back up its claims. With AMD's EPYC server process line, the company already boasts 14 system partners, more than 50 server platforms, and a "robust" ecosystem adopting the powerful chips in its first year.

While Qualcomm is going after the ultra-mobile market and eschewing graphics-intensive processing, AMD sees high-performance computing (HPC), gaming, virtualization and cloud, data analytics, machine learning, supercomputing, and fluid dynamics as its strength.

In the consumer space, the Ryzen 7/5/3 line is getting up to 40 percent market share from various e-tailers, AMD said, with strategic partnerships with Best Buy garnering a six-times year-over-year increase. Even Microsoft was there to support AMD as the company behind Windows 10 is keen on seeing more competition in the market. (Redmond features many of the AMD-based computers in its "Featured PCs" area of the Microsoft Store).

With the Ryzen Pro mobile processor, AMD sees even more prospects as the commercial space is 50 percent of the premium market. The powerful quad-core processors with Radeon Vega graphics should be a strong competitor to Intel and its vPro series of Core i7 processors, which have long dominated the enterprise space.

For 2018 and beyond, AMD's processor portfolio is even stronger with proposed lower-nanometer processors all on-track for 2019 and beyond, going well below the 10-nanometer current goals of Intel. Just how much success AMD garners from its new revival remains to be seen but the last 12 months have definitively proven the company is playing for keeps against Intel.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.