AMD challenges Apple and Intel with AI-powered Ryzen 7040U mobile CPUs

AMD Ryzen mobile CPU promo
(Image credit: AMD | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • AMD announces four new mobile processors in its Ryzen range, boasting performance gains and onboard Radeon 700M series graphics.
  • The AMD Ryzen 7040U series CPUs offer three variants of Radeon GPUs, featuring RDNA 3 compute units and AV1 media encoding/decoding.
  • In-house benchmark graphs provided by AMD exhibit performance gains over the Apple M2 chip and an Intel 13th Gen i7-1360P equivalent.

AMD has expanded its range of mobile-focused processors with the brand-new Ryzen 7040U series, boasting performance gains for ultrathin devices with capable Radeon GPUs built-in to handle modern games. Alongside the usual promises of across-the-board improvements from previous generations, AMD included some sly jabs at Apple's M2 chips and Intel's 13th Gen -P series equivalents.

Designed as a portable version of the 7000-series desktop chips, AMD's latest Ryzen mobile range was included in an exciting and somewhat confusing announcement during CES 2023. Initially codenamed 'Phoenix,' the Zen4 platform offers a mix of Ryzen 3, 5, and 7 CPUs, with the mobile U-series bringing a dedicated Ryzen AI engine to handle intense tasks. Outside of supporting Windows Studio Effects, the details of how this AI improves your experience are scarce, but improved efficiency in power management is usually the primary benefit.

Breaking down the -U series announcement shows four variants of the new mobile CPUs, with the higher-end Ryzen 5 and 7 chips including the previously mentioned AI chip. None of the new processors exceed their 15 - 30W TDP estimate, which fits within its apparent Intel 13th Gen -P series competitor running at 28W. The low end matches the Apple M2 chip, which AMD firmly sets its sights on with direct comparisons via in-house benchmark graphs.

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Header Cell - Column 0 AMD Ryzen 7040U series
Ryzen 7 7840Uwith Ryzen AI8-core, 16-threadUp to 5.1GHz3.3GHz24MB cache
Ryzen 5 7640Uwith Ryzen AI6-core, 12-threadUp to 4.9GHz3.5GHz22MB cache
Ryzen 5 7540U6-core, 12-threadUp to 4.9GHz3.2GHz22MB cache
Ryzen 3 7440U4-core, 8-threadUp to 4.7GHz3.0GHz12MB cache

Pushing for extra GPU performance in this mobile refresh, the Ryzen 7040U series include new AMD Radeon 700M series graphics with its unified RDNA 3 compute units. Besides throwing out numbers like 8.6 TFLOPS of peak performance for a 1.8 TFLOPS gain over its previous variants, some real-world benefits include a new dual media engine featuring AV1 encoding/decoding and raytracing acceleration that benefits gamers and creators alike. Depending on your choice of -U series Ryzen CPU, you'll benefit from one of three GPUs in the Radeon 700M range.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Radeon 700M series
Radeon 780M(Ryzen 7 & 9)12 coresUp to 2.7GHz4 RB+
Radeon 760M(Ryzen 5)8 coresUp to 2.6GHz2 RB+
Radeon 740M(Ryzen 3 & 5)4 coresUp to 2.5GHz2 RB+

Everyone loves pretty graphs showing a general trend of improvements, and AMD is no exception, as it shows performance gains in productivity and even gaming with the new Ryzen 7040U series. A particularly eyebrow-raising jab is a direct comparison against the Apple M2 chip, used in many of its Macbooks, desktops, and iPad Pro.

Edging just ahead in day-to-day web browsing, creative editing, and a particularly vague 'responsiveness' category, the 7040U chips were shown to fly miles ahead in AMD's multiprocessing tests and Passmark 10 benchmarks. Pitting an in-house mobile machine against an Apple Macbook Pro 13", the significant jump in percentage could be especially impressive if it can replicate it in the hands of consumers upon release.

Going head-to-head with an Intel Core i7-1360P with onboard Iris Xe graphics, improvements to gaming performance are again in favor of AMD, which isn't too surprising given AMD itself provided the results. A Radeon 760M GPU running various modern games at a 1920x1080p resolution shows as much as a 238% improvement over the chosen Intel rival running Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most popular titles for pushing hardware to its limits.

Again, vendor benchmark graphs should be taken with a pinch of salt, but AMD looks to be promising an impressive set of features in its latest mobile chips. Considering the AMD Z1 and Z1 Extreme CPUs are entering the handheld gaming scene as the chosen processor for the upcoming ASUS ROG Ally, there's no doubt they have an extensive understanding of ultra-compact components. If I can get my hands on any new AMD Ryzen 7040U series devices for testing, I'll let you know how they perform.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon to ask questions or share opinions.