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Ryzen 4000 Review: AMD's 7nm Ryzen 9 offers game-changing performance for laptops

When AMD introduced its Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs at CES, the company made bold claims of game-changing performance. Coming off of years of underwhelming laptop chips, AMD promised it had optimized Ryzen 4000 for mobile computing.

Now we’ve tested those claims in AMD’s Ryzen 9 4900HS chip, which AMD announced March 16. It’s a 7nm, 8-core/16-thread chip with a base clock of 3GHz and a boost clock of 4.3GHz. It also offers 8 Radeon Vega cores. The ‘H’ means it’s intended for power users, and the ‘S’ means it’s for “slim”-profile laptops. We’re stunned at the CPU’s impressive tour de force that defeats just about every Intel 8th- and 9th-gen laptop CPU we’ve ever seen.

Our testbed is the amazing Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 ($1,450 at Asus.com), a 14-inch laptop which also offers Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. AMD promises about 100 more partner products in the near future. Keep reading to learn how this chip brings AMD back into the mobile game—and why Intel should be worried.

asus zephyrus g14 white 05 Asus

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 features AMD’s new 8-core Ryzen 9 4000HS, as well as a GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, in a mere 3.5-pound package.

How we tested

AMD’s Zen 2 core performance has been well-tested in desktops. The new element here is how performance will be affected by the limited thermals, power, and acoustics of the typical laptop.

Testing a mobile CPU is not at all like testing a desktop CPU. In a desktop, the reviewer can control what GPU, what SSD, what RAM, and what cooling is used, and test apples to apples or darn close to it.

Every laptop, on the other hand, is a custom-built platform. The closest anyone can get to apples-to-apples testing is on that rare occasion when the vendor offers two different CPUs in the same rig. For instance, we compared Intel vs. AMD CPUs in Acer’s Predator Helios 500, the sibling laptops being nearly identical otherwise.

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