AMD’s Ryzen 8040 feels like a rug pull

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AMD absolute its Ryzen 8040 CPUs.AMD

AMD new Ryzen 8040 CPUs feel like a rug pull, and that’s because they aren’t all that new. During its Advancing AI event, AMD appear that Ryzen 8040 chips are advancing to laptops, and you’d be forgiven for cerebration it was a new bearing of processors. AMD doesn’t alarm them next-gen CPUs, rather apropos to them as “the abutting footfall in claimed AI processing.” And that’s because these aren’t next-gen CPUs.

Ryzen 8040 adaptable chips will alter Ryzen 7040 adaptable chips, and based on that actuality alone, it’s accessible to accept that the Ryzen 8040 CPUs are better. They accept a college number! From what AMD has aggregate so far, though, these allegedly new chips attending like annihilation added than a rebrand of the CPUs already accessible in laptops. AMD set itself up for this blazon of confusing, ambiguous situation, too.

New name, old cores

First, how do we really know these are aloof rebranded Ryzen 7040 chips? I’ve included the abounding artefact assemblage below that spells it out. These chips, code-named Hawk Point, are application AMD’s Zen 4 CPU cores and RDNA 3 GPU cores, which the previous-generation Phoenix CPUs additionally used. There’s additionally the NPU, which I’ll amphitheater aback to in a moment.

Specs for AMD Ryzen 8040 CPUs.AMD

Keep all of those specs in your brain. Now attending at the assemblage for Phoenix CPUs from Wikipedia below (no, I’m not sourcing from Wikipedia, anniversary of the links actuality go to AMD’s artefact listing, but this illustrates the point well). Look familiar?

Specs for AMD Ryzen 7040.Wikipedia

Every distinct blueprint is identical. The alarm speeds are the same, the amount counts are the same, and alike the chip cartoon are the aforementioned admitting belief that AMD would bang the cartoon ability of these chips. All that’s afflicted is the number.

I did ability out to AMD and ask if we could apprehend achievement improvements in non-AI applications from these processors. AMD tells me it expects improvements due to “improved firmware and optimizations,” but it didn’t accept any numbers to share. It additionally antiseptic that all of the specs are the same, including accumulation and GPU alarm speed.

AI achievement for AMD Ryzen 8040 CPUs.AMD

That brings us aback to the NPU, which looks like the alone aberration in these chips. AMD appear Ryzen 8040 CPUs at an accident blue-blooded “Advancing AI,” so we can’t abatement the committed AI processor. AMD says these new chips accommodate a up to 1.4 times bigger AI achievement than Ryzen 7040 chips.

Even that is a bit suspect, though. These new chips are able of college AI performance, but they’re aloof a additional adaptation of the XDNA architectonics already accessible in Ryzen 7040 chips. In fact, AMD is including the committed AI processor on the aforementioned chips as it did in the antecedent generation.

AMD set itself up

It’s adamantine for Ryzen 8040 not to feel like a rug pull, but AMD set itself up for this bearings against the end of aftermost year. At the time, it absitively to change how it names laptop CPUs. You can see a breakdown of how that allotment arrangement works below.

AMD's 2023 allotment arrangement for adaptable processors.AMD

In some ways, it makes sense. Informed buyers can now cull added advice from the name of the CPU rather than digging through blueprint listings and reviews to acquisition out things like what architectonics the processor is using. It’s with those apprenticed buyers area there are issues. Most bodies accept never apparent an AMD business slide. When they go to buy a laptop and see one with a Ryzen 7040 cavity and addition with a Ryzen 8040, which do you anticipate they’ll accept is better? The allotment arrangement works bigger for some buyers, but it’s clumsily acceptable that AMD is able to accomplish earlier chips attending newer beneath the new convention.

Even with Intel calling this branding “snake oil,” AMD hasn’t run into too abundant agitation with its allotment assemblage up to this point. For the accomplished year, it’s been mainly acclimated to denote chips application an earlier architectonics in account laptops. There aren’t a ton of these laptops, and the architectonics about matches the achievement expectations for the amount of the machine.

That’s not the case here. Instead of wrapping up earlier architectures in the accepted generation, AMD is blame out what looks like a new bearing with the identical specs to what we already have. There isn’t so abundant as a alarm acceleration boost. These are the aforementioned chips, aloof with a name that makes them appear newer.

Badges on the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s a problem. We can accomplish up a set of mythical, abandoned buyers who could be addled by aloof about anything, but with AMD’s allotment convention, alike abundantly abreast buyers can abatement victim. AMD says its Ryzen 9 bank is the fastest-growing out of its lineup, and it’s about begin in high-end gaming laptops. Even for that buyer, who apparently knows a bit about the aberration amid Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, Ryzen 8040 CPUs can advance them to accept they’re accepting article they’re not.

There was an clamor back AMD aboriginal appear its new allotment scheme, which was a little overblown. A year and a “generation” on, though, Ryzen 8040 stands as active affidavit of how that allotment arrangement can conceal the artefact you’re buying.

Everything else

AMD's roadmap for Ryzen AI.AMD

AMD didn’t focus abundant on Ryzen 8040 during its presentation, behindhand of what they represent for buyers attractive to aces up a laptop over the abutting year. The presentation did accommodate some agitative announcements alfresco of chips. Chief amid them is AMD’s Ryzen AI software stack.

This is a belvedere that allows you to booty a archetypal from PyTorch or TensorFlow, quantize it through AMD’s software, and arrange it with the Onnx runtime. This ecosystem should accomplish it easier for developers to get apps up and running, and in that spirit, AMD is hosting three AI contests for robotics, abundant AI, and PC AI for developers to enter.

In addition, the aggregation accepted that Strix Point chips will alpha aircraft in 2024, and they’ll accommodate an XDNA 2 chip. This is the additional bearing of AMD’s NPU, which the aggregation says offers added than three times the abundant AI NPU achievement of accepted Ryzen AI offerings.

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