Microsoft lifted the curtains on its brand new Surface Laptop 3 on Tuesday, and it was a sight to behold with the tech giant throwing around accolades like the fastest 15'' laptop ever and capable of outperforming Apple's flagship MacBook Pro by a staggering 70% in terms of performance. The highlight, however, was the 15'' models featuring an exclusive Ryzen CPU developed in tandem with AMD to fit into the Surface Laptop 3 ultra-thin profile. Dubbed the AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition, we have here a pretty unique component.
AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition CPU
The AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition is based on 12 nm Zen+ architecture and features a custom AMD APU alongside Radeon RX Vega graphics. All this at a relatively docile 15 W TDP. From what we understand, the chips borrow the Xbox One's core graphical architecture and boost it with an extra compute unit to up its performance when it comes to graphically-demanding processes and, to a certain extent, even games.
Ryzen 7 3780 U and 3700 U
The Surface Edition is available in two editions. First, we have the Ryzen 7 3780U, which is none other than a rejigged Ryzen 7 3700 U. It has four cores, eight threads, a 2.3 GHz base speed, and boost clock speed up to 4.0 GHz thanks to hybrid-turbo-like capabilities. Graphics-wise, it packs a Radeon RX Vega 11 running at 1.4 GHz.
Secondly, we have the Ryzen 5 3580U with four cores, eight threads, 2.1 GHz base clock speed, 3.7 GHz boost, and Radeon RX Vega 9 graphics running at 1.3 GHz.
If we take a closer look at the expected performance from the AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition CPU, graphics-heavy applications such as video and photo editing should fare very well. On the gaming front, we aren't talking a dedicated gaming laptop here, but the 15'' Surface Laptop 3 should be able to stand its ground relatively well and easily match the gaming-capabilities of a MacBook Pro.
With its sights firmly set on the consumer market with the 15'' AMD CPU Surface Laptop 3 variants, Microsoft is also shipping out two other Intel Ice Lake-based 13'' version destined for the business sector where computing demands are higher.
Microsoft's lofty claims of rivaling the towering MacBook Pro are all well and good within the context of the pomp of a huge media event (the marketing execs have got to sell the dream, right?), but whether they translate to sustained performance in real usage remains to be seen.