AMD launches Mendocino APUs for entry-level notebooks: Zen 2 architecture and RDNA 2 graphics

Tudor Cibean

Posts: 144   +9
Staff
Bottom line: AMD's new Mendocino APUs will see use in Chromebooks and entry-level Windows notebooks meant for everyday users. While they won't break any performance records, they should provide above-average battery life as they barely sip any power.

AMD has detailed its first Ryzen 7000 series mobile processor lineup codenamed Mendocino. Unlike the company's upcoming desktop Zen 4 lineup, AMD seems to be taking a bottom-up approach with their notebook chips, as the Ryzen 7020 lineup is meant for entry-level machines.

The 7020 series APUs announced today are the first to use AMD's new mobile CPU naming scheme. The first digit tells us these are model year 2023 chips, while the third indicates that Mendocino utilizes the Zen 2 architecture. The U suffix normally means an adjustable TDP range between 15-28W, but AMD confirmed all Ryzen 7020 chips have a 15W maximum TDP.

All Mendocino processors are built on a TSMC 6nm process node and support up to 16GB of dual-channel LPDDR5 memory. The APUs have integrated AMD Radeon 610M graphics, which consists of two RDNA2 compute units boosting up to 1.9 GHz.

Starting from the top of the lineup, the Ryzen 5 7520U has four cores and eight threads, a 2.8 GHz base clock, and a 4.3 GHz single-core boost. It also includes 2MB of L2 cache (512KB per core) and 4MB of L3 cache. One tier lower is the Ryzen 3 7320U, which keeps the same core and cache arrangement, but drops to a 2.4 GHz base frequency and 4.1 GHz maximum boost.

Moving on to the Athlon branded chips, the Athlon Gold 7220U is a dual-core SKU with multithreading, a 2.4 GHz base clock, and a 3.7 GHz boost. It has 1MB of L2 cache but keeps the full 4MB L3 cache. Finally, there's the Athlon Silver 7120U, which, strangely enough, AMD decided not to include in its slide, even though it's on the site. It drops multithreading support, has a lower 3.5 GHz single core boost, and only gets 2MB of L3 cache.

Notebooks equipped with Mendocino APUs are set to come out in the fourth quarter from OEMs such as Acer, HP, and Lenovo. AMD claims these laptops will have MSRPs ranging from $399 to $699.

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Revolution 11

Posts: 184   +237
The new naming scheme is already causing confusion to the point that the article has to point out that these are 2023 APUs with Zen 2 cores.

Get rid of the first number (year), make the architecture the first number, and keep the rest unchanged.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,218   +2,757
TechSpot Elite
How do the APUs in these chips compare to the previous Vega offerings?

Likely not good enough as RDNA2 cores are 50% faster than the most recent Vega APU graphics which clocked close to 2000MHz, which makes them even faster than the earlier ~1200 MHz Vega cores. However even with a 2x increase over those old ones, that's still only around a 4CU version of Vega and those were typically in 6-8 CU variants. This really only replaces the 2C4T Zen+ Althon 3000G and it's 3CU Vega with 4C8T Zen2 and 2CU RDNA2. That's better, especially with the CPU, but still entry-level.

LOL and the 3000G is a Desktop class APU, these are laptop APUs, I dunno what AMD had at the laptop low end before this!
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,612   +3,197
TechSpot Elite
These should be fine for most mobile use cases. My craptop has an older R5-3500U APU. It has the same 4-core/8-thread and 2MB/4MB cache arrangement as the R5-7xxxU SKUs but with a maximum boost of 3.7GHz like the Athlon 7220U. IIRC, it's also just Zen+ architecture instead of Zen 2 and has Vega graphics instead of RDNA2.

Despite being mostly outclassed by these new mobile R5 APUs, my R5-3500U still feels very quick and has no lag whatsoever when performing general computing tasks like browsing, multimedia and light gaming. These new APUs should be a good deal faster than my R5-3500U which means that 99% of people looking for craptops at these price points should be more than satisfied with AMD's latest offerings.
 

RedBear

Posts: 56   +47
How do the APUs in these chips compare to the previous Vega offerings?
Apparently they're comparable to a Vega 3, at least here they quote AMD saying "[O]n the Athlon Gold 7220U, AMD claims you can get up to 97 frames per second in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, 84 FPS in League of Legends, and 61 FPS in DOTA2, all while running at 720p resolution".
These new APUs should be a good deal faster than my R5-3500U which means that 99% of people looking for craptops at these price points should be more than satisfied with AMD's latest offerings.
I'm not sure just how faster they'll be, but Mendocino will live and die by its battery life, if it can deliver the promised battery life it will provide a decent option for people who need laptops that you can actually move around, otherwise it's probably better sticking with Lucienne as long as you can find it, it's cheap and it comes with 6 cores for around 500€, AMD apparently thinks it's fine to sell these Mendocino laptops for up to $700 (and the 17inch HP laptop mentioned in the press release is probably quite close to that price). Or one could wait for Alder Lake N and see how it performs... (the Alder Lake U Pentiums so far were only released in quite expensive laptops, as far as I can see).
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,612   +3,197
TechSpot Elite
Apparently they're comparable to a Vega 3, at least here they quote AMD saying "[O]n the Athlon Gold 7220U, AMD claims you can get up to 97 frames per second in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, 84 FPS in League of Legends, and 61 FPS in DOTA2, all while running at 720p resolution".

I'm not sure just how faster they'll be, but Mendocino will live and die by its battery life, if it can deliver the promised battery life it will provide a decent option for people who need laptops that you can actually move around, otherwise it's probably better sticking with Lucienne as long as you can find it, it's cheap and it comes with 6 cores for around 500€, AMD apparently thinks it's fine to sell these Mendocino laptops for up to $700 (and the 17inch HP laptop mentioned in the press release is probably quite close to that price). Or one could wait for Alder Lake N and see how it performs... (the Alder Lake U Pentiums so far were only released in quite expensive laptops, as far as I can see).
Well, the performance uplift and power savings between Zen+ and Zen2 have been well-documented so I think that it will be fine. As is always the case, hardware advancement outpaces software advancement by a canyon-sized gap. The only non-professional-use software that keeps pace with hardware advancement is high-end gaming. Common tasks (web browsing, multimedia and office apps) would still be fine just using an old i5-2500K or FX-6300. Most craptops are used for common tasks with their greatest advantage of portability being leveraged. It's a small minority of people who use craptops for serious computing. The battery life of my R5-3500U is more than adequate and Zen2 is far more efficient than Zen+.