It wasn't exactly a surprise to see AMD announcing mobile processors at CES 2021, it was one of the worst kept secrets of the industry, but what was a surprise was the introduction of a new brand. Along with more traditional low power CPUs, like the 5800U, AMD introduced the HX line of laptop CPUs. The intention for this new brand was fairly unambiguous as well, as Dr Lisa Su stated, "Our new HX processors raise the bar for gaming processors."
Designed to be the fastest processors for gaming notebooks, HX laptop processors use the same Zen 3 architecture that can be found powering the likes of the Ryzen 9 5900X (opens in new tab), keeps those cores unlocked for overclocking, and raises the thermal ratings for sustained performance. These look pretty sweet for laptop gaming basically.
Dr Lisa Su went on to announce two chips in the HX family, the Ryzen 9 5900HX and the Ryzen 9 5980HX, two chips that appear to be separated purely by their boost clocks. Both are 8-core, 16-thread monsters, with 20MB of combined L2+L3 Cache and a 45W+ TDP. Where the 5900HX boosts up to 4.6GHz though, the 5980HX goes all the way up to 4.8GHz.
AMD showed the Horizon Zero Dawn running on the chips at 1080p at over 100 fps—a resolution chosen to prove that the GPU wasn't CPU bound. What isn't clear from this video though is what GPU was used to run the benchmark. There's no way that integrated graphics could hit those kinds of framerates.
AMD finished by stating that we'll see laptops using the new Ryzen 5000 mobile chips by February. This, we assume, would also include the HX processors, but we'll have to watch the announcements from laptop partners in the coming days to see if this rings true.
AMD sure does look to be in a great place for gaming laptops right now. Let's see what sort of laptops will use these new chips.