AMD just keeps making things harder for Intel. Its three generations of desktop CPUs have ramped up the pressure on the processor giant, and it's still yet to deliver a diamond response. And now Intel's traditional notebook dominance is being tested by a new line of AMD-powered gaming laptops.
The first of this new generation of machines for the red team seriously impressed, with our Alan going all gooey over the processor performance of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. But that's rocking an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS—an eight-core, 16-thread chip—and Origin PC clearly doesn't think that's powerful enough.
AMD's new Ryzen mobile processors tap out at the eight-core mark, while its desktop CPUs go all the way up to 16. That's a genuine core-count figure too, and not some mis-quoted Spinal Tap reference. But the Ryzen 9 3950X is a monster 105W processor, and that's just a bit too much power to squeeze into a laptop. For some, anyways... Origin PC has just announced that it's jamming the Ryzen 9 3900 into its new EON15-X gaming laptops, delivering 12 Zen 2 cores with 24 threads of processing power.
This is the full desktop processor getting the mobile treatment and, while it's not exactly some thin-and-light(ish) gaming machine like the new MSI GS66 Stealth, there's a whole lot of power inside that unassuming laptop.
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900 is an interesting chip in its own right, though sadly not one that any of us would be able to buy ourselves. It's a CPU only available to system builders and not the general public, and is essentially a down-clocked 65W 3.1GHz version of the similarly 12-core 3900X. That's an incredibly low TDP, and is what makes it possible to comfortably fit it inside a laptop's thermally constrained innards.
Origin PC is pairing up the 12-core AMD CPU with up to an Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU and a whole lot of memory and potential speedy storage space. If you're after a do-anything gaming laptop, that's arguably more of a performance workstation, then the EON15-X could be a hell of a choice.
Origin PC EON15-X specs
- Up to a 12 core AMD Ryzen 9 3900 desktop CPU
- 15.6” 144Hz FHD (1080p) narrow bezel display
- Up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card with Max-Q design
- Up to 2 x 2TB m.2 PCIe SSDs and 1 x 2.5” SSD/HHD/SSHD
- Up to 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2,666MHz RAM
- Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
- Full RGB backlit keyboard
- Custom HD UV printing and laser etching available
- Free Lifetime 24/7 Phone Support Based in the U.S.
But Origin PC isn't the only option when it comes to this sort of machine; PC Specialist in the UK has been selling its Nova 15, with a very similar-looking, surely Clevo-built, laptop chassis for a while now. And if you want to go full bore with your AMD-powered monster notebook then you actually can order one with the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X inside it.
Though we probably wouldn't recommend it.
There's a reason Origin PC isn't offering the AMD big boy in its EON15-X and that's because when the Ryzen chip's running at full tilt the machine's cooling has to go into overdrive and it's going to get really hot and really loud.
We will be checking out a 12-core, Ryzen 9 3900-powered version of the PC Specialist Nova 15 in the next few days, so we'll see how well AMD's desktop chips translate into 15-inch laptop form soon.