AMD Ryzen Z1 non-Extreme undergoes testing with Phoenix2 silicon, showcasing impressive performance.

September 11, 2023 by our News Team

AMD's Ryzen Z1/Phoenix2 APU is a cost-effective and efficient solution designed for low-power applications, combining Zen4 and Zen4c (dense) cores in a hybrid layout to provide impressive performance at a power consumption of just 15W.

  • The Ryzen Z1 APU is designed for low-power applications such as lightweight laptops and handheld gaming consoles.
  • The Ryzen Z1 offers a more suitable performance-to-power balance for gamers primarily focused on popular titles that are well-optimized for lower-spec hardware.
  • The ASUS ROG Ally with the Z1 non-Extreme chip may be priced $100 lower than the Extreme variant.

AMD Ryzen Z1/Phoenix2 APU, the latest processor from AMD, is garnering attention for its impressive performance at a power consumption of just 15W. Tech enthusiast David Huang recently shared a review of the processor on the Chinese platform Zhuanlan/Zhihu, shortly after the first die shot featuring the AMD Phoenix2 (also known as Small Phoenix) silicon emerged.

The Ryzen Z1 APU and Ryzen 5 7540U APU are expected to feature the 6-core Phoenix2 CPU, which combines Zen4 and Zen4c (dense) cores in a hybrid layout. These processors are specifically designed for low-power applications such as lightweight Laptops and handheld gaming consoles.

Huang’s review primarily focuses on the Z1 APU, which has a customized power profile different from its laptop counterpart. However, both variants share the same silicon, configured in an unusual way to provide a cost-effective and efficient solution based on AMD’s latest architecture.

One interesting aspect of the Phoenix2 APU is that it incorporates Zen4c (dense) cores, which operate at a different frequency compared to the “classic” Zen4 cores. While Zen4c runs at 3.5 GHz, Zen4 operates at 4.9 GHz. However, when both types of cores are configured to run at the same 3.2 GHz frequency, their performance becomes nearly identical. This is because both core types utilize the same ISA and frontend. It is worth noting that four out of six cores are designed to run at 3.5 GHz, allowing the Phoenix2 to achieve its maximum boost clock of 4.9 GHz with a power consumption of just 12.7W.

Huang’s review includes initial synthetic benchmarks and 3D gaming tests. Due to its separate core layout and reduced GPU capabilities (featuring only one third of the Phoenix1 RDNA3 CU count), the Z1 processor does experience a noticeable performance drop. However, the gaming experience can vary depending on factors such as power limits, clock configurations, system memory, and cooling efficiency.

Comparing the Ryzen Z1 with a 15W power limit to the Ryzen 7 7840U (also known as Ryzen Z1 Extreme) with a 25W power limit, one can expect an 80% improvement in performance with the latter.

In various 3DMark graphics tests, there is a substantial performance gap between the Z1 processor and the fully specced 7840U. The 25W 7840U generally outperforms the 15W Z1 by about 80%, with even the smallest gap in Fire Strike reaching approximately 70%. Despite being configured for 30W, the Phoenix2 can sustain a GPU clock of 2.8 GHz with just 22W of power, which drops to 1.8-2.0 GHz at 15W.

In synthetic tests, the difference between the 12CU RDNA3 iGPU in the Z1 and the 4CU RDNA3 iGPU in the 7840U narrows down to 28.6% when comparing the 7840U at 25W and the Ryzen Z1 at 30W. Notably, the Z1 running at 30W performs 34% better than at 15W. In more graphics-intensive titles like Metro Exodus or Cyberpunk 2077, the 7840U is 24.6% to 57% faster, but the performance gap between the Z1 at 30W and 15W narrows to 15% – 19%.

In conclusion, the AMD Phoenix, also known as Ryzen Z1 or Ryzen 5 7540U, is optimized for MMO titles and games that can run effectively at lower TDPs. For handheld gamers seeking modern titles with higher fidelity, resolution, and support for high-resolution textures, which may require sticking to a higher TDP profile, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme might be a better choice. However, for gamers primarily focused on popular titles that are well-optimized for lower-spec hardware, the Ryzen Z1 offers a more suitable performance-to-power balance.

Regarding pricing, the ASUS ROG Ally with the Z1 non-Extreme chip has not been released yet, but the company has indicated that it may be priced $100 lower than the Extreme variant. Whether this price difference justifies the spec downgrade remains to be seen.

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Background Information

About AMD: AMD, a large player in the semiconductor industry is known for its powerful processors and graphic solutions, AMD has consistently pushed the boundaries of performance, efficiency, and user experience. With a customer-centric approach, the company has cultivated a reputation for delivering high-performance solutions that cater to the needs of gamers, professionals, and general users. AMD's Ryzen series of processors have redefined the landscape of desktop and laptop computing, offering impressive multi-core performance and competitive pricing that has challenged the dominance of its competitors. Complementing its processor expertise, AMD's Radeon graphics cards have also earned accolades for their efficiency and exceptional graphical capabilities, making them a favored choice among gamers and content creators. The company's commitment to innovation and technology continues to shape the client computing landscape, providing users with powerful tools to fuel their digital endeavors.

AMD website  AMD LinkedIn

About ASUS: ASUS, founded in 1989 by Ted Hsu, M.T. Liao, Wayne Hsieh, and T.H. Tung, has become a multinational tech giant known for its diverse hardware products. Spanning laptops, motherboards, graphics cards, and more, ASUS has gained recognition for its innovation and commitment to high-performance computing solutions. The company has a significant presence in gaming technology, producing popular products that cater to enthusiasts and professionals alike. With a focus on delivering and reliable technology, ASUS maintains its position as a important player in the industry.

ASUS website  ASUS LinkedIn

Technology Explained

APU: An APU, or Accelerated Processing Unit, is a type of processor that combines a CPU and a GPU on a single chip. This type of processor is becoming increasingly popular in the computer industry due to its ability to provide both computing and graphics processing power in a single package. APUs are used in a variety of applications, from gaming PCs to high-end workstations. They are also used in embedded systems, such as those found in smartphones and tablets. The combination of CPU and GPU on a single chip allows for more efficient power consumption and better performance than traditional CPUs. Additionally, APUs are often used in conjunction with other components, such as RAM and storage, to create powerful and efficient systems.

CPU: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of a computer, responsible for executing instructions and performing calculations. It is the most important component of a computer system, as it is responsible for controlling all other components. CPUs are used in a wide range of applications, from desktop computers to mobile devices, gaming consoles, and even supercomputers. CPUs are used to process data, execute instructions, and control the flow of information within a computer system. They are also used to control the input and output of data, as well as to store and retrieve data from memory. CPUs are essential for the functioning of any computer system, and their applications in the computer industry are vast.

GPU: GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and is a specialized type of processor designed to handle graphics-intensive tasks. It is used in the computer industry to render images, videos, and 3D graphics. GPUs are used in gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile devices to provide a smooth and immersive gaming experience. They are also used in the medical field to create 3D models of organs and tissues, and in the automotive industry to create virtual prototypes of cars. GPUs are also used in the field of artificial intelligence to process large amounts of data and create complex models. GPUs are becoming increasingly important in the computer industry as they are able to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

iGPU: An integrated Graphics Processing Unit (iGPU) is a component built into a computer's central processing unit (CPU) or system-on-chip (SoC) that handles graphical tasks. Unlike dedicated graphics cards, which are separate components, an iGPU shares system resources with the CPU, allowing for basic graphics capabilities without the need for an additional card. While typically less powerful than dedicated GPUs, iGPUs are energy-efficient and well-suited for everyday computing tasks

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