AMD unveils the 'ultimate 1080p gaming' processor at CES 2020

The graphics giant uses the world's biggest tech event to announce its new mobile processors and graphics cards.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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AMD Ryzen CES 2020

Dr Lisa Su, AMD CEO, announces the new Ryzen 4000-series processors at CES 2020.

James Martin/CNET

AMD  is kicking off the world's biggest consumer tech show by unveiling the third-generation Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors, which will be used in upcoming  laptops . A crowd of hundreds lined up for more than an hour before the CES 2020 announcement, filing slowly into the enormous Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas to hear details on AMD's new  gaming  products Monday afternoon.

AT  CES  2019, AMD unveiled Radeon 7, the world's first 7-nanometer gaming graphics card. More than 20 products are now using its 7nm architecture, AMD said Monday.

A year later, the US chip giant is using CES 2020 as a platform to launch its latest graphics  processors

"In 2020, we will be introducing the best laptop processor ever built," AMD CEO Lisa Su said during the press conference. The processors will use AMD's 7nm technology.

It'll be used across gaming and creator laptops, ultrathin consumer laptops, and ultrathin professional laptops. The Ryzen 7 4800U features eight Zen 2 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.2GHz boost, 1.8GHz base, eight Radeon cores and 15W TDP. Graphics will be 28% better than Intel's Core i7, Su said, 90% better on multi-thread performance and 4% higher on single-thread performance.

Watch this: AMD introduces Ryzen Threadripper 64-core 3990X chip

More than 100 systems will be using the series by the end of 2020, with the first laptops expected in the first quarter. One laptop that will use it is the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, also being announced at CES 2020.

Su also provided details on the anticipated Ryzen Threadripper 3990X. AMD had been expected to announce the new flagship consumer processor at CES 2020, but it dropped some details in late November. At that time, it announced it'll have 64 cores, 288MB of cache and is designed for a 280-watt power draw. Now, we also know it'll be available for $3,990, coming with 128 threads, up to 4.3GHz boost and 2.9GHz base. The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X will be available in February. 

It follows the announcement of the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X and the 24-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X boxed processors, which shipped in September.

AMD Threadripper CES 2020

AMD's new Ryzen Threadripper 3990X.

James Martin/CNET

AMD also announced the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT, which it called the "ultimate 1080p gaming." It will deliver the best graphics across all games in comparison to the competition, according to the processor giant. The 5600 will be available worldwide on Jan. 21 for $279.

It will also be coming to mobile in the first half of 2020, launching as the 5600M.

Su said AMD has partnered on Sony's PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X, Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia gaming consoles and cloud services. Its graphics cards are also being used in Apple's new Mac Pro and the Microsoft Surface. Its processors are behind Twitter, and the data centers Google is using.

Asus Zephyrus CES 2020

AMD's Frank Azor shows off the new Asus Zephyrus gaming laptop.

James Martin/CNET

Alienware co-founder Frank Azor, who made the jump to AMD last year, additionally announced the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, aimed at gamers and creators. It comes with eight cores, 16 threads, up to 4.2GHz boost, 2.9GHz base and 45W TDP.

Azor showed off the new Asus ROG Zephyrus G14/G15 and the Dell G5 special edition gaming laptop. The Dell laptop will use AMD's new SmartShift technology coming in the second quarter of 2020, as well as AMD's Radeon 5600M, Ryzen, FreeSync and Radeon software.

SmartShift automatically brings AMD's discrete GPU into the equation when the CPU is allocating graphics resources, just like it does for the integrated GPU, without any size increases.

Why 2020 could be the best year for video games

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CNET's Lori Grunin also contributed to this report.