AMD has been keeping up with its computer parts, having released very efficient mobile CPUs in the form of Ryzen 6000 processors and, more recently, with the introduction of mobile versions of their Radeon 6000 series GPUs.
Despite the recent conversion to Intel on my personal build, there’s no denying the fact that AMD makes good computer parts. And now they’re good enough to compete in the laptop space
But how is it right for everyday use?
To sum it up, it’s definitely a viable choice in 2022, especially if you’re a gamer.
Where it falls short is the ability to perform GPU-based work, like using DaVinci Resolve video editing software, for example.
Still with us?
For our tests, we have the Asus Zephyrus G14, equipped with Ryzen 6900HS and Radeon 6700S. Other specs include 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD.
There are a couple of tiers for AMD’s mobile GPUs that you’ll need to keep in mind.
There’s level M and level S. The level S has reduced frequency and power limit compared to the level M version, but with all the other goodies intact. So the 6700S in our review unit is simply a limited power version of the 6700M.
The G14 has the odd resolution of FHD + (1920 x 1200), which is a slightly extended FHD (1920 x 1080). In general, there shouldn’t be much difference in performance between FHD + and FHD, but all of these tests were still done in FHD to make it a comparable experience in other forms of laptops.
Even for these tests, keep in mind that the G14 is comparable to a thin and light laptop, with many of its functions aimed at form rather than cooling.
The Ryzen 6900HS, which is an 8-core, 16-thread CPU that could sometimes boost up to 4.9 GHz on a single core, is very comparable to having a Ryzen desktop processor.
But just like the desktop Ryzen, the 6900HS boosting at these frequencies will generate a lot of heat and while the desktop variants will have a CPU cooler in place, the 6900HS won’t. It will generally depend on the design of the laptop to dissipate this heat.
These are exactly the limitations we faced with the G14.
We first tried to get the laptop running to its full potential, with the laptop’s fans spinning completely at 100% in an ambient temperature of 23 degrees C.
The 6900HS hits 100 degrees C when attempting to boost the highest single-core frequency while gaming and accelerates to around 80 degrees C afterwards, usually settling down to around 4.5 GHz.
A Cinebench R23 test sees it reach around 75 degrees C, with a score of 14525. On a side note, if you know your numbers, this is a crazy feat considering it’s very close to AMD’s 5800X3D all-core numbers. and Intel i7-11700K, while it draws only less than 100w.
For “normal” use, with the fans not spinning as if the laptop is about to transform into a flying drone, expect these numbers to drop slightly, but not to the point where the laptop is unusable.
The Radeon 6700S is a decent gaming GPU on a laptop, but struggles to process GPU-based work from programs like DaVinci Resolve.
For comparison, a laptop with a 3060 and an older Ryzen 5900HS managed to render a 5-minute 1080p video on DaVinci Resolve in 7 minutes, while the 6700S took 11 minutes.
For programs like Adobe Premier Pro, it is very comparable to the RTX 3060, simply because Premier Pro uses more CPU than the GPU to render its videos.
But at its peak performance, the 6700S only draws a whopping 95 watts even in gaming.
Temperatures are a bit high at 90 degrees C in our tests, but a laptop with a more robust cooler could remedy this.
Here are just a few average game numbers you can expect from the combination of the 6900HS and 6700S at 1080p.
All games were played at the highest settings, with the resizable bar, or what AMD likes to call Smart Access Memory, turned on.
You get a pretty decent gaming experience with the combination of the 6900HS and 6700S. Gone are the days when you would avoid an AMD GPU on a laptop if you are looking for a gaming device.
The G14 lasted a full four hours while gaming on a fully charged battery percentage before hitting 5%, where it went into power saving mode.
I assume that laptops with larger batteries will have longer play times.
Four hours is not something to sneeze at, as many old gaming laptops with large batteries can only garner two hours of playtime at the most.
Is it possible to get a fully AMD laptop in 2022? Absolutely.
AMD has attempted to enter the gaming laptop space again with the release of the Mobile Radeon 6000 series, and unlike its predecessors, it is actually providing a decent gaming experience for recent games.
Not to mention the parts are pretty energy efficient, with the CPU and GPU bringing nothing close to 100w individually.
This is something that will affect battery life the most, and AMD has done well in this regard.
Is it worth it, though? This is something that only you as a consumer can answer.
If it’s just for gaming and non-GPU related work, choose the cheapest if you have the choice between an all-AMD laptop or a laptop with an Nvidia RTX 3000 series GPU.
If it’s for GPU-related work and editing, just like its desktop siblings, AMD isn’t there yet.
However, they are getting close enough and I hope we will see further improvements and changes in the upcoming next generation mobile releases.
Dominic loves technology and games. When he’s not busy taking shape in games or watering everything he sees, he does some wrestling.
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