Chromebooks are approaching the performance of true laptops.
AMD has officially introduced the Ryzen 5000 C-series processors, which will bring AMD’s powerful Zen 3 architecture to premium Chromebooks from HP and Acer.
The new processors range from the AMD Ryzen 3 5125C, a dual-core/four-thread chip with a boost frequency of 3.0GHz, to the AMD Ryzen 7 5825C, an eight-core/16-thread beast with a boost frequency of 4.5GHz.
“The Ryzen 5000 C-Series processors provide Chromebook users the flexibility to stay unplugged all day without losing speed and productivity,” AMD SVP Saeid Moshkelani said in a statement announcing the new range.
The new CPUs arrive as Chromebook manufacturers seek to expand the market beyond education, where the devices are prevalent in classrooms across the United States and worldwide. The enterprise sector is particularly interested in Chromebooks, which manufacturers hope will be adopted as a kind of computer-away-from-your-computer, providing excellent performance for business applications and portability while improving battery life, display and video quality, and other features.
“This new generation of Chromebooks is a terrific illustration of what a collaborative industry cooperation can deliver—excellence in compute performance, graphics, battery life, and design,” said James Lin, general manager of Acer’s IT Products Business division’s laptops division.
The four Ryzen 5000 C-series processors introduced today have the following specifications:
- AMD Ryzen 7 5825C: 8C/16T | 15W | 2.0GHZ, up to 4.5GHz | Eight GPU cores | 20MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 5 5625C: 6C/12T | 15W | 2.3GHz, up to 4.3GHz | Seven GPU cores | 19MB Cache
- AMD Ryzen 3 5425C: 4C/8T | 15W | 2.7GHz, up to 4.1GHz | Six GPU cores | 10MB cache
- AMD Ryzen 3 5125C: 2C/4T | 15W | 3.0GHz/3.0GHz | Three GPU cores | 9MB cache
Analysis: Now that it has the power, what will Chrome OS do with it?
Chromebooks have always been power-efficient computers. This helps keep costs down and makes the devices more accessible for schools and parents seeking for a device that their children can use without risking an expensive laptop falling into the hands of a teenager with a wobbly cup of soda.
As a result, the Chromebook operating system, Chrome OS, is more focused toward basic productivity, education, and cloud computing than it is for more heavy-duty applications like multimedia editing. We’re not even going to discuss gaming.
Although increasing the processing power of a Chromebook can’t hurt, if all you’re doing is basic productivity and cloud computing, you probably don’t need it. It’s great to have access to the full Google Android ecosystem, but Android apps are designed for phones and tablets, not laptop computers, and no one will confuse the two just because it’s on a Chromebook.
Google must rethink Chrome OS as something more than it is now if manufacturers truly want Chromebooks to get into the enterprise sector. Even the greatest processors in the world won’t be able to turn the Chromebook into anything other than a student-focused device unless Google starts making its OS far more robust.
Microsoft introduces a new Chromebook competitor as well as other educational gadgets.