Ryzen 7 8840U performs better than Ryzen 7 7840U at 10W

At the close of last year, AMD unveiled the Ryzen 8040 series mobile processors, dubbed Hawk Point, which truthfully bear a striking resemblance to the Ryzen 7040 series processors, Phoenix. Both utilize TSMC’s 4nm process, and feature a CPU based on the Zen 4 architecture and a GPU from the RDNA 3 architecture. The most notable distinction discernible from their specifications is the inclusion of a faster NPU, with computational power enhanced from 10 TOPS to 16 TOPS.

The Phoenix chip finds application in a wide array of devices, including the handheld Ryzen Z1 Extreme, which shares similar specifications with the Ryzen 7 7840U, albeit without an enabled NPU. Furthermore, its TDP has been optimized for handheld use, ranging from 9-30W for the Ryzen Z1 Extreme, compared to 15-30W for the Ryzen 7 7840U. Essentially, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme can be regarded as the successor to the Van Gogh found in the Steam Deck, which is powered by a Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU, and offers significantly lower specifications.

As for the distinctions between the new Hawk Point chip and Phoenix, based on tests conducted by Cary Golomb, it was observed that the Ryzen 7 8840U performs better at 10W than both the Ryzen 7 7840U and Van Gogh. Although AMD has not explicitly stated that Hawk Point was optimized for low power consumption, empirical results suggest otherwise.

His comparison across several handheld consoles employing AMD processors revealed that the average frame rate for games played on three devices powered by the Ryzen 7 7840U was consistent. However, the Steam Deck, equipped with Van Gogh, exhibited a slightly higher frame rate at 10W. Notably, the Ryzen 7 8840U demonstrated an approximate 10% increase in average frame rate at the same wattage.

It remains uncertain whether AMD plans to launch a Ryzen Z2 series processor based on Hawk Point. It is also conceivable that AMD might leapfrog to the Strix Point architecture, which combines Zen 5 + RDNA 3.5, especially considering the handheld gaming market does not necessitate such a rapid pace of product refreshes.