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AMD brings Ryzen CPUs to Chromebooks — Watch out, Intel

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD is bringing Ryzen to Chromebooks. The chipmaker announced today new Athlon 3000 and Ryzen 3000 C-series chips for upcoming laptops running Chrome OS. 

The new mid-tier and premium chips will live alongside the AMD A-series CPUs already found in certain budget Chromebook models, like the HP Chromebook 14

Compared to the A-series CPUs, the new Ryzen 3000C processors will deliver up to 178% faster performance when running modern web apps (based on Octane 2.0 benchmark). 

The Ryzen 3700C CPU, which tops this new chip stack, will provide 151% better graphics performance, 104% higher productivity performance and 153% better photo editing performance than the A-series CPUs, according to AMD. Remember though, we're comparing a premium chipset made for heavy workloads against a budget chip meant for light web browsing. 

What this means for consumers is more high-end Chromebook options running on AMD chips. Just as important, AMD promises that vendors will use higher-end components in their AMD-powered systems, so we can expect better displays, slimmer chassis and more comfortable keyboards.

(Image credit: AMD)

Which specific laptops will use these chips? HP, Asus and Lenovo have promised six more AMD Ryzen and Athlon designs, or models, by the end of 2020, bringing AMD's Chromebook total to 14 laptops. These aren't huge numbers but they'll help AMD raise its Chromebook market share, which already increased from 5.2% to 21% from 2019 to 2020.

AMD's biggest rival, Intel, recently released its 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs for laptops. For its part, Intel says the 11th Gen Core i7-1165G7U CPU will deliver 20% faster overall performance, 19% faster web performance and 2.7x better graphics than the 10th Gen Comet Lake Core i7-10610U CPU. Those sound like significant gains, however, this comparison ignores the 6-core Core i7-10710U and Core i7-10810U CPUs available in premium ultra-light systems. 

So, which processors work best in Chromebooks? We will run our own benchmarks once we get our hands on AMD Athlon and AMD Ryzen-powered Chromebooks to see how they compare to Intel-powered systems both in terms of performance and price.