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A (short) hands-on with RDNA 3 mobile

Last week, AMD announced its upcoming Ryzen 7000 mobile CPUs and RDNA 3 laptop GPUs, and we’ve had a very short hands-on time with them. Well, okay – hands-on time is a stretch. I was able to play one specific title on one specific full AMD system in the company’s demo room last week at CES 2023. But that at least confirms that these chips are real and functional in this year’s gaming laptops.

The company had a number of upcoming partner laptops on display at the show, including some of the most anticipated models from Asus and Alienware that we covered over the course of last week. Most of them ran videos that showed the laptops’ displays, but gave us no idea of ​​how the chips inside might perform.

But there was one – exactly one – laptop with a game you could actually play. That was the Asus TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition, one of not too many 2023 gaming laptops confirmed to be AMD-only (that is, with both an AMD CPU and AMD GPU). This system is expected to be available in the first quarter.

A screenshot of Sack Boy on the Asus TUF Gaming A16.

Look at that snow.
Photo by Monica Chin/The Verge

The TUF shown was, according to AMD’s signage, a Ryzen 9 7940HS processor and a Radeon RX 7700S graphics card. The 7940HS has eight cores and 16 threads and is built on AMD’s Zen 4 architecture. Are not to be confused with the Ryzen 9 7945HX (also Zen 4), the monstrous 16-core chip that leads the Ryzen 7000 line. (I asked AMD if I could try that one, but they didn’t have any of its systems on hand.) The 7700S is tailored for thin and light devices (the M series is what you’ll find in heavier fare this year), with 32 teraflops of performance with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory.

The only real game that ran on this system in AMD’s demo territory was Sackboy. I don’t really know how to play this game, but it looks like you have to collect a lot of coins and run away from (very cute) monsters that try to destroy you.

Four TUF Gaming laptops facing away from the camera on top of a bunch of crates.

This is the upcoming TUF Gaming line.
Image: Asus

Of course, what AMD showed was a pre-production sample, so no framerates were shown (and if there had been, I wouldn’t be able to share them). The only observation I can glean from my short playing time was: Sackboy was running. It turned out to be going well. Jumps and turns were smooth, and Sackboy responded as quickly as I expected to my taps on the PS5 controller. I enjoyed playing the game and was not worried about technological limitations.

Utilities, Sackboy (although it does have ray tracing) isn’t a title that we expect to be particularly challenging for the hardware in this laptop. (“Is this a CPU-heavy or GPU-heavy title?” I asked the AMD reps who were on site. “It’s not a heavy title,” they replied.) It ran at 1920 x 1200 resolution. This laptop also has a QHD 240Hz option, and I expect that system to be the real test of AMD’s top hardware this season. This particular system is far from a comprehensive look at any of these AMD chips and their limitations.

The Asus TUF Gaming A16 keyboard seen from above with a red PS5 controller resting on the touchpad.

Nice lighting, but no RGB on this model.
Photo by Monica Chin/The Verge

If you want more information about the TUF Gaming A16, Asus described it as “a sleek gaming laptop built to beat the competition.” It supports AMD’s Smart Access Graphics, which allows Radeon GPUs to directly control a system’s display, and has a MUX switch. It is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2023.

AMD has promised that the 7700S can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 87 fps, Tomb Raider at 142 fps, and Death stranding at 147 fps with maximum settings. Somewhat unhelpfully, these tests were all done in 1080p, while many of the partner laptops the company touted in its keynote will offer QHD displays. We’ll have to see for ourselves how well these chips can take advantage of those displays.

Las Vegas hosts annual CES trade show

AMD CEO Lisa Su introduced the new AMD chips last week during a keynote in Las Vegas.
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

All those caveats aside, I got excited to try these chips – even on such a slight lift. I’m really looking forward to seeing them in a laptop ready to hit the shelves and seeing if AMD’s claims about CPU and GPU performance come true. AMD only intended this demonstration to be a fun teaser of things to come, and my time with the A16 Advantage Edition certainly accomplished that. These are real chips that can run a real game, and that’s all we’re going to get for now.

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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