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Sash has a Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X and a Vega 56... In a Laptop.

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

That's right, but I bet you didn't expect that, too. This is a unique machine indeed; a full AMD high-end gaming laptop with components you wouldn't really expect, including a full-sized Vega 10 graphics processor in Vega 56 configuration, complete with HBM and all.

My friend sold me his trusty 2-year old gaming laptop that had served him very well. He has kept it in extremely good condition, and I'm very happy with it. The fact that this machine has a full-fat desktop-class Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X; an eight-core, sixteen-thread processor with a base frequency of 3.6 GHz and a full single-threaded turbo of 4.1, in an AM4 socket, in a mobile chassis is pretty... well, insane.

The machine actually came with a Ryzen 7 2700 non X, which is a 65W TDP-rated part, which was ideal for this design, but did have some thermal head room because the laptop's cooler is excellent. My friend did mess around with a non-Pro 2700X at 105W but had some thermal issues with the CPU's aggressive 4.35 GHz max turbo and attempting to sustain 4.0 GHz+ all core. The Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X was actually supposed to be a non X PRO, but they sent him a PRO "X" instead. Not complaining, because the PRO 2700X has a 95W TDP and a lowered maximum boost - the same as the non X, non PRO, 2700. In my testing the CPU maintains 3.6-3.7 GHz on all 8 cores under full, 100% continuous load (stress and transcoding). In games it is usually at 3.7 or 3.8. This is impressive for a laptop with a desktop CPU in it, and does highlight that the Pinnacle Ridge Zen+ architecture was at least for its day - a very efficient design.

This is underscored by the battery operation of the CPU. In full battery mode, unplugged from the mains, the Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X runs at 3.2 GHz all core, sustained in stress, at 0.95V and 50W CPU package power. Not bat at all for a 2-year old 14/12nm-class, eight core CPU built on Global Foundries.

Let's get to the GPU, because this is quite exciting. The laptop features the only (that I am aware of) mobile implementation of the Vega 10 graphics processor. This is a GPU that is used in the Radeon RX Vega series, the 56 and 64 models from the desktop lineup. I remember people questioning why Vega 10 never made any laptop designs (except this), despite being physically smaller (when factoring in memory, too) than the competing GP104 part with GDDR5, from Nvidia, and many opinions where to the conclusion that Vega simply wasn't efficient enough to compete in this form factor.

That would be wrong, because this Vega 56 proves it. The GPU is rated for around 120W, similar to the mobile GTX 1070, and actually provides similar performance -even at the time. the GPU runs at around 1.2 GHz in games and around 850mV. This is Vega 10 right, smack-bang in its perf/watt sweet spot and it shows. The GPU runs cool and provides excellent performance, as I said - performing about the same as GTX 1070 Mobile in its same power envelope. Desktop-based Vega GPUs were just pushed out of their sweet spot to compete with Nvidia's better clock speed scaling, and thus, higher performance ceiling. When both processors operate in their "sweet spots"; Vega is just as efficient as Pascal, if not more so, and this proves it. In 2020, the Vega 56 is likely even faster than the GTX 1070 mobile for the same power, owing to the compute-heavy GCN architecture and plentiful memory bandwidth provided by the dual-stack 2048bit HBM2 memory at 1.6 Gbps (410GB/s).

The System has 32 GB of DDR4 memory, in 2x16GB (Dual Rank) configuration, running at 2400 MHz, C14-16-16. The RAM is on the slow side, but the laptop's board won't run higher. This does limit the processor in latency sensitive applications like games to some degree, but not by a deal-breaking amount.

I intend to use the machine mainly has a portable powerhouse - workstation for video and image editing/rendering while I'm at my nan's house, oh and gaming at maximum settings 1080p thrown in. I'm starting to babble now, so here are some videos of me gaming on it so far. The first video is with me and the Borb (Undead.Potato) who I bought the laptop from, talking while playing Fallout 76. Turns out the game didn't run so great with maximum draw distance and 110 Field of View; but after reigning in some of those settings to be less heavy on latency-sensitive draw-calls, it ran fine.

Also Warframe thrown in. :D Overall I am very happy with the machine. Oh, and Metro Exodus!

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