These AMD Chromebook processors promise big battery life

AMD has announced four new (well, kind of) processors marketed for Chromebooks: the Ryzen and Athlon 7020C series.

The release includes two Ryzen processors (a Ryzen 5 7520C and a Ryzen 3 7320C) with four cores, eight threads, and 15W TDP, with AMD Radeon 610M graphics. The Ryzen 3 has a 2.4 GHz base with up to 4.1 GHz boost frequency, while the Ryzen 5 has a slightly higher 2.8GHz and 4.3 GHz respectively.

The Athlon Silver 7120C and Athlon Gold 7220C both have two cores, and two and four threads respectively. Both have a base frequency of 2.4GHz; the Silver boosts up to 3.5GHz, the Gold up to 3.7.

As is often the case with these Chromebook-specific CPU releases from AMD, “new” is a bit of a misleading term. The 7020C series is built on the company’s Zen 2 architecture, which has been kicking around since the good old days of 2019. (We are now on Zen 4, for those who haven’t been obsessively following along at home.)

If you compare specs, these are basically the same chips that AMD released last September to target budget Windows laptops. In the past, the justification that AMD has given for doing these sorts of rebrands is that Chromebook-branded processors better help people find Chromebooks that will suit their computing needs. Regardless, prospective buyers should note that there’s nothing particularly new about these chips.

Nevertheless, AMD is making big promises for the C-series. For example, the company claims that the 7320C “delivers 1.6 times higher average performance across tested workloads” than previous generations of Ryzen-powered Chromebooks, as well as “up to 3.5 hours longer battery life” than competing MediaTek (Kompanio 1380) and Intel (Core i3-N305) systems. Users, per AMD, can expect up to 19.5 hours of battery life on the Athlon Silver and up to 17 hours on the Ryzen 3. AMD appears to have tested these using the CrXPRT synthetic benchmark, which may or may not mirror your own real-world use. (It’s safe to say that 19 hours would be an unbelievably long real-world lifespan.)

“We’ve been impressed with the combination of raw power and efficiency AMD has brought to a variety of Chromebooks,” said John Solomon, vice president and general manager of ChromeOS, in a statement. “We’re excited for AMD’s 7020 C-Series processors to continue that excellent track record.”