At STH, we have reviewed a large number of 35W/ 65W TDP CPU systems from major vendors such as Lenovo, HP, and Dell. We call the series Project TinyMiniMicro and taking a look at these corporate desktop PCs has now encompassed around three dozen systems reviewed [Ed. We have 4 more in the publishing queue currently.] As a result, this is not our normal server coverage, but many of our readers use this class of system at work and they tend to make great servers after launch as part of a circular economy effort. Today, AMD quietly launched new APUs in this space, with a major omission.
AMD Ryzen 5000G and 5000GE APUs
There are a total of six new AMD Ryzen 5000G and Ryzen 5000GE CPUs. Effectively these span 4C/8T, 6C/12T, and 8C/16T options. In AMD nomenclature, the “G” means with graphics and is typically a 65W TDP part. The “GE” typically means that these are lower power 35W TDP parts as well. In the corporate ~1L desktop PC segment, this often means that systems can come bundled with one level lower of a power adapter so perhaps a 90W adapter instead of a 120W adapter, and the systems do not need top cooling vents making them more stackable. We actually did a piece on the Dell OptiPlex 7060 Micro TinyMiniMicro at 65W TDP CPU Overview just to see if the 65W TDP CPU was worth it, and will have a newer version on the Intel side in this next batch.
Perhaps the most exciting option here is the AMD Ryzen 7 5700GE. In the previous generation, we just tested the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Gen2 Tiny with the AMD Ryzen Pro 7 4750GE and that is perhaps our favorite processor of that generation, a large upgrade over what we saw in the M75q Gen1 that had a Zen+ chip. These new chips utilize Zen3 which is a major upgrade over Zen2 leading to large performance gains in other segments such as the data center as we saw with AMD EPYC 7003 Milan The Fast Gets Faster. Here are the Zen2 based APUs for comparison which are Ryzen 4000G/ 4000GE parts.
The key item that we did not see today is a “PRO” version launch. One will note above that the Ryzen 7 4700GE is listed, which is the non-Pro version of the Ryzen 7 4750GE we tested in that Lenovo Tiny system. You can see our thoughts on the Pro version here:
We checked the Ryzen Pro series page this afternoon before publishing and AMD still has not launched the Pro series. Generally, we would expect these Pro processors to be launched with features such as AMD DASH manageability before the major OEMs integrate them into their platforms offering both Pro and non-Pro versions.
While it is a big deal to get the new APUs, especially given the global GPU shortage, the bigger impact is what this seems to be having in the 1L PC space. We have had numerous reports that the 1L PCs from Lenovo and HP that used the Ryzen 7 4750GE and family have either been severely delayed or canceled. Here is the page for the M75q Gen2 on Lenovo’s website, note we had one unit ordered from Lenovo ship a few weeks ago, but the unit ordered a few days later was canceled:
The HP experience was similar, although HP seems to have a few models with a handful of stock.
Now we have the desktop APU launch without the Pro version launch. It seems like AMD’s supply chain is struggling amidst the supply shortage. During the AMD Ryzen Pro 5000 mobile launch, it was noted that AMD is focusing on the mobile Pro APUs so perhaps we are seeing a pause due to a generational gap. Pro APUs tend to launch after standard parts, so this may be the normal gap. What seems strange is that we are seeing partners not selling the previous Ryzen 4000G generation before the new Ryzen 5000G generation is out.
It is a good sign we see Zen3 in this segment, but it seems like there is an availability challenge at the moment.