Today AMD launched its newest Ryzen processors. With the AMD Ryzen 7 8700G we get a layout that we are familiar with. Zen 4 cores and the AMD Radeon 780M graphics integrated. The other feature is a NPU for the AI PC future.
AMD Ryzen 7 8700G Review More TDP and NPU
For STH readers, we have seen Zen 4 and RDNA 3 Radeon 780M graphics a few times, specifically when looking at mini PCs. See, for example, our Beelink GTR7 Pro Review. At the same time, the new AMD Ryzen 7 8700G has a new feature, Ryzen AI with the AMD XDNA NPU built-in.
The background is fairly straightforward. Microsoft is making a major push towards having an AI PC. Things like desktop-enabled LLMs, but also using the NPU for image editing, background blurring, and so forth. As such, there is a focus on putting NPUs into x86 CPUs. For some perspective here, the Apple M-family of SoCs has had built-in AI acceleration for generations now. Microsoft has told chipmakers it wants AI acceleration to deliver a next-gen AI-enabled desktop experience. This is AMD’s first foray into that on the desktop.
Aside from the NPU, we get a familiar 8-core / 16-thread CPU with a 65W TDP and AMD Radeon 780M graphics. With AMD architectures, since Zen 1, one can get high-performance and high-clock speed parts with higher TDPs. At the same time, shedding a bit of clock speed for lower TDP tends to yield great efficiency.
The AMD Radeon 780M graphics is the company’s high-end integrated graphics. We have shown this is a solution that can play e-sports titles at 4K and be perfectly playable. That is where the huge efficiency benefits come into play. For many, the 780M is good enough that a PCIe GPU is not needed which saves both power and cost. Whenever we do reviews of the mini PCs with the 780M we point out that on e-sports titles, like League of Legends, we can get over 60fps at 4K resolution. For a big portion of the market, those kinds of gaming use cases plus a fast 8-core CPU is all that a PC will be used for.
The NPU is perhaps the most interesting. We just got the AMD XDNA Linux driver last week and we did not have a chance to get a system setup for it. At the same time, the promise of something like this is enormous. We have many STH readers adding lower-performance Coral TPUs to systems and using them for AI inference on video. AMD has a capable CPU, good video encode/ decode, and the AI inference NPU onboard. Realistically, we are still very early days for this, but in the future, the hardware is there to do video inference on these parts.
There is something strange with the AMD Ryzen 7 8700G and Ryzen 5 8600G. It only supports PCIe Gen4, not PCIe Gen5. While we get a new CPU with a new NPU, we get a decidedly older generation of PCIe. For most folks, this is realistically going to be OK given the segment. At the same time, this is one of those CPUs that we would use more value motherboards instead of the top-end boards. AMD sent an ASRock B650 Pro RS which is a fairly good match segment-wise with the $329 CPU.