It seems that CPU giant Intel’s empire is once again besieged. From critical hardware flaws to Apple’s upcoming ARM-based Macs, Intel is slowly but surely being forced to come to terms with a future where it will be forced to rub shoulders with its rivals from all fronts. Even long-time partner Microsoft is cozying up with long-time rival AMD for the former’s Surface line of laptops. It’s probably not that surprising considering how popular the AMD Surface Laptop 3 apparently was.
Last year’s Surface Laptop was the first in Microsoft’s entire Surface history to sport an AMD processor, though Intel variants were available, too. It wasn’t just any AMD Ryzen chip though but a “Surface Edition”, a specific variant of the Ryzen 7 3700U and Ryzen 5 3500U modified to fit Microsoft’s requirements for its premium laptop.
It seems like history will repeat itself this year with benchmark sightings of two Ryzen-powered computers naming Microsoft as the vendor. In other words, the next Surface Laptops will once again have AMD options and the figures seem favorable, at least compared to last year’s Surface Laptop 3.
The AMD Ryzen 7 4800U spotted in 3DMark boasted 8 cores and 16 threads, twice that of the Ryzen 7 3780U. The Ryzen 5 4500U, on the other hand, rocks 6 cores and six threads, still a slight bump up from last year’s equivalent. Other than the CPU’s core specs, however, nothing else is known about 2020’s Surface Laptops.
Unlike Apple, which is on a trajectory to ditching Intel for its own ARM-based processors, Microsoft is unlikely to favor just one CPU maker over another. Hopefully, however, the popularity of AMD-powered Surface Laptops could give Microsoft more confidence in providing the same choices for its other Surface computers, especially the 2-in-1 Surface Book.