While AMD has done a good job with their Ryzen processors based on Zen architecture, the company did not provide alternatives to low-cost, low-power Intel Gemini Lake processors with the closest equivalent being the 15W AMD Athlon 3000-series processors.
But this may be about to change, as Lenovo has now unveiled two new education laptops, namely Lenovo 100e 2nd gen and Lenovo 300e 2nd gen, powered by a previously-unannounced 6W AMD 3015e processor, and expected to become available in September 2020 for $219 and up.
AMD 3015e key features and specifications:
- CPU – 2x cores, 4x threads @ 1.2 GHz / 2.3 GHz (Boost)
- GPU – Vega 3 Graphics @ 600 MHz
- Cache – 1MB L2 cache, 4MB L3 cache
- Memory I/F – Single-channel DDR4 up to 1,600 MHz
- Video – HDMI and DisplayPort
- Peripheral Interfaces – PCIe 3.0
- TDP – 6W
- Process – 14nm
Based on the product page, the processor is part of the “AMD 3000 Series Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics”. Close enough to the AMD Athlon 300 series we mentioned in the introduction, except they dropped the Athlon name.
Anandtech found out there are two other new 6W AMD processors based on Zen architecture:
|Cores / Threads||Base Freq (MHz)||Turbo Freq (MHz)||GPU||GPU Freq (MHz)||DDR4 (MHz)|
|Athlon Silver 3050e||2 / 4||1400||2800||Vega 3||1000||2400 (dual-channel)|
|AMD 3015e||2 / 4||1200||2300||Vega 3||600||1600 (single-channel)|
|AMD 3020e||2 / 2||1200||2600||Vega 3||1000||2400 (dual-channel)|
The Athlon Silver 3050e is a different family, but the comparison against AMD 3020e processor is interesting, as it lacks multithreading support but offers a higher CPU and GPU frequency, as well as support for dual-channel memory. So AMD 3015e may only perform better, and it’s not a given, for multi-threaded applications.
Let’s cover some of the details of the upcoming Lenovo laptops. The $219 Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen will come with 4GB DDR4, 64GB eMMC flash, an 11.6-inch display, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, while the $299 Lenovo 300e 2nd Gen will have a similar design but add a 360-degree hinge, pen support, and an optional 128 GB SSD. Both will run Windows 10.
The Lenovo laptops will be reserved for the education market, so likely not available to the general public, but that still means you could soon see $150-200+ AMD Zen fanless mini PC’s or single board computers.