Laptop Framework is now a household name on Tweakers. For those who missed it, Framework is a brand new (2022) designed laptop that aims to make it easier for the user to repair and upgrade themselves. We’ve extensively reviewed the first generation of frame laptops, then with the 11th generation Intel processor. Then came the upgrade to 12th and 13th generation Intel Core processors. Since that first review, the responses have been asking, “Will there also be an AMD version?” It has taken some time, but the answer to this question is now “yes” and from now on upgrade kits can be ordered. In this article we give you a short update on the performance of the new AMD motherboard, so you know exactly whether it is better to choose Intel or AMD.
Installation: Pay attention
The idea behind Laptop Framework is that users can repair or upgrade their devices as easily as possible. This applies to the screen and internal components, but also to the connections. You can choose the connections yourself by ordering expansion modules with your laptop. For example, if you don’t want HDMI out, but do want DisplayPort out, order this expansion module. If you want a lot of legacy USB-A connections, go for that, or just go for USB-C. Expansion modules use internal USB-C as a connection to the motherboard. With Intel laptops, you can insert any expansion module into any slot, but with the AMD version, it’s a little different.
It is best not to connect the USB-A module to the two rear connectors on the left and right. USB4 timers remain on the rise Power status It only works if there is a USB-A module inside, so it will come at the expense of battery life. The two front connections are not USB4 ports, but they support USB 3.2 and operate in a low power state with a USB-A module. Then there is another exception; You cannot connect an external monitor to the left USB 3.2 connector.
Hence the Laptop Framework becomes a little less flexible if you are using an AMD motherboard. Most will be able to live with that, as a few will need three USB-A connections on their laptop, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Finally, those who want to upgrade from the Intel platform will also have to keep in mind that Zen4 processors are only compatible with DDR5 memory, so you’ll have to purchase that as well.
The Framework offers a choice of a motherboard with a Ryzen 5 7640U processor or a Ryzen 7 7840U processor. Both processors have an integrated GPU, based on the RDNA3 architecture. The 7640U is the Radeon 760M and the 7840U is the Radeon 780M GPU. Framework sent us the fastest version, accompanied by 16GB of DDR5-5600 memory. Shortly after the release of the Framework laptop, AMD sent us an Acer Swift Edge to determine the availability of the Zen4 U processor. Just like the new Framework motherboard, this laptop is equipped with a Ryzen 7 7840U CPU, which means we can’t just compare the board The new Motherboard Framework competes with Intel, but also knows how much difference there is in performance between two laptops with the same CPU.
First, we ran Cinebench 23 and the Zen4 processor’s eight cores were faster than the frame laptops with fourteen cores (Core i7-1280P) and twelve cores (i7-1360P). That doesn’t mean the 7840U is always faster, as seen from the MSI Summit and Dell XPS 13. It appears that Framework has tuned the 7840U quite conservatively. In the single test, where a single core is loaded, the Intels are faster than the AMDs. This is the first Zen4 processor with the U suffix we’ve tested, and it’s clearly faster than the Zen3 laptops we’ve previously tested. The Acer is slightly faster in the individual test and falls among Intel’s laptops.
PCMark 10 Extended is a comprehensive benchmark that simulates various usage scenarios, partly using real software. For example, Firefox, Chromium, and Gimp are integrated into the Essentials test, while the productivity test runs using LibreOffice Writer and Calc. The Digital Content Creation subtest uses the ImageMagick library to perform a number of static operations on raw images, and the Video Editing subtest converts a number of video clips from one codec to another. In the last two tests, PCMark uses GPU acceleration through OpenCL. For gaming testing, the developer used 3DMark’s Firestrike test.
Overall, the Laptop Framework scored particularly well in PCMark. This also seems to have something to do with the fast Radeon 780M GPU, which is much faster than Intel’s Xe GPU. It appears that Acer has tweaked Swift Edge in such a way that the GPU makes it slightly less smooth than the frame, because in the last two tests, where the GPU plays a major role, the results were somewhat lower. However, the 780M GPU is faster than Intel GPUs.
The fact that the Radeon 780M is smooth is also evident in 3DMark, where the frame with the Zen4 processor is almost at the top. Lenovo’s Yoga Pro 7 does a little better, but that’s actually not a fair comparison, because even though this laptop still uses Zen3, the HS processor uses more power and is therefore faster. Here too, Acer’s graphics performance is slightly lower.
Finally, there is one standard that is not the same as the other. When viewed in Cinebench, the single-core Zen4 processor lost out to Intel’s, but in Geekbench 6.1, the Zen4 chip was at the top. The Acer performs better than the Framework in the single-core test, just as it does in Cinebench.
To see how much the new processor is throttling, we repeatedly render the same image in Blender. If the processor starts to throttle, it will fall back, increasing render time. It’s funny to see that first render takes 21 seconds for all three frame laptops (i7-1280P, i7-1360P, and 7840U). the Turbo boost However, Intel processors are only short and the next render takes about 26 seconds, while AMD processor also runs a little slower, but this happens more gradually and is ultimately faster than Intel processors. Acer is a bit of a bottleneck. Up to the seventh boot, it is faster than frame laptops with Intel processor, but after that the rendering time continues to increase. The Swift 16 is a particularly lightweight laptop, weighing in at just 1,240g, but this weight saving may come at the expense of cooling capacity.
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