Published: Publication date – 12:45 pm, Mon – July 18 22
By Aditya Deshbandhu
The desktop has been the hallowed ground for PC gamers since time immemorial. Well, if you want to be precise, the last three decades. With each iteration of new silicon design companies have poured into their foundries, the performance gap with laptops has only widened as components have gotten bigger and hotter than ever before. While purists try to get every pixel out in great detail, it often seems a foregone conclusion that desktops will continue to prevail in this race.
A conclusion I was most satisfied with when I upgraded my CPU in special two-year windows to stay ahead of the competition. However, somewhere (perhaps half the world, everywhere) someone seems to be on their way and it became essential to understand what laptops can offer gamers today.
First of all, despite the brilliant strides Apple has made with its M-series silicon (M1 and M2), the library of games on macOS is just too sparse. I hope one day to play a game like Ghostwire Tokyo or the latest Call of Duty on day one on an M Series Ultra, but then – wishful thinking.
In terms of Windows, Intel has had a rough few years and AMD’s chips are the ones that run cooler while giving more time on battery packs. The success of ROG’s Zephyrus 14 laptops is well documented, and most of them are powered by AMD’s Ryzen series of chips.
The popularity of Ryzen has been such that old Intel exclusive OEMs such as Dell have started offering the AMD processor on their Alienware line. A development that has essentially led to fragmentation in the laptop gaming market as players can now buy three unique combinations of CPU and GPU Intel Nvidia, AMD Nvidia and AMD, as manufacturers try to find ways to package the most powerful combinations to help high-paying gamers. .
This year it will also be possible to purchase a Ryzen 7- or 9-series processor with an RTX 3080 or 3090 combination, something that was exclusive to Intel last year.
While the combination of Ryzen chips with powerful GPU cards opens up new possibilities for gamers who also use their laptops for work, I’m more excited by what AMD calls the “AMD Advantage” laptop. One in which it offers both the processor and the graphics unit, a development where it can explore synergy and compatibility while eliminating bottlenecks ala Apple. It also promises a native smart switch where the machine can switch power from the CPU to the GPU and vice versa depending on the intensity of the task.
AMD’s advantage doesn’t stop there though, it goes one step further by imposing specific hardware requirements on laptop manufacturers willing to participate in the program.
Something Intel tried a few years ago with its Ultrabook series, but AMD is much more granular as it not only mandates silicon-related hardware, but also which screens to use, and so on. In other words, AMD makes sure its customers feel the most of its “benefit” with the hardware they buy.
While this may seem like a pitch to most of you to buy AMD gaming laptops, I can’t help but think back to a time when gaming on Windows devices was once about synergy. This is a step in a new direction and I like it because for once it’s not about whose fans are spinning the fastest and whose cards are the biggest.