One of the most bizarrely offensive pieces of marketing material I’ve seen is Intel comparing AMD’s Ryzen 7000 mobile chips to snake oil. Over the weekend, Intel posted its Core Truths Playbook, which details how AMD’s mobile processor naming scheme misleads customers.
There is an element of truth to this, which I’ll get to in a bit, but first, the playbook. Intel began claiming it had “a long history of selling half-truths to unsuspecting customers” along with images of a snake oil salesman and a shady used car salesman. This sets up a comparison between the Ryzen 5 7520U and the Core i5-1335U. According to the presentation, Intel’s chip is 83% faster, due in part to the older architecture that AMD uses.
Intel has a point here. Last year, AMD changed its mobile naming conventions, which obscured low-powered parts using older architectures. Instead of matching architecture with generation, as Intel and AMD have done for years, AMD now says All Its mobile processors are part of the latest Ryzen 7000 generation, regardless of what architecture they use.
Now, the third number in the name denotes the architecture used by the CPU. For example, the Ryzen 5 7640U uses the Zen 4 architecture, while the Ryzen 5 7520U uses the Zen 2 architecture. It’s clear how this can be confusing when a chip using an older architecture is shown alongside the latest generation CPUs.
However, this is a bit ironic on Intel’s part. That was a few years ago, but it’s hard to forget that Intel sat behind its 14nm node introduced with Skylake on the desktop for years, increasing performance with each subsequent generation.
Some of them still apply today. Intel recently released its 14th generation processors for desktops, which are basically rebranded versions of its 13th generation Raptor Lake processors. There are some performance improvements, but they are not huge. Similarly, we’re about to get 14th-generation Meteor Lake processors for laptops, but we’re not seeing those chips on desktops, leaving a mismatch for what “14th generation” means in Intel’s product stack. Is being born.
Still, Intel’s nomenclature shuffle shouldn’t distract from AMD’s mistake here. The Ryzen 7000 naming scheme is confusing on mobile, and it may mislead buyers into purchasing a processor that is better than what the name suggests. There are also laptops that use these chips. For example, the Ryzen 7 7520U is featured in the Acer Aspire 3, an affordable laptop
Thankfully, AMD’s chips aren’t available in too many laptops, at least not compared to Intel. Otherwise, the naming scheme would be a huge issue.
There is some truth in Intel’s playbook, even if it is a bit aggressive. Nonetheless, this is proof that it is always important to read about the product you are interested in purchasing, whether it comes from AMD or Intel.