AMD is making strides in the mobile processor market by introducing its 3D V-cache technology to gaming laptops with the launch of the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D. This new processor, a part of the 4 nm Ryzen Zen 4 "Dragon Range" lineup, brings significant advancements with its 128 MB of L3 cache. In this article, we will delve into the technical details of the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D and explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of AMD's 3D V-cache technology in mobile computing.
The Evolution of 3D V-Cache Technology
AMD first experimented with 3D V-cache technology in desktop processors with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. This additional L3 cache layer proved advantageous in gaming performance, surpassing the Intel Core i9-12900K. However, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D had some limitations, including reduced boost clocks and the absence of overclocking capabilities.
Building upon these initial tests, AMD released 3D V-cache versions of the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, which demonstrated improvements in gaming performance and energy efficiency. Nevertheless, their multi-core performance appeared limited compared to Intel's Core i9-13900K.
The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D: A Powerhouse for Gaming
With the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D, AMD is now bringing 3D V-cache technology to the mobile platform. This APU features 16 cores and 32 threads, along with an impressive 128 MB of L3 cache. The 3D V-cache is present on only one of the CCDs (Compute Core Die), providing 32 MB of regular cache and an additional 64 MB of V-cache. The other CCD, on the other hand, retains only 32 MB of cache.
Clock speeds for the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D are set at a base of 2.3 GHz, which is slightly lower than its non-X3D variant, and a boost clock of up to 5.4 GHz. Additionally, it comes with the Radeon 610M iGPU featuring 2 RDNA 2 compute units (CUs).
One noteworthy detail is that the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D operates within a TDP range of 55 W+, making it more power-efficient compared to the standard 55 W to 75 W+ range of the Ryzen 9 7945HX.
3D V-Cache Performance and Optimization
According to AMD's claims, the 3D V-cache technology in the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D offers a remarkable boost in performance for gaming. The company demonstrated how the processor, even with a constrained 40 W TDP, achieved higher FPS in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at native 1080p High settings when paired with an RTX 4090 Laptop GPU.
AMD has also stated that the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is approximately 15% faster on average compared to the Ryzen 9 7945HX in selected games. This performance enhancement is a result of the chipset driver's optimization that allows the Windows scheduler to utilize the CCD with 3D V-cache whenever a game is launched. Similar optimizations can be expected on mobile devices with the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D.
Exclusive Availability and Future Prospects
As of its initial launch, the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D will be exclusive to the Asus Strix Scar 17 X3D, set to be released on August 22 this year. While details about the Strix Scar 17 X3D are limited, it is speculated to come with configurations featuring 32 GB DDR5 RAM, a 1 TB SSD, and an RTX 4090 Laptop GPU.
Unfortunately, pricing information for the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D is not available yet, and other OEMs have not announced their intentions to adopt this new processor. However, given AMD's recent collaborations with Asus, we can expect other manufacturers to follow suit and incorporate the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D into their future gaming laptop models.
Criticism and Concerns
While the introduction of 3D V-cache technology in mobile processors marks a significant advancement in gaming performance, there are potential drawbacks that warrant consideration. The limitation of the 3D V-cache to only one CCD could lead to imbalanced core utilization, affecting multi-core performance in certain scenarios.
Additionally, the lower base clock of the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D compared to its non-X3D variant may impact overall system responsiveness, particularly in non-gaming tasks that rely heavily on single-core performance.
AMD's launch of the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D APU with 3D V-cache technology represents a significant milestone in the mobile processor market. With its impressive 128 MB L3 cache and optimizations for gaming performance, this processor shows great promise for gaming enthusiasts. However, concerns regarding multi-core performance and lower base clock need to be addressed to ensure a well-rounded mobile computing experience. As more OEMs embrace this technology, the future of gaming laptops may be shaped by the Ryzen 9 7945HX3D's capabilities.