With its Ryzen 3000 desktop line, AMD delivered more cores, more performance and more value – closing the gap with Intel in benchmarks and gaming and essentially delivering a great product at a great price point. Ryzen 4000 does much the same thing, but with a twist. This isn’t a new Zen architecture or a bump to the existing desktop chips. Instead, AMD has refactored the existing Zen 2 core into a new all-in-one processor APU with Vega graphics. The processor is codenamed Renoir and to cut straight to the chase, it’s a gamechanger.
We’re reviewing Ryzen 4000 – or more specifically the Ryzen 7 4800H – within the brand new Asus TUF A15 laptop,and it’s remarkable in that you’re getting this eight core, 16 thread Ryzen chip in a very good notebook that’s got a base price of just £999/$999. For that you’re getting a 144Hz 15.4-inch screen with adaptive sync, a GTX 1660 Ti discrete GPU, 16GB of 3200MHz DDR4 in the all-important dual channel configuration – and the spec is complete with a 512GB SSD. The version Asus sent us is even better, in that the specification is upgraded to an RTX 2060 with a 1TB SSD. You do pay a £300/$300 premium for that, but I’d consider it worth the extra money.
The TUF A15 clearly isn’t an ultra premium notebook, but that’s not its intended market. It’s not ‘thin and light’ as such, there’s no edgeless display, and you won’t be using the screen for precise, accurate photography or video editing. You do get an adaptive sync-compatible, 144Hz screen but colour reproduction isn’t amazing and motion handling is far from best in class. But remember that you’re still getting a remarkable spec for the money and the point is that where the product has been compromised, the nips and tucks are not really that much of an issue if gaming is the focus. It’s no ultrabook, but hardly is it a hulking behemoth. It’s not super portable at 2.3kg, but it doesn’t massively weigh down your backpack. While the screen isn’t amazing, VRR gaming at max settings from anything between 80fps to 120fps definitely is. Even the RGB-enabled keyboard and trackpad are absolutely fine.