Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
I honestly forgot AMD released next-gen RDNA 3 laptop graphics cards, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you did too. At the beginning of this year, the company announced a slate of next-gen graphics cards for laptops, promising they’d be out by February. The laptops — and trust me, there are only a few — came and went, the seasons changed, and nothing. We’ve had no more AMD laptops since.
I won’t pretend AMD has a strong hand in the best gaming laptops. It’s a place Nvidia has dominated and will likely continue to do so for generations to come, but the offerings for mobile AMD GPUs are in very short order this year. And that’s especially disappointing considering the performance AMD originally claimed when it announced its RDNA 3 laptop graphics cards.
Let’s back up for a moment. In January, AMD revealed the RX 7600M XT, RX 7600M, RX 7700S, and RX 7600S laptop graphics cards. The star child of the range, the RX 7600M XT, was said to have performance on the level of a desktop RTX 3060. I’m operating on limited data here — that’s kind of the entire point of this article –but some benchmarks show this card matching the performance of the RTX 4060 laptop GPU, like the one in the Alienware x14 R2.
Matching the competition from Nvidia is something AMD hasn’t been able to do over the past couple of generations, even if laptops like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 were surprise hits last generation (this year, AMD graphics are totally absent from this laptop). You’d think that competitive performance would mean more of AMD’s next-gen GPUs in laptops, but they just aren’t available.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
I’ve found a total of four laptops that you can buy in the U.S. with discrete RDNA 3 graphics. Asus has its Tuf Gaming A16 with the RX 7600S, Framework is offering its 16-inch laptop with an RX 7700S, and both the Alienware m16 and m18 offer the RX 7600M XT, but only when configured with an AMD CPU. If I’m missing something, feel free to email me. But the point remains that you’d have to go far out of your way to buy an AMD graphics card in a laptop this generation.
Even among the machines that offer these GPUs, you’d have to go out of your way. If you configure an Alienware m16 or m18 on Alienware’s website, for example, it will default to the RTX 4060 instead of the RX 7600M XT, even if you select an AMD CPU. And the Asus Tuf Gaming A16, despite receiving excellent reviews, is only available at Best Buy.
With the exception of the Framework Laptop 16, this is the same slate AMD announced in January. It doesn’t seem like any new laptops have gotten the RDNA 3 treatment, even among current partners like Alienware and Asus. Even Lenovo, HP, and MSI, who had all-AMD configurations in the previous generation, don’t have any new AMD graphics cards in their lineup.s
It’s hard to say why. Nvidia dominates in gaming laptops, so it makes sense that Team Green would get priority for most laptop brands, but we’re more than half a year out from AMD originally announced its slate of laptop GPUs. And still, we just don’t have the laptops.
More recent rumors have suggested AMD is working on higher-end options to put in laptops — one leaker claimed up to an RX 7800M XT — but with so few options in the current lineup, I’m not holding my breath. It’s a shame, too. Some rumors have said the fabled RX 7800M XT could reach the level of a desktop RTX 4070.
Despite making inroads into laptops in the previous generation with solid budget machines from MSI, Lenovo, and Asus, along with the showstopping Zephyrus G14, AMD’s offerings this generation have fallen completely flat. At the very least, the company is starting to build out its desktop lineup, with the new RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT arriving on September 6.