Chromebooks don’t have the same options for hardware as traditional PCs, and more recently, many of the best Chromebooks have been behind on new processors. That’s now changing, with the introduction of AMD Ryzen 5000 C-Series chips for Chrome OS computers.
AMD has been working on updated Ryzen chipsets aimed at Chromebooks for a while now, with reports about new 5000-series CPUs going as far back as 2020. Most high-end Chromebooks use chips like the AMD Ryzen 3 3250C, based on AMD’s Zen+ architecture that is now four years old, or ‘Tiger Lake’ 11th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (with a few using newer ‘Alder Lake’ chips). Chromebooks have to use hardware designs approved and supported by Google, which sometimes slows down the introduction of new processor designs compared to Windows laptops.
Thankfully, a new lineup of impressive CPUs is coming to a Chromebook near you. AMD revealed its Ryzen 5000 C-Series on Thursday, comprised of four different models. The lowest-end Ryzen 3 5125C only has four CPU threads, which will likely be used in mid-range Chromebooks, while the best Ryzen 7 5825C has 16 threads and clock speeds up to 4.5GHz.
|Model||Cores/Threads||TDP||Boost/Base Freq.||GPU Cores||Cache (MB)|
|AMD Ryzen™ 7 5825C||8C/16T||15W||Up to 4.5GHz/2.0GHz||8||20 MB|
|AMD Ryzen™ 5 5625C||6C/12T||15W||Up to 4.3GHz/2.3GHz||7||19 MB|
|AMD Ryzen™ 3 5425C||4C/8T||15W||Up to 4.1GHz/2.7GHz||6||10 MB|
|AMD Ryzen™ 3 5125C||2C/4T||15W||Up to 3.0GHz/3.0GHz||3||9MB|
The new chips are based on the company’s latest Zen 3 architecture, but the integrated graphics use the older Vega designs instead of RDNA 2 (which is found in the Ryzen 6000 series, Xbox Series X, and PS5). Still, the Ryzen 5000 C-Series is much better than what AMD’s existing Chromebook chips. AMD said in a press release, “Ryzen 5000 C-Series processors for Chrome are expected to offer up to 67% faster responsiveness and up to 85% better graphics performance than the previous generation. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 give users cutting-edge connectivity and more data bandwidth than ever before.”
We won’t have to wait long for the first wave of Chromebooks with the new chips. Acer revealed the Chromebook Spin 514 alongside AMD’s announcement, which combine the Ryzen 5000 C-Series with a 14-inch display and a 2-in-1 design. Acer didn’t mention exactly which of the four CPUs it will use, but the new model will arrive in the third quarter of this year in North America and Europe. Pricing will start at $579.99 in the United States, and €749 in EMEA.
HP has also shown off its first Chromebook with the new AMD chips, known as the HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook Enterprise (what a name!). There will be many different configuration options, including one with a 14-inch 400-nit 1080p screen, and a brighter 1000-nit option for people who need to frequently work outdoors. HP will even offer some configurations with 4G LTE connectivity.
HP’s Chromebook will be available in “early June,” and HP isn’t saying pricing for the Enterprise version yet, but there will also be a regular model (presumably with lower specs) that will start at $599 in the United States.
We’ll likely see a few more Chromebooks with the Ryzen 5000C series over the coming months. If you’ve been waiting for a new wave of Chrome OS hardware with a great balance of performance and battery life, one of the upcoming models might be for you. Here’s hoping AMD doesn’t leave another multi-generational gap in CPUs for Chromebooks again — Windows laptops with newer Ryzen 6000 chips are already available.
Note: The writer of this article owns stock in AMD.