AMD Ryzen 7 Extreme Edition CPU pops up in a laptop – but what’s ‘extreme’ about it remains a mystery

NEC laptop with Ryzen 7 Extreme Edition
(Image credit: NEC)

AMD’s Ryzen 7 Extreme Edition might have seemed an improbable addition to the Ryzen range when it was first leaked a couple of months back, but it seems the processor is real, at least according to a laptop manufacturer which has listed the chip with a new machine.

NEC’s Lavie Direct N15 laptop offers the Ryzen 7 Extreme Edition as an option alongside the Ryzen 7 4700U and Ryzen 5 4500U mobile processors.

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The laptop listing was highlighted on Twitter by @momomo_us, with the chip having a base clock of 1.8GHz and boost to 4.2GHz. The 8-core (16-thread) Extreme Edition was previously glimpsed in a leaked benchmark back in May, as mentioned, with those exact specs – except the boost was listed as 4.3GHz.

Extremely what?

This is reportedly the top-end Ryzen 4000 U-series CPU, and as Tom’s Hardware (which spotted this) points out, those Extreme Edition specs are identical to the Ryzen 7 4800U, but the newcomer chip may be tweaked elsewhere for better performance (presumably – particularly given the ‘extreme’ name).

At this point, it’s not clear how, though – and NEC’s listing doesn’t tell us any more beyond the aforementioned specs. Tom’s theory is that the CPU could have a higher TDP, and therefore more thermal wiggle room to run for longer periods at sustained boosts, which seems a fair enough guess – although it is just that, a guess. We won’t know until we actually get to review a laptop with this Ryzen 7 Extreme Edition chip inside.

Intel uses the Extreme Edition label, which is why we previously thought that AMD wouldn’t name a product as such, and therefore that the earlier leak in May was more likely to have been off the mark. Seems like we were wrong, then, but it’s still a somewhat surprising move by AMD to adopt that moniker given its historical usage by Intel.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).