Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 may pack an 8-core AMD Ryzen processor

Surface Laptop 3
(Image credit: Future)

The Microsoft October Event 2019 is coming up soon, on October 2, and we have high expectations for the launch of a new Surface Laptop 3, which sounds to be more powerful than ever. 

A leak has suggested that this new laptop will make a departure from the Surface series to date by including AMD processors (CPUs), and may even offer an eight-core CPU, German site WinFuture reports.

We've heard previous rumblings of Microsoft ditching Intel for AMD in the Surface Laptop 3, but this is the first suggestion of eight-core AMD processors showing up in the laptop. Not only would this be a big move for Microsoft, it would also put AMD CPUs at the high-end of the product SKUs instead of sitting below Intel Ice Lake models.

The report mentions a number of different Surface Laptop 3 models, all with a larger 15-inch display. They range in specs from quad-core Ryzen CPUs up to the aforementioned eight-core model, with a hexa-core model as well. Memory could come in 8GB, 12GB or 16GB of RAM. Prices are anticipated to range from about $1,000 (about £800, AU$1,460) to $2,400 (about £1,930, AU$3,500).

Eight-core Ryzen CPUs exist – but not for mobile

Eight-core CPUs may seem pretty run-of-the-mill for AMD, given all the high-core-count CPUs the company has launched in its Ryzen 3000 series. But, the same can't be said for its mobile processors. WinFuture previously reported the laptop may include a Ryzen 5 3550U or Ryzen 7 3750U CPU option, but both of these are quad-core CPUs.

None of AMD's currently available mobile processors offer eight cores, in contrast to the company's desktop processor offerings. So, what does this mean?

One possibility WinFuture puts forward is an AMD Epyc Embedded 3000 series system-on-chip (SoC). Several of these SoCs do feature eight cores. But, the Surface Laptop 3 would feel like an odd home for a chip that's designed with servers and enterprise use in mind.

Another possibility is that AMD will launch new Ryzen mobile CPUs that will appear first on the Surface Laptop 3. The issue there is that it would be a little early for a new line of mobile Ryzen processors, as the Zen+ mobile processors only launched this past January.

Of course, a final possibility is that these rumors won't play out in October. Perhaps we'll still get AMD-powered Surface Laptop 3 models, but they may be limited to four cores. And, maybe we'll still get eight-core variants, but it could be later on.

Via Digital Trends

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.