Launched earlier this year, AMD’s Ryzen 4000 “Renoir” APUs brought several new features and technologies to the table for AMD. Along with numerous changes to improve the APU’s power efficiency and reduce overall idle power usage, AMD also added an interesting TDP management feature that they call SmartShift. Designed for use in systems containing both an AMD APU and an AMD discrete GPU, SmartShift allows for the TDP budgets of the two processors to be shared and dynamically reallocated, depending on the needs of the workload.

As SmartShift is a platform-level feature that relies upon several aspects of a system, from processor choice to the layout of the cooling system, it is a feature that OEMs have to specifically plan for and build into their designs. Meaning that even if a laptop uses all AMD processors, it doesn’t guarantee that the laptop has the means to support SmartShift. As a result, only a single laptop has been released so far with SmartShift support, and that’s Dell’s G5 15 SE gaming laptop.

Now, as it turns out, Dell’s laptop will be the only laptop released this year with SmartShift support.

In a comment posted on Twitter and relating to an interview given to PCWorld’s The Full Nerd podcast, AMD’s Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions (and Dell alumni) Frank Azor has confirmed that the G5 15 SE is the only laptop set to be released this year with SmartShift support. According to the gaming frontman, the roughly year-long development cycle for laptops combined with SmartShift’s technical requirements meant that vendors needed to plan for SmartShift support early-on. And Dell, in turn, ended up being the first OEM to jump on the technology, leading to them being the first laptop vendor to release a SmartShift-enabled laptop.

Azor’s comment further goes on to confirm that AMD is working to get more SmartShift-enabled laptops on the market in 2021; there just won’t be any additional laptops this year. Which leaves us in an interesting situation where, Dell, normally one of AMD's more elusive partners, has what's essentially a de facto exclusive on the tech for 2020.

Source: Twitter

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  • rrinker - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

    I'm sure that was in reply to the OP, since it's not indented under your first message like your reply to him, and my reply to you.
  • extide - Sunday, June 7, 2020 - link

    PS5 does not use smart shift. Smart shift is specifically for shifting total platform TDP budget between a CPU/APU and a dGPU. NOT for shifting power between CPU cores and GPU cores inside of a single APU. Both AMD and Intel have been doing that already for quite some time.
  • Fataliity - Monday, June 15, 2020 - link

    Sony specifically called it Smartshift in the PS5. Although the implementation may be slightly different.
  • amylrichards77 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

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  • yannigr2 - Friday, June 5, 2020 - link

    SmartShift a feature that is not ready yet or OEMs do not want to use it. And of course Renoir laptops few and with worst hardware components compared to the Intel models.

    Someone at AMD mobile is NOT doing/does NOT know how to do, his/her job.
  • deksman2 - Friday, June 5, 2020 - link

    I don't agree that SmartShift is a feature which isn't ready.
    Its already implemented in DELL G5 15 SE.

    This is just a classic OEM stupidity of NOT wanting to build all AMD laptops (for whatever reason).

    Its idiotic.

    As for AMD not doing their jobs... excuse me, what the freaking heck is AMD supposed to do?
    I'm sad to say that AMD is NOT the one making the decision on which hw OEM's decide to use.
    And Intel has a track record of paying OEM's to NOT make all AMD stuff (or basically cripple it).
  • rahvin - Friday, June 5, 2020 - link

    Given the Renoir is AMD's first mainstream competitive laptop chip in a number of years it's not unforeseen that OEM's would play it safe and not waste design costs on an unproven platform.

    Just like Epyc as AMD continues to execute and if the AMD laptops prove to be good sellers with good margins the OEM's will begin to take the offerings more seriously and spend more design money on them. The key here is AMD needs to keep providing competitive Laptop chips.

    And honestly, this feature is never gonna be a feature people shop for. For most people the extra $10 they will save in a year would be totally unnoticeable and it doesn't help that you can't explain what this does simply with a single sentence. Most people these days aren't going to deep dive a feature to understand it and you need an article about the size of this one to explain how this works and why it's a good thing.
  • Drake H. - Friday, June 5, 2020 - link

    Nah, Picasso is competitive.

    Renoir is not only "competitive", it is a superior and more efficient CPU than anything that intel has at the moment. It's a shame what the OEM's are doing: using inefficient, hot and low sustained performance CPUs in premium products.
  • lmcd - Friday, June 5, 2020 - link

    Picasso isn't even close to competitive. It provided worse performance and worse power consumption simultaneously.
  • sonny73n - Saturday, June 6, 2020 - link

    This proves you’re wrong:

    My money will go to a Renoir laptop in the next few weeks. I don’t care if it’s from a Chinese manufacturer, as long as it beats the craps out of those more expensive Intel ones.

    You and rahvin must be Intel shills.

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