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Any AMD Ryzen 7 Laptops + Thunderbolt 3 without Radeon Graphics?

I am looking to purchase a new Workstation Laptop and/or Gaming Laptop.

Thunderbolt 3 support is a must.

I would prefer two Thunderbolt 3 ports if possible so I could drive a pair of eGPu.

I need the Laptop to be capable of driving either Avermedia or Elgato external capture cards and record 4K60 FPS


I  need a laptop with powerful CPU - hence Ryzen 7 is a thought.

The Laptop will need to have a reasonably powerful discrete graphics card with 6-8GB VRAM.
Something around RX580 8GB or RTX2060 8GB performance would do.

Edit: If AMD Discrete GPU I would prefer it to be RDNA based and not GCN.  

I do not want to have to spend much more than 1500 for the Laptop if possible but I do not think that is likely.

I strongly prefer that the Laptop CPU does NOT have any Radeon Integrated Graphics.

If anyone has any ideas w.r.t. Laptop Options that might fit what I am after please let me know.

Best Laptop candidates I have seen so far are all Intel CPU based:

Newer HP Zbooks - Newer models have  Dual Thunderbolt 3 which is great, but the graphics options are weak.
Latest HP Omen 15 and 17 have Thunderbolt 3, and some reasonable Discrete Graphics Cards. 

However HP Laptops have a tendancy to use Hardware Whitelisting in BIOS which is a problem I would prefer to avoid.

I believe that new Laptop options for 2020 will be available from April 2nd.


73 Replies
Adept III

Just curious: what problem are you trying to solve by avoiding APUs with Radeon integrated graphics?  The Intel CPUs have integrated graphics, so you are not avoiding integrated grahics in general.  You mentioned the RX 580, so it does not sound like you are avoiding Radeon in general.


I should have been a bit clearer I guess.

I am looking for something with discrete GPU with around RX580 8GB performance .
If AMD Discrete GPU I would prefer it to be RDNA based and not GCN. 

I do not want to get into the situation where AMD Radeon drivers will fail to install if the APU has GCN based graphics but the external GPU is running over Thunderbolt 2 and is RDNA or RDNA2 based, for example.

AMD have a history of pulling driver support like this on some laptops in the past.

I tend to keep my PC/Laptops for a long time so this is a concern.

I would prefer the processing power of Ryzen 7 based Laptop CPU, and just avoid any APU Radeon Graphics at all.

Intel CPU with iGPU has not caused any problems for me in any PC or laptop with eGPU.



I found this video describing newest AMD APUs in Notebooks:

AMD Details Ryzen Mobile 4000: Performance, Architecture, Features, Ryzen 9 4900H - YouTube 

It looks like the integrated GPU is Vega Based:


It does not look like there is a Mobile GPU w/o integrated Vega Graphics.


Here are the laptop processor options.
They all have integrated Vega Cores.


Ryzen 2700X Memory Controller is not fun to deal with but Ryzen 3000 based CPUs are pretty good.


Vega GPU drivers on PC are still blackscreening and crashing, as are RX5700XT ~ 8 months since launch now.
Fixing corrupted Windows 10 Pro because of an AMD GPU Driver crash on PC is bad enough. 
Having to disassemble a laptop to fix it is an entire new level of pain.

Adrenalin 2020 interface is a mess but these new laptops are unlikely to allow use of Adrenalin 2019 GUI/UI.

If there was a Ryzen Mobile CPU without Radeon Graphics on a Laptop with Thunderbolt 3 I would consider it.

I have lots of experience with Intel CPU + Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3  on Intel motherboards and addon cards working with eGPU boxes now.

Any new AMD Laptop with Thunderbolt 3 will be something new amd might not actually work with eGPU boxes.

I downloaded Avermedia tool to check if my Ryzen 2700X PC should work with their capture card:

Their 4K60 cards report problems:

In one case it advises to use a motherboard with an Intel CPU:

In other cases they complain about the USB3.0 ports (This is a known issue - some Avermedia cards have problems with some types of USB3.0 ports).





So according to the above it is likely I would have problems getting the 4K60 versions of Avermedia Capture cards to work with a Ryzen 2700X based motherboard and chipset.

I think I will pass on this and just buy a laptop with an Intel CPU and Nvidia Discrete GPU with Thunderbolt 3 support.


You might look at this laptop  

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2) 


Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Mobile Workstation 20QN001YUS


Sorry I didn't find any with Ryzen either. 


It looks like I have the following "low cost" options in Gaming Laptop space then:

Either one of these: OMEN Gaming PCs - Laptop and desktop computers | HP® Official Site 
Which have a single Thunderbolt 3 port and last years Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU options.

For example the Omen X 2S


They are very expensive though - and the second LCD Screen seems to be a toy.


A bit more sensible - the Omen 17:
 OMEN 17 Laptop

Slightly better CPU and GPU options than the Omen 15. Still only 1 Thunderbolt 3 port.

The above are on "sale" at the moment. I think new models are due on 2 April 2020.

Not sure it it is worth waiting for new Intel mobile CPU, based on this article:
Intel's Core i9 10980HK promises 5.3GHz, good luck hitting it in your new gaming laptop | PC Gamer 

Nvidia are suppost to be launching "Super" versions of their Mobile GPUs though.



Adding Thunderbolt 3 to a desktop needs 4 lanes PCIe 3.0 and cards with multiple ports are available for twice the price.


Ryzen 4000 mobile series processors only have 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes available. 8 for graphics and  two sets of PCIe3.0x4 for storage.
Perhaps asking for Thunderbolt 3 interface on these new AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile series APU is too much to ask in this case.

Ryzen 3000 desktop series have lots of available PCIe 4.0 bandwidth available which could be used to drive Thunderbolt 3.
A few AMD X570 Motherboards have Thunderbolt 3 built in or Thunderbolt 3 headers on the motherboard required for additional  Thunderbolt 3 Card.

This seems to be the best place to get news on new Thunderbolt 3 enabled devices: 
Thunderbolt Technology Community 

Gigabyte Titan Ridge cards are available with Thunderbolt 3 on them.  The Gigabyte Alpine Ridge is less expensive.

ASrock and Asus also have Thunderbolt cards. Check specifics to be sure there are enough ports for your needs.

Right now Intel motherboards have support, but no AMD vendors are supporting this yet. The uppity Intel boards have the headers needed.


The "low cost" Workstation options seems to be an HP ZBook G6 17 or 15.
Similar pricing to Gaming Laptops if I go for lower spec 4G/6G GPU options.
Some AMD Graphics options are available.
Probably the most sensible option for me, provided I can run two eGPU boxes off it.
Review of the 17" screen HP ZBook G6 17 here: HP ZBook 17 G6 Review - YouTube 

I will start talking with HP before I make purchase and get their guarantee about compatibility and capability to run dual Razer Core X Thunderbolt 3 eGPU boxes first.
If they can only run 1 Razer Core X Thunderbolt 3 eGPU box then an HP Omen makes more sense for me at the moment.

Dell Alienware Laptops have a "Graphics Amplifier" port and a Thunderbolt 3 port.
It might be possible to run 2 GPUs at the same time, one in the Amplifier and one via Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.
This video gives a comparison: Alienware Graphics Amplifier or Thunderbolt 3? eGPU Comparison - YouTube 


Intel seem to be pushing additional Thunderbolt 3 capability with their new laptop processors:
Intel calls its 5.3GHz 'Comet Lake-H' chip for gaming laptops the 'fastest mobile processor' | PCWor... 


I think this is worth watching if you are going for a Ryzen 4000 laptop: AMD Laptop Warning (PSA) 2020! - YouTube 


This is also worth watching if you consider new MSI Bravo 15:
MSI Alpha 15 In 2020? Price Drop + Driver Updates! - YouTube


15" machines are not very portable. My Apple MacBook is thin, not very heavy and it fits the table nice at Starbucks etc.


Dell Support just confirmed to me that the current 2019 Alienware series of laptop can have: 

(1). The Laptop GPU active driving the Laptop Display.
(2). Dell Alienware Graphics Amplifier connected and running an Active Desktop GPU.
(3). Razer Core X connected on Thuinderboll 3 and  running an Active Desktop GPU. 

So 3GPUs for Blender MultiGPU is possible on their current laptop range.

New Intel 10 series chips do have better built in Thunderbolt 3 support.

Dell Support could not tell me exactly when their next Alienware Laptop range will be launched but they thought it should be within next 2-3 months.
They cannot tell me if Ryzen 4000 mobile will be an option.
They could not tell me how many Thunderbolt 3 ports will be available on the Alienware 2020 range.

Might be better to wait another year or so. USB 4 is coming late this year or early next year and features (optional) compatibility with Thunderbolt 3.


I cannot wait. I really do need the Thunderbolt 3 ports for what I work on.
Sad to say my next laptop will not be Ryzen based because of that.

Adept I

I'm in the same boat. I currently have an LG Gram 17 (1st gen) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 16:10 17" display and the fact that it's 3lb. I have an eGPU as well for gaming (Sonnet Breakaway 550 + RTX 2070) and it games like a beast.

I would LOVE to see a 35W 4800/4900 series CPU in something akin to this laptop. But I don't think I've ever seen an AMD laptop with thunderbolt. I don't really care if it's got an iGPU (obivously it's going to HAVE to I need to use it without the eGPU connected for non-gaming lol) , but Thunderbolt is a must. I'm guessing since all the new Intel CPUs have TB support built into the die pretty much that most laptop manufacturers probably are not willing to do all the licensing and added cost of parts and engineering to support thunderbolt on a laptop with an AMD CPU.

I know now that I've been spoiled by the weight and aspect ratio of the LG Gram 17 (the display panel is truly godlike) I probably will accept nothing less than this from here on out and LG is the only company doing it right now. The XPS 17 looks like it might compete but probably be much heavier. I'm just resigning myself to the fact that I am a niche market and LG is the only ones that will serve me right now, and it's unfortunately going to have an Intel CPU. 

I want

  • Lightweight. And having this 17" 3lb form factor will NEVER happen with a discrete GPU, there's too much weight in cooling required
  • QUIET. The LG Gram 17 is very quiet. And that's probably due to the 15W CPU and no dGPU so the fans aren't going to be high-rpm and loud trying to cool up to 90-120W of TDP in metal.
  • Thunderbolt 3 so I can play AAA games

Thankfully the meager 15W CPU actually is not holding me back at all because the 1600p resolution on the LG Gram creates a GPU limited scenario where the TB bandwidth limitations are less noticable. Also, the 15W CPU actually isn't under 100% stress in almost all cases because the GPU is the most important link of the chain, so it actually runs at 3+ GHz most of the time in games, which is plenty for most AAA games. I'm seeing a future however where 4-core/8-thread is going to start to be limiting and Intel has garbage efficiency and performance compared to what AMD is currently doing, and this directly equates to one of my requirements which is QUIET UNDER CPU LOAD.

I tell you USB 4, which has TB3 backwards compatibility, cannot come fast enough so we can have this type of functionality on pretty much every notebook and not have to be constrained by only the ones that have 4-lane TB3 support.

This news just released: 

New HP Omen 2020 version with Ryzen 7 4800H and Nvidia graphics.

Off to take a look now.


I cannot find that laptop on the HP site. That Videocardz article might be inaacurate.
I cannot tell if that laptop has Thunderbolt 3.
If it does I might chance it provided it is possible to run all Graphics on the Nvidia GPU. 


most likely some fluff to get traffic to the site

I see that quite a bit out there


Highly doubt they added the engineering materials and time and licensing cost for thunderbolt at that price. It would have to use an external intel chipset since only Intel's CPUs support it natively. 

Perhaps down the road next year when USB 4.0 is a ubiquitous thing and we have eGPU that use it we can all rely on a common standard.

janodin wrote:

Highly doubt they added the engineering materials and time and licensing cost for thunderbolt at that price. It would have to use an external intel chipset since only Intel's CPUs support it natively. 


Perhaps down the road next year when USB 4.0 is a ubiquitous thing and we have eGPU that use it we can all rely on a common standard.

I have one USB-C on my X570 so maybe the X670 (new CPUs are coming so new motherboards are likely) then I can see if AMD is stepping up with USB 4.0 which mandates type C only.


Since Thunderbolt 3 is basically the basis for the USB 4.0 spec (4 lanes, 100W PD) I'm hoping existing thunderbolt 3 devices like eGPUs will be compatible with USB 4.0 out of the gate. I suppose it's quite possible they might need a firmware update, but that might depend on implementation details and how loosey-goosey manufacturers are with the spec when Intel isn't certifying all the devices. The future looks bright for AMD laptops and motherboards to integrate 4-lane TB3 compatible performance with USB 4.0 though. It's just going to take a while.

I will say it would be nice if some laptop manufacturer stepped up and offered TB3 on an AMD 4000 series laptop though. I highly doubt it will happen though, we'll probably just continue to see USB 3.2 via a USB-C port.

All I know is the the USB 4.0 spec has been published so I expect it to be on machines over the next 12-24 months.

Thunderbolt is simply a high speed link that is used for video primarily. 

I have a MacBook and it has USB-C only so I have to use a box to use type-a sticks etc.

Apple motivated the mini DisplayPort so they could use it on their MacBook Air machines etc. Some video cards I have also use mini DP so I have a cable in the box in case it's needed.


Dell released new Alienware laptops for 2020.

Alienware release new Area-51m gaming laptop


colesdav wrote:

Dell released new Alienware laptops for 2020.

Alienware release new Area-51m gaming laptop

I will stick with a desktop for gaming. It makes sense longer term as the open architecture of the PC allows for a wide range of options.

NB the number of motherboards I have bought. And the problems each has presented en route.

Volunteer Moderator

Dell Screws Early Adopters With Its Failed Alienware Area-51m Gaming Laptop

Dell demonstrated an astonishing amount of chutzpah today when it unveiled a second-generation Alienware Area-51m — and declared that whoops, the first-generation of the “upgradeable” laptop isn’t actually going to be upgradeable after all. The company has officially stated that: “Area-51m R1 only supports GPU upgrades within its current generation of graphics cards.”

First, a refresher: The original Alienware Area-51m was a desktop replacement laptop with a socketed CPU that could be swapped for other chips and, at least in theory, the ability to upgrade to different graphics cards in the future. An Alienware spokesperson claimed last year that Dell was committed to providing upgrades for the platform, but apparently what Dell meant by that was that it would only provide upgrades within the product family. In other words, if you have a 1660 Ti, you could swap up to an RTX 2080. What you won’t be able to do is improve to any graphics card better than that.

This Has Always *Literally* Been the Problem

The reason laptop graphics cards aren’t upgradeable has nothing to do with AMD, Nvidia, or the PCIe standard. The reason laptop GPUs can’t be upgraded is that no OEM has ever felt it would be profitable to create and commit to supporting a platform for multiple product generations. Laptop GPUs have to be built to very strict size tolerances, which is why there’s never been a single common standard. What Dell promised to do last year, effectively, was to create one, specifically for its Alienware 51-m line of products. Building a common laptop GPU card standard would allow a Dell Mobile (or what have you) RTX 2080 to be swapped for a Dell Mobile RTX 3080 or 4080 when the time came because all of these cards would use the same, Dell-designed form factor.

Dell is going to design custom mobile GPUs to fit its various XPS and Alienware laptops no matter what. This isn’t about whether the company was willing to build a custom GPU. It’s a question of whether Dell was willing to commit to building a series of compatible custom GPUs over time, in order to provide the market with an actual upgrade path. The answer? Even after promising customers that it would provide an “upgradeable” GPU, no, it wasn’t.

I refuse to let Dell even a little off the hook for this. The company communicated that it would provide further upgrades, and it knew damn well that “upgrade” is generally read to mean “components introduced after the laptop’s purchase date,” not “alternate hardware I could have bought at the time,  but didn’t.” This was a laptop specifically and directly sold on the promise of offering a compatible platform for future hardware.

“Gamers have made it clear that they’ve noticed a lack of CPU and GPU upgradability in gaming laptops. We decided the best way to deal with that problem was to launch an upgradeable laptop at a substantial price premium, then provide no actual upgrades for it.” — Image by Dell, alternative caption by ExtremeTech

Declaring that the use of a socketed Intel motherboard made the Area-51m “upgradeable” in some fashion now looks like the profoundly cynical move of a company that never intended to deliver what it promised. It was always obvious that Dell’s ability to deliver an upgradeable CPU would hinge on whether Intel launched 10th Gen chips on its existing motherboard platforms or if it required new motherboards. The question of GPU upgrades, on the other hand, was always going to hinge on what Dell was willing to make available. The Area-51m website still claims that the product offers “CPU and GPU upgradability.” It neglects to mention that you’re literally paying for a feature Dell hasn’t previously bothered to support for an entire generation of customers.

And no — the Alien Graphics Amplifier doesn’t cut it. First of all, the Alienware Area-51m isn’t advertised as offering an upgradeable GPU via the AGA; it’s advertised as offering an upgradeable GPU. Second, the AGA is a $220 upgrade. That’s not a terrible price, but we’re already talking about customers who paid a premium for a laptop advertised with CPU and GPU upgradability.

Now Dell is launching a second-generation Area-51m. I’d detail and discuss it here if I had the slightest intention of recommending you give money to a company that treats its customers this way.

I don’t honestly care whether there’s a better chance that the R2 will actually get hardware upgrades. Every single customer that bought an Alienware Area-51m likely bought it expecting to upgrade the GPU much more than the CPU. The entire justification for buying the Area-51m (as opposed to one of Alienware’s other laptops) was the upgradeability. It’s true that Dell never specifically promised that it would offer GPU upgrades for the Alienware Area-51m. All it did was advertise that the laptop’s GPU was “upgradeable” while hiding behind a definition of “upgradeable” that no enthusiast would ever use. This is a distinction without a meaningful difference as far as I’m concerned.

Last year, I was willing to extend the benefit of the doubt when the company began shipping the RTX 2060 and 2070 modules it promised. As I wrote: “The flip side to all of this is that it’s rather nuts to pay $1,140 for an RTX 2080 if you already own an RTX 2060 or 2070. Frankly, it’d be pretty nuts to pay that much money to upgrade from an RTX 1660 Ti to an RTX 2080. But the first run of GPU upgrades for this hardware family was always going to be the weakest upgrade tier. What matters far more is whether Dell continues to put effort into the program in the first place.”

As is probably clear by now, I specifically repudiate my own previously optimistic guidance. CPU upgrades are nearly irrelevant for gaming. GPU upgrades are what matters.

Last year was supposed to be the introduction of the DGFF — the Dell Graphics Form Factor. After today, the company might want to change the acronym. I humbly suggest Dell Gaming-Fully Upgradeable, shortened as “DG-FU,” might be a better name instead. At the very least, it seems to capture more of the company’s actual attitude towards the gaming public.

Dell Screws Early Adopters With Its Failed Alienware Area-51m Gaming Laptop - ExtremeTech 

Dell Alienware laptops are very expensive and I do not know if they offer a Ryzen Processor + Nvidia GPU yet.
I might end up doing a small form factor PC build instead of laptop at all.


colesdav wrote:

Dell Alienware laptops are very expensive and I do not know if they offer a Ryzen Processor + Nvidia GPU yet.
I might end up doing a small form factor PC build instead of laptop at all.

for the cost of that machine I could be using dual GTX 2080 Ti cards

like i said, i will stick to desktops, how old is the Cooler Master HAF 932, and it still does the job as well as ever

my HX1000i has seen a lot of motherboards and video cards too


Looks like I might be making my own "ITX Laptop" as a new project.

I found this example from a few years ago: - projects - itx laptop 


This ASRock AMD Motherboard looks interesting, even though it only has 1 Thunderbolt 3 connector:
ASRock > X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 


This PC Case looks interesting for Mini-ITX: 



New 2020 version of HP Omen 15 has been released.

OMEN 15 2020 AMD Laptop | HP® Official Site    - No Thunderbolt 3.

OMEN 15 2020 Intel Laptop | HP® Official Site    - Single Thunderbolt 3 port.


The problem with the4 ITX, where do you put the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT?

There is no room for a VGA card