AMD attracted a lot of attention at CES 2020 with its launch of the Ryzen 4000-series Mobile APUs with up to eight cores in a 15W TDP form factor. The processors enable AMD to compete for all segments of the notebooks market, from ultra-portables to high-end gaming machines for the first time in years. But when it comes to gaming, there are people who always want more and for them Clevo and its partner XMG are preparing a desktop replacement laptop with an AMD Ryzen 3000-series processor featuring up to 12 cores.

Clevo is a leading producer of higher-end notebook platforms which are used by some well-known PC suppliers, such as Eurocom. For obvious reasons, virtually all gaming platforms by Clevo released in the recent years relied on Intel’s processors for high-end laptops or even desktops (albeit with TDP-down feature). By contrast, AMD's Ryzen 3000-series desktop processors have something that Intel cannot offer just yet, up to x86 12 cores, which is why Clevo has developed its NH57ADS notebook platform powered by desktop processors, according to Jarrod’s Tech.

XMG, a supplier of gaming laptops from Germany, will be one of Clevo’s first customers to use the NH57ADS platform for its codenamed XMG Apex 15 gaming laptop aimed at those who want a no-compromise performance in a clamshell form-factor. The notebook is based on up to AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 3900-series processor with an up to 65 W TDP that is paired with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX/RTX graphics with a TDP of up to 115 W. Note that XMG here is using AMD's special option to lower the TDP of its desktop CPUs down a class, to help reduce thermals at the expense of performance. To cool down the CPU and the GPU, Clevo uses a rather formidable cooling system with two blowers and six heat pipes. XMG reportedly plans to offer its own settings for the cooler and a BIOS that supports overclocking.

Since the NH57ADS platform and the codenamed XMG Apex 15 machine are designed to replace desktops, they feature a modular design and therefore can be upgraded, assuming that AMD will offer more high-end processors in its AM4 form-factor with a 65 W TDP and there will be an appropriate BIOS update for the NH57ADS. The system itself can be equipped with up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory, two M.2-2280 SSDs (one PCIe, one SATA), and a 2.5-inch storage device. As for connectivity, everything is pretty regular: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, GbE, USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, a microSD, and audio connectors.

The 15.6-inch Clevo NH57ADS is 3.25 cm thick and weighs 2.7 kilograms, which is not too heavy, but not too portable either. Maxed out configurations of the machine will also come with a 230 W external power supply, which will further increase weight.

Clevo does not pre-announce products for its clients, so it is hard to say which suppliers will eventually offer the NH57ADS platform and when. Evidently, notebooks like the XMG Apex 15 are going to be expensive, which is natural for DTRs.

For the sake of truth, it is necessary to note that Clevo’s NH57ADS is not the first DTR notebook to feature a desktop AMD Ryzen processor. ASUS introduced its ROG Strix GL702ZC with an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 1700 back in late 2017, but that was a 17.3-inch machine.

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Source: Jarrod’s Tech/YouTube

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  • NICOXIS - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    wow, that's some nasty heat pipe/copper porn you got going on there...
  • Targon - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    You should check out the heat pipe configuration from that Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC. It's really very well done, and was from 2017 with a desktop Ryzen 7 1700. With the move to 7nm, I expect to see more 12 and even 16 core laptops with the desktop chips in them.
  • wr3zzz - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    Ah Clevo, noting like spending nearly $3k on a toaster destined to become a paperweight...
  • Retycint - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Clevo has mountains of designs and chassis, some having better thermal performance than others. You can't just write off an entire brand based off one specific chassis
  • IBM760XL - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    That's actually pretty intriguing as a desktop replacement option, as someone whose main use cases would be replacing a desktop, taking it to LANs, and perhaps as a laptop to use in the evenings when traveling for work. Both the weight and the thickness are very reasonable. The question - and one of the main reasons I skipped the Asus - is can they keep the noise levels reasonable when it has a light to moderate load?

    Well, and the price... although I'd rather have one that doesn't sound like a jet engine and costs a bit more, than one that sounds like a jet engine.
  • anactoraaron - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    I find my current clevo a bit on the loud side - mainly under load. But with the fans at 100% it is a jet engine level of loudness. But it does keep temps cool, and fan control is adjustable with the app.

    But from my experience late last year it's either a laptop hitting 100c with moderate noise (both an issue with the acer and dell laptops I tried out), or it's jet engine under load. I picked thermal performance, but I totally understand your perspective- even more so after owning a jet engine for the past 4 months.
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Since it has no graphics switching (no igp on a 12 core ryzen) the dgpu will stay live and so idle will still be relatively high. It will always generate some noise as a result. Hopefully not too much.
  • boeush - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    "...a modular design and therefore can be upgraded, assuming that AMD will offer more high-end processors in its AM4 form-factor with a 65 W TDP and there will be an appropriate BIOS update for the NH57ADS."

    I wouldn't bet on it. I have an older Clevo from ~4 years ago (still going strong); there've been NO software updates released by Clevo since the time I took delivery of it. Going to the driver download page for that model, all the "latest" drivers still date to 4 years ago.

    (Which isn't to say that I haven't been getting updates through the normal Windows Update mechanism - just not through or from the OEM.)
  • Retycint - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    You don't need to upgrade drivers if everything's working. The only one you actually need to upgrade are the graphic drivers, which you should get directly from the manufacturer anyway (AMD/Nvidia website)
  • Xajel - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Having AM4 and 65W TDP in the paragraph means they're talking about BIOS/AGESA update. AMD will for sure release Zen3 based CPU's in AM4 and 65W TDP this year, and will release the AGESA code required to use the CPU on older AM4 platforms.
    But you will not be able to upgrade the laptop with a driver, you need to update the BIOS/AGESA to support the new CPU. And you must wait for Clevo to have that AGESA code and make a BIOS update based on it.

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