AMD Ships New 7th Gen A-Series Bristol Ridge APUs To OEMs With Design Wins At Lenovo And HP

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AMD has begun shipping its newly minted 7th Generation APUs known as "Bristol Ridge" to its hardware partners, the company announced this week. The new APUs will be integrated into systems built by several different OEM vendors, with HP and Lenovo getting first dibs, followed by others that will pair the processors with AMD's new AM4 platform.

Bristol Ridge brings faster compute and graphics performance than previous generation APUs, with AMD claiming up to a 99 percent advantage in gaming graphics compared to Intel's Skylake chips. Graphics performance has traditionally been a strong suit of Intel's APU line and that looks to continue with its latest generation silicon.

AMD's also excited about the launch because it puts AM4 platforms into the wild, which in turn gets customers ready for its upcoming Zen release.

"The consumer release of these new HP and Lenovo designs is an important milestone for AMD on two fronts. First, it marks a major increase in productivity performance, streaming video and eSports gaming experiences sought after by today’s consumers, delivered through our new 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop processors. Second, because these new OEM designs also feature our new AM4 desktop platform, the motherboard ecosystem shows its readiness for our upcoming high-performance 'Summit Ridge' desktop CPUs featuring 'Zen' cores, which share the same platform,” said Kevin Lensing, Corporate VP and general manager of Client Computing at AMD.

AMD's Bristol Ridge processors sport up to four "Excavator" CPU cores. There are eight models at launch, three of which have a 35W TDP and the other five rated at 65W. Here's a look:

AMD Bristol Ridge APUs
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The top-end part is the A12-9800 APU, a four-core chip clocked at 3.8GHz (base) to 4.2GHz (boost). It features the newest GCN core architecture (Radeon R7 Graphics) with 512 stream processors and eight CUs racing along at 1,108MHz.

Over on the lower end are a pair of dual-core parts, the 65W A6-9500 clocked at 3.5GHz to 3.8GHz and 35W A6-9500E clocked a 3GHz to 3.4GHz. Like the rest of the pack, these chips support dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory in AMD's AM4 platform.

Bristol Ridge is an interesting release for AMD, though not overly exciting in and of itself. It's based on an older architecture (Excavator) and built on a 28nm manufacturing process. However, it does bring a nice boost to graphics, and with AMD's hotly anticipated Zen architecture right around the corner, Bristol Ridge gives OEMs and board makers time to fine tune the AM4 platform that the two chip lines will share.