AMD launches AM4-based desktop Bristol Ridge APUs

September 6, 2016 | 10:25

Tags: #am4 #am4-motherboard #am4-socket #apu #bristol-ridge #excavator #socket-am4 #summit-ridge #zen

Companies: #amd #hp #lenovo

AMD has officially begun shipping its Bristol Ridge accelerated processing units (APUs) based on the new AM4 platform, ahead of the long-awaited launch of its Summit Ridge Zen products.

Described by AMD as 'seventh-generation' processors, the new Bristol Ridge processors are based on Excavator CPU cores and launch in 65-watt and 35-watt variants with up to four cores. According to AMD's internal testing, the range-topping 65W A12-9800 beats out its previous-generation 95W A10-8850 at both 3DMark 11 GPU and Cinebench R11.5 single-threaded CPU benchmarks while approaching - though not quite reaching - Intel's rival Core i5-6500's CPU performance.

The biggest change, though, comes in the socket. Rather than the old FM2+ socket format, the new Bristol Ridge APUs require an AM4 socket. Designed to support DDR4 memory, PCI Express Gen 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen. 2, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) and SATA Express, the AM4 boards launching alongside Bristol Ridge are to be forwards-compatible with the Zen-based Summit Ridge parts just over the horizon.

Both Lenovo and HP have begun shipping Bristol Ridge-based desktops, AMD has confirmed. 'The consumer release of these new HP and Lenovo designs is an important milestone for AMD on two fronts,' claimed AMD's corporate vice president and general manager for client computing Kevin Lensing of the launch. '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.'

The Bristol Ridge launch sees the end of the split-personality socket formats previously offered by AMD. Where the AM3+ had previously hosted GPU-less FX-series processors and FM2+ the APU range, AM4 will now be the company's sole socket type for both APU and CPU products.

AMD has not yet confirmed retail availability or pricing for non-OEM Bristol Ridge processors or AM4 motherboards.
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