AMD launches new Bristol Ridge APU to go toe-to-toe with Intel’s Kaby Lake

AMD has officially released its seventh-generation APU, codenamed “Bristol Ridge,” which is now appearing in desktop solutions provided by HP and Lenovo.

After launching the APU – a single chip that crams CPU cores and GPU cores into a single chip – in 2011, AMD boasts that the chips have a 17 per cent increase in performance over the previous generation.The chip range is designed to deliver high-speed processing, smooth eSports gaming, and enhanced HD and UHD streaming capabilities, while delivering the highest memory bandwidth to date for an AMD desktop platform.

The new Bristol Ridge family arrives in eight flavors: the A12-9800, the A12-9800E, the A10-9700, the A10-9700E, the A8-9600, the A6-9500, the A6-9500E, and a non-APU variant called the Athlon X4 950.

The A12, A10, and A8 APUs feature Radeon R7 graphics, whereas the A6 APUs rely on Radeon R5 graphics. Additionally, these latter two chips have only two cores while the other new APUs (along with the Athlon chip) sport four cores.

AMD has had aspirations to provide more perfomance per watt with each generation and Bristh Ridge looks to fit the part. According to AMD, the new lineup was designed to deliver more performance at a lower power draw. For example, a 7th-gen chip with a 65-watt thermal envelope provides better performance than a 6th-gen chip with a thermal envelope of 95 watts. 

AMD said that the 7th-gen is “future ready,” as it supports all the current 1080p standards, as well as the new 4K standards like H.264 and H.265 along with supporting 1080p VP9 for high-compression video.

The chip maker is currently only announcing the availability of the AM4 platform in general and the 7th-gen A-Series APUs for desktops provided by OEMs. AMD did not reveal release dates but it is expected that the cards will be available in early 2017.

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