Shortly after unveiling its highly anticipated new Zen architecture, AMD has announced that HP and Lenovo have begun shipping PCs with its new 7th-generation A-series processors, codenamed 'Bristol Ridge'. The refresh also introduces AMD's new unified AM4 platform which will serve for this generation as well as upcoming consumer Zen CPUs. The launches will give a struggling AMD some presence in the market to compete with devices based on Intel's new Kaby Lake processors which will be available in full force this holiday shopping season.
AMD says that 7th-gen A-series CPUs will deliver as much power in a 65-Watt envelope as their predecessors did while consuming 95 Watts. Comparing an A12-9800 with an Intel Core i5-6500 which it says is equivalent in terms of CPU performance, AMD claims a 99 percent increase in graphics performance in at least one specific benchmark test. The A12-9800 is a 65W quad-core part with a maximum clock of 4.2GHz and Radeon R7-class graphics.
In total there are eight new CPU SKUs, one of which is a low-end model without integrated graphics and carries the Athlon branding instead of A-series. The Athlon X4 950 is a 65W part while all but one of the A-series parts have 65W and 35W models with different CPU and GPU frequencies. The 4.2GHz A12-9800 is matched with a 3.8GHz A12-9800E. The A10-9700 and A10-9700E run at 3.8GHz and 3.5GHz respectively, while the A8-9600 is the exception with only a 65W 3.4GHz version. Finally, there's a lower-end pair dubbed the A6-9500 and A6-9500E which are the only dual-core models, and run at 3.8GHz and 3.4GHz respectively with Radeon R5-class integrated graphics.
All the new CPUs are based on AMD's existing Excavator architecture and have up to four cores. DDR4 RAM support is key to the AM4 platform, and AMD has also taken the opportunity to bake in updated standards including PCI-Express 3.0, USB 3.1, SATA Express and NVMe. Socket AM4 is known to be backwards compatible with Socket AM3+, AM3 and AM2 coolers.
HP and Lenovo are the first out of the gate, though specific PC models have not been detailed. Other OEMs should follow soon. AMD has not shared any details of whether or if these CPUs and supporting motherboards will be available in retail boxed form, or what their individual retail prices might be.