AMD Bristol Ridge A12-9800 Tested Against Kaveri A10-7870K APU – AM4 Platform Brings Faster Performance To Mainstream Users

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Sep 19, 2016
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AMD’s top Bristol Ridge APU has been tested on the latest AM4 platform by Korean website, Bodnara. The testing involved the A12-9800 APU against the A10-7870K APU. The Kaveri chip was tested on an FM2+ platform while the Bristol Ridge chip got tested on the latest AM4 platform.

AMD Bristol Ridge A12-9800 Tested on AM4 Platform – Performance Results Revealed

So far, we have only seen performance of Bristol Ridge in slides presented by AMD. This is the first time we are actually seeing a chip in action and that too against its predecessor. AMD introduced Bristol Ridge processors for AM4 platform on 5th of September. We covered the entire lineup in detail over here. What you should now is that Bristol Ridge is a more optimized variant of Carrizo that is available on both mobility and desktop platforms.

Some features of Bristol Ridge include up to four x86 Excavator cores with 2 MB of shared L2 cache. They will have support for HSA compute acceleration and the latest DDR4 memory standard. The Excavator core ensures better IPC (Instruction per clock) versus previous generation cores. AMD Bristol Ridge A-Series APUs also come with built-in, high throughput media accelerators for HEVC (4K H.264 & H.265) support.

The AMD A12-9800 and A10-7870K Specifications Comparison:

The A12-9800 is the top brass of the Bristol Ridge family. It has four CPU cores and eight GPU cores. The CPU cores are clocked at 3.8 GHz base and 4.2 GHz boost. The graphics cores are clocked at 1108 MHz and branded as Radeon R7 GPU. Total TDP of the chip is rated at 65W.

An AMD A12-9800 APU sits next to the A10-7870K processor. (Image Credits: Bodnara)

The A10-7870K is the fastest chip in the Kaveri family. The chip might be old but still considered a very decent mainstream part. We are looking at four CPU cores and eight GPU cores. Clock speeds are maintained at 3.9 GHz base and 4.1 GHz boost. The GPU core is clocked at 866 MHz across the 512 stream processors. TDP for the A10-7870K is rated at 95W.

The new AM4 motherboards based on B350 chipset offer support for Bristol Ridge and DDR4 memory. (Image Credits: Bodnara)

Due to platform differences, the Bristol Ridge APUs support latest DDR4 memory standard while Kaveri uses the older DDR3 memory standard. The testing included 8 Gigs of system memory for both PCs, a 850W PSU, GTX 1070 Founders Edition for graphics performance tests and a B350M and A88 chipset based motherboard for the respective platforms.

AMD Bristol Ridge Desktop AM4 SKUs:

SKUCoresBase/Boost ClockGPU CUsGPU SPsGPU Clock Memory TDP
AMD A12-980043.8/4.2 GHz8 CUs512 SPs1108 MHzDDR4-240065W
AMD A12-9800E43.1/3.8 GHz8 CUs512 SPs900 MHzDDR4-240035W
AMD A10-970043.5/3.8 GHz6 CUs384 SPs1029 MHzDDR4-240065W
AMD A10-9700E43.0/3.5 GHz6 CUs384 SPs847 MHzDDR4-240035W
AMD A8-960043.1/3.4 GHz6 CUs384 SPs900 MHzDDR4-240065W
AMD Athlon X4 95043.5/3.8 GHzN/AN/AN/ADDR4-240065W
AMD A6-950023.5/3.8 GHz6 CUs384 SPs1029 MHzDDR4-240065W
AMD A6-9500E23.0/3.4 GHz4 CUs256 SPs800 MHzDDR4-240035W

Taking a closer look at the CPUs, we can see that the Bristol Ridge APU has a more dense design underneath it while featuring the same dimensions as its predecessor. The AM4 socket includes 1331 pins which was covered by us in detail. While socket has changed, the same size / dimensions will make older FM2+/AM3+coolers remain compatible on new AMD PCs.

AMD A12-9800 vs A10-7870K Performance Tests

Coming to the tests, the A12-9800 delivers a 5% increase in compute performance and a 13% increase in multimedia performance and 20% increase in bandwidth. The new optimized architecture and updates from the AM4 platform add up to deliver good gains on the mainstream platform. Testing PCMark 8 and 3DMark with a discrete graphics card (GTX 1070), the A12-9800 shows 10-15% increase in performance.

As for single and multi-threaded performance, the 9800 delivers around 6% single core and 15% multi-core enhancement over Kaveri CPUs. Another improvement of the AM4 platform is the boosted SATA port bandwidth which ranges up to 50%. Looking at pure gaming performance on a dGPU, the Bristol Ridge boosts performance by up to 20% in Rise of Tomb Raider in DX12 and up to 5% in Total War: Warhammer (Depending on the resolution).

OpenCL and integrated graphics performance has also seen a immense boost thanks to the better GCN cores and faster clock speeds. The results in PCMark 8, 3DMark and several gaming titles can be seen below:

Finally, we have the power consumption numbers. Testing the A12-9800 yielded a much lower wattage compared to Kaveri which shows the process optimization done by AMD. Not only is the power consumption down, but also the temperatures. In Prime95, the A12-9800 was 20 Degrees (C) cooler than the A10-7870K.

Bristol Ridge looks really good from a mainstream perspective but the real issue is that it is currently only available through OEMs. AMD has given no timeframe as to when these chips would be available in the DIY market but we can believe that a couple of these chips will be available later this year when Zen launches on AM4.

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