AMD Unveils Bristol Ridge APUs For Notebooks, Launching at Computex – 10% Performance Boost Over Carrizo

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Apr 5, 2016
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AMD has announced their 7th Generation APU family codenamed Bristol Ridge. The Bristol Ridge APUs are the next chapter in AMD’s APU lineup which will bring improved performance, faster graphics cores, high efficiency and support for new technologies such as DirectX 12. The Bristol Ridge APUs for notebooks are an update to the Carrizo APUs which have been available in the market since last year, delivering a good boost in performance to users who’ll be purchasing a new laptop during summer 2016.

Image Credits/Source: Anandtech

AMD’s 7th Generation Bristol Ridge APU Family Launches For Notebooks at Computex

AMD wants to showcase the performance and general improvements that come with Bristol Ridge before they get to launch the new family. The Bristol Ridge family for notebooks brings a general update to the Carrizo APU and features the SOC (System on Chip) design. AMD has previously confirmed that they will launch Bristol Ridge for both notebooks and desktop platforms but AMD is specifically talking about the notebook parts right now.

The AMD Bristol Ridge family for notebooks comes with a range of modern features.

“We know that consumers want more for their money than ever before – sharper graphics, faster performance, and longer battery life. We have focused on working with key OEM partners to develop outstanding computing platforms that will fully take advantage of the powerful 7th Generation AMD APUs,” said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. “I’m excited that consumers will start to see some of these fantastic systems come to market so soon. I’m very proud of the exceptional AMD engineering execution that enabled us to accelerate these exciting new products into the market for our customers and end users.” via AMD

One of the main changes that Bristol Ridge brings to the notebook market is a new memory controller. While Carrizo supported DDR3L/LPDDR3 memory types on the notebook side, Bristol Ridge will feature an improved DDR4 memory controller making this the first AMD notebook series to support the new memory standard. The Intel Skylake generation of processors unveiled in Q3 2015 already feature support for DDR4 memory on both notebooks and desktops. AMD also had DDR4 support for Excavator based APUs and chips on the embedded market but this is the first time they will be bringing DDR4 to the mobility sector.

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AMD Promises 10% Performance Increase With Updated Excavator Cores and DDR4 Memory

AMD promises in their slides that the Bristol Ridge APU brings a 10% increase in x86 performance compared to Carrizo APUs and up to 50% increase in performance compared to Kaveri APUs. AMD achieved these results in CineBench R15 and it can be pointed that the new DDR4 memory along with the improved architecture on the Bristol Ridge APUs lead to around 10% performance increase.

Bristol Ridge delivers a 10% boost over Carrizo and 50% boost over Kaveri APUs.

In other benchmarks which test AMD’s Graphics and Compute design such as 3DMark and PCMark, AMD notes an up to 18% performance increase with a Bristol Ridge FX series APUs when compared to the FX-8800P APU. Compared to Intel’s Core i7-6500U, AMD leads with better graphics performance with their upcoming 7th gen chip but lacks slightly behind the Intel chip in PCMark performance test.

The new Bristol Ridge family will be formerly announced at Computex on 31st May, 2016. AMD might also show case their new AM4 platform and rmotherboards for the desktop lineup at the hardware show.

What We Know About the Bristol Ridge Family So Far

Both Bristol Ridge and Carrizo APUs are based on a 3rd generation GCN architecture (GCN 1.2) which is the same version incorporated on the Fiji and Tonga GPUs. Both APU families have full support for DirectX 12, provide great audio, UVD, VCD, DCE features and support Dual Graphics, Panel Self Refresh, Dynamic Bezel Adjust along with the ability to run up to 3 simultaneous displays.

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The Bristol Ridge APUs will feature up to four x86 Excavator cores with 2 MB of shared L2 cache. They will have support for HSA 1.0 and the latest DDR4 memory standard. The Excavator core ensures better IPC (Instruction per clock) versus previous generation cores. So we can see faster clock speeds at the same wattage given the better efficiency of the new parts.

HP Showcases their Bristol Ridge convertible notebook.

The FP4 platforms is solely for the mobility products and will include several Bristol Ridge SOCs. The lineup will include several Quad and Dual core SKUs. The maximum base and boost clock speeds are 3.0 GHz and 3.7 GHz on the top end chip and the TDPs range from 15W to 35W. The Stoney Ridge family will have lower TDPs than the mainstream family as they are geared for low-power devices. All chips feature a graphics processing units that comes in 8/6/4 CU dies and are clocked in the range of 600 up to 900 MHz. Detailed specifications of these chips can be seen below:

SKUCoresBase/Boost ClockL2 $GPU CUsGPU SPsGPU ClockMemoryTDP/cTDP
AMD FX-9830P / Pro A12-9830B43.0/3.7 GHz2 MB8 CUs512 SPs900 MHzDDR4-2400
DDR3-2133
35W/25W
AMD FX-9800P / Pro A12-9800B42.7/3.6 GHz2 MB8 CUs512 SPs758 MHzDDR4-1866
DDR3-1866
15W/12W
AMD A12-9730P / Pro A10-9730B42.8/3.5 GHz2 MB6 CUs384 SPs900 MHzDDR4-2400
DDR3-2133
35W/25W
AMD A12-9700P / Pro A10-9700B42.5/3.4 GHz2 MB6 CUs384 SPs758 MHzDDR4-1866
DDR3-1866
15W/12W
AMD A10-9630P / Pro A8-9630B42.6/3.2 GHz2 MB6 CUs384 SPs800 MHzDDR4-2400
DDR3-2133
35W/25W
AMD A10-9600P / Pro A8-9600B42.3/3.2 GHz2 MB6 CUs384 SPs686 MHzDDR4-1866
DDR3-1866
15W/12W
AMD Pro A6-9500B22.3/3.2 GHz1 MB4 CUs256 SPs800 MHzDDR4-1866
DDR3-1866
15W/12W

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