AMD Bristol Ridge APUs: Same Carrizo design, 20 percent more performance

AMD has fully taken the wraps off its brand new seventh generation APU architecture Bristol Ridge, which it announced earlier this year. It promises users around a 20 percent boost in CPU performance, and a 37 percent boost in GPU performance over Bristol Ridge's predecessor Carrizo, which launched in 2015. That's standard fare for generational updates, but what's most impressive is that AMD has squeezed this performance out of the exact same architecture as Carrizo: same 28nm transistors, same Excavator-based design.

At the high-end are the quad-core AMD FX, A12, and A10 chips, which come in 35W and 15W variants. Base clock speeds are as low as 2.4GHz in the 15W A10 and as high as 3.7GHz boost clock in the 35W FX. The FX and A12 come with up to eight GCN cores in a Radeon R7 graphics package, while the A10 comes with Radeon R5 graphics. All support DRR4 memory up to 2400MHz (versus 2133MHz DDR3 in Carrizo), which should give the on-board GPU a nice boost given how dependent its performance is on system memory.

At the mid- to low-range are the A9, A6, and E2 APUs, all of which sport a 15W TDP and more conservative clock speeds. Graphics take a cut too, with the A9 featuring Radeon R5, the A6 Radeon R4, and the E2 Radeon R2. Compared to Carrizo, these low-end chips still get a boost in performance, though, with AMD claiming clock speeds that are 1GHz higher, and up to 50 percent more GCN graphics cores. There's also support for HDMI 2.0 (finally), PCIe 3.0, and built in hardware decoding for MPEG, H.265, and VP9 video up to 4K resolutions.

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