At Computex 2016, AMD has just launched its latest A-Series PC processors with integrated graphics. Known under the codename “Bristol Ridge”, the new line of products has been designed with a TDP (thermal design point) of 15W and tuned to deliver a much higher performance than previous generations (there’s a 35W version too). In fact, AMD has been pointing out that it made a 56% CPU performance improvement since 2014 when its “Kaveri” design came out.
As usual, AMD A-Series processors are finely tuned to handle tasks such as video encode and decode. This is no different this time. With H.264 and HEVC supported in hardware up to 4K, AMD can provide excellent video playback, along with an efficient energy usage.
The tip of the spear for this new A-Series is the AMD A12 processor. AMD positions it directly against Intel’s Core i5 series (i5-6200U used by AMD for comparisons) and claims that the A12 performs significantly better, with 31% higher performance in games. While independent benchmarks aren’t available yet, it’s fair to assume that DX12 will work quite well for AMD in those comparisons.
Just below the A12, the AMD A9 was designed to compete with Intel’s Core i3 series (i3-6100U used for performance comparisons). When comparing against its previous generation products (A8), this new AMD A9 has 52% better CPU performance, and 36% faster graphics, according to AMD.
All in all, AMD continues with a known strategy: use performance/watt as a metric (especially in graphics-related applications), along with an aggressive pricing, against Intel’s Core i3/i5 lineup. So far, AMD has announced one design win: its Gen7 APUs will be used in the HP ENVY x360, which is positioned as a premium laptop.