We have some good news for low-power AMD builders this morning: AMD has (finally) begun to sell the 35W versions of their "Bristol Ridge" desktop APUs. Overall the company has released 3 35W retail Bristol Ridge SKUs, the A12-9800E, A10-9700E, and A6-9500E, with these chips fleshing out the low-power segment of AMD's AM4 platform through the end of the year.

AMD originally released its Bristol Ridge A9000-series APUs to OEMs in mid-2016, targeting desktops and laptops. The SoCs integrate one or two Excavator v2 modules (two or four x86 cores in AMD’s nomenclature), a Radeon R5/R7 iGPU featuring AMD’s GCN 1.2 (3rd generation) architecture and up to 512 stream processors, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller and so on. Earlier this year AMD finally decided to release a rather broad lineup of its 7th-generation A9000-series APUs on the retail market, enabling end-users to build their own inexpensive AM4 systems, essentially popularizing the AM4 ecosystem compatible with the company’s latest Ryzen processors in general.

AMD Bristol Ridge APUs and CPUs
Brand Stream
A12-9800 2M / 4T 3800 / 4200 Radeon R7 512 800 / 1108 65W
A12-9800E 3100 / 3800 655 / 900 35W
A10-9700 3500 / 3800 384 720 / 1029 65W
A10-9700E 3000 / 3500 600 / 847 35W
A8-9600 3100 / 3400 655 / 900 65W
A6-9550 1M / 2T 3800 / 4000 Radeon R5 576 / 800
A6-9500 3500 / 3800 720 / 1029
A6-9500E 3000 / 3400 256 576 / 800 35W
Athlon X4 970 2M / 4T 3800 / 4000 - 65W
Athlon X4 950 3500 / 3800
Athlon X4 940 3200 / 3600

The originally planned retail lineup for Bristol Ridge included 11 SKUs with a mix of 35 W and 65 W TDPs, but until now, only select 65 W SKUs were available. In the meantime, the interest towards inexpensive Mini-ITX systems is high these days. AMD spent a little over a month after the formal introduction of the family to bring the 35 W A12-9800E and A10-9700E APUs to store shelves. In the last days of August, the new chips hit store shelves across the world: they can be purchased in the U.S., Europe and in Japan, a clear indicator that they are indeed available broadly.

The AMD A10-9700E costs $85 – $91 in the U.S., whereas the more advanced AMD A12-9800E is available for $105 – $113, depending on the retailer. Meanwhile, the A6-9500E, the most basic 35 W Bristol Ridge APU, can be purchased for around $55 – $58. In Europe and Japan, prices are traditionally higher, see the table below for details. Overall, the 35 W APUs from AMD do not look very affordable, but it is typical for chipmakers to charge extra for energy-efficient parts.

Availability of AMD's Bristol Ridge APUs and CPUs
  Amazon Newegg Amazon UK Caseking.DE Japan*
A12-9800 $112.96 $109.99 £107.5 ($139) €104.9 ($125) -
A12-9800E $112.95 $104.99 £140 ($181) €99.9 ($119) ¥13,993 ($127.9)
A10-9700 $91.37 $89.99 £91.8 ($119) €82.9 ($98.5) -
A10-9700E $91.37 $84.99 £122 ($158) €79.9 ($95) ¥11,664 ($106)
A8-9600 $69.13 $69.99 £68.1 ($88) €61.9 ($73.5) available
A6-9550 - - - - -
A6-9500 available - £82.4 ($106) €47.9 ($57) -
A6-9500E $58.19 $54.99 - €49.9 ($59) -
Athlon X4 970 - - - - -
Athlon X4 950 $66.27 $66.26 £77.6 ($100) €51.9 ($62) -
Athlon X4 940 - - - - -
*Lowest price according to Hikaku.com, or according to AKIBA PC Hotline.

From AMD’s standpoint, the main purpose of Bristol Ridge CPUs and APUs is to fill the gap in the AM4 lineup before the company releases Raven Ridge APUs and cheap CPUs based on the Ryzen microarchitecture later on.

Related Reading:

Sources: Amazon, Amazon UK, Caseking, Newegg, AKIBA PC Hotline, Hikaku.com.

Image Source: AKIBA PC Hotline.

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  • Ro_Ja - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    It's a good thing this went to retail. The A12 has the most powerful onboard GPU, the Iris 580 wouldn't come close if the Integrated R7 is paired with high speed dual channel ram.
  • notashill - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    I'm really curious about the A12, I've only seen one review of it (the non-E 65W version) but that was with DDR-2400 and the review didn't even state whether it was dual channel. Even then it beat out everything but the old Broadwell i7-5775C with 128MB L4 cache (which sells for ~$400 today).
  • babysam - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    The reviewer can't get it higher than DDR4 2400 even they do it today, as the motherboard (I tried a B350, not sure what will be seen for X370) do not have any settings for higher memory frequencies when Bristol Ridge APU and RAM with DDR4-3000 XMP profile are installed.
  • notashill - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    I was initially thinking it could take memory clocks similar to Ryzen but it does make sense that the memory controller wouldn't clock as high being on 28nm. Very similar clock ceiling to other 28nm APUs, though they were all DDR3.
  • Ro_Ja - Thursday, September 7, 2017 - link

    Good point. What's the use of the gpu if the processor is slow. I bet those Excavator cores bottleneck the GPU.
  • msroadkill612 - Thursday, September 7, 2017 - link

    Its a funny one.

    Probably moot, but re OCs, the word as I recall from the very similar a10-7850k on the fm2+ mobos was, dont bother with the cpu, but the gpu OCs quite well - 900mhz rings a bell.
  • The Benjamins - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    Thing is that they are only a little bit faster then the A10-7870k, they are clocked a bit higher and run cooler. I am still waiting for the Raven Ridge desktop APU's to do my Mineral Oil PC rebuild.
  • babysam - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    The CPU performance is a major bottleneck for Bristol ridge. The L2 of Excavator core are just too small for today standard. Any improvements by the faster GPU and DDR4 RAM support are negated by the change from Steamroller(Kaveri)->Excavator(Carrizo/BR). On some cases, the IPC gets a big hit and it is even slower than Trinity running at the same core frequency.

    This make me wonder what performance Raven Ridge can achieve, when the CPU is no longer the bottleneck and further improvements on GPU part. Will it be much faster than 5775C?
  • Kaggy - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    Not sure about others but I'm waiting for raven ridge before making APU purchases
  • ddriver - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - link

    Yep, RR will pack 4 cores in the same TDP. Kinda pointless this release, but they should have put all their resources into RR.

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