AMD launches 6th generation Excavator-based Pro APUs

By Scorpus ยท 21 replies
Sep 29, 2015
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  1. AMD has today launched their new range of 6th generation 'Pro' APUs, which are based on the company's mobile consumer Carrizo APUs announced earlier this year. While the Pro line is similar to the consumer line from an architecture perspective, these APUs are specifically designed for commercial and business applications.

    The main advantages to purchasing one of these new mobile Pro APUs over a standard Carrizo APU are AMD's security features and reliability assurance. Each 6th-gen Pro APU features an AMD Secure Processor and includes TrustZone technology, which isolates security applications such as anti-virus and digital wallets into a "secure world" that's outside the APU's computational cores.

    As for assurance, all AMD Pro APUs come with up to a 36 month extended OEM warranty, 18-month image stability, and a 24-month product longevity commitment. AMD also provides a Pro Control Center utility with their 6th-gen Pro APUs that provide "intuitive system configuration" and management solutions that are ideal for small businesses.

    The hardware itself is essentially identical to AMD's Carrizo line for consumers, with (for example) the top-end model, the PRO A12-8800B featuring the same specifications as the FX-8800P that launched earlier this year. This means that all Carrizo products are built using a 28nm manufacturing process, and feature Excavator x86 CPU cores alongside Radeon GCN GPU cores.

    Model CPU Cores Max CPU
    GPU Cores Max GPU
    L2 Cache Memory TDP
    PRO A12-8800B 4 3.4 8 800 2MB DDR3-2133 12-35W
    PRO A10-8700B 4 3.2 6 800 2MB DDR3-2133 12-35W
    PRO A8-8600B 4 3.0 6 720 2MB DDR3-2133 12-35W
    PRO A6-8500B 2 3.0 4 800 1MB DDR3-1600 12-15W

    AMD has also announced that Pro APUs will be available in some laptops alongside Qualcomm's X5 LTE modem, which will provide Category 4 speeds (up to 150 Mbps down) in a single SKU for Europe and North America. One of these laptops will be from HP, but it's not completely clear when it will hit the market, or what other OEMs will release systems with these new APUs inside.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    APU's, APU's, APU's... Enough already! When are they going serve up a proper proc that can compete against Intel's mainstream i5's & i7's?
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Short answer is Never.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    Why would they if they've been targetting the bang for the buck market for the last 10-15 years or so.
  5. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Uhm... APUs... keep moving.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    If they could, they would. They're not naive enough not to know they're missing out on a lucrative market. Bottom line, they're incapable.
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 860   +874

    More APUs eh? Great. Now, will anyone make a laptop worth more than bull feces with one of these chips, or will the cheap, junk plastic, 768p, 5400rpm laptops prevail yet again?

    AMD really needs a OEM like MSI or clevo to show the industry how its really done.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    While I understand what you are saying, I can't help but question the following. If there is no company showing how it really needs to be done, what difference does it make which company needs to step forward?
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Probably won't happen because of the image that AMD portray.
    AMD foster an image of Bang-for-buck and the budget option, then you have a cause and effect loop playing out...
    OEM's reduce the feature set and bill of materials of the whole system to better fit the pricing restraints of a budget system, and...
    The consumers only see AMD budget systems thus reinforcing the "AMD budget option" consumer mentality...which leads OEMs back to keeping a tight leash on pricing (and thus features) they offer for AMD systems.
    None of the gaming/desktop replacement/workstation notebook makers are going to offer a premium priced AMD APU-based product if the potential customer base don't see it as a viable option to a similarly priced Intel i7/i5 product. For that to happen AMD probably have to have a paradigm shift in perception towards their brand, which means not just matching Intel, but surpassing the i7/i5's performance, and for AMD to stop pushing itself as the budget alternative.
  10. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,665   +1,949

    Noble AMD, never stops inventing new ways of pushing up daisies.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I actually wonder if it is a deliberate strategy, or whether AMD's management just see things differently. I noted elsewhere about marketing inconsistency, but is apropos of this segment as well:
    AMD will skip Chromebooks until prices, features match better, CTO says - Mark Papermaster (February 2015)
    Chromebooks Overtake Notebooks - Sales figures January-June 2015

    Kind of makes me wonder how AMD formulate strategy.
    VitalyT likes this.
  12. Cryio

    Cryio TS Addict Posts: 208   +62

    If only an OEM would release an FX 8800P with dual channel DDR3 2133. Most of them are using single channel 8 GB 1600.
  13. Cryio

    Cryio TS Addict Posts: 208   +62

    Answer: Zen.

    Timeframe: Late 2016/early 2017.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    We've been down this road before waiting from all the hype that would compete to find out when finally released it does not.
    I'll go ahead and mark the calendar for 2020, so I'm hopefully not disappointed* from delays.

    *As if that would actually happen to an Intel guy.
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Well argue among yourselves about AMD marketing strategy and expectation setting, however it sounds like many of the comments are coming from people who have not ever owned an APU setup.
    The platform is extremely feature rich and great for multitasking. I use an A10-7850K as a work machine and it performs terrifically. The addition of a very inexpensive R7 250 GPU and Dual graphics and the level of gaming is surprisingly high. I have moved my other main machine a quad GPU watercooled affair to 4K now, and 5760 x 1080 Eyefinity over to this 7850K and it handles it splendidly for multitasking, 3DS Max, and gaming.
    Now with an CM Nepton 280L, its running at 5.0Ghz and is even more impressive in its capabilities.
    Kaveri Build entire unfin.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Judging by AMD's market share, it's not just the comments section who have never owned an APU setup. You're kind of preaching to the choir in this instance I think. Most people that frequent tech sites realize that many average workloads don't differentiate too much between a $100 processor and a $1000 processor to any deal-breaking degree...but these people don't represent the vast majority of consumers either - and that vast majority who aren't buying AMD is the prime reason why you (and others) are talking up an APU rather than an enthusiast chipset platform that will approaching its sixth birthday around the time its successor makes an appearance. That my friend, is a worrying product cycle cadence for the true enthusiast.
    Not the least of which seems to be that the system is so frugal on power usage it doesn't require a PSU :p
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hehe, Mid build obviously.
    I don't and am not attempting to "talk up" APU 6th gen running cover for the lack of the appearance of the promised large increase (40%) IPC of Zen. That has been a disappointment to me as well. I hope Jim did a stellar job on Zen and it delivers.
    I am merely registering my experience with the current crop of APU's and the strengths they posses. As well as the feature set, and the add as you go and your needs change.
    This platform was called a 'niche' platform by many and I could not disagree more. I have an Intel counter too this machine and with (for example ) the multi-tasking aspect, I would (and have ) gone with the APU option everytime.
  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    It can't come fast enough. We're all getting a little sick & tired of Intel feeding us scraps annually.
    Jeffrey S likes this.
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I'm firmly in the "believe it when I see it" category with anything that has "AMD", "IPC", and "promise" in the same sentence ever since the The John Fruehe Experience:
    John may have left AMD, but all that entailed was the company being a little more subtle in delivering the message. Every other IPC increase promised since has been closer to the bottom end of the scale than the top and I suspect that Steamroller to Excavator didn't even make it that far (and that range was relaxed to 4%-15%). Even AMD's own slides don't tend to bear out their earlier PR hyperbole

    If Excavator to Zen is 40%, what is Bulldozer-to-Piledriver-to-Steamroller-to-Excavator? 10% in total?
    I think everyone hopes (or should hope) that he delivers. Dumping CMT, organizing the cache hierarchy, and reworking them to minimize mis-prediction stalls, should go some way to fixing what AMD have themselves stated as an architectural failure.
    From a desktop standpoint I would agree (although the expansion feature set is beginning to show its age in comparison to the competition), but where precisely are the fully featured Carrizo laptops and notebooks? Most seem to be 768p (with the occasional 900p) with little if any "bells and whistles".
    I would expect no less.
  20. Jeffrey S

    Jeffrey S TS Rookie

    But they are mighty fine scraps. I still don't feel the need to upgrade from Sandy Bridge.
    And I care little for integrated graphics.
  21. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I don't disagree they are good scraps but they would be far better scraps if AMD was able to throw us their equivalent scraps but for now and the foreseeable they remain incapable.
    The reason Intel tosses their best IGP's at their "K" or performance chips is so they can charge more and distance them further from their entry level chips, it makes absolute marketing sense but absolutely no sense to a gamer or power user, as far as they're concerned Intel can shove them where the sun don't shine. Myself included.
  22. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    It's only Intel's market segmentation that keeps it from totally dominating the market. There is no reason why Intel couldn't package Iris Pro graphics into the Celeron/Pentium lines at the drop of a hat if they wanted to. For that matter, with all Intel's excess fab capacity, they could raise the minimum feature set (cache, core count, hyperthreading) in the same manner through sheer volume, thus negating die defects rates - although I suspect that most salvage parts come from perfectly good silicon that are feature locked and have IC fuses blown to disable cache/cores.
    The only reasons they don't already do this is to keep their shareholders happy, and to keep the FTC and DoJ from stepping in. Intel already operate under a Consent Decree (maybe more than one if the 2010 FTC one is still in effect) and curb stomping an unconscious AMD is a sure way to have that mandate widened.

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