After launching Excavator with Carrizo last year, we’re getting the next iteration based on the same architecture. Dubbed Bristol Ridge, the new lineup features an improved DDR4 memory controller among other things. Today, we’re only getting the notebook side of the launch, with the desktop chips and platform to launch later in the year. AMD is touting some major gains over their Kaveri Steamroller APUs launched in 2014. The reason for the pre-announcement is HP outing Bristol Ridge with their new Envy x360 notebook at GTC.
According to AMD, Bristol Ridge improves x86 performance by nearly 50% over Kaveri/Steamroller. This is pretty good given that Excavator actually features less L2 cache. Even compared to Carrizo, Bristol Ridge manages to post a 10% improvement due to the DDR4 memory controller. AMD’s IMC performance has generally been good but not amazing and hopefully, there will be even more improvements for Zen’s DDR4 controller.
On the graphics side, there are significant gains up to 18% in some cases. This is even with the iGPU portion staying constant. This is all probably due to the use of DDR4 which is a god improvement over DDR3. As we all know, AMD’s APUs are highly reliant on good memory bandwidth in order to feed the iGPU and CPU portions at the same time. With good memory, the APUs can see massive gains in gaming performance. Hopefully, we’ll get more benchmarks that aren’t dubious leaks.