AMD's 6th-gen A-Series chips bring a whole new level of productivity to the notebook

AMD is bringing out its largest guns to the battlefront against Intel with not only support for DirectX 12 and some serious game time, but also 4K butter-smooth video streaming. As we consume more and more media, such functionality is a must-have for those who rely on hardware to output impressive visuals. The company also plans to let you do more without relying on a power outlet.

Announced today were the A8, A10 and FX.

AMD 6th gen chips

  • AMD A8 - 10 cores (4CPU 3.0GHz+ 6GPU) and AMD Radeon R6 graphics
  • AMD A10 - 10 cores (4CPU 3.2GHz + 6GPU) and AMD Radeon R6 graphics
  • AMD FX - 12 cores (4CPU 3.4GHz + 8 GPU) and AMD Radeon R7 graphics

"The 6th Generation AMD processor will forever redefine what you expect from a notebook. With capabilities designed for best-in-class online gaming, Ultra HD-capable streaming video and new, innovative computing possibilities, now you can work and watch and create and share – all with longer battery life, gorgeous graphics, vibrant video, better buffering, creative content management tools, and accelerated apps."

For that improved battery life, AMD claims that latest tech and enhancements provide up to 35% more battery life on productivity applications. Additional security features are also included in the new components, as well as wireless PC screen sharing, improved display capabilities and enhanced system memory sharing.

So, will you be on the look out for a new laptop with AMD inside, or are you sticking to your guns with Intel?

Source: AMD

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Is it possible to use these chips in a smartphone? 
  • I don't think so, as they still didn't realize that their chip's power consumption will make a way to the smartphone world.
  • ^^ This.
    I vaguely remember some rumors of them working on mobile SoC, but these are not for smartphones for sure.
  • I think they will go to tablet space first, and if they can make it through, they go to the smartphone space. Well, just a part of my thinking. ;)
  • @blackfire, AMD sold ATI's Mobility Division after the acquisition. They must be kicking themselves lol.
  • Yes, but only if you have a smartphone the size of a laptop. 
  • AMD has struggled with two things since Intel started drubbing them in performance with the Core i series, and that's reducing TDP and increasing single-threaded application performance. Their processors are generally on par with comparable Celerons though the graphics are on par with/better than Intel's Iris graphics. They have only really been providing solid bang for your buck on graphics performance.
  • 10 to 12 cores CPUs, spec in the table says 3GHz and up with GPU Radion R6 and R7. These are laptop/desktop APUs You are looking at minimum of 20w power rating SDP or TDP. Phones use 1-2w or less, most tablets do SDP or TDP of less than 10-14w (Surface Pro etc), very thin tabs uses less than 4-5w 
  • Damn I love technology! :-)
  • But how is the performance compared to Intel? Looks promising though.
  • AMD's price is often lower than Intel's, but with more power drawn, I don't think they will get it done right, like their Fiji XT GPU vs NVIDIA's GTX980 Ti.
  • Fiji is positioned to compete with Titan, not the 980.
  • then why Fiji XT is losing when comparing with GTX980 Ti, while they claimed that they're better than Titan X? Titan X is above GTX980 Ti, so why Titan X is losing to its little brother? Note: Titan X is GTX980 variant (maybe? I've forgot about it)
  • Amd is much better than Intel with high end cpu's
  • Really? By what price? And how much power do they consume? I'm not such a fanboy, but given their TDPs and available benchmarks, I don't think they will won against Intel.
  • Why is everyone so concerned with power consumption, you will never even notice the difference in you monthly power bill.
  • if you're within a country that has very high per-kWh price, then you'll realize how important it is. And... if you care about CO2 footprints...
  • I can't think of a single country like that. Unless you are referring to Africa where electricity is a rarity, in which case they probably dont even know what an and or Intel are. Besides a fraction of a cent will make no difference to you or anyone else using a computer for productivity purposes.
  • Well, I'm excluding Aftica countries for that. Just take a look at Hawaii where for each kWh electricity, people have to pay $0.37/kWh, which if they use AMD-based GPU and CPU, they will have to pay more. I ask you: have you tried to use Intel-based CPU, with NVIDIA-based GPU on your PC?
  • I am runing a Xeon and two 980s at the moment, I have ran and CPUs and ati cards in the past. I have no complains about ether. My towers are always on I hardly noticed a difference in my evergy bills. And just to shut this topic once and for all.
  • well, first of all, I wanna say that I'm no such a fanboy like that. Second, I'm not in the US, so that cost will be different. Third, the average usage may be 4 hours per day, but the situation will be different on those who are running the internet cafe, production house, etc. But, aside of those above, I appreciate your comment (+1 for that), I agree that there will be no matter about what components you're using. Well, at least I'm talking about running the computing with such a component for a long time lol
  • I disagree. From most benchmarks available on the Internet, Intel CPUs provide better performance at lower power consumption. I'm not saying AMD CPUs are bad, but out of the box, Intel performance and power consumption numbers are better. Now, if you plan to overclock, your mileage may vary.
    Now, integrated GPU performance might be quite better on their APUs compared to Intel HD Graphics. But I'd have to see a comparison on latest hardware.
  • ^This. The fair and equal way to compare is to compare the latest, side-by-side, head-to-head. That will make the competition even better. If we compare it to the older generation, we're a few steps backward from our competitor. Anyway, I'm eager to wait to see if they can be better than Intel's latest Skylake core architecture.
  • Correct. AMD is often offering worse performance with worse power consumption. On the other hand their hardware is less expensive, so you might get a bit quicker. Still, since Intel's i5 range, they seem to have lost the battle
  • Ok well I am running an A10 with 32gig of R9 Radeon Ram (yes it exists, its designed for use with APUs, its on AMDs sister website with a OCZ PCIe SSD... It was an experiment as I had never owned an AMD system only an ATI card here and there and in theory for the best experiance, everything had to be AMD. So nearly 2 years later and all i can say is if you buy an AMD apu get the Radeon ram and run Ramdisk, it will change your life, its part of the reason i upgraded to 32 gig, Load any game, load a few games onto the ram and loading has gone, I mean gone... The PCIe SSD was fast, dont get me wrong, but Ramdisk is mind numbingly fast... Only works with what you load on but still... Now back on plot, its just about faster than an i3 in terms of raw Cpu power, some games get quite slow due to the heavy cpu load while other "better looking" games run nice and smooth... I run Planetside 2 at High and get about 50fps out in the open and that drops to 20-25 in 100+ player battles, Assassins Creed Black Flag ran at about 35fps. World of Tanks runs on High at about 30fps. I was always tempted to get an R7 GPU as you can run a card and the apu in Crossfire I built that system for 500 minus the PCIe SSD (pure luxury item) but if you go for 4-8 gig of ram and a none-mini atx board (they are the most expensive for some reason) with a normal HD you could get the whole lot for 500... Could you make a faster pc with Intel parts for the same money? yes, kind of. Would it be able to play games as well? no... The AMD APUs are made for cheap steam machines and gamer tablets...
  • Their integrated GPUs are supposedly significantly better than Intel's. I also would like to see how Intel's new IGPUs stack again this generation of AMD APUs.
  • I've always been an AMD fan but lack of new chips and products forced me into Intel. Can't wait to see some laptops with this. Hp does have an A10 laptop already.
  • Better in both CPU and iGPU than Intel's U range.
  • let's see what they have, head to head, like they was with NVIDIA's G-Sync.
  • Love ❤ AMD....great products
  • So Amd killed what the FX was. Sad times.
  • Nope. Coming next year with Zen.
  • Lets hope so. I'm ready
  • Their performance was being hindered, by Intel-favoring optimizations. If you see how FX processors perform with Mantle, then you will see how AMD does a great job even with current Intel processors. Mantle is AMD only, so you would think that you need an AMD/ATI GPU, but you need to see how DX12 fares with Nvidia cards.
  • Man the price must be big
  • Will definetely consider AMD for my new purchase. Really keen on seeing more detailed benchmarks.
  • interesting. When multicores started coming they required more power to performe. I've been noticing that from the core i series multicores are apparently requiring less power according to the specifications. How is that possible? More cores= more juice needed right? Or is there a trick to the new multicore processors and systems? Apparently AMD is now coming with 10 cores. Is that then "pentacore"?
  • They are CPU and GPU cores in the same chip. I don't think its the same thing. I would love see AMD chips in more tablets personally. My Atom based one locks up on app store games.
  • When most people think of cores, they are thinking processor cores. AMD is using the GPU to come up with that higher number, which is a little misleading. I was a fan of AMD for many years, but just switched to Intel because of processing power and lower energy consumption. I always hope that AMD can get back in the game, as competition is good for the consumer.
  • Power requirements are reduced through altering the chip design, shrinking components, more efficient circuit design, better materials, and the like. Intel has been focusing its development resources mostly on improving multi core designs, reducing TDP to enhance mobility (why Core M exists and sucks). AMD reduced power consumption for the onboard GPU by moving it to the processor die and splitting the space between 4-6 CPU cores and a similar though normally higher number of GPU cores. Their iGPUs are fantastic but not miracle workers. The second gen APUs I picked up in a laptop and it worked great, ran Bioshock infinite on High at 720p (and hey the laptop monitor was 720p I'm not gonna bitch). Also 10 is deca core, and the chips they described are quad core, they have 4 CPU cores.
  • you're right. I think penta = 12
  • Penta is five. 12 is dodeca
  • right again. time to relearn my latin. Thanks
  • You can also reduce the power consumption by disabling the cores you don't need. So when you don't need the power of all the cores the operating system is disabling them. If you fire up Resource monitor in Windows you can see Windows suspending cores when they're not needed.
  • Competition is always a good thing for consumers. AMD needs to be a strong alternative to Intel to prevent the processor market from being monopolized. Innovation slows without pressure from competition.
  • At least AMD is honest about processor heating up as much that popcorn bag. 
  • Really wish they would finally produce something to upgrade from the 8350. It hasn't been bad by any means and I don't want Intel. Just ready for an actual upgrade.
  • I'm a long time fan of AMD. This new gen looks really fetching to me.
  • I would most definitely go with AMD. My old tower amd PC is still better than my Intel chip laptop. They are perceived as less popular but they do have lots of tricks up their sleeve. It is a great company. Will be on the lookout.
  • I always perceived AMD as 2nd class CPU manufacturer, no offence to anyone..
  • Recently bought a laptop for my sister with quad core apu from AMD instead of core i3 and very happy with the performance, i usually buy parts from AMD because I like them and I want to keep Intel and NVIDIA in check...hehe
  • Hoping that Adobe will provide more functionality with OpenCL. It has been biased towards NVIDIA for long. We need more AMD consumers!!!
  • always been an AMD kinda guy.  ever since the K6.  I still prefer them over Intel.  The first intel product that I bought was a tablet and since there are no good AMD tablets (10" with a digitizer pen) I'll be with intel until there is one.
  • I'm rollin with Intel.
    Preferred choice for CPUs while AMD for better GPU.
  • I hope AMD releases a new FX line for desktops soon. The current generation really looks bad in comparison with the Intel stuff out there right now.
  • I wish AMD brought Excavator to the FX line. But if they were just fast tracking Zen then its probably for the best
  • they really need to cut down the prices (although AMD is already cheap to idiot Intel & Nvida) of graphic cards so I can rebuild my AMD PC which was spoiled by coffee spil.    Damn I miss gaming so much!