AMD Expands A-Series APUs For Desktops, Notebooks

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AMD Tuesday announced it is extending its A-Series portfolio to include 13 new dual- and quad-core APUs (accelerated processing units) for desktops and notebooks.

The expanded series will offer four new desktop and eight new notebook APUs, all of which will deliver a boost in both graphics and performance, AMD said.

The new A-Series APUs combine up to four x86 CPU cores and up to 400 Radeon cores to deliver higher quality graphics and dedicated HD video processing. AMD Dual Graphics technology can also be found within the new line-up, boosting visual performance up to 144 percent when select APUs are combined with an AMD Radeon HD 6500 graphics card, according to the chipmaker.

AMD Steady Video technology, designed to stabilize videos during playback, also eliminates any chance of unsteady or jerky visual clips when using the new APUs.

AMD’s revamped A-Series may especially pique the interest of gaming and high-performance computing (HPC) enthusiasts – and not just because of its graphics. The refresh includes, for the first time in the chipmaker’s history, two unlocked desktop APUs. The quad-core A8-3870K and A6-3670K can be overclocked by up to 500MHz for the CPU and 200MHz on the GPU, allowing end users to tune both x86 and graphics settings within a single processor.

AMD spokesperson Miriam Cox said that, while overclocking may not necessarily appeal to the masses, the unlocked AMD Steady Video and A6-3670K APUs are still expected to create some buzz in the market. What’s more, over-clockable APUs may provide a platform for hobbyists and HPC enthusiasts to further explore performance and graphic optimization.

Like all new products from AMD, the newly extended A-Series family will continue to fuel its rivalry with fellow chipmaker Intel. And, according to John J. Convery, EVP of vendor relations and marketing at Denali, a Redmond, Wa.-based service provider, the increased market competition introduced with the new A-Series means more choices for end customers. This choice, he said, is always a good thing for VARs.

"As a partner, it’s all about offering customer choice... more value for less money," Convery told CRN. "AMD and Intel offer choice – competition is great. In addition, it’s important to offer partner programs that drive growth and profits and, as the vendor relations guy at Denali, we certainly appreciate the power of both AMD and Intel and their major impact on advancing the latest and greatest technology and innovation. Customers are the winners."

The A8-3870K APU is priced at $135, while the A6-3670K APU is $115. Pricing details for the rest of the A-Series will be available over the next "several weeks," AMD said.

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