AMD blasts last CPU salvo before the launch of Zen processor

AMD's new Pro CPUs up the ante on the performance and security fronts

AMD has unleashed a new range of processors which bring the company's Bristol Ridge tech – previously seen on mobile CPUs – to desktop PCs.

The seventh-generation AMD Pro processors are APUs (accelerated processing units) meaning they have built-in graphics, and they're targeted at businesses, and will be available in HP and Lenovo PCs to begin with.

The 'Pro' moniker stands for 'performance, reliability and opportunity', but of course the basic drive is for the former two: AMD promises the chips are quick in terms of computing and graphics performance, and also reliable which is a key factor for a product aimed at businesses.

Compared to previous generation AMD Pro CPUs, these new models provide up to 14% greater compute power, and a 22% boost on the graphics front according to the company's own benchmarking. They're also 32% more energy efficient, which doesn't hurt.

As for security concerns, you get AMD Secure Processor tech, boasting secure boot and TPM 2.0 along with various other measures to keep your applications and data safe.

We are family

There are four ranges in the new family of processors: A6, A8, A10 and A12. The first is aimed at basic productivity needs, scaling all the way up to the A12 which is designed for the likes of high-performance computing and 3D modelling.

The base level A6 offering (A6-9500E) is a dual-core CPU running at 3GHz with boost to 3.4GHz, having Radeon R5 integrated graphics running at a clock speed of 800MHz. It has a TDP of 35W.

At the other end of the scale, you've got the AMD Pro A12-9800 quad-core processor running at 3.8GHz with boost to 4.2GHz, and this has Radeon R5 graphics with a clock speed of 1108MHz – and double the amount of GPU cores, and also double the L2 cache (2MB) compared to the A6. The TDP is 65W.

Guayente Sanmartin, Vice President of Product Management, Commercial Desktops, HP Inc, enthused: "We're delighted to offer 7th generation AMD Pro processors in our new HP EliteDesk 705 G3 desktop series. We are delivering more performance, security and flexibility to give our enterprise customers peace of mind that allows them to focus on their business, not on IT complexity."

We should see the release of AMD's next big desktop processor, the much talked about Zen CPU, early next year.