AMD goes after vPro with seventh-gen PRO APUs

This week in lovely Barcelona, Spain, the Canalys Channels Forum is hosting representatives from virtually every major company in technology. AMD took the opportunity today to announce that HP and Lenovo are selling business-oriented desktops equipped with Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge-derived 7th-generation "PRO" APUs.

Along with the announcement comes the stuff that will probably be the most interesting for TR gerbils: the list of new APUs. The list is pretty much the list of 7th-generation APUs with "PRO" tacked onto the name, however. Jeff's write-up here includes the full list if you haven't seen them yet, but suffice it to say that AMD's latest APU family comprises seven processors. They come with either one or two Excavator modules running between 3GHz and 4.2GHz, plus four, six, or eight GCN 1.2 (Fiji family) compute units running at up to 1108 MHz.

So what does PRO get you? AMD says PRO is actually an acronym that stands for "Performance, Reliability, and Opportunity." One of the biggest features of the PRO-series APUs is the open-standards-based and vendor-neutral DASH remote management technology. DASH isn't an AMD invention—it's the product of the Distributed Management Task Force, a group that includes other big names like Dell and Cisco. AMD compares DASH favorably to Intel's vPro, because the free- and open-source nature of DASH means implementation doesn't cost the IT department anything.

Along with remote management, the PRO APUs also continue support for the AMD PRO Control Center. This utility debuted with the first-generation PRO APUs, and resembles the Radeon Crimson software a bit. It's designed to allow small business owners without dedicated IT departments to do a bit of system management on their own. These latest APUs still support ARM's TrustZone technology, as well, which could make them attractive for deployment in high-security environments.

HP and Lenovo are the first two companies to jump on the new APUs, but Lenovo isn't showing off any hardware yet. HP, by contrast, has a whole line of "Elite" hardware rocking AMD processors. While the line includes EliteBook laptops and EliteOne all-in-one PCs, only the EliteDesk 705 G3 has been updated with the latest chip so far. The business-oriented desktops come in micro-tower, small-form-factor desktop, and "mini" sizes. Hit up HP's site for the full details on the new machines.

Comments closed
    • Kretschmer
    • 4 years ago

    AMD mimicking features with very similar names always strikes me as somewhere between desperate and deceitful. E.g. “Lightning Bolt” connectors.

    • Tristan
    • 4 years ago

    ZEN Inside, TM

    • ptsant
    • 4 years ago

    Anyone from IT can tell us, do the big companies really care about these features? Is this really a reason to buy Intel (or AMD)?

    Clearly this is not for the home user or enthusiast, but I am wondering if it’s simply a way of ticking the boxes or if it has actual utility.

      • YukaKun
      • 4 years ago

      For VPro I can say they do. They monitor, almost in real time, what a laptop/PC is doing from anywhere.

      On the upside, when you say “I need more RAM”, they just monitor your usage history (being logged somewhere) and tell you “OK” with little hassle 😛

      Cheers!

      • Laykun
      • 4 years ago

      [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_vPro[/url<] Considering it's an umbrella term that includes Hyperthreading, Turbo Boost and VT-x, those features alone are worth it. I've only worked Medium scale IT with a single server rack but even the remote management features sound like something I would have liked when I worked IT.

    • Delta9
    • 4 years ago

    The “O” that stands for opportunity is most likely the marketing speak for the motherboard’s ability to support for Zen based APUs when they are released in the second half of 2017. Being able to assure IT departments that there is an upgrade path that allows for a dramatic upgrade of CPU performance and to a lesser extent GPU performance, adds another dimension of value to a relatively cheap workstation. When the workstation gets tired, for under $120 they can basically drop a chip in the box and avoid purchasing all new hardware and software for $2-300 or more.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      When was the last time a real IT department anywhere replaced a CPU in a desktop system?
      I’ve seen real IT departments in action. Maybe… maybe… there’s a RAM upgrade done at the time of machine purchase assuming they think the RAM is reliable enough and they are saving enough money over having the OEM do it.

        • ColeLT1
        • 4 years ago

        I could only see CPU upgrades on a company that lives/dies on absolute CPU performance, and any company that needs their computer to be on bleeding edge are not buying these chips anyway. For office use, the only upgrade we have done are clone-to SSDs. Even 10yr old old core2/Athlon X2 boxes are very snappy for office duty.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 4 years ago

          Back when we still had an IT department, we divided our users up into five groups of roughly equal sizes ranked A, B or C based on how sensitive they were to PC performance. Back when we still did routine annual hardware upgrades, we’d buy new machines for group A1 then re-image their old hardware for group B1. Old hardware from B1 that was still useful would go to group C. At the next upgrade cycle, group A2 would get new machines, their systems would get re-imaged and go to group B2 and surviving hardware would go to group C.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    Honestly, I’d like to see a TR review of the A12-9800.

      • vargis14
      • 4 years ago

      I cannot see it performing much better than the previous versions,but I hope to be surprised……………………I just want AMD and ZEN to be good enough for Intel to stop holding back on CPU performance for the masses like they have been since SandyBridge..well every chip after Sandy did not much much performance whatsoever compared to the previous generation

      With that Said with my approx 6 year old i7 2600k @ 4.8Ghz @1.390v at this time I can still game right on par with pretty much anything out when it comes to gaming and not know the difference with a performance increase of 5-15% if it is even that high.

      So I guess IMHO AMD failures have let me keep a 6 year old CPU for so long without the need at all for a upgrade….unless I needed better storage options etc.

        • Bensam123
        • 4 years ago

        Isn’t the showcase here GPU performance on a IGP?

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 4 years ago

    What platform is this on?

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      These are the first AM4 processors AMD is releasing. But still based on the Excavator core.

    • Mr Bill
    • 4 years ago

    Phenom
    Radeon
    Opteron

    … ducking and covering!

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      PROn.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 4 years ago

    The AMD Marketing guy just has a studder. Leave him alone, jerks.

    • End User
    • 4 years ago

    What the fuck are these things? It sounds like low end shit.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      APUs for the mainstream market. The vast majority of users don’t need a screaming fast 6+ core CPU or a bleeding edge GPU.

        • End User
        • 4 years ago

        Ah. Ok. Clear as mud. I got muddled up by “AMD goes after vPro with seventh-gen PRO”.

    • Shobai
    • 4 years ago

    Pro Processors.

    Gotta love how awkward that rolls off the tongue.

    Good job, AMD Marketing Dept.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      They shoulda just called them PRO-cessors.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Copy-paste?

        • Shobai
        • 4 years ago

        “- ronch, 2016 [twice]”?

        Sure was! Sorry mate, when I saw your double up I just had to replicate it =P

        I must say that I find it amusing that your two posts have different thumb counts – I think that speaks to the laziness of our peers, don’t you?

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    The O in Pro should’ve been Open, seeing as that’s a significant part of their message here. Opportunity just sounds like those marketing guys had to quickly hack something together.

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      I would have said “Operations” since that’s the branch of IT that would like this.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Pro Processors.

    Gotta love how awkward that rolls off the tongue.

    Good job, AMD Marketing Dept.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Pro Processors.

    Gotta love how awkward that rolls off the tongue.

    Good job, AMD Marketing Dept.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]Barcelona, Spain[/quote<] TOO SOON MAN! TOO SOON!

      • wingless
      • 4 years ago

      BARCELONAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

      /triggered

      • davidbowser
      • 4 years ago

      The loss to Celta?

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