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AMD launches first Trinity APUs

AMD launches first Trinity APUs

AMD's new Trinity APUs include two new models aimed squarely at Intel's burgeoning Ultrabook market.

AMD has officially launched Trinity, its second-generation A-series accelerated processing units (APUs) with a clear goal of taking on Intel in the ultra-slim laptop market.

The company claims that Trinity represents a doubling in performance per watt from the Llano platform it replaces, helped by the use of Piledriver CPU cores and Radeon HD 7000-series GPU cores on the all-in-one chip.

'The latest OEM notebooks, ultrathins, All-in-Ones and desktops based on the new AMD A-series APU enable the best video and gaming experiences, highly responsive performance with AMD Turbo Core, and accelerate an ever-increasing range of productivity and multimedia applications - in sleek, stylish designs at price points that make sense,' claimed Chris Cloran, general manager of AMD's client business unit, at the launch.

'Our 2nd-Generation AMD A-series APU is a major step forward in every performance and power dimension, allowing users to enjoy a stunning experience without having to give up the things that matter to them most. This experience doesn’t stop at mainstream notebooks. It carries over into affordable ultrathin form factors featuring the latest in AMD Radeon graphics.'

That latter point of Cloran's is a clear indication of where AMD is hoping to go with its latest A-series parts: devices which can directly compete with Intel's Ultrabook platform. With Trinity-based systems offering a claimed twelve hours of battery life on a single charge and offering thermal design profiles (TDPs) as low as 17W, the company could well have something with which to give Intel serious competition.

The Trinity family includes at launch three mainstream and two ultra-thin processors. At the top end, the A10-4600M boasts Radeon HD 7660G-equivalent graphics with 384 cores running at 497MHz and four 2.3GHz general-purpose Piledriver cores with 4MB of L2 cache. When AMD's Turbo Core technology is activated, the chip boosts performance to 3.2GHz CPU and 686MHz GPU.

For more budget-conscious OEMs, the A8-4500M features a Radeon HD 7640G-equivalent graphics processor with 256 cores running at 497MHz and four 1.9GHz Piledriver cores with the same 4MB of L2 cache. As with the A10-4600M, Turbo Core can be enabled to boost the chip to 2.8GHz and the GPU to 655MHz.

At the lower end of the mainstream Trinity range is the A6-4400M, which drops to a Radeon HD 7520G-equivalent graphics module with 192 cores running at 497MHz and two 2.7GHz Piledriver cores with 1MB of L2 cache. Turbo Core is again supported, pushing the chip to 3.2GHz and the GPU to 686MHz.

TDP on all three mainstream models is 35W, with DDR3-1600 supported on all models.

In the ultra-thin segment, the A10-4665M offers a Radeon HD 7620G-equivalent graphics module with 384 cores running at 360MHz and four 2.0GHz Piledriver cores with 4MB of L2 cache. Turbo Core pushes the chip to 2.8GHz and the GPU to 497MHz, while keeping within a 25W TDP.

The A6-4455M - the chip which gets the headline-grabbing twelve-hour 'resting' battery life - drops to a Radeon HD 7500G graphics part with 256 cores running at 327MHz and two 2.1GHz Piledriver cores with 2MB of L2 cache. Turbo Core pushes this to 2.6GHz on the CPU and 424MHz on the GPU, in a 17W TDP.

Both ultra-thin chip models top out at DDR3-1333, missing the support for high-speed memory of their mainstream brethren.

Desktop parts, both in pre-built OEM and ODM systems and as retail products, are due to follow later on in the year.

13 Comments

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damien c 15th May 2012, 11:32 Quote
Interested to see what the figures are like for these as it may see me buy my 1st AMD product since the AMD X2 6000 cpu I bought within a month or two of release, been with Intel and Nvidia ever since for my Desktop pc's and Laptop's but need a new laptop soon so these could be very interesting to me.
Amsalpedalb 15th May 2012, 12:46 Quote
Any word on the desktop socket FM2 chips?
Gareth Halfacree 15th May 2012, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsalpedalb
Any word on the desktop socket FM2 chips?
Last paragraph of the article: 'Desktop parts, both in pre-built OEM and ODM systems and as retail products, are due to follow later on in the year. '
misterd77 15th May 2012, 13:27 Quote
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.......
misterd77 15th May 2012, 13:38 Quote
my laptop has a 4650 hd, with 380 cores, what improvement will I see if I buy one of these new trinity laptops ?, my laptop is a 17 inch Samsung R720 with an intel core 2 duo p8600 2.4ghz, I can play my fav game, World of Tanks @ 45 fps @ high, and Dirt 3 averages around 35 fps (dx9), for some serious gaming, im thinking ima gonna have to await the desktop version, and build a crossfire x system... am I right ?
Adnoctum 15th May 2012, 14:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingemuncher
my laptop has a 4650 hd, with 380 cores, what improvement will I see if I buy one of these new trinity laptops ?, my laptop is a 17 inch Samsung R720 with an intel core 2 duo p8600 2.4ghz, I can play my fav game, World of Tanks @ 45 fps @ high, and Dirt 3 averages around 35 fps (dx9), for some serious gaming, im thinking ima gonna have to await the desktop version, and build a crossfire x system... am I right ?

Are you finding your laptop is doing something too slow? Or are you just feeling the upgrade itch?
If it is running what you want to play just fine, then there is little point.

However, here is a graph for Dirt 3 (Dx11).

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph5831/46680.png

I can't find any WoT benchmarks, but the system requirements aren't too demanding (2.2GHz CPU and 6600GT or X800 GPU) so you probably won't see any improvement.
azazel1024 15th May 2012, 14:32 Quote
I will be interested to see the benchmarks, but I suspect, like bulldozer, piledriver is not going to be near enough of an improvement to even be within shouting distance of Intels Sandy Bridge, let alone Ivy Bridge performance. That said, and improvement is an improvement. Though the graphical improvements sound like they will be pretty worth while. If AMD's benchmarks are to be believed, the top of the line part has about 200% greater performance than Intel HD3000 (IE Sandybridge) graphics...which should translate in to roughly double the performance of Ivy Bridge HD4000 graphics.

Though, looking at the bottom end Trinity part at 17w, the graphical performance between fewer cores and lower clock rates is probably half the top end Trinity part, or maybe even a little less (especially with the lower clocked memory)...I think Intel is/will have at least one or two Ivy Bridge 17w parts with HD4000 graphics, which if that is the case, graphical performance in the 17w TDP area is going to be very close to on par with each other.

Should be interesting either way. Haswell is going to be very interesting if Intel can be believed both on x86 and GPU performance claims and power dissipation.
azazel1024 15th May 2012, 15:40 Quote
Okay, ouch. I took at look at some of the benchmarks that are out now. Looks like HD4000 versus 7660G top of the line, 7660G is a clear winner with wins to HD4000 only probably being likely from bad/early drivers for 7660G. That said, the margin of win was generally only in the 30-50% range, which is substantial, until you realize that it is ONLY for 7660G. The 7640G and all of the lower iGPUs for Trinity look like AT BEST they will preform about where HD4000 graphics do, or likely worse by quite a bit for the very low end Trinity iGPUs. Not exactly stirling launch for trinity, especially with x86 processor performance trailing Sandybridge chips on average by a good 40%.

Plenty of power envelopes where Intel is going to have both better CPU AND GPU performance compared to Trinity. Sigh. I had high hopes, but it looks like AMD is only a win in a very tiny segment of portable computing, for gaming only (though maybe power use is thriftier than first glance).
Amsalpedalb 15th May 2012, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsalpedalb
Any word on the desktop socket FM2 chips?
Last paragraph of the article: 'Desktop parts, both in pre-built OEM and ODM systems and as retail products, are due to follow later on in the year. '

Ah ha, yeah, there it is. Silly me, cheers.
Adnoctum 15th May 2012, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
Okay, ouch. I took at look at some of the benchmarks that are out now. Looks like HD4000 versus 7660G top of the line, 7660G is a clear winner with wins to HD4000 only probably being likely from bad/early drivers for 7660G. That said, the margin of win was generally only in the 30-50% range, which is substantial, until you realize that it is ONLY for 7660G. The 7640G and all of the lower iGPUs for Trinity look like AT BEST they will preform about where HD4000 graphics do, or likely worse by quite a bit for the very low end Trinity iGPUs. Not exactly stirling launch for trinity, especially with x86 processor performance trailing Sandybridge chips on average by a good 40%.

So you've decided not to compare apples with apples?
Do Intel HD4000 graphics extend from top to bottom of the IB TDP bands (I'm genuinely asking, I don't know)? And none of those cheaper models/expensive ULV IB GPUs (that lower clocked/ULV Trinity APUs will be competing with) will be downclocked themselves, or using HD2500 graphics (6 execution units instead of 16)?
I have to congratulate Intel for creating graphics cores that generate the same performance regardless of clock speed (normal and turbo) and power draw (or number of units), and regardless of system price. That is what I believe you just wrote.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
Plenty of power envelopes where Intel is going to have both better CPU AND GPU performance compared to Trinity. Sigh. I had high hopes, but it looks like AMD is only a win in a very tiny segment of portable computing, for gaming only (though maybe power use is thriftier than first glance).

Once again, you've assumed that graphical performance of IB CPUs will stay linear as power draw drops.

I also note that price plays no part in your analysis of unreleased and untested products.
azazel1024 16th May 2012, 16:56 Quote
The only parts that Intel is offering in the mobile space with HD2500 graphics is their ULV 17w parts. Their 35, 45 and 55w parts all have HD4000 parts. The base clock of all the HD2500 and all of the HD4000 are the same (350 for HD2500 and 650 for HD4000). The turbos are slightly (but not pronouncedly) different between different parts though.

Likely the HD2500 performs around the performance of the 17w Trinity part. For the higher spec'd stuff, the HD4000 is almost deffinitely going to perform better than most of the less than top of the line Trinity stuff.

As for price, don't have a lot of that yet. However, Intel has a lot going for it. AMD might beat Intel on price, but looking at a host of Sandy Bridge laptops (and HD3000 graphics are likely to beat the lower end of Trinity graphics too, just not by much), they are being sold at siginficant discounts, so AMD is going to have to seriously undercut to get a product that has comparable GPU, worse CPU and roughly similar battery performance to a low/mid-level Sandy Bridge laptop (which can be had for as little as $400 up to around $700 for Sandy Bridge's mid range, which is actually cheaper on the low end than Trinity looks like it will be based on announced products...at $480 for the lowest priced currently announced Trinity laptop).

Ivy is of course more expensive, but even then, AMD is going to have a very narrow window in which to beat Intel. Maybe/possibly/probably the very lowest end of the laptop market versus IB low end is a better value proposition. Maybe.

Get in to ultra books and AMD may, possible, have a battery life king compared to IB (suprisingly), but CPU performance is going to be massively better on the Intel, and speeds in the ULV 17w range are slow enough that the diffence likely would be very noticable to user in a lot of applications if they bothered playing with both laptops side by side at Best Buy or similar electronics store. Graphics aren't going to be particularly far apart for either Trinity or Ivy, so it isn't like AMD has any kind of clear win either benchmarks or comparing side by side. Price...well AMD might be able to win there, but maybe not. That remains to be seen as there aren't really any Trinity "ultrabooks" and Intel Ivy "Ultrabooks" are still in the very wee early stages.

As has been pointed out though, the CPU performance is "bad enough" that Ivy (or Sandy, or even older Intel part) with a very basic discrete GPU added in, either in laptop or likely compared to Trinity desktop parts is likely to be a lot faster because the CPU is somewhat of a bottle neck, even if Trinities graphics are actually pretty decent (CPU becomes weakest link in the chain). So even being able to do "crossfire" between the Trinity APU and discrete GPU is not likely to make up for the slow CPU compared to IB/SB with the same discrete GPU in a lot of cases.
misterd77 16th May 2012, 19:45 Quote
so, without the crossfire x or dual graphics branding, trinity laptops will perform on par with mid range intel solutions ?, I really think amd is missing a beat here, its the crossfire/dual graphics options that excite me, if they had a solution where they could achieve around the 1,000 stream mark, then im in, pair up the top end trinity with a half decent mobile gpu and you have a winner in terms of mobile gaming, getting hold off dual graphics branded apu laptops in the last yr has been difficult, systems builders didnt see a need for it, and those dual graphics apu laptops that I did see, seemed a tad expensive, around the £650-900 mark, and at that price it seemed you were paying almost double for a mobile solution, they need to bring the price of dual graphics branded laptops down to around the £500 mark, and only then , will the apu/gpu solution offer value, I do, however, have high hopes for the desktop version, 3 way crossfire X with an apu and 2 gpu, thats, at least, looks good on paper...
HourBeforeDawn 17th May 2012, 03:08 Quote
I see my next HTPC being built with this :)
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