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Gigabyte leak points to Trinity-based Athlon X4 chips

Gigabyte leak points to Trinity-based Athlon X4 chips

AMD's Trinity APU cores are to appear in Athlon-branded processors with their graphics processing hardware disabled, a leaked compatibility list has confirmed.

A leak by motherboard maker Gigabyte has confirmed AMD's plans to release Athlon-branded processors based around the Trinity accelerated processing unit (APU) core alongside the already-announced A-series models.

A slip at Gigabyte's web division - since corrected - saw a compatibility list for the company's GA-F2A75M-D3H motherboard, an FM2 socket featuring AMD's A75 chipset, uploaded to a public-facing portion of the site. Alongside the usual A10, A8, A6 and A4 APU models, three surprise entries made an appearance in the list: Trinity-based Athlon X4s.

All featuring a 1MB x 4 L2 cache layout, the Trinity-based Athlons appear to be constructed from APU parts where the graphics processor portion didn't make the grade. As a result, they have no on-board graphics capabilities at all - meaning they're not strictly speaking APUs, despite being built from the same Trinity cores as the A-series parts.

The bottom-end part is the Athlon X4 730, a 2.8GHz quad-core processor with a 65W TDP. Moving up the ranks, the Athlon X4 740 boosts the clock speed to 3.2GHz while retaining the 65W thermal envelope. Finally, the Athlon X4 750K runs at 3.4GHz and - if the K suffix means that same as in previous processor releases - should come with an unlocked multiplier for overclockers.

The chips have been rumoured for a while, with an earlier leak hinting at their specifications back in July. Gigabyte's fat-fingered posting has all-but confirmed the parts, and handily proved that the Athlon branded Trinity processors will require dedicated graphics - and, unfortunately, be unable to make use of the video output capabilities of FM2 motherboards.

What is not yet known is AMD's launch plans for the chips. With no official comment yet available, it remains to be seen whether AMD launches the Athlon X4 Trinity parts at retail or holds them back for use by original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers only.

14 Comments

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Tangster 13th September 2012, 11:02 Quote
But...why? The only advantage Athlon has over similar price i3 and Pentium parts is the graphics.
xaser04 13th September 2012, 11:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
But...why? The only advantage Athlon has over similar price i3 and Pentium parts is the graphics.

Main question would be; "why not?".

Why scrap perfectly usable CPU's just because they have a defetive GPU, when instead you can sell them and still make some money?

A Trinity based 3.4Ghz quad core Athlon will still be perfectly adequete for a large range of tasks as long as it is priced correctly.
Adnoctum 13th September 2012, 11:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
But...why? The only advantage Athlon has over similar price i3 and Pentium parts is the graphics.

If you have otherwise functional dies that have borked graphics, you have two options:
1) Dump them in the bin,
2) Package them up and flog them cheaply.
Method one basically flushes the money AMD spent on R&D, development and production of the flawed die down the toilet, but method two allows AMD to recover some of the money spent.

You can't say it will be unattractive compared to the similarly priced i3/Pentium, because no price for the Athlon is mentioned. Until there is a price we can't gauge how attractive a product it is, and the market will determine how it is priced. If it is too high compared to the i3, it won't sell and the product will flop. If it is priced well then people will buy it.
As to who would buy it, make it cheap enough and it will attract someone. Of more concern would be the requirement for a discrete graphics card on top of the CPU/MB.
There are two types of customers who might be attracted to the GPU-less APU:
1) OEM PC manufacturers who could bundle graphics cards with their systems,
2) Those who are unnaturally attracted to AMD CPU/Nvidia GPU combinations.
barny2767 13th September 2012, 11:58 Quote
Quote:
2) Those who are unnaturally attracted to AMD CPU/Nvidia GPU combinations.

Im attracted to AMD CPU/Nvidia GPU combinations. My Phenom II x4 and 680gtx get allong very well and if the Athlon APU without a GPU is cheap why not
Adnoctum 13th September 2012, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by barny2767
Quote:
2) Those who are unnaturally attracted to AMD CPU/Nvidia GPU combinations.

Im attracted to AMD CPU/Nvidia GPU combinations. My Phenom II x4 and 680gtx get allong very well and if the Athlon APU without a GPU is cheap why not

But are you unnaturally so? <Inquisitive raised eyebrows>

My thoughts were more along the lines of the lower end of Nvidia discrete cards that are rather pointless in the face of AMD and Intel CPUs-with-GPUs. And there are always those who pine for AMD APUs with Nvidia graphics onboard.
barny2767 13th September 2012, 12:26 Quote
There is something unnatural about having AMD with NVIDIA but i like being the odd one out. I have always had AMD CPUs, I think about 5 of them and always had Nvidia GPUs apart from last year when i had 2 6790s in crossfire and didnt like them so went back to the green team
GuilleAcoustic 13th September 2012, 12:44 Quote
I have an Intel GPU with an AMD GPU on an nvidia mobo xD
Adnoctum 13th September 2012, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
I have an Intel GPU with an AMD GPU on an nvidia mobo xD

Ugh, that's just sick.
Slash88 13th September 2012, 19:04 Quote
I have a amd cpu with a nvidia graphics card.. feels good man.
MrJay 13th September 2012, 20:02 Quote
Nice move, as long as the pricing is correct!
fluxtatic 14th September 2012, 09:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slash88
I have a amd cpu with a nvidia graphics card.. feels good man.

Word.

Still, I don't think these are aimed at us. Unless maybe some of you that have spawned are maybe going to build a cheap gamer's box for your larva(e), a lot of these will end up in cheap Dells along with whatever "not defective enough to throw it out" GPUs Dell can get a good price on.

I like that they finally managed a quad-core in 65W in a mainstream proc. I don't like that there's no mention of L3 cache.

Funny to think that the "on-board graphics" of yore are nearly dead (I think there are still a handful of old-skool AM2 and/or Atom boards on Newegg with chipset graphics.)
Adnoctum 14th September 2012, 10:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
I like that they finally managed a quad-core in 65W in a mainstream proc. I don't like that there's no mention of L3 cache.

The Trinity cores don't have any L3, so if you want/need L3 on AMD then you are going to have to step up to the upcoming Vishera FX range.

AMD thinks that L3 at this price point is currently* a waste of power and silicon, and to be frank I agree. For the vast majority of workloads done by the vast majority of users, L3 adds very little while costing money, transistors and milliwatts.

I say "currently" because that may change, with later iterations of AMD HSA APUs using it to aid GPGPU tasks.
tyaty1 14th September 2012, 13:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
But...why? The only advantage Athlon has over similar price i3 and Pentium parts is the graphics.

Well, if someone wants middle class discrete graphics, with a cheap cpu with mostly unlimited features (unlike pentium), for gaming.

Tle IGP is dead weight, next to a 7770/gtx460, until the the heterogeneous computing will be common. The Cape Verde-s own power save capabilities makes the IGP's advantages non existing.
[USRF]Obiwan 17th September 2012, 17:02 Quote
Considering that the GPU part is non functional I find the 65W TDP a bit on the high side.
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