AMD's desktop Trinity chips appear to be able to hold their own against similarly-priced Intel parts, but how will they perform in the real world?
AMD has officially released UK pricing for its Trinity-based accelerated processing units (APUs.) as the chips go on sale in the UK.
As the company's launch presentation proved
, the new Trinity range covers a wide variety of use cases from the A10 models with impressive integrated graphics capabilities to the low-power home-office A6 and A4 models. One thing AMD wasn't sharing at the time, however, was pricing - a key metric when comparing the chips to similar models from bitter rival Intel, which currently leads the way in raw performance terms.
The guessing game is now over: retailers in the UK went live with their pricing this morning, while AMD released official recommended retail prices for the entire range.
Starting at the top: the A10-5800K Black Edition APU costs £99, while the A10-5700 is going for £89 thanks to its 400MHz lower clock speed and locked clock multiplier. The A8-5600K Black Edition, meanwhile, has been given a £79 RRP - matching, oddly, the A8-5500, which has a locked clock multiplier and another 400MHz off the clock speed. With both chips costing the same, we're not entirely certain who will opt for the A8-5500 over its faster, unlocked Black Edition counterpart despite a lower thermal design profile (TDP).
At the bottom end, AMD has confirmed an RRP of £55 for the A6-5400K dual-core chip and £45 for the A4-5300 entry-level model. All prices are for retail, boxed editions, and come complete with stock heatsink.
What they don't come with, of course, is a motherboard. With Trinity, AMD has opted to move to a new socket type called FM2. Previous APU-centric FM1 motherboards need not apply, meaning anyone looking to upgrade an existing system - rather than build an entirely new PC from scratch - can look forward to adding up to £100 to the pricing depending on the features they're looking for in a board.
Moving away from AMD's recommended pricing, one of the first sites to go live with the products is Ebuyer: the A10-5800K is available to pre-order for £96.99, the A10-5700 for £89.99, the A8-5600K for £81.41, the slower A8-5500 for an equal £81.41, and the A6-5400K for £54.70. The bottom-end A4-5300 has yet to appear on the site.
Comparing some of the key models to Intel's own offerings, the range-topping A10-5800K sits next to the 3.3GHz 3MB cache Core i3-3220 Ivy Bridge chip. Although there's no denying that the Core i3 will likely trounce AMD's Piledriver-based Trinity chip in instructions per cycle (IPC) and raw x86 performance, the AMD chip boasts a faster core clockspeed, twice as many cores, and more powerful on-board graphics for a very similar price.
At the mid-range, the A8-5600K compares favourably to the £75.44 Intel Pentium Dual Core G2120 3.1GHz, with a faster core frequency, double the cores and again more powerful graphics performance. Finally, the bottom-end A6-5400K - one of only two dual-core models in the current Trinity desktop line-up - sits around £15 above the Intel Celeron G555 2.7GHz.
At first glance, AMD seems to have a convincing performance-to-price ratio with its latest generation of APUs, but it remains to be seen if that ratio extends to benchmark and real-world performance.