AMD A10-4600M Review: Mobile Trinity Gets Tested

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Onus

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What I get from this is that Piledriver doesn't suck. It doesn't beat Intel, but when it reaches the Desktop, it will be a viable upgrade for AMD users, whereas Bulldozer really wasn't.
 

artk2219

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Trinity beats llano pretty sounds in just about every test but what i would love to see if it were possible is a clock for clock comparison between trinity and llano since there is an 800 mhz difference between the base clocks and the turbo clocks (LLano 1.5/2.4 and Trinity 2.3/3.2) of these CPU's. I guess I just might have to wait until the desktop review for this though :-/.
 
[citation][nom]wrazor[/nom]Am I the only one mightyly impressed with pile-driver cores? They have cut the difference from Llano & SB to half. That is quite impressive. This is a big hope, that the pile-driver might just get the better of SB, though not of IB. But still, AMD, might just get back in the desktop market, I believe with piledriver.[/citation]

AMD did well with the CPU improvement, I'm just not to enthusiastic about the GPU. That it's VLIW4 instead of VLIW5 is a boon, at the least. It's nice to see that AMD is finally not using that old, inefficient architecture and the benefits of that, at the very least. AMD would have been much better off had they distanced themselves from HD 4000 more. AMD is going to hammer it on the desktop Trinity APUs, but these mobile ones just aren't far away from HD 4000 enough, at least not in my opinion. Even with these Piledriver cores, AMD is still far behind Intel for the CPU performance and until more programs use the GPU acceleration and use it well, AMD's victory in the GPU needs to be sufficient for people to not consider the big CPU disadvantage.

AMD needs more programs to make god use of their graphics because of their loss in CPU performance. So, their graphics needs to be significantly greater than Intel's graphics, or else they still lose, just in a different way.
 

BSMonitor

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[citation][nom]Cleeve[/nom]A10-4600M laptops will be int eh $600-$700 neighborhood, and we're still waiting for Ivy bridge Core i5 to arrive in this price range.We go over this. We also talk about how we'll do a follow up as soon as an appropriate product is available.You need to read for it to make sense.[/citation]
Except that since AMD is such a huge dog in terms of CPU sales. Them discounting their processors just to make them attractive to customers does not make for the basis of comparing the technology.

i.e. Ford, GM, and Chrysler all make retro muscle cars. The Camaro SS being the most expensive of the 3. But that does not mean in a "hardware" review site, you exclude the SS version, because it's priced higher. Demand allows it to be so.

You essentially are biasing the review based one factor completely arbitrary and irrelevant to the true "technology" review.
 




Some enterprising youts can start extrapolating and charting.


 

doxology83

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The problem with any mobile review is that you can not get a feel for what the gpu is doing all by itself in these situations with integrated graphics. Sandy and Ivy bridge are so much better cpu's that I believe no matter what you do it is going to make the hd3000 and hd4000 look a lot better than what it is. I have a feeling if you could take the 7660G IGP and pair it with an core i7 that it would spank the hd4000 in all benchmarks.
 

Bloob

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When you look at the breakdown since 2011, though, the change isn’t as dramatic as you might think: according to IDC, AMD powered about 16 percent of all laptops sold over the last year, representing an increase of about 2.5% since the APU’s introduction. Intel continues to dominate, with about 84% of the mobile segment. Of the 564 laptop models for sale on Newegg, 108 are AMD-based (19%) and 456 employ Intel platforms (81%). If Llano is so great, why hasn’t it captured a greater number of sales?
This is just confusing to me. Was the increase 13.5%->16%, or was it 15.6%->16%? The former would have been an 18.5% increase.

Overall, the results are pretty much as expected.
 
[citation][nom]caedenv[/nom]So with HD3000 being ~1/2 the GPU horse power of Trinity, and HD4000 being ~2x as powerful as HD3000 I guess that Intel will be slightly behind Trinity on gaming, while still holding the crown for all other performance metrics. All that is left to be seen is what kind of premium you will have to pay for the new IB laptops compared to the Trinity ones. Can't wait to see a review of both platforms in a head-to-head competition! I'm still an Intel fan boy at heart, but I would love nothing more than for AMD to give Intel a run for their money again @FlapIt is not hard to push high resolution displays for most things. People have been using extremely old Matrox GPUs (g450 and g550) to do 4 high res monitors for ~10 years now with no issues. the problem comes when you want to game on that high resolution screen, and honestly neither side has a good solution for that yet. But at the same time, Macs are really not made with games in mind (other than web content which I am sure both Trinity and HD4000 would be more than capable of displaying).@articleAMD is absolutely right; there are uses of a product that cannot be measured by benchmarks. However, the more interesting thing to me is what we are seeing in the desktop game benchmarks, that is slowly reaching into other areas of processing (and what we have seen in media playback benchmarks for years... or rather why we no longer have media playback benchmarks), where there is a level of speed impracticality.For gaming on a 60FPS monitor, it no longer matters if you are running 61+FPS because you simply do not see it, and anything above 30FPS is generally considered 'acceptable'.For office work on an SSD it does not matter if it takes your computer .5sec to open Word on a 5 year old PC, or .2sec on a new PC because there is simply no time for the human mind to react so quickly to move from the mouse to the keyboard and start typing. And anything slower than an SSD will rely on the bottleneck of the HDD anyways, making the CPU a moot point.The same goes for browsing the web where your internet speed is so slow (even on 'fast' internet connections) that there is no practical/perceivable difference between running an old system vs a brand spanking new system (much less AMD vs Intel).Media playback is another area where so long as you reach the requisite 12-30fps (depending on the source material) it does not matter if you are running on an Atom, or a high end duel 2011 platform. there is simply no difference so long as you reach a specific threshold of 'good enough' for the specific applicationFor larger projects of video editing, 3D design, mass data compression, etc. There is still a need for benchmarks, but the markets that need these high demand applications for everyday use are willing to shell out the money for whatever is fastest because the lost productivity time is much more expensive than the hardware investment (and 'the fastest' hardware is not expensive like it use to be for end-user workstations).The point is that we need to find a new way to benchmark that looks at threshold requirements like we do with gaming benchmarks where there is a threshold of usefulness, and a threshold of imperceptible performance gains, and then finding a way to compare the relative usefulness of 'unbenchmarkable' feature sets (Like the value of CUDA vs Direct Compute, hardware based acceleration for specific software titles, and proprietary features such as Intel's Lightpeak/Thunderbolt technology). I think it means an evolution of doing hardware-centric benchmarks to more use-centric benchmarks, and even specific title benchmarks.As an example: What does it look like to use Adobe premiere on an AMD or Intel platform of similar cost? What features are available on one platform over the other? What performance gains are made by adding an SSD/RAID or dedicated GPU to the system? And which platforms use these additions most effectively? What types of tasks run better or worse on each platform (Is one better at specific filters than others? Is one better for production use while the other is better at exporting a final product?)?We are getting to a point where what matters more is the feature set/limitations of the motherboard and platform, than the speed of any individual component on the platform when it comes to the final experience of the end user. There is still a need for specific part reviews, but AMD is right; the individual parts many times do not paint an accurate picture for the speed or usefulness of a platform, and it is a trend that will only become more pronounced with time.[/citation]

Just web browsing with many tabs (and several other common workloads) can show obvious differences between slower machines and faster ones. Having a mere 30 to 40FPS in many games is not good enough, especially in high paced games, such as FPS games. Web browsing on older machines does NOT get as fast as it does for newer ones all of the time, especially with older low and mid-range machines. Go ahead and compare web browsing on a system such as my Gateway M-1624 (Turion 64 x2 @ 2GHz, 2GB of DDR2 533MT/s, Radeon 1270M, slow 5400RPM 250GB HDD, came with Vista x32, it's from 2008) to even a decent system with a good Phenom II CPU, let alone anything made by Intel since Core 2, and you'll see the difference very clearly.

The SSD that you have or any other component can matter and it can matter a LOT. For example, if you do anything with in-compressible data, the Vertex 4 will fly past pretty much any other SSD, especially SandForce drives. For some workloads, yes, it does not matter a whole lot which SSD you have. However, that is not true for all workloads.
 

artk2219

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[citation][nom]blazorthon[/nom]Just web browsing with many tabs (and several other common workloads) can show obvious differences between slower machines and faster ones. Having a mere 30 to 40FPS in many games is not good enough, especially in high paced games, such as FPS games. Web browsing on older machines does NOT get as fast as it does for newer ones all of the time, especially with older low and mid-range machines. Go ahead and compare web browsing on a system such as my Gateway M-1624 (Turion 64 x2 @ 2GHz, 2GB of DDR2 533MT/s, Radeon 1270M, slow 5400RPM 250GB HDD, came with Vista x32, it's from 2008) to even a decent system with a good Phenom II CPU, let alone anything made by Intel since Core 2, and you'll see the difference very clearly.The SSD that you have or any other component can matter and it can matter a LOT. For example, if you do anything with in-compressible data, the Vertex 4 will fly past pretty much any other SSD, especially SandForce drives. For some workloads, yes, it does not matter a whole lot which SSD you have. However, that is not true for all workloads.[/citation]


To be fair if your talking about browsing with multiple tabs just what browser and the version of the web browser itself can matter a whole lot, especially on older hardware like your talking about. But even then you also mention an SSD can make a world of a difference and I very much agree, I had a laptop with a turion x2 tl60 which runs @ 2.0 ghz and the difference a cheapy microcenter SSD made was just night and day. windows7 used to take 1:30 to load, the SSD cut that down to :45 secs. It was way more pronounced with Ubuntu, it used to take about a minute to load, the SSD cut it down to 19 seconds... This isnt even talking about how much snappier everything else was to boot. To summarize, it's getting to the point where one single component isnt enough to say this system is faster than that one or anything like that, its the whole package, and an SSD makes a huge difference to the package for your average user, and again thats not even taking into account what kind of controller the SSD has. Exciting times are ahead though.
 
[citation][nom]artk2219[/nom]To be fair if your talking about browsing with multiple tabs just what browser and the version of the web browser itself can matter a whole lot, especially on older hardware like your talking about. But even then you also mention an SSD can make a world of a difference and I very much agree, I had a laptop with a turion x2 tl60 which runs @ 2.0 ghz and the difference a cheapy microcenter SSD made was just night and day. windows7 used to take 1:30 to load, the SSD cut that down to :45 secs. It was way more pronounced with Ubuntu, it used to take about a minute to load, the SSD cut it down to 19 seconds... This isnt even talking about how much snappier everything else was to boot. To summarize, it's getting to the point where one single component isnt enough to say this system is faster than that one or anything like that, its the whole package, and an SSD makes a huge difference to the package for your average user, and again thats not even taking into account what kind of controller the SSD has. Exciting times are ahead though.[/citation]

I use several browsers. Comodo Dragon (based on Chromium), Pale moon (performance-optimized Firefox), Lunascape, Opera, Minibrowser, and I occasionally look at others too. Dragon, being based on Chrome, obviously works better with multiple cores than the rest do, so it can benefit from high core counts better than any of the rest. Firefox and the others can benefit the most from single threaded performance gains. Having several to several dozen tabs brings this out, especially if you have one or more fairly heavy sites open.
 
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After my back and forth with blazorthorn, I was expecting MUCH more from Trinity. I don't know how many 4600's with 1600 MHz of memory and the most optimal memory timings you will even see out there in the wild. This is a very best case scenario system and it is still behind the old i5 in terms of most performance metrics. Even with OpenCL on Winzip, the performance was just on par. With Intel moving to support OpenCL, even that isn't going to be an advantage once there are multiple 'name' applications that use it. This does look good for low end laptop work (where price is the primary concern), but this does little for anything I do.
 

pacioli

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Great Review! I'm glad Trinity showed marked impovement over the Llano architecture. See AMD this is how you do it... The newer generation of chps need to outperform the previous generation... Good job and keep up the good work.
 
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Poor review. You did not compare trinity against Ivy Bridge, somewhat understandable even though other sites didn't have this issue. But you also did not compare Trinity against Sandy Bridge + Gpu; which with the reduced pricing in the wake of Ivy Bridge makes it a clear competitor to Trinity based notebooks, and one you could easily have gotten to compare.

Which makes this review seem designed to show Trinity in a positive light without giving any real info on its actual position in the marketplace.
 

doxology83

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[citation][nom]ichun0906[/nom]Of the 564 laptop models for sale on Newegg, 108 are AMD-based (19%) and 456 employ Intel platforms (81%). If Llano is so great, why hasn’t it captured a greater number of sales?[/citation]

the quantity of laptops doesn't mean much. sure it says that they are carrying more laptops with intel, but there are so many more variations of intel laptops. with amd pushing the APU you don't see many nvidia gpu's in amd machines if any at all. for a car analogy Chevy (Government motors) has more cars available and for sale then BMW or Audi etc but that doesn't mean that Chevy's are better or more sought after etc. It just means different market space. Now I am not saying AMD is BMW and Intel is Chevy I am just saying that they are different market spaces. I am also saying that AMD machines now with the push for APU's has fewer variations. I have seen a lot of different APU based laptops go out of stock where you can usually get your hands on whatever Intel based machine you want.

You have to remember that for the longest time AMD had hardly any space in the laptop realm and what they did have wasn't good at all. AMD has been making up ground the last couple of years in what was more or less a monopoly for Intel.

The other thing to consider when it comes to AMD vs Intel in the notebook segment is that Intel notebooks stay closer to MSRP unless they are on closeout where you see deals on AMD APU based systems all the time. MSRP for AMD is just a guideline not really a rule. So you could see notebooks listed at $700 msrp sell for $500 or less on sale and it could be a fairly common thing. Look at Ultrabooks from Intel they all almost sell for the same price unless they add something to set them apart like a higher res screen etc.

Finally the thing being ignored is that these APU's don't seem to take alot of heat or power. So I think what is going to been seen is Ultrabook like chassis with AMD APU's but at a cost much lower then what Intel is offering possibly at a $500-$700 price point unlike the typical Ultrabook at $1,000. It is about form factor and power requirements and heat and price all put into a tiny form factor. This is where I think Intel is in trouble. Will the Ultrabook be more powerful cpu wise? Sure, but it isn't always about max power, sometimes it is just about the experience of doing every day tasks smoothly and without frustration in a nice form factor at a low price with good battery life. Here is where AMD has a chance to prosper.
 
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Also WTF Toms you have a Ivy Bridge Mobile review up right next to a trinity review and you couldn't manage to get the same game benchmarks run on both platforms. That either is incredibly bad management not getting the reviewers to communicate with each other or use a standard set of benchmarks; or it was intentional to make Trinity appear to be a better product then it actual is to appease the AMD fanbase that frequents this site. Either way it's a black mark on this site.
 
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The ultrabook is nothing without Thunderbolt though. Thunderbolt is the key technology IMO to the Ultrabook. It is worth the extra cost doxology. I don't know about all the prices you have quoted of Intel being 2x as much as AMD. Looking at the sleekbook, the price difference is $100 (a far cry from your quoted prices). If you want full blown ultrabook, then it is probably +$250 but that is a different form factor and set of requirements. So, I don't expect Intel will be in trouble selling systems at $100 nire than AMD systems of lesser performance.
 

triny

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Intel has a faster CPU but that is rather irrelevant,Since any 4 core cpu is more than capable.
The igp on Trinity is very capable but even that is somewhat intangible.
But where this review falls short is where the trinity igp shines,the trinity igp is able to combine it's output
with that of a discrete gpu .To me that is huge indeed.
HSA though in it's infancy will be the way forward,looking at Piledriver improvements over BD I suspect steamroller and then excavator will be shockers.
No doubt Trinity will be Low - mid market hits,and the burden of proof has been lifted from AMD to a certain extent .
 

cleeve

Illustrious
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[citation][nom]BSMonitor[/nom]You essentially are biasing the review based one factor completely arbitrary and irrelevant to the true "technology" review.[/citation]

Your logic is flawed. If I were an automobile reviewer, I wouldn't pit a Honda Fit against a Ferrarri at the racetrack just because they both have four wheels.

Price/performance is key; Raw performance without taking price into account is almost completely irrelevant.
 

cleeve

Illustrious
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[citation][nom]stm1185[/nom]Also WTF Toms you have a Ivy Bridge Mobile review up right next to a trinity review and you couldn't manage to get the same game benchmarks run on both platforms. That either is incredibly bad management not getting the reviewers to communicate with each other or use a standard set of benchmarks; or it was intentional to make Trinity appear to be a better product then it actual is to appease the AMD fanbase that frequents this site. Either way it's a black mark on this site.[/citation]

Third option you're missing: the Core i7 Ivy Bridge laptops available are priced wayy out of the A10-4600M's league.

A comparison is not appropriate until simialrly priced Ivy Bridge Core i5's arrive to market.

Once again, this is covered in the review. Reading before knee-jerk criticizing will save you a lot of wasted time.
 

doxology83

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[citation][nom]HPEnvious[/nom]The ultrabook is nothing without Thunderbolt though. Thunderbolt is the key technology IMO to the Ultrabook. It is worth the extra cost doxology. I don't know about all the prices you have quoted of Intel being 2x as much as AMD. Looking at the sleekbook, the price difference is $100 (a far cry from your quoted prices). If you want full blown ultrabook, then it is probably +$250 but that is a different form factor and set of requirements. So, I don't expect Intel will be in trouble selling systems at $100 nire than AMD systems of lesser performance.[/citation]

Like I said though amd prices don't stick to msrp. Intel's usually do. i am saying my opinion of something I think is going to happen. Second I don't know anyone that gives a crap about Thunderbolt at this time. It has potential for sure but we haven't seen it out on a windows pc yet. So I am not sure how we have had ultrabooks for like a year now and it is the key to ultrabooks when it hasn't even been available. Also so for Thunderbolt has been to expensive and drives up the cost of a notebook. Add on top of that the lack of a lot of devices that support it and you have problems. Can those things be worked out? sure, but they haven't been to this point.

So I know most people are saying that this a10-4600 will come in at $700 in notebooks but I also saw a quote that said under $700 who knows for sure. Again like I said though AMD is used to price adjustments to compete. They lower prices all the time. You see sales on AMD machines all the time. Not as much on the intel side. It is the problem with them being on top all the top. In fact when Bulldozer failed on launch Intel raised their cpu prices. Amd has cut prices with cpu's and gpu's. MSRP is fluid and always changing with them. So just because a notebook from them says it is going to launch at $700 doesn't mean it will stay that way for very long. I wasn't quoted prices I was giving a prediction. I guess you weren't reading what I said that closely.
 

Proximon

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This review helps to clarify some of the holes left in other reviews.

Still though, I'm wondering about SUPPORTED memory speeds. I think Ivy Bridge officially supports 1600 while Trinity supports 1866... but at what latency and voltage? And what will it look like if we do get a laptop that provides that? Will we have a memory scaling article for Trinity in the future?
 
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