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Mobile Kaveri Improves, But Is It Enough?

AMD FX-7600P Kaveri Review: FX Rides Again...In A Mobile APU?
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Kaveri is finally being introduced to the mobile space, and I believe it has more potential there than on the desktop. Where the previous generation of Richland-based APUs offer greater headroom for higher clock rates, that advantage is largely neutralized when you're more worried about battery life than raw performance.

Of course, AMD's mobile APUs aren't competing against the products they replace; they're doing battle against Intel's best effort, which is manufactured using more advanced technology. In that light, the mobile flavor of Kaveri fights an uphill battle to prove its mettle, particularly when the comparison points are benchmarks of popular applications.

The same arguments crop up over and over. Will you notice a difference between platforms while you're banging out emails, working in Excel, or browsing the Web? Probably not. But that's not a good enough reason to adopt a slower or less energy efficient system. Yes, OpenCL and the HSA initiative have wonderful potential, but it's still potential. Neither effort is yet prolific, and that's what we really want to see.

How about graphics? Score one for AMD there, though in certain host processing-bound applications, Intel's x86 cores alleviate bottlenecks that Kaveri must suffer through. But let's make this clear: in the four games we tested, AMD's FX-7600P established a clear win over the Core i7-4702MQ in three. Intel's HD Graphics 4600 engine was either unplayable or it dipped below the threshold of playability, while AMD proved more likely to deliver tolerable performance numbers. If you're a mobile gamer, that's a notable distinction between low-power processors.

The final piece of the puzzle is price. We won't know the specifics until AMD gets some mobile Kaveri design wins on the shelves. At a similar cost, you'd choose a Core i7-4702MQ or FX-7600P based on your preference for intense computing tasks or graphics ability, respectively. But I'd be a little surprised if those two chips ended up in similarly-priced laptops. If you could save a significant amount of money by choosing the AMD option, the value proposition could be compelling. As always, we'll have to wait until we have commercially available laptops to test in order to do a real value analysis. But no matter how you slice it, the mobile version of Kaveri is a stronger opponent than its predecessor.

Display all 62 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    damric , June 3, 2014 10:46 PM
    Awesome. If it was 5 years ago I would want a laptop and I would want this APU in it.
  • 8 Hide
    Ad Hoc , June 3, 2014 11:06 PM
    Are we ever going to get some new CPUs for the AM3+ socket?
  • 1 Hide
    damric , June 3, 2014 11:14 PM
    Quote:
    Are we ever going to get some new CPUs for the AM3+ socket?


    I sure hope not. North Bridges and HT Link are so 5 years ago.

  • 13 Hide
    Lord_Kitty , June 3, 2014 11:15 PM
    20% IPC boost with Steamroller? (First page, second picture)

    That's enough for their 8-core chips to catch up or surpass current i5s, right?
  • 7 Hide
    roymustang , June 4, 2014 12:27 AM
    Rather than posting what we already know will be crappy framerates of recent games I wish that when outlets reviewed iGPUs they used some old games to see how those would run. Nobody buys a mobile APU expecting to use it for Battlefield 4. But people do like running older games on their APUs because those will most likely run decently. It would be nice to see how something like Final Fantasy XI or Knights of the Old Republic would run on this. Final Fantasy XI even has a benchmarking tool called Vana'diel Bench 3.
  • -2 Hide
    Amdlova , June 4, 2014 12:40 AM
    45w tdp on notebook. i think will we see some 17" + notebooks. don't put on your legs or you fry it!
  • 7 Hide
    Sakkura , June 4, 2014 2:52 AM
    Quote:
    Rather than posting what we already know will be crappy framerates of recent games I wish that when outlets reviewed iGPUs they used some old games to see how those would run. Nobody buys a mobile APU expecting to use it for Battlefield 4. But people do like running older games on their APUs because those will most likely run decently. It would be nice to see how something like Final Fantasy XI or Knights of the Old Republic would run on this. Final Fantasy XI even has a benchmarking tool called Vana'diel Bench 3.

    I agree, though it still makes sense to keep one demanding game in the test suite to give perspective on where this hardware stands compared to dedicated graphics cards and high-end CPUs.
  • 3 Hide
    Saiki4116 , June 4, 2014 2:53 AM
    Thanks for including Dota2 Benchmarks. I had experienced FPS drop on my current Laptop(almost dead with i5-450M and HD5470, 1366*768, 4GB RAM) due to overheating, I tried to reduce resolution and tried many configs, but the problem was there.I have let Raptor(AMD 's app) to adjust the profile for Dota2, after that I didn't face the problem.
  • 3 Hide
    Saiki4116 , June 4, 2014 2:57 AM
    So the performance can be equal to i5 M processor.
  • 7 Hide
    mitcoes16 , June 4, 2014 3:57 AM
    I miss 720p testings that is the resolution a clever player would use with this GPUs
    1080p and demanding games are not good benchmarks for this GPUs you must use less demanding games or test lower resolutions It is not the same benchmarking F1s than Nascars or electric cars
  • 5 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , June 4, 2014 5:51 AM
    if you are looking for a budget gaming laptop no doubt the 7600p is a good choice all the way around.
  • 5 Hide
    cleeve , June 4, 2014 5:52 AM
    Quote:
    Rather than posting what we already know will be crappy framerates of recent games I wish that when outlets reviewed iGPUs they used some old games to see how those would run.


    That's why we used Dota2, Grid2, and WoW... they have low system requirements, and ran fine. ;) 

  • 4 Hide
    Lessthannil , June 4, 2014 6:27 AM
    So... how about that desktop A8-7600...
  • 5 Hide
    jamez45 , June 4, 2014 6:28 AM
    Over at Anand they said the GPU drivers were slightly older, Mantle isn't enabled properly in them. Could be why the numbers between DirectX and Mantle are pretty much the same
  • 4 Hide
    cleeve , June 4, 2014 6:35 AM
    Quote:
    Over at Anand they said the GPU drivers were slightly older, Mantle isn't enabled properly in them. Could be why the numbers between DirectX and Mantle are pretty much the same


    Mantle only shows an advantage in Battlefield 4 in rare cases, regardless of the driver. The game also requires a ton of VRAM for Mantle to show a gain instead of a loss. I have an in-depth analysis coming soon.

    Having said that, Thief shows impressive gains across the board in Mantle.

  • 4 Hide
    cleeve , June 4, 2014 7:19 AM
    Quote:
    I miss 720p testings that is the resolution a clever player would use with this GPUs
    1080p and demanding games are not good benchmarks for this GPUs you must use less demanding games or test lower resolutions It is not the same benchmarking F1s than Nascars or electric cars


    We *did* use 720p where the graphics processor couldn't handle it... in Battlefield 4

    The FX-7600P worked fine at 1080p with Dota2, Grid2, and WoW, so why would we lower the resolution?

    I take great pride in testing at real-world settings, and I often lower to 720p when 1080p is too demanding.
  • 2 Hide
    xenol , June 4, 2014 8:38 AM
    The only thing missing from this that I would find is the real deal breaker: what is the power consumption?
  • 0 Hide
    h2323 , June 4, 2014 8:51 AM
    “AMD is trying to give the impression of fast, responsive performance, and our sample does seem to achieve that.”

    “That top-of-the-line FX-7600P is a completely functional Kaveri APU, with both of its Steamroller modules (four integer cores) and all 512 of its shaders enabled.”

    “While AMD appears confident in the ULV Kaveri's ability to compete against Core i7-4500U, the higher TDP meant we needed to find an Intel-based platform with a comparable thermal ceiling. I tapped the 37 W Core i7-4702MQ within Acer's Aspire V3.”

    37 W Core i7-4702MQ this a 380$ dollar part……….. way more than Kaveri

    No Firestrike score.

    I would prefer different benchmarks.
  • 8 Hide
    cleeve , June 4, 2014 9:29 AM
    Quote:

    “AMD is trying to give the impression of fast, responsive performance, and our sample does seem to achieve that.”

    “That top-of-the-line FX-7600P is a completely functional Kaveri APU, with both of its Steamroller modules (four integer cores) and all 512 of its shaders enabled.”

    “While AMD appears confident in the ULV Kaveri's ability to compete against Core i7-4500U, the higher TDP meant we needed to find an Intel-based platform with a comparable thermal ceiling. I tapped the 37 W Core i7-4702MQ within Acer's Aspire V3.”

    37 W Core i7-4702MQ this a 380$ dollar part……….. way more than Kaveri

    No Firestrike score.

    I would prefer different benchmarks



    Hi h2323, great to see you again. I took the liberty of erasing your unproductive rhetoric to address your actual concerns:

    1. You've listed the top three quotes with no comments beside them. Not sure what kind of point you're trying to make, there. Does that mean you like them?

    2. AMD didn't provide pricing, so we compared a mobile Core i7 part with similar wattage AS PER AMD's DIRECTION. If you disagree with their decision, I encourage you to contact their PR team.

    3. I can only assume you have no idea what Firestrike is for. As per Futuremark:

    "Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today."

    Mobile integrated GPUs are not "high performance gaming PCs". Would you find it valuable to see benchmark results of a slideshow? We wouldn't.

    4. You indicated that you would prefer different benchmarks, but didn't mention which ones, or why?

    Have a great day! :) 
  • -3 Hide
    h2323 , June 4, 2014 9:39 AM
    Disregard for AMD strengths and Firestrike was not included because the Intel chip was likely unable to run it.

    Granted most of the tests in that review focus on gaming but AMD's not half bad in everyday tasks. Considering the price of i7-4702MQ, I feel its too expensive to be compared.
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