AMD's Mendocino APU, launched at Computex with just the briefest of technical details, doesn't seem to be as exciting as many had hoped. One of the major omissions of the Mendocino Computex briefing was any talk about the number of RDNA 2 graphics compute units (CUs) it would come packing. Now a leaked slide via Olrak seems to indicate that the best Mendocino APU device buyers can hope for is two CUs, which means 128 stream processors (SPs). As this is a leak, take the news with a pinch of salt.
Putting the above CU and SP counts into perspective, the Steam Deck Aerith APU has eight CUs (512 SPs). Meanwhile, the Radeon 680M, Rembrandt's highest-end iGPU, comes with 12 CUs (768 CUs) – matching the Radeon RX 6400 desktop graphics card in this respect.
Before going on to talk about the purported AMD Mendocino APU specs slide, let us first recap the confirmed specs of this affordable mobile form factor targeting processor. Most of what we know is embodied in the Lenovo Ideapad 1 laptop slide you can see above; Mendocino is built on the TSMC 6nm process, and at best features a 4C/8T Zen 2 architecture CPU, with an RDNA 2 architecture GPU. It is claimed to be highly power efficient enabling thin, light and accessibly priced portables to offer over 10 hours of mixed use on the go.
The leaked slide above alleges that Mendocino's GPU is much weaker than it had been hoped. We've read about enthusiasts eager for the Mendocino APU release so they can enjoy some Steam Deck style action in an affordable portable laptop which would also be good for office tasks, browsing, school work and so on. This slide asserts that Mendocino has a GPU with a quarter the number of CUs available as the Steam Deck, and is basically a bare minimum GPU.
Elsewhere in the revelatory slide from Olrak we see that the CPU could be limited to a two-pipe floating point unit. Mendocino seems to have twin LPDDR5 channels to support from 4 to 32GB of RAM, says the slide. Another interesting thing to see is that the multimedia experience appears to be quite well rounded, with support for up to four displays, plus AV1 and VP9 video decoding in hardware.
In related news, earlier today we reported on the launch of the $289 AyaNeo Air Plus. Now we are pretty sure this processor's CPU cores are a match for those in the Steam Deck (both use 4C/8T Zen 2 CPU architecture) but the lower RDNA 2 architecture CU count is not going to impress in any modern 3D gaming.
AMD Mendocino is expected to arrive in Windows and ChromeOS devices from Q4 2022. There should be plenty of designs to choose from, with laptops between $399 and $699 according to our earlier information. However, devices like the AyaNeo Air Plus, and some tablets and 2-in-1s could will be cheaper still, with their lower build costs.