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AMD A10-4600M Review: Mobile Trinity Gets Tested

Test Setup And Benchmarks

We’re keeping the focus on mobility for this launch, with three products to compare. AMD provided us with a laptop equipped with its top-of-the-line A10-4600M APU, a product we’re told will cost somewhere around $600 when it’s made publicly-available (although the company’s press deck indicates a price point closer to $700).  

With similarly-priced Ivy Bridge-equipped notebooks not yet available for testing, we turned to existing products for comparison. We picked a laptop armed with a Core i5-2450M to represent Intel’s comparable effort. And although prices range from $550 to just over $1000 for laptops equipped with this same CPU, most fall in the $660 to $900 range.

To see how Trinity compares to its predecessor, we added a machine equipped with an A8-3500M to the mix. As an added bonus, this laptop is equipped with Dual Graphics, so we were also able to benchmark a discrete Radeon 6630M for comparison in some cases.

AMD’s Trinity test bed came equipped with a 128 GB SSD and two 2 GB sticks of 1600 MT/s DDR3 memory. We’re not convinced that you’d ever find an expensive SSD in a $700 laptop. So, to keep things fair, we used the same SSD and memory in all three platforms. Surprisingly, the Llano-based A8-3500M-equipped system was unwilling to run the memory at 1600 MT/s, instead forcing it to run at 1333 MT/s with lower latencies. With no BIOS options available to manually configure data rates, we were forced to keep it at this speed for our tests.

The most popular laptop resolution for models in this price range is 1366x768, but we’ll benchmark at 1280x800 because it pushes almost exactly the same number of pixels and has better external monitor support. There are fewer (but still a significant) models available shipping at 1600x900, so we’ll test that resolution as well. Finally, we’ll add 1024x600 to the mix. Before you cringe at the thought of gaming at such meager dimensions, consider that  a 27” monitor at 1080p results in about 80 DPI. Setting 1024x600 on a 15” screen results in 85 DPI—higher pixel density.

AMD Llano A8-3500M Test SystemAMD Trinity A10-4600M Test SystemIntel Core i5-2450M Test System
CPUAMD A8-3500M (Llano)Quad-Core, 4 MB L21.5 GHz (2.4 GHz Max Turbo)AMD A10-4600M (Trinity)Quad-Core, 4 MB L22.3 GHz (3.2 GHz Max Turbo)Intel Core i5-2450M (Sandy Bridge)Dual-Core, Hyper-Threading enabled, 3 MB L32.5 GHz (3.1 GHz Max Turbo)
MotherboardCompal PCL10 Chipset: AMD A70 Fusion Controller HubWith USB 3.0 SupportAMD Trinity Comal FF Platform Chipset: AMD A70MHP 1695 Chipset: Intel HM65
NetworkingOnboard Gigabit LAN controller
Memory4 GB DDR3 1346 MHz 2 x 2 GB, CL 9-9-9-23-1TMicron MT8KTF25664HZ-1G6M14 GB DDR3 1600 MHz  2 x 2 GB, CL 11-11-11-28-1TMicron MT8KTF25664HZ-1G6M1
GraphicsRadeon HD 6620G (integrated)444 MHz GPU, Shared DDR3 at 667 MHzRadeon HD 6630M444 MHz GPU, Shared DDR3 at 667 MHzRadeon HD 7660G (integrated)444 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 667 MHzIntel HD Graphics 3000(integrated) 650 MHz GPU, Shared DDR3 at 667 MHz
Hard DriveSamsung SSD 830 Series128 GB
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 x6, Service Pack 1
DirectX versionDirectX 11
Graphics DriversIntel Core i5-2520M Test System:Intel Graphics Driver 15.26.8.64.2696AMD Llano A8-3500M Test System: AMD Catalyst 12.4 Mobility BETAAMD Trinity A10-4600M Test System: 8.945-120328a-136239E BETA
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Metro 2033Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 9,benchmark tool, Low Detail, No AA, 4x AF, advanced physX disabled, tessellation disabled, DOF disabled
Crysis 2Adrenaline benchmark tool, lowest settings
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.4.27, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
Cyberlink MediaEspressoVersion: 6.5
Arcsoft MediaConverterVersion: 7.5
Application Benchmarks and Settings
WinRARVersion 4.1: THG-Workload (650 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
WinZipVersion 16.5: THG-Workload (650 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (650 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 12.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
CinebenchVersion 11.5 Build CB25720DEMOCPU and OpenGL tests
Adobe Photoshop CS 6 (64-Bit)Version CS6 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
ABBYY FinereaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, Benchmark Only
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.3.0, Benchmark Only
3DMark VantageVersion 1.0.2, Benchmark Only
SiSoftware Sandra 2012Version: 2012.06.18.47 Processor Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwith, GPGPU/GPCPU Processing
  • JAYDEEJOHN
    Hope its only the beginning of much more
    Reply
  • Recently Charlie at semiaccurate (a massive amd fanboy) hinting an upcoming apple products, then I saw an article in thg that tells an upcoming mbp will using retina display... 15 inch retina will require huge gpu horsepower, my wild guess is mbp will use trinity as it's CPU.
    Reply
  • Based on this, gaming is much better than old i5, but everything else including application performance is still better on the old Sandy architecture. I'm not really sure why I would buy a Trinity other than for a casual gaming laptop. Unfortunately, budget says that my laptops have to be used for business first, play time later.
    Reply
  • beenthere
    Nice to see that Trinity and AMD have delivered the goods. I want a Trinity powered Ultrathin. Intel can stick their crap where the Sun don't shine.

    BTW, Charlie @ SemiAccurate is not an AMD fanbois IME. He just calls it like it is. Reality bites sometimes be it Nvidia, AMD or Intel's problems. Denial never changes reality. It is what it is.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    duckwithnukesWhere is the Intel HD 4000 vs. AMD Trinity comparison? Lazy reviewing at its finest.
    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.
    Reply
  • FlippyFlap, Apple doesn't use AMD and an HD4000 can power a retina display. I'm sure Apple has worked with Intel engineers to get the drivers right for retina displays which is HD4000's problem. HD4000 is still lacking in terms of driver support (one can see that from the OpenCL benches around the net where only 1/2 get acclerated on HD4000). When the drivers work right, there isn't much difference between Ivy and Trinity.
    Reply
  • I agree with Cleeve and I personally hate comparing a reference system to a selling system anyway. Review 2 actual selling systems with similar parts and that gives you the benchmark.
    Reply
  • DRosencraft
    This looks like a very nice effort from AMD. I really, really need to replace my notebook. It's a six year old Toshiba Satelite with an AMD 1.9 GHz Turion 64 X2 with intergrated X2100 graphics.... yeah. Ancient now, I know. I've been trying to figure out a sweet spot in power since my needs are kind of complex. Typically I don't need it to do much more than handle MSOffice and web surfing. But I also tend to use it for video gaming when am interesting game comes around and some work in PaintShop when I'm out of the house, or don't feel like sitting at my desktop. This may be a little closer to what I'd like. It would be nice to get a notebook that combines this with a really good discrete card (sort of like how some MacBook Pros have their dual graphics setup). Nevertheless, Trinity looks to be just about enough power and performance, but the question is price. If tradition holds, it should be a good price competitor with Intel, which is the most important part, otherwise I'd just buy a core I7 already.

    In a related question, does Trinity's details and specs lead to any conclusions about what Piledriver desktop processors will be like?
    Reply
  • neoverdugo
    So this means that AMD can kick Intel's ass in the gpu department for the moment while AMD suffers greatly in the CPU portion of the apu battle. Didn't I said before that Intel is trying to make an (proprietary) Intel only PC with no third party strings attached? We all know that there is no competition in the CPU battle when it comes to Intel. Still, i would like to see that the morons of intel to drop the price of their hardware for once and for all and drop ridiculously low end hardware out of production.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    No WoW benchmarks this time? I was wondering if this might make a good laptop for WoW, but you guys failed me. :(
    Reply