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AMD Desktop Trinity Update: Now With Core i3 And A8-3870K

If Trinity Showed Up Today...

If you haven’t already read my preview of AMD’s next-gen APUs, the conclusion is at least worth checking out (I'd like to think the whole thing is a decent read, but the ending is probably most informative).

Beyond the impressions I came away with in that story, I can now add that Sandy Bridge-based Core i3s fare about as well as I expected them to. The Core i3-2100 does well in single-threaded x86 metrics, where its efficient architecture simply muscles past AMD’s best effort with the Piledriver design. There aren't many, though, and I imagine they'll only get more rare and less meaningful over time.

A majority of our threaded tests—particularly the ones that emphasize integer-heavy code—go in AMD’s favor. It’ll take more than a dual-core 3.1 GHz chip to get Intel ahead in those benchmarks. Maybe the $125 Core i3-2120 is a better choice, or the $150 Core i3-2130.

Whichever Core i3-2xx0 CPU you pick, you’re stuck with HD Graphics 2000, and that’s a real bummer. Sandy Bridge’s low-end graphics engine can hardly be recommended for any low-resolution, low-quality gaming environment. And any time you want to step up to HD Graphics 3000, it’s an extra $25 or $35 dollars. Even then, you’re not getting a phenomenal upgrade.

Ivy Bridge-based Core i3s will help Intel’s case with regard to x86 performance. However, it’s not yet clear if any of them will include HD Graphics 4000. Should the company choose to keep its higher-end implementation a differentiating feature for Core i7 CPUs, you’ll see the more entry-level parts limited to HD Graphics 2500. That’d just be bad news for Intel.

We’ll see what happens, though. Every indication still points to channel availability of desktop-oriented Trinity-based APUs late this year, and a lot can happen between now and then.

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • belardo

    And it still doesn't make sense to only reserve the best graphics for the high-end chips. People who want such performance in a desktop or notebook may likely have a dedicated GPU anyway.

    The i3' should have HD graphics 3500/4000.
  • mayankleoboy1
    where are the OpenCL benchmarks ? specially in winzip ?

    if Intel cant run those, then technically its a loss for intel and win for AMD, right?
  • Onus
    This gives me real hope that Piledriver will be a worthwhile chip to put on my 990FX rather than scrapping it for Intel as software becomes more demanding.

    I made myself read the entire article. I consider myself a literate person, but I still cannot find words to properly (and respectfully) express just how physically Beautiful your announcer is.
  • The video review girl is lovely, but being able to see her black brassier pushing her incredible breasts through that see-through shirt made me not pay attention at all to what she was talking about.
  • ojas think you could fix to them to the same clock rate and test one real-world productivity test? And perhaps one game with discrete graphics (maybe i've missed this particular test if you've already done it, if i have, sorry about that)...i mean with the i3 benchmarks for comparison.

    Apart from that, i think Trinity is clearly a win if AMD prices it the same as Llano.
  • JackNSally
    So cheap gaming performance, AMD. Everything else Intel?
  • caqde
    I saw a Trinity Desktop from HP on Walmarts shelves. I just wish the processors and motherboards would show up at places like newegg so I could build them for people.
  • Reynod
    She did a good job getting the point across with the tech jargon.

    I'd like to see her doing some more short videos on various products.

    She has improved with each new video too.

    Good move Chris and team.

  • de5_Roy
    trinity's igpu humiliates intel's sb igpu, like llano's did almost a year back. all three are 32 nm products, so i think the comparison's fair. :) if the igpu was well-scalable, intel should have built a 85/95w sb core i3 with 20-30 eus to be competitive with the apus, at least in terms of igpu performance. if intel once again slaps hd 2500 on core i3s and overprices the hd4k + core i3s, trinity will win in terms of price/performance.
  • vmem
    REYNODShe did a good job getting the point across with the tech jargon.I'd like to see her doing some more short videos on various products.She has improved with each new video too.Good move Chris and team.Agreed, but she is also now completely covered up do to people "complaining". Would a low v-neck really be too much? She is overly covered compared to news anchors