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AMD FX-7600P Kaveri Review: FX Rides Again...In A Mobile APU?

Mobilizing Kaveri: The Product Stack

The first, most obvious change from AMD's mobile Richland design is DDR3-2133 support. That's technically not a new feature for Kaveri, which already accommodates fast data rates on the desktop. But it's certainly something we haven't seen before in the mobile space. Unfortunately, there's only one 35 W mobile APU with DDR3-2133 support; the rest cap out at 1866 MT/s. And the 17 to 19 W versions are validated for up to DDR3-1600.

Of course, the mobile version of Kaveri demonstrates different thermal behavior compared to the desktop implementation. AMD is actually leveraging the same kind of optimizations it exposed in the low-power Mullins and Beema APUs (Mullins And Beema APUs: AMD Gets Serious About Tablet SoCs). Many aspects of the SoC's utilization are monitored on a constant basis, and the goal is to provide quick, high boosts in frequency that dynamically respond to user input. Once a snappy response is achieved, the clocks quickly drop to lower levels, cutting power consumption and preserving thermal headroom.

AMD is trying to give the impression of fast, responsive performance, and our sample does seem to achieve that. Of course, this model falls apart when sustained, intense workloads are applied to the hardware. But all chip makers share the same challenge when it comes to high performance in small form factors.

New Brands: Mobile FX, and The AMD Pro Series APUs

Applying the FX brand to mobile APUs will no doubt raise eyebrows amongst enthusiasts. That moniker was already feeling watered-down after the Bulldozer generation let us down. In truth, this is simply a new top-tier sub-class for AMD's notebook-oriented hardware. Previously, A10 was used to suggest top-of-the-line. Now FX does that job, implying the highest available clock rates, functional units, and performance. Again, the FX-7600P distinguishes itself as the only APU with DDR3-2133 support, while the 19 W FX-7500 is limited to DDR3-1600.

In addition to the FX brand, AMD adds a new line of products to address the low-voltage commercial and business space. It dubs these the AMD Pro-series APUs, most of which appear to be re-badged versions of the ULV 19 W consumer models. The exception is the only dual-core Kaveri mobile model, the AMD A6 PRO-7050B. Of course, the Pro marketing message focuses on attributes that IT departments like to talk about: performance, longevity, and stability. It's a bummer that the Pro line-up doesn't include FirePro driver certifications, though AMD representatives concede this could become possible if the market (or certain customers) demand it. Why did AMD choose to bring a commercial version of its APU to market? AMD's Bernard Fernandes told us that it's a response to requests spurned by the increase in visually-oriented workloads. "We have made commitments to the image stability, product life cycle, and performance required in commercial environments with the AMD Pro A-Series APUs."

Here's what the initial stack of Kaveri-based mobile APUs looks like:

CPU CoresBase/Max CPU Freq (GHz)Shader CoresMax GPU Freq (MHz)L2 CacheMax DDR3 SpeedPCIe LanesTDP (W)
AMD A-Series SV APUs
FX-7600P42.7/3.65126864 MBDDR3-21331x16 Gen335
A10-7400P42.5/3.43846544 MBDDR3-18661x16 Gen335
A8-7200P42.4/3.32566264 MBDDR3-18661x16 Gen335
AMD A-Series ULV APUs
FX-750042.1/3.33845534 MBDDR3-16001x8 Gen219
A10-730041.9/3.23845334 MBDDR3-16001x8 Gen219
A8-710041.8/3.02565144 MBDDR3-16001x8 Gen219
AMD A-Series Commercial ULV APUs
A10 PRO-7350B42.1/3.33845534 MBDDR3-16001x8 Gen219
A8 PRO-7150B41.9/3.23845334 MBDDR3-16001x8 Gen219
A6 PRO-7050B22.2/3.01925331 MBDDR3-16001x8 Gen217

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.

  • damric
    Awesome. If it was 5 years ago I would want a laptop and I would want this APU in it.
    Reply
  • Ad Hoc
    Are we ever going to get some new CPUs for the AM3+ socket?
    Reply
  • damric
    13432106 said:
    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.

    Reply
  • Lord_Kitty
    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?
    Reply
  • roymustang
    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.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    45w tdp on notebook. i think will we see some 17" + notebooks. don't put on your legs or you fry it!
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    13432397 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • Saiki4116
    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.
    Reply
  • Saiki4116
    So the performance can be equal to i5 M processor.
    Reply
  • mitcoes16
    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
    Reply