Llano fared particularly well in last year’s power metrics, so we’re quite interested to see how Trinity holds up, especially after all of AMD’s talk of minimizing unnecessary consumption. Although it’s true that the company’s newest APU doesn’t perform as well as Intel’s Core i5-2450M in our real-world productivity and content creation metrics, this can be forgiven to some extent on a mobile device able to last longer away from AC power.
We performed the following tests connected to an external monitor in order to factor out each notebook’s display as a variable. Power is measured at the plug with the battery removed.
This is probably the most impressive chart in today’s story. Despite the A10-4600M’s significant performance advantage in games, it manages do its job using a little less power than the A8-3500M and about 10 W less than Intel’s Core i5-2450M.
If you’re looking to play mainstream games on a mobile device, a Trinity-based APU is worth consideration.
Llano doesn’t do all that well in our Web-surfing benchmark. However, the Trinity-based APU and Intel’s Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 appear much better.
Moreover, both platforms seem to performance fairly similarly. See the last 10% of the benchmark, where the curves turn flat? This is where a YouTube video starts. The A10-4600M appears to use a little less power than Core i5-2450M when looking at webpages, but a little more when playing back streaming video. The A8-3500M uses more power in both workloads.
Our measure of playing back 1080p H.264-encoded video supports what we saw at the end of the Web-surfing benchmark, though we’re a little surprised. AMD claims that Trinity’s power usage is close to Sandy Bridge when playing back video. But these results show the APU using significantly more power (albeit less than Llano). We made sure that features like AMD Steady Video were disabled for this test, so we can’t blame the difference on real-time processing enhancements.