AMD Trinity A10-4600M Processor Review

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As we noted, AMD has either tweaked or revamped many of the primary functional blocks in their new Trinity mobile architecture.  From the new Piledriver-based CPU cores themselves to the Northern Islands-based GPU core, Trinity offers performance improvements and additional features in a number of areas.

The GPU engine on board Trinity is based on AMD's previous-generation Northern Islands family of GPU cores.  You can loosely think of these as Radeon HD 6400 class GPUs, though the company is re-branding them as integrated Radeon HD 7600 and 7500 family cores. The GPU has an improved hardware tesselator over the previous gen Llano APU. In addition, it's VLIW4 design offers balanced stream processor cluster wit each of the four SPUs offering equal capability and more simplified scheduling, versus the VLIW5 design used in older Radeon HD series GPUs, for example.  For a mobile architecture, this seemed like a reasonable low-risk path for AMD with good performance.

As part of the GPU block, AMD has also incorporated an updated version of their HD Media Accelerator with enhanced UVD (Unified Video Decoder) and AVC (Accelerated Video Converter blocks).  The UVD block offers hardware offload for Blu-ray 3D, MPEG-4/DivX, and Picture-in-Picture with dual HD streams. In addition, within the HD Media Accelerator engine, A series APUs also offer AMD Quick Stream video streaming technology for prioritizing video stream packet data for uninterrupted video streaming.

And of course many software ISVs will be offering optimized versions of their applications to take advantage AMD's A-series video acceleration and conversion technologies.

The other major design advancement is AMD's new Piledriver compute cores...

Piledriver is an optimization of AMD's Bulldozer core that shares the same high-level architecture as Bulldozer, but with a number of critical enhancements.  The same shared fetch, decode, floating point and L2 cache resources per pair of integer units is here, however AMD has improved their branch prediction along with better L2 efficiency and improved hardware prefetch.  Piledriver cores also have a larger L1 TLB or Translation Look-aside Buffer.  All told AMD is claiming a combined performance increase of ~14% on the desktop versus their Bulldozer architecture, 25% better performance on mobile platforms versus Bulldozer, along with a 50% increase in GPU perf, clock-for-clock.  However, as the slide shows, over their previous gen Husky CPU microarchitecture A-series APUs, along with Turbo Core 3.0 speed boosts, AMD is claiming larger aggregate performance gains in both desktop and mobile platforms.

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omegadraco 2 years ago

Great on the graphics cores and the power they were able to get our of a 35W processors... I hope the price is competitive for AMD's sake. It would be neat to see them rule the "Ultrabook" market that Intel started.

Joel H 2 years ago

They won't rule it, but they might be able to offer a low-cost alternative. Ultrabooks are a way for Intel to keep margins and "sexyness" around the laptop / PC concept. AMD offers parts at a much lower cost, which will give OEMs more leeway to offer ultrabook-style systems (dubbed ultra-thin) at much lower price points.

karanm 2 years ago

Once again AMD blows intel out of the water in the graphics department but trails them in the cpu. A little disappointed to see them barely hold their own against Sandy bridge but the low power makes Trinity an excellent choice for ultrathins like joel said. After reading this review I would pick up a Trinity powered laptop in a hearbeat at the right price point.

realneil 2 years ago

Will there be offerings from AMD that add a discrete Radeon GPU for Hybrid Crossfire like we've seen in Desktop APU systems?

Doing such a thing might make a healthy difference to performance figures.

My A8 APU desktop does enjoy a nice boost in performance with Hybrid Crossfire enabled.

snakefist 2 years ago

does video encoding matters so much for ultrabooks that it deserve special "NOT"? this test is more suitable for more powerful desktop CPUs, not ones limited to 35W...

pity that once again the highest priced model is tested first... probably would be interesting to see a cheaper solution, which doesn't really has to worry about being close to i5, cause it's price range isn't close to i5 as well - many people consider price over performance in this segment, and 100+$ difference means the definitive decision for them

FTian 2 years ago

great for bioinfometrics (future reference) - when rendering 100 - 500 particles - the AMD core system (384cores/500mHz, 4 core, 35 watts) *10 systems - head node; server node; 8 system(body render) nodes + 7750(9 graphic card) + 7770 graphic card.

there will be approximately 56%+ increase in graphic performance from 2nd generation AMD systems.

there will be approximately 30%+ computing performance from the 2nd generation AMD systems.

The i5 processor is mainstream (the retail clueless people will follow this trend), and the AMD processor is faster in graphics than i5. The graphics in bioinfometrics - is crucial on data collection, and the time for the protiens to render is shortened by the AMD 7000s series graphics system. The i5 takes longer to render, and drains more power to compansate for the dual graphic formation of the AMD A8 (future to be A10) with 6550 (future to be 7750)

AMD is short-hand if it is single processor. AMD is long handed if it is multiple processor... Why AMD does not release a dual processor board for AMD processors + quad GPU (800 watts/3.5teraflops (that is 3.5 x 10e12)


AMD has more potiential in the mainstream market for low power consumption. Intel is overestimated by people, they need to release more eyecatching items; 12 threads instead of 8 threads, $150 i5 processors (2.0Ghz, 4 threads, HT) rather than to overprice with their labels and misled people. AMD is modest.

AMichael 2 years ago

The fact of the matter is, with an intel-based laptop you MUST add an nVidia Graphics GPU in order to keep up with the A10 in gaming. This makes intels more expensive AND power-hungry. Gamers that can afford to splurge on a nice Gaming rig wil almost always go for the intel/nVidia selection, I don't see why but they do. For me, the very mention of an A10 processor makes me weak in the knees. I know it's lame, but really the only 2 games I play are World of Warcraft and Guild Wars, which will both scream on most AMD machines. The thought of seeing the A10 in action while I play either of these is a thought that makes me all gooey inside. Don't get me wrong, I like intel and nVidia, the best computer I have built so far had them in it, but as for portable gaming, I will always choose AMD. I just hope that Toshiba put them in the Satellites in August so I can buy from them, otherwise, it looks like I'll be going with a dv6 from HP.

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