AMD Kaveri Mobile APU, FX-7600P Preview

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High Level Architecture, Kaveri Mobile Line-Up

A full complement of Kaveri mobile cores is 12 total--four CPU cores and 8 GPU cores.  AMD refers to all cores as "Compute Cores" and specifically, on the highest-end variant of Kaveri for notebooks, there are 4 Steamroller CPU cores and 8 AMD GCN-based graphics cores.  These GPU cores are also based on AMD's latest architecture found in their Hawaii GPUs, which includes AMD's TrueAudio technology for multi-directional output, signal enhancement and noise removal.

With Kaveri, AMD is claiming a significant performance uplift in both CPU and GPU performance.  Obviously, GPU performance comes courtesy of the aforementioned GCN GPU technologies, but Kaveri's Steamroller CPU core architecture brings beefed-up resources in a number of areas as well. According to AMD, with Steamroller, mispredicted branches have been improved by about 20%, scheduling efficiency by 5-10%, and i-Cache misses by up to 30%.  Combined, Kaveri's fetch, scheduler and cache enhancements can offer up to a 20% IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) uplift over the previous generation of AMD's Richland architecture.

Here we see AMD's positioning of their Kaveri mobile line-up versus chief rival Intel.  At the top of the stack is the AMD FX mobile series; we actually tested an AMD FX-7600P, which is a 35 Watt variant, the fastest Kaveri mobile chip there is currently. The FX-7600 has 8 GCN GPU cores.  However, looking at the product map here, AMD is positioning a 19 Watt variant of Kaveri, the FX-7500, versus Intel's 15 Watt Core i7-4500U.  While unfortunately we don't have this match-up to show you on the following pages, from a CPU clock speed and GPU core count perspective, we should be able to extrapolate approximate performance expectations.

Probably the most mainstream Intel SKU we've seen in the wild for ultrabooks as of late, has been the Core i5-4200U.  Here AMD is matching up their 19 Watt TDP A10-7300 which has 6 GCN cores and a four CPU cores clocked at 1.9GHz with a 3.2GHz max. turbo speed.  Again, Intel's Core i5-4200U does technically drop in at a lower 15 Watt TDP, however, so it will be interesting to see how battery life shapes up once we get some hands-on time with retail-ready notebooks based on AMD's new Kaveri mobile silicon.

For now, let's look at our test vehicle for this preview, some quick APU vital signs and top-end performance with AMD's FX-7600P Kaveri mobile APU.

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