AMD Kaveri Mobile APU, FX-7600P Preview

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Battlefield 4, Bioshock Inifite, HD Video Playback

First, let's look at a couple real, cutting-edge game engines and take a quick look at AMD Kaveri mobile performance across various resolutions.  Remember, we're working with mobile integrated notebook graphics here, not discrete graphics.  It's a tall order to even run these games for most thin and light machines.  Typically, only gaming laptops need apply.
 
Battlefield 4 and Bioshock Inifite Benchmarking 
Cutting-Edge DX11 Titles Notebook APU Powered
BioShock Infinite is clear game-of-the-year material. The floating city of Columbia is one of the most evocative, intense, and gorgeous environments we've ever seen in a PC game -- but how much you like it may depend on what sort of visual wizardry you prefer. BioShock Infinite is built on Unreal Engine 3, and while it pushes that framework's capabilities into the stratosphere, there's a clear difference between BioShock Infinite and, say, Crysis 3. BioShock Infinite emphasizes light, color and motion, and while the characters look more exaggerated and cartoon-like than some other games, they still look great. We tested the game at various resolutions with its DX11 code path with DOF effects enabled.




In Bioshock Infinite, AMD's FX-7600P Kaveri chip is able to post up playable frame rates with high image quality settings enabled at 1280X720 and it's near playable at 1600X900 resolution as well. A suggestion would be to dial back IQ settings just a bit more if you want to play at higher res.  Regardless, at least it's playable.






Here we took a different approach to testing, with Battlefield 4 set to 1920X1080 full HD resolution exclusively.  To get near playable frame rates, you need to dial things down to low IQ settings.  If you pull the resolution down a touch to 1280X720 resolution, Medium IQ is definitely an option, however.  We haven't run Intel's Haswell mainstream chips through these two game engines as of yet, but it's safe to say that, except for perhaps Intel's highest-end Iris Pro Graphics core, the results would be slide-show like with either BF4 or Bioshock Infinite.

HD Video Playback
CPU Utilization With 1080p Video Playback
The last test we ran was a quick sanity check on HD video playback.  We hit YouTube and streamed an Elysium HD movie trailer to see how the AMD FX-7600P performed and what CPU utilization looked like.



The above screen shot is deceiving, unless you look at clock speed.  Here, the FX-7600P is down clocked to a very modest 1.65GHz while consuming 13% of the available CPU resources.  The clock-gated response of the system here definitely speaks well for the architecture but calls into question one aspect of the system we have not yet been able to measure precisely, that being power consumption.

A Note On Power Consumption -

AMD representatives were quick to point out that the test system we were working with was not specifically tuned in terms of driver setups etc., to handle video playable workloads most efficiently.  In addition, we didn't have the ability or equipment to measure power draw on the machine during testing or enough time to run battery drain tests on various workloads.  As a result, it would be premature to comment on expected platform battery life and the power efficiency of AMD's new Kaveri mobile APU.  If we were to hazard a guess, we'd say AMD is somewhat competitive with Intel here, especially with the aggressive clock gating we saw in various applications.  However, until we get retail machines in hand for testing, we'll have to reserve official commentary on Kaveri mobile power consumption characteristics and projected system battery life performance.
 


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