AMD Trinity A10-4600M Processor Review

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary:  AMDs' new A10-4600M Trinity APU did well in the benchmarks with respect to gaming, as expected, though it did have a few performance anomalies under DX11 (Batman and Metro 2033).  We suspect driver maturity in these two game engines or possibly with DX11 in general could be an issue at this point.  In many gaming tests, Trinity showed a decisive lead on the order of 30 - 50+% over Intel's HD 4000 integrated graphics in the Ivy Bridge Core i7 chip we pit it against.  In terms of general CPU performance, AMD's new Piledriver-based Trinity offers respectable performance for a low power 35 Watt architecture, but it got blown out of the water by Intel's current generation Ivy Bridge Core i7 mobile CPU and it didn't even compete all that well versus Intel's previous generation dual-core Core i5 Sandy Bridge chip.

HP Envy Sleekbook Featuring AMD Second Generation A Series "Trinity" APU

Below is a chart of how AMD is positioning their line-up of Trinity architecture-based A-Series APUs versus competitive Intel Core series processors.  AMD positions the A10 series versus Intel's lower-end Core i7 family of CPUs and higher end Core i5s, while the new A8 competes with lower-end Core i5 and Core i3 processors.  The key to note here is the price point information listed on the vertical axis.  As you'll note, even a current AMD top-of-the-line A10 Trinity-based system should only have a retail price in the $699 range.

Price is once again is where AMD is going to have to compete with Intel's Ivy Bridge processor line-up.  There are just no two ways about it.  It's clear that AMD has a much stronger integrated graphics engine (though we're surprised AMD missed some DX11 performance optimizations in this early prototype seeding), the question is how important is that to the average consumer against the backdrop of Intel's blisteringly fast general compute throughput.

The answer to that question remains to be seen, but there's also a bright spot for AMD relative to power consumption.  Notebooks driven by AMD's new Trinity A-Series APUs will undoubtedly offer solid battery life performance, along with balanced CPU and Multimedia/Gaming performance, all at a price point that will again be attractive on retail shelves.  If HP's Envy Sleekbook shown here is any indication, there are some really nice thin and light options lining-up for not a lot of coin. Starting at $599, with AMD Radeon graphics and that "quad-core" CPU check box listed on its fact tag, you could see Best Buy and others moving quite a few of these machines.  It will be interesting to see AMD's follow-on SKUs to the A10-4600M we tested here today.  At least in the value segment, AMD's new A-Series Fusion APUs offer a compelling low power alternative in the market.

  • Solid graphics performance
  • Decent midrange CPU performance
  • Excellent low power consumption
  • 14-inch notebook prototype, only 62 Watts under full CPU/GPU load
  • Higher Turbo Core speeds
  • CPU performance doesn't keep pace with even Core i5
  • Immature graphics drivers in spots
  • Less than stellar video transcode compared to Intel Quick Sync

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