Speed Bumps and Unlocked Processors
AMD has announced the latest members of their fairly successful APU series for both the desktop and the mobile markets. The original release in June of this year saw the first fully integrated 32 nm APUs from AMD. These proved to be quite popular with their decent CPU performance and outstanding integrated graphics speed and quality. The launch was not entirely smooth for AMD though, even though the company had been shipping products to partners and OEMs for some months.
The desktop saw limited SKUs, and the availability of the top end parts was disappointing to say the least. AMD and their partners at GLOBALFOUNDRIES were not able to produce enough usable chips to supply demand. Quantities were tight throughout the summer, and the mobile market did not see as big of a boost for AMD as was hoped. AMD did get a lot of new business though, as the thermal and power envelopes of these A-series chips were able to match that of Intel.
Introduction and Specifications
AMD's Fusion technology has worked out well for the company in 2011 and many vendors have reaped the benefits by including this platform in their mini ITX motherboards and netbook offerings. Gigabyte found room in their product line to feature this chipset in its GA-E350N-USB3. We received one of these boards for review to see how it stacks up against other E-350 mini ITX boards available today.
The GA-E350N-USB3 can be purchased for around $89.99 (after mail-in rebate from Newegg) and includes an AMD dual-core E-350 1.6GHz processor with an integrated Radeon HD 6310 GPU and support for USB 3.0, SATA3, and a PCI-E x16 slot for add-on video cards or other PCI-E devices. AMD developed the Brazos platform to directly compete with Intel's Atom and NVIDIA's ION technologies for the top slot this year's netbooks, notebooks, and some entry-level desktop solutions.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | December 6, 2011 - 04:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, core i7, APU, amd, a8-3850
Our collection of videos comparing the AMD A8-3850 Llano APU to the Sandy Bridge-based Core i3-2105 have been very popular. We thought we would wrap up 2011 with one final video that looks at the integrated graphics solutions on both processors in five of the top games released in 2011. Here is what and how we compared them:
- Batman: Arkham City - 1920x1080 - Low
- Portal 2 - 1920x1080 - Very High
- Battlefield 3 - 1366x768 - Low
- Skyrim - 1920x1080 - Low
- Modern Warfare 3 - 1920x1080 - High
Not to give away the secret but...
Be sure you check out our Video Perspective below!!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | November 21, 2011 - 10:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, mw3, modern warfare 3, Intel, APU, amd
There is little denying that Call of Duty: Modern Warfar 3 is a success; I think it sold like 19 billion copies on the first night. Something like that. So, as we have done quite a bit in recent months, we wanted to see how our processor-graphics based solutions compared to each other in the title. We recently took a look at how Battlefield 3 performed and we had a lot of great feedback on that post - so let's try this again!
Luckily for gamers (or not, depending on your point of view), MW3 is pretty light on graphics hardware. We did our testing at 1920x1080 with the following quality settings:
With 2x anti-aliasing enabled and most quality settings turned up to their highest options, the game still looked pretty good during our testing. No, it's no Battlefield 3, but very few titles are.
Both systems come in with a total cost of about $450 with the Core i3-2105 and A8-3850 at the center of each configuration.
As you might guess, the integrated graphics on the AMD Llano APU outperforms the Sandy Bridge graphics, but by how much? Check out the video for all the details!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | November 15, 2011 - 05:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AMD VISION Engine, amd, fusion, APU, steady video
The AMD VISION Engine is the name that AMD is using to describe the new features they are offering for users of their GPUs, APUs and those with both. One example is the AMD Steady Video feature that Ryan and Ken showed off in July. That is not all, this encompasses the hybrid Crossfire that exists in Llano laptops with discrete GPUs straight through to support for 30bit colour depth (aka 10bit per channel, 10 bit per pixel) and the GPU accelerated Flash.
If you are interested in getting more from your APU then head to the AMD VISION site to download their driver package, think of it as a Catalyst with benefits.
Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2011 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, vector computing, exascale, APU
Chuck Moore, CTO of AMD's Technology Group, gave a talk this week about AMD's plans for the future of their architecture. As you might conjecture the focus was on the further integration of the CPU and GPU, with an eye on power consumption. The hurdle he feels will be the tallest is the bandwidth for passing data back and forth between the two processors and he sees 3D stacks of memory sitting between the main system memory, the GPU and the CPU. Once developed he feels that the stacks of memory should be able to increase the amount of available communication bandwidth to the point where tasks can be handed smoothly back and forth between the two processors depending on which is more effective at certain tasks. Performance is not everything however, when The Register quotes Moore when he discusses the power requirements of a mid-range exascale class machine costing $200 million just to power and cool over a year, you begin to see the importance of bringing down power consumption and heat production.
"Because Advanced Micro Devices has not yet announced its 16-core "Interlagos" Opteron 6200 processors, it has to talk about something, and in situations like that, it is best to talk about the far-off future. And so AMD rounded up a bunch of its partners on Wednesday in San Francisco for a shindig to talk about the challenges of exascale computing."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- JPR Reports Q3 Graphics Numbers @ SemiAccurate
- Western Digital and Samsung will not supply hard drives to Taiwan channels in November @ DigiTimes
- Facebook's "Open Compute" Server tested @ AnandTech
- HIS Desperate Upgrade GPU Competition @ XSReviews
- HiTechLegion Founder's Birthday Contest
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | October 31, 2011 - 02:22 PM | Matt Baynum
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, Intel, bf3, battlefield 3, APU, amd
Everyone is playing Battlefield 3 these days; we even had a virtual LAN party this weekend where forum members and PC Perspective team members played from about 10am until well after 1am ET. We have done more than our fair share of Battlefield 3 articles as well including hardware performance on high end graphics cards, multi-GPU scaling and more.
We had some requests and questions about what was the lowest priced hardware you could play the game on and while we had run some tests on the GeForce 9800 GT, I decided to take a stab at running BF3 at its lowest settings with integrated graphics on Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and AMD's A-series APU. Here were our test settings:
We ran at a fairly low resolution of 1366x768 (both indicative of mobile resolutions as well as low-end hardware restrictions) and the Low in-game preset. As it turns out this was the level at which the A8-3850 Llano APU was able to maintain an average around 30 FPS while the Intel Core i3-2105 (both priced around $140) was able to reach only a third of that.
With both systems coming in at the ~$450 mark, this could qualify as the lowest priced PC that is capable of getting you into the BF3 action!
You can see our full comparison right here in this short video!
Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2011 - 12:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, A8-3800, llano, APU, Turbo Core
When the A8-3850 hit the streets we were so accustomed to high powered CPUs that we barely blinked at the 100W power envelope it and the A6-3650 required. That is a big change from just a few years ago when hitting or passing 100W tended to bring a lot of negative comments from reviewers. AMD since released the lower powered A8-3800 and A6-3600, both of which have slightly lower CPU frequencies but the exact same graphics specifications. The Tech Report took the A8-3800 out for a spin to examine not only the power draw but to see how well the Turbo Core feature works. See how it turned out for AMD's newest Llano chips in the full review.
"We weren't terribly impressed with AMD's A8-3850 APU when we first reviewed it, in part because its 100W power envelope seemed rather large for a chip whose integrated graphics are a major selling point. Happily, the new A8-3800 slides into a cool 65W power envelope and adds Turbo Core clock frequency scaling. Can it win our approval? Keep reading to find out."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- All Phenom Models @ Hardware Secrets
- CPU Performance Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Intel Core i3 2120 Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2011 - 12:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: llano, APU, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, 28nm, 32nm, trinity, amd
Woe is AMD, as it becomes ever more obvious that Llano is not giving good yields at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Back in July the market noticed that while the new Llano chips were great at providing good enough graphics for a great price, they were very hard to find. As a consumer you might be able to find a notebook to purchase for yourself but as a reseller who needs to buy processors in the thousands before considering that chip as a part of the new product line up you have been out of luck. According to DigiTimes this will change in 2012 with the arrival of Trinity which will still use GLOBALFOUNDRIES 32nm process, turning to TSMC for the 28nm graphical portion. The previous hope that the supply problems would be solved in September were obviously a little too optimistic.
"Supply of AMD's Llano APUs, affected by Globalfoundries's lower-than-expected 32nm yield rates, has been significantly limited and is unlikely to recover until the company's upcoming Trinity arrives in 2012, according to sources from motherboard players. When asked about the company's upcoming Trinity schedule, AMD Taiwan declined to comment on unannounced products.
AMD started suffering from Llano APU supply shortages in July due to the yield issues and the company originally expected the supply status to return to normal in September. However, judging from the current situation, the sources believe the company's supply volume is unlikely to meet client demand through the end of 2011.
The sources estimated that the yield rate issue should be resolved in 2012, when Trinity launches."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fanless PCs with 95W CPUs shown off @ SemiAccurate
- Vulnerability in HTC smartphones exposes user data @ The Inquirer
- Mozilla releases Rescuefox prototype @ The Inquirer
- Pandemonium as Microsoft AV nukes Chrome browser @ The Register
- Btrfs File-System For Old Computers? @ Phoronix
- Virtual showdown: Parallels Desktop 7 and VMware Fusion 4 @ Ars Technica
- A Beginner’s Guide to Video Encoding @ t-break
- Real World Labs And Enermax Joint Contest
Introduction and Specifications
Courtesy of ECS
ECS developed the HDC-I motherboard to take advantage of AMD's new Brazos platform that's based on the Hudson M1 chipset and their latest E-350 dual-core processor and integrated DDR3 800/1066 memory controller. The dual-core E-350 APU, which combines the CPU and GPU, brings a host of features to mini ITX enthusiasts like USB 3.0 compability, SATA 6Gb/s support, bluetooth and Radeon HD 6310 graphics and UVD 3 to play 3D Blu-ray and HD-1080P movies.
Courtesy of ECS
Another huge advantage of going with a mini ITX motherboard for your next home theater PC is the balance of computing power and power consumption that the AMD Brazos platform adds to the ECS HDC-I. The HDC-I is an energy-efficient motherboard that has integrated computing power and graphics firepower for users looking for an "all-in-one" solution for their next small form factor build.