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Review: AMD A10-4600M 'Trinity' APU

by Parm Mann on 15 May 2012, 05:00 3.5

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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The new mobile chips, plus AMD's laptop

At launch, the five Trinity APUs will be spread across three product lines: A6, A8 and A10. The latter, a new addition to AMD's APU range, is positioned to compete with Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 brands, while A6 and A8 parts are seen as alternatives to Core i3.

APU Model
CPU Cores
CPU Base Clock
CPU Turbo Clock
GPU Brand
GPU Cores
GPU Base Clock
GPU Turbo Clock
L2 Cache
Max. DDR3
Package
TDP
A10-4655M
4
2.0GHz
2.8GHz
HD 7620G
384
360MHz
497MHz
4MB
1,333MHz
FP2
25W
A10-4600M
4
2.3GHz
3.2GHz
HD 7660G
384
497MHz
686MHz
4MB
1,600MHz
FS1r2
35W
A8-4500M
4
1.9GHz
2.8GHz
HD 7640G
256
497MHz
655MHz
4MB
1,600MHz
FS1r2
35W
A6-4455M
2
2.1GHz
2.6GHz
HD 7500G
256
327MHz
424MHz
2MB
1,333MHz
FP2
17W
A6-4400M
2
2.7GHz
3.2GHz
HD 7520G
192
497MHz
686MHz
1MB
1,600MHz
FS1r2
35W

Here's the complete range and it's interesting to note that AMD isn't doling out the highest product names based on speed alone. Somewhat unusually, APUs with a reduced clock speeds and lower TDPs are positioned above faster parts that consume more power. AMD, perhaps, is focussing on experience as opposed to raw speed - the 35W A10-4660M is to be the fastest APU at launch, but in nomenclature terms it sits below the slower-clocked 25W A10-4655M that will likely offer greater battery life.

Note, too, that AMD is having to change the physical socket for the transition between Llano and Trinity. This may have a knock-on effect for laptop manufacturers; they prefer to implement the fewest changes when refreshing a certain line of notebooks. While all mobile Llano chips are based on the same socket, FS1, Trinity's introduction of 17W and 25W parts - ostensibly designed for so-called 'Sleekbooks' - gives rise to the FP2 BGA package.

Branding aside, a familiar formula remains; A6 APUs are dual-core parts, while A8 and A10 APUs offer the full quad-core experience. The quickest option at launch is the A10-4600M, offering four Piledriver cores clocked at 2.3GHz with a maximum Turbo clock of 3.2GHz, 4MB of L2 cache, a full 384 Radeon cores clocked at up to 686MHz and support for DDR3-1,600 memory. To find out exactly how this particular APU performs, AMD sent us a test laptop to play with.

The thick-and-chunky system is strictly an engineering sample for test purposes (Trinity products won't look anything like this, we hope), but it allows us to get an idea of how the new APU performs. Pairing the chip with a variety of modern-day components, AMD's test laptop came equipped with 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 128GB solid-state drive, a 14in display offering a 1,366x768 resolution, a Blu-ray optical drive and a couple of USB 3.0 ports.