When we found out that AMD’s Hondo APU is still based on the same architecture as today’s Brazos, we were a bit disappointed and we wondered exactly how the company would be able to deliver satisfactory performance while reducing the power consumption to the 4.5W level.
No architectural details have been revealed about the new APU and nor did AMD make any hints at the possible working frequency of the new chip, but the company has apparently demonstrated working tablets to a select few.
Hardware experts at Fudzilla.com had a talk with the company’s Vice President of the Ultra-Low Power Division. Mr. Steve Belt was happy to show the journalists an Acer tablet powered by the new APU, and the facts revealed are more impressive than we expected.
The first test enacted for the visitors was the thermal-related one and AMD used high performance thermal imaging camera to display just how cool its new platform is.
Acer’s tablet was reportedly running Windows 8 just fine and during a 3D gaming session, the thermal sensor has revealed that the APU reached a pretty cool 37.7 degrees Celsius.
It’s quite nice that AMD’s Hondo is this cool, but the more impressive aspect is that an Intel Atom powered tablet was 17% hotter at 43.88 degrees Celsius.
This was quite unexpected for us as we were prepared to see AMD’s tablet have a good battery life, but overall shorter than what Intel’s Atom will be capable of.
After all, Hondo is a 40nm chip and Intel’s Atom SoCs are manufactured in 32nm technology. It is to be expected that the former will consume a bit more than the latter.
As heat dissipation is directly proportional to power consumption, there is the possibility that AMD’s Hondo will actually consume less than Intel’s Atom, when playing 3D games.
The second demonstration was even more impressive as this showed Acer’s tablet playing Call of Duty 4.
While this may seem just a demonstration, the constant 30 FPS level was a nice feat coming from a 4.5W APU.
On the other hand, Intel’s Atom was only capable of half this number and here’s where we stop and wonder if AMD’s Hondo is so good or if Intel’s performance is undesirably low.
We believe it is mostly a matter of the latter as AMD’s Hondo can’t possibly run at 2 GHz and mop the floor with Intel’s Atom. At such a frequency, the 4.5W TDP will most certainly be surpassed.
Therefore, we can see that Intel’s abysmal 3D graphics capabilities will be the Achilles’ heel.