We were wondering where is AMD at Computex 2012. We were even comparing this year’s Computex to an Intel/Microsoft party where AMD was not invited.
Well, today AMD started teasing us with some rather intriguing products. We first saw Compal’s AMD tablet here
and then Acer’s new Iconia with Windows 8 and AMD APU here
The intriguing part was how exactly AMD was able to fit a quad-core CPU inside such a slim device.
Sure, Compal’s AMD tablet is not the thinnest device we’ve ever seen, but there wasn’t an AMR or Atom processor in there. That tablet is powered by a full-blown x86 APU using the Trinity core.
When we first saw it, we were honestly expecting an AMD Bobcat-based CPU, not a Trinity APU.
Later in the evening, AMD’s party crashing show was lighted up and Intel’s marketing campaign started taking hit after hit.
We’re a little bit unsure about AMD’s claims, but most of them make sense and are in line with our expectations.
These mobile devices are really thin.
From what the pictures show, the notebook and tablets powered by AMD’s Trinity APU are just as thin as the Intel-based UltraBooks. Considering that AMD’s iGPU is much more capable than any other Intel product, such an achievement is impressive.
AMD “Hybrids” offer the best of both worlds.
The Texas-based CPU designer is really into the ASUS Transformer style.
The company seems to believe that having a powerful tablet will give it an edge over low-performance Atom-based Intel tablets.
The battery life might be a little more modest, but adding a backup battery inside a keyboard dock that brings extra connectivity and functionality is a great way to compensate.
AMD’s Trinity offers the best performance in the UltraThin/UltraBook and TabletPC formats.
While this is not the whole story, we completely agree with AMD on this one.
What the company is not saying is that if we get into productivity and multimedia notebooks with discrete graphics, Intel’s Ivy Bridge is clearly superior.
AMD is claiming that Trinity is the only UltraThin platform that offers good battery life with discrete graphics level.
Intel’s $599 price point is perfectly hit and AMD’s Trinity is the clear winner at this mark.
The Texan company is also claiming a very good relationship with Microsoft that spans over more than a decade. We’re not on the same page with AMD here.
The fact that Microsoft’s Windows 7 doesn’t yet know how to distribute computing threads on the new Bulldozer CPUs is clear proof that the relationship is not so rosy after all.
Trinity shows 21% improved compression performance win the latest version of WinZip.
We’re quite happy with the news, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
The collaboration with the VLC team is most welcomed and we eagerly await an opportunity to test this. We’re certainly hoping this will induce better battery life when playing high-quality movies.
The year 2012 brings 200% AMD specific optimized software when compared with 2011.
This is probably one of the best news we’ve heard in this AMD presentation. We often said that software development and optimization is key to AMD’s success.
AMD’s Brazos 2.0 platform offers up to 3 hours more battery life than Intel’s B940 mobile processor when idle and more than an hour and a half during heavy flash gaming.
We find that AMD’s claim is true and quite logical, but we don’t think that the computing performance is even remotely comparable. Intel’s dual-core Sandy Bridge-based B940 Pentium processor is a very capable solution.
Sure, in any 3D related task, AMD’s Brazos 2.0 will mop the floor with Intel’s iGPU.
Once Intel adds a discrete GPU, their battery life is only going down.
Therefore, we believe we must mention that there’s a clear x86 computing difference between Brazos 2.0 and Sandy Bridge, with the latter holding the advantage.
All in all, AMD’s Trinity showing at this year’s Computex has helped the industry see clearly what it can do and where its strong points are.
We’ve been playing the devil’s advocate while writing this article and we can’t end this without mentioning that these are clear cases and conditions where AMD’s trinity shows superiority.
Take the battery life argument out of the way and give Intel’s Ivy Bridge or even Sandy Bridge a 60 USD discrete GPU and the whole situation looks much different.
Adding a 60 ~ 70 USD cost to the already more expensive Intel-based solution is not quite the best way to achieve more sales, so Intel’s argument isn’t perfect either.