AMD's Trinity is out to rattle Intel's Ivy Bridge

May 15, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org) -- AMD has announced Trinity, its second-generation A-Series accelerated processing units (APUs), which are out to rival Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors. AMD’s Trinity is an update to its Llano, which attempted to challenge Intel’s Sandy Bridge. Trinity includes up to four CPU cores ad single GPU, with features especially suited for supporting laptops and ultra thin notebooks. The Trinity chips will appear on HP’s Sleekbook machines when the Sleekbook debuts next month. With Trinity, AMD is promoting its two appealing strong suits that sit well with manufacturers and consumers, in the name of graphics performance and power consumption.

According to , Trinity has up to 12 hours of battery life, whereas Llano offered 10.5. Once products appear that carry Trinity processors, the real numbers will either comply or will need some adjustments. Besides HP, according to reports, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba, and Acer may announce mobile devices based around Trinity shortly. The battery-life calculations that were announced by AMD are based on the average power on multiple benchmarks and usage scenarios, said the company. Twelve hours of battery life are based on Windows Idle (740 min./12:20 hours) as a resting metric.

Technology strengths in Trinity center on having fine-tuned power management.

A BBC report on the Trinity launch carries comments from AMD’s CTO, Joe Macri, who talked about Trinity’s Piledriver architecture of the CPU cores. He referred to Piledriver's energy-saving technique, which is “resonant clock mesh technology,” where some of the energy consumed while doing calculations is recycled. Further, power savings have been achieved, says AMD, by running more processes on the GPU. The power is dynamically shifted between the CPU and GPU depending on application needs.

Trinity is using AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics for an increase of graphics performance up to 56 percent over the previous generation, claims AMD. Trinity offers HD, 1080p resolution gaming, delivering 30 frames per second. Similarly, the industry standard for smooth gaming is 30 frames per second. While graphics performance features are a marketable strength for gamers, AMD could also benefit from a class of business computer users whose work could use higher-end graphics capabilities, as for high-definition video discussions and trader applications, where multi-screen support and high-speed rendering are important.

AnandTech, in assessing Trinity’s performance, found that, while AMD had a tough job of increasing performance without ballooning die size, the die size went up only by around 7percent and yet AMD achieved “double-digit increases” over Llano in CPU and GPU performance. “If you liked Llano, you'll love Trinity,” said the report.

Explore further: Graphics acceleration enables in-car technology seen at LA auto show

More information: Press release

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User comments : 9

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Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (6) May 15, 2012
Lower performance by half, same battery drain.

Conclusion - Zero high end competition.

Good enough for joe average Laptop and the occasional game.
victor_farber
2.3 / 5 (3) May 15, 2012
Agreed. Your machine's high end performance should not equal the industry's average - not if you call yourself High-End. And gaming? Please, 30 fps is not the standard, its about the minimum for today's games.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (9) May 15, 2012
What do you mean "today's games", do you understand what framerate is? Framerate is framerate, doesn't matter if you're talking about "todays games" or games from a decade ago.

30 is acceptable, especially in a laptop. Prior to my current video card (which can handle anything on the market at full settings) I would raise graphics settings in a game until I got a good balance of visuals and framerate and 30 was my target usually, it's fine.

You realize this is a LAPTOP and TABLET chip with the GPU integrated on the processor die, correct? You cannot compare this to a desktop with a separate video card...

Furthermore, their claim of 30fps is spurious at best since it completely depends on the game you are talking about... these are marketing figures and shouldn't be taken seriously. I'm sure, as with any hardware configuration, some games will run perfectly and some will struggle... I don't see you playing skyrim at 1920x1080 full settings on a laptop with this chip.
wwqq
1 / 5 (2) May 16, 2012
What do you mean "today's games", do you understand what framerate is? Framerate is framerate, doesn't matter if you're talking about "todays games" or games from a decade ago.


It matters a great deal. They don't make fast-paced shooters(see quake series) anymore, so a radically lower framerate is acceptable(though 30 is still at the very low end)
Green_Dragon
not rated yet May 16, 2012
Fair increases over Llano, enough to compete with i5, though not i7. I was hoping for more increases over Stars with Piledriver, but still seems like a big improvement CPU wise over Bulldozer(I'm using some very rough comparisons). I'll see what the full fledged desktop parts have to offer.
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (5) May 16, 2012
What do you mean "today's games", do you understand what framerate is? Framerate is framerate, doesn't matter if you're talking about "todays games" or games from a decade ago.


It matters a great deal. They don't make fast-paced shooters(see quake series) anymore, so a radically lower framerate is acceptable(though 30 is still at the very low end)


They don't make fast-paced shooters anymore? Are you for real?
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) May 16, 2012
They don't make fast-paced shooters anymore? Are you for real?


The reason why old games like Quake 1 needed high framerates was because they were designed to run in a single processor in a single thread with GPUs that were simple state machines that had to be controlled directly from the game code, so the framerate slowed down the rest of the game which included things like the networking code or lag compensation, or how well it responded to mouse input. Things got really choppy if the game could only draw at 30 frames per second. Because of this, players used to do things like strip most textures out of the game to push the FPS up to 200-300 frames per second - much faster than what the display was actually capable of.

In an online game, the player with the highest framerate had an advantage because his game would process faster - not because he could "react faster" due to the higher framerate.
Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (5) May 16, 2012
Right, I understand that, I design custom real time operating systems for embedded processors, I know all about time slicing between IO bound and process bound tasks and the pain in the ass that occurs when your UI code has to share processor time with time-critical data acquisition code... in fact I recently petitioned my boss to design into our next generation product a separate processor to handle user input using dual port RAM to facilitate data transfer between the UI processor and the acquisition engine.

but the statement "they don't make fast paced shooters anymore" is false and stupid.
wwqq
1 / 5 (1) May 21, 2012
but the statement "they don't make fast paced shooters anymore" is false and stupid.


It's obvious you've never seen or have forgotten what high level play in UT and quake 3 looks like.

They don't make games that fast any more; and the few games that are fast-ish are not popular compared to the usual fare of slow-as-treacle world war II games, COD, battlefield and clones.

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