Performance, Availability and Final Words

Despite the fact that the Turion 64 line was just announced, it turns out that we actually did a Pentium M vs. Turion 64 performance comparison about a year ago.  When Intel launched the Dothan Pentium M core, we compared it to the Socket-754 Athlon 64 2800+ (1.8GHz) - which is very similar to the Turion 64 ML-32 (1.8GHz/512KB).  While the performance comparison isn't identical to a Turion 64 notebook, it should give you an idea of how competitive the Turion 64 will be performance-wise, with the Pentium M.

As you can see, AMD should have no problem remaining performance competitive with the Pentium M, but there are obviously many other factors that aren't depicted in the article mentioned above.  Mainly we have no idea how the Turion 64 will fare in a power consumption comparison, or how competitive it is from a form factor standpoint.  AMD has been aiming at the thin-and-light market from the start with Turion 64, but there's no guarantee that the Turion 64 can get into as thin and as light notebooks as Centrino.  AMD has always been one step behind Intel when it came to chip packaging, which carries a lot of weight in form factor discussions. 

AMD lists Turion 64 chip availability as immediately with the following price structure:

"AMD Turion 64 mobile technology models ML-37, ML-34, ML-32, ML-30, MT-34, MT-32, and MT-30 are priced at $354, $263, $220, $184, $268, $225 and $189 respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities."

Acer and Fujitsu will have Turion 64 notebooks available by the end of the month.  AMD also announced that: "ASUS, Averatec, BenQ, MSI and Packard Bell are among the  leading, global computer manufacturers who have indicated they will support AMD Turion 64 mobile technology."  So it sounds like we will see a few others with Turion 64 platforms, but still a few short of a complete list of partners.

With the Turion 64, AMD is doing more of a marketing repackaging of their Athlon 64 than anything else.  While it's going to be tough to best Intel's Centrino in overall packaging, the Turion 64 may just be close enough for AMD to be happy.  It all boils down to implementation, and it'll be tough for Turion to break into the more exotic Centrino markets but it shouldn't have a problem competing in the more mainstream priced Centrino notebooks. 

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  • Houdani - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    Seems the MT models are only $5 more (in bulk) than the ML models. If you had the choice, would you really even consider the ML if the MT is readily available? Hopefully the mark-up on the MT's won't be astronomical.

    19: I'm pretty sure I don't agree with your "bias" accusation. Turion is equivalent to the Pentium M 75x models, which is what is being compared here.
    Reply
  • AlexWade - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    I like my Centrino IBM laptop because I get 5 hours of battary life out of it. One time, I left it on all night with the Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and monitor turned off and still had a ton of battary life left. Although I will never buy Intel for the PC, it will take an impressive feat by AMD for me to switch over for the laptops.

    All I care about in laptops is battary life. All I want to know is can Turion get longer battary than Centrino?
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    Some minor spelling mistakes.

    "we compared it to the Socket-745 Athlon 64 2800+ (1.8GHz) - which is very similar to the Turion 64 ML-32 (1.8GHz/512KB)."

    Obviously it's S754.

    "note that Intel’s Pentium M 755 has a 22W TDP"

    21W TDP for the Pentium M Dothan with 400FSB.
    Reply
  • ozzimark - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    #19- it doesn't need chipsets from amd..
    the nf4, nf3 and via chipsets will all work with this chip. the current 754 mobo's should also work with just a mere bios update to recognize the cpu.
    Reply
  • Questar - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    Nice biased reporting there Anand.

    Did you forget about the ultra low voltage Pentium M that's only 5.5 watts? How about we compare this thing to Intels ultra portable offering?

    No chipsets from AMD either...No one stop shopping for OEMs. Do you have any idea how important this is?

    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    That's the thing the 115W parts are based on the highest desktop parts available. A low voltage P4 Prescott wouln't be in that range as they would run with lower voltage.

    A reasonable estimate would be 50-70 range for the low voltage P4 Prescott. Although with clock frequencies only in the 2.8GHZ - 3.2GHZ range. Though since 60W is still quite hefty power consumption Intel decided they needed another processor altogether and hence the Pentium M.

    No doubt though 25W is great, AMD's K8 arhictecture offers flexibility, which is crucial for a company like AMD which can't afford multiple lines.
    Reply
  • raskren - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    The problem is AMD is marketing this like it is an entirely new technology which is not true. It is misleading. Which is why I think if things were reveresed this article would have about 20+ pages of negative commentary.

    Intel's Pentium M is an extension of the P3 architecture. It is NOT binned P3 chips. Dothan is NOT a Pentium III anymore. It is a Pentium M.

    Intel has used desktop Pentium 3 and 4 chips in notebooks, as you all know. The difference here is that they don't try and conceal the fact they're desktop CPUs - they're the Pentium 4 Mobile. Big difference from Centrino.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    Most people here like the Centrino platform, including me, so AMD will have its work cut out for them. Reply
  • blackbrrd - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    #12 If Intel had taken a binned, low-voltage [115W] P4 and slapped a Centrino sticker on it, everyone here would be bashing to no end.

    No wonder, it would still heat up your laptop like hell.

    Amd is taking a 35W Amd64, binning it at selling it like a "centrino".

    What is the problem?

    It is not as if the Dothan is anything but a P3 on speed, same as the A64 is a K7 on speed... (P3 and K7 is the same generation cpu).

    Having the memorycontroller on the cpu must be more power (double meaning) efficient than having it on the northbridge and the chipset must be easier to make.... sooo... what is wrong with amd beeing able to use their desktop cpus as laptop cpus?

    Nobody ever complained when intel did that with the P3 series... The P4 series on the other hand (prescot) is so hot it is idiotic to use it in laptops...

    I am not saying Turion is the holy grail of laptops. I want to see performance/heat/battery time tests before I give it my "Approved" stamp.
    Reply
  • brownba - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    #12 spoke well.

    unless there's something we're not being told... this is very uneventful and very uninformational
    Reply

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