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AMD Trinity Gaming Performance

After the 3DMark results, you might be wondering if Intel has finally caught up to AMD in terms of integrated graphics performance. The answer is…yes and no. Depending on the game, there are times where a fast Ivy Bridge CPU with HD 4000 will actually beat out Trinity; there are also times where Intel’s IGP really struggles to keep pace. The good news is that at least everyone is now onboard the DX11 bandwagon, and compatibility with games has improved yet again for Intel. Here are our “Value” benchmark results for seven recent games; we’ll have more information in a moment.

Batman: Arkham City—Value

Battlefield 3—Value

Civilization V—Value

DiRT 3—Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim—Value

Portal 2—Value

Total War: Shogun 2—Value

Out of our seven test titles, AMD’s Trinity leads any other IGP in four titles by a large margin. The other three titles actually have Ivy Bridge slightly ahead of Trinity, but the gaps aren’t nearly as big. Overall, the average performance across the seven games at our Value (medium) settings has AMD’s Trinity A10-4600M leading Intel’s i7-3720QM by 21%, and if we look at quad-core Sandy Bridge with HD 3000 (i7-2820QM) Trinity is 72% faster. Trinity is also around 20% faster than 35W Llano on average.

Let’s expand our gaming suite just a bit to see if things change, though. Just like we did with Ivy Bridge, we ran the eight games in our previous benchmark suite at medium detail settings. We can then compare performance across a wider 15 title selection to see how Trinity matches up against HD 4000, HD 3000, and HD 6620G (Llano). We’ll start with the bottom (HD 3000/Sandy Bridge) and move up.

Llano’s HD 6620G was already faster than HD 3000, and Trinity’s HD 7660G is faster than Llano, so the Sandy Bridge gaming matchup is a landslide victory in AMD’s favor. The closest Intel can get is in the same three titles where Ivy Bridge leads Trinity: Batman: Arkham City, DiRT 3, and Skyrim. Here, however, HD 3000 can’t actually close the gap and HD 6620G is at least 20% faster than HD 3000, with an average performance improvement of nearly 80%.

We found that across the same selection of 15 titles, Ivy Bridge and Llano actually ended up “tied”—Intel led in some games, AMD in others, but on average the two IGPs offered similar performance. This chart and the next chart will thus show a similar average increase in performance for Trinity, but the details in specific games are going to be different. Starting with Ivy Bridge and HD 4000, as with our earlier game charts we see there are some titles where Intel leads (Batman and Skyrim), a couple ties (DiRT 3 and Mass Effect 2), and the remainder of the games are faster on Trinity. Mafia II is close to our <10% “tie” range but comes in just above that mark, as do Left 4 Dead 2 and Metro 2033. The biggest gap is Civilization V, where Intel’s various IGPs have never managed good performance; Trinity is nearly twice as fast as Ivy Bridge in that title. Overall, it's a 20% lead for Trinity vs. quad-core Ivy Bridge.

Against Llano, Trinity is universally faster, but the smallest gap is in Mafia II (3%) while the largest gap is in StarCraft II (30%). On average, looking at these games Trinity is only 18% faster than Llano. What’s not entirely clear from the above chart is whether we’re hitting CPU limitations, memory bandwidth limitations (remember that Llano and Trinity share bandwidth with the rest of the system), or perhaps both. At our chosen settings, what is clear is that Trinity’s “up to 56% faster” graphics never make it that high.

We saw 35-45% higher scores in 3DMark 11 and Vantage, which tend to remove the CPU from the equation more than actual games, so our guess would be that if AMD continues with their APU plan they’re going to need to work more on the CPU side of the equation. We also see the same thing looking at the VAIO SE scores in the earlier gaming charts: the HD 6630M scores are 20% faster on average, but much of that appears to come from the faster CPU rather than the GPU.

AMD Trinity General Performance AMD’s Heterogeneous Computing with Trinity
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  • zepi - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    You've got it backwards.

    Stuff is priced according to the value it has for customers. To get as much money from their product as possible, regardless of manufacturing costs. Or that's what everybody is aiming for. Trinity is going to be cheap only because it's not good enough to get sales if priced higher.

    Best possible outcome for everybody would have been that cheapest Trinity-based laptops would cost about $1500, but they'd be about as fast as Ivy Bridge Quadcore-desktops with Geforce GTX680 and still achieve a battery-life of about 8min per Wh. And performance & price would both have only gone upwards from there on.

    That kind of performance-dominance would force Intel and Nvidia to drop their prices considerably (getting us the cheap laptops regardless of trinity being pricey) and we'd still have to option to go for über Trinity's if we'd have the cash.

    And it would save AMD from bankruptcy, ensuring that we'd have competition in future as well.

    Llano, Brazos and Bulldozer are all horrible products for AMD. Good product is characterized by the fact, that it has considerably more worth to the customer than it costs to manufacture it. If a product is good, it's easy to price it accordingly, and people will still buy it. AMD's CPU's are apparently very bad products, because AMD is making huge losses at the moment. And I don't think it's the GPU-division that's causing those losses.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Products are priced according to where the marketing folks think they'll sell. All you have to do is walk into Best Buy and talk to a sales person to realize that they'll push whatever they can on you, even if it's not faster/better. And I think the bean counters feel they can sell Trinity at $700 or more--and for many people, they're probably right. We'll see $600 and $500 Trinity as well, but that will be the A8 and A6 models, with less RAM and smaller HDDs.

    As far as competition, propping up an inferior product in the hope of having more competition isn't healthy, and if AMD has a superior product they simply charge as much as Intel. NVIDIA is the same. If someone came out with a chip that had the CPU performance of IVB and the GPU performance of a GTX card, all while using the power of Brazos...well, you can bet they'd charge an arm and a leg for it. They wouldn't sell it for $1500, they'd sell it for $2500--and some people would buy it.

    Ultimately, they're all big businesses, and they (try to) do what's best for the business, so I buy whatever product fits my needs best. I wish Trinity were more impressive, particularly on the CPU side of the equation. I think if Trinity's CPU were as fast as Ivy Bridge, the GPU portion would probably end up being 50% faster than HD 4000; unfortunately, there are titles that require more CPU work (Skyrim for instance) and that starts to level the playing field. But wishing for something that isn't here, or playing the "what if" game, just doesn't really accomplish anything.
    Reply
  • Targon - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    And you can get a quad-core A6 laptop for under $500 right now. If you pay attention, you generally get what you pay for. For most users, going with an AMD quad-core laptop does provide a decent product for the price. For some, CPU power is more important, and for others, a more well rounded machine is more important. I expect that A10-4600 laptops will start closer to $600 than $700, unless you are looking at machines with a large screen, discrete graphics, or something else that increases the prices. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    What you're all missing is all the then second tier Optimus laptops that will have much deflated pricing, as well as the load of $599 amd discrete laptops that will sell like wildfire and please those who waited - just like the amd fans are constantly waiting for nVidia to release so they can snag a second tier deflated price amd card.

    Since the "cpu doesn't matter !" as we have been told, there's no excuse to not snag a fine and cheap Optimus that won't have an IB.

    This is the "best time in the world" for all the amd fans to forget all prior generations of laptops and pretend, quite unlike in the video card area, that nothing else exists.

    I love how amd fans do that crap.
    Reply
  • evolucion8 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Also remember that Penryn was launched on 2007-2008 and until late 2009, several Core 2 Duo laptops were released. I have a Gateway MD7309u and it was launched on October 2009 and still feeling very snappy and has good battery life, I hate its GMA 4500M with my whole heart..... Reply
  • Nfarce - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Yeah well I don't understand the point of buying a low-mid range laptop expecting to be enjoying playing games at basic laptop 1366x768 resolutions. What's the point?

    You can spend around $1,200 on a mid-range i5 turbo boost laptop with a discreet GPU and 1600x900 resolution screen that plays games decently without completely shutting down the eye candy sliders. Save up and get a better laptop - and Intel with a dedicated AMD or Nvidia GPU. If you can afford $600 now, you can afford $1,200 down the road and enjoy things much better.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I agree but the famdboy loves to torture itself and claim everyone else loves cheap frustrating crap - often characterized as a "mobile employee on the road, in the airplane, or at the hotel spot" needing a "game fix"...(in other words someone flush enough to buy +discrete) as you pointed out.
    The rest of the tremendous and greatly pleased "light gamers" will purportedly be playing at work( no scratch that) or on their couch at home (that sounds like the crew) ... and then one has to ask why aren't they using one of the desktops at home for gaming... a $100 vidcard in that will smoke the crap out of "the light gamer".

    That leaves "enthusiasts" who just want to play with it and see for a few minutes if they can OC it, and "how it does" with games... and after that they will want to throw it at a wall for how badly it sucks - not to mention their online multi-player avatar will get smoked so badly their stats will plummet... so that will last all of two days.

    So we get down to who this thing is really good for - and I suppose that's the young teen to pre teen brat - as a way to get the kid off mommy's or daddy's system so they can have the reigns uninterrupted... so the teeny bopper gets the crud low $ cheap walmart lappy system that should also keep them tamed since being too rough with it means the thing snaps in half a the plastic crumbles.

    Yep - there it is - teeny bopper punkster will just have to live with the jaggied pixelized low end no eye candy crawler - and why not they still love it much more than homework and have no problem eyeballing the screen.
    Reply
  • Latzara - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    While i agree with the 'nothing earthshattering' part I have to wonder what kind of average Internet browsing usage are you commenting on when you say 'People want their laptop to be responsive when doing work, watching movies and browsing' -- Most of the CPUs on the entire board presented here are enough for work - not graphics modelling mind you - excell, DB, mail, presentations, average calculation load, and even smaller programming projects - which constitutes most of the workload an average worker is gonna get, movies stopped being an issue way before, and what kind of browsing are we talking about that will make your platform unresponsive (i don't mean frozen)? 25 tabs at once? Cause i've done that with a much weaker platform and had no issues...

    The main problem i see is that the plaform hasn't moved as much as ppl hoped, but enough to be a new iteration in terms of progress - and with the right pricing it could be the sweet spot for many of the broader average consumers - not just the '1% of the 1% of people looking for great gaming" ...
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Load up a couple Java runtime environments in those browsers. Some flash. I did have an etc in there. I am a multi-tasker, and cannot stand waiting any amount of time. For the majority of real laptop owners, a late Pentium M, Athlon 64/X2, is not enough power for any real work. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Please define a "real" laptop owner? I own an Alienware and I don't do any of that sort of crap. Mind you, most users I have met express more patience than you do, too. regardless, in none of these metrics do you appear to represent the majority, which is the target market for this chip. Reply

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