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Starcraft 2

Our next game is Starcraft II, Blizzard's 2010 RTS megahit. Starcraft II is a DX9 game that is designed to run on a wide range of hardware, and given the growth in GPU performance over the years it's often CPU limited before it's GPU limited on higher-end cards.

Starcraft 2 - GPU Bench

Starcraft 2 - GPU Bench

Starcraft 2 - GPU Bench

Despite being heavily influenced by CPU performance, Starcraft 2 shows big gains when moving to Trinity. The improvement over Llano ranges from 16 - 27% in our tests. The performance advantage over Ivy Bridge is huge.

 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda's epic sword & magic game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is our RPG of choice for benchmarking. It's altogether a good CPU benchmark thanks to its complex scripting and AI, but it also can end up pushing a large number of fairly complex models and effects at once. This is a DX9 game so it isn't utilizing any new DX11 functionality, but it can still be a demanding game.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

We see some mild improvements over Llano in our Skyrim tests, and even Intel is able to catch up a bit. Trinity still does quite well, only NVIDIA's GeForce GT 640 can really deliver better performance than the top-end A10-5800K SKU.

Portal 2 & Battlefield 3 Performance Minecraft & Civilization V Performance
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  • Voldenuit - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Agreed. If anything, AMD's PR moves are a faux pas, because it leads the reader to wonder just how bad their x86 performance might be if they have to go behind readers' backs to manipulate public perception by forcing reviewers to cherry pick benchmarks.

    In reality, I expect Trinity's x86 performance to be acceptable, but AMD's tiered benchmark and preferential treatment of reviewers sets a bad precedent for the industry that Anand should not have agreed to.
    Reply
  • Hubb1e - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Think of this like the launch of the AMD 7660 D graphics card then have a cup of tea, and maybe you will feel better about it.

    I'm happy to have something to read about. They didn't have to release anything until Oct 2nd.

    It sounds like a pretty decent GPU. It's something I can toss in the wife's computer and guests could have a pretty decent expeirence when they come over and I don't even have to worry about that extra idle power consumption of a graphics card that goes unused by my wife.

    But, look at those die sizes. Anand compares them to the i5 since it shows them in a more favorable light. Drop the Ivy i3 in that chart at 116mm2 and Trinity looks like the fat girl at a wet T-shirt contest. She's got the biggest jugs but the sacrifice to get there may not be worth it.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    AMD is an evil, vile corporate pig filled with lies and spinmeisters toying with the pliable minds of the immensely ignorant fanbase of haters it has carefully developed over many years.

    Now it has turned fully to the darkside and launched an attack from it's crumbling deathstar, an attack never seen before. It's the head pig destroyer of review sites.
    Be proud amd fans, all those years you fed on your hatred of nVidia and Intel, yesss... feel the hatred... let it flow through you...
    You're no Luke Skywalkers, you have given in to the darkside....
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    It's a bolder move than manufacturers have tried in the past, but it's not unheard of. Most company sanctioned pre-release reviews have some sort of restriction put on them. No pricing discussion is not unusual, the GPU-focus here is unusual but not totally out of the ordinary. The original Intel sanctioned Conroe performance previews were done similarly (Intel set and controlled the only applications that could be tested).

    The original press embargo for Trinity was in October. If you wanted to show something earlier, these were the rules. I'm not a huge fan of staggered embargoes, but they exist and this wasn't the first one. Had AMD tried at all to influence the benchmarks we ran, tests we used or conclusions we came to I guarantee you that things would've unfolded very differently.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • juampavalverde - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Its a known move from the manufacturers, and knowing what happens with the NDA's its hard, but also its the case of a product with a performance hard to measure at least in the individual metrics, because has everything onboard, so i have no chance of getting any conclusion just knowing half of the data, i dont know how much of the power comes from the IGP, or the CPU, or how powerul is the GPU in comparison with others in an apples to apples test (i dont know if every GPU was tested over the APU or in another test rig), and if the piledriver quad its holding back the whole APU or it is doing right. From the performance measured in the IGP, its just a meh comparing to Llano, and not far enough from the HD 4000.

    AMD its MAD if they want to play Intel games. Intel can do it because they control the market, but being the underdog, performing unspectacular and behaving mad and bad... oh dear... they will be bought by Qualcomm when their stock go further down.
    Reply
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Anand, thank you for taking the time to respond with your thoughts.

    I do agree with you that this behaviour is not unprecedented in the industry, and all camps (red, blue, green) have done it at some point or another.

    However, when Conroe previews were released, they were clearly marked as such.

    The Trinity reviews out now might be more properly termed as previews, since the part is not available and will not be for a couple more weeks.

    At the end of the day, the performance will be nothing unusual or unexpected, since we've had mobile trinity parts benchmarked for a while.

    What worries me is that staged and staggered reviews under NDA and exclusivity clauses may become the norm if the rest of the industry picks up on this practice and runs with it.

    I also don't think this PR stunt has worked in AMD's favor - rather than highlighting its (well-earned) GPU prowess, it's raising questions about its x86 performance (which are probably very close to the mobile part's documented performance) and the (probably unintended) ethics of attempting to influence the review process.
    Reply
  • tecknurd - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    After reading that article at techreport.com, I can not believe that Anandtech have resorted to obey AMD's rules of reviewing the latest products. I was wondering where is the general usage benchmarks and where is the encoding benchmarks. I thought this is a review site and not some teaser. If I was a reviewer, I would post the benchmarks of general usage which means going against the email. A reporter has every right post the truth. Where is the truth on this site?

    Like I comment on other sites, AMD arrogance is ruin their reputation and the reputation of reviewers.

    BTW, I doubt the email will hold up in court, so it is OK to disobey it unless the contract is ambiguous.
    Reply
  • SleepyFE - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    OMG.

    Forget the e-mail, they signed an NDA!!
    And there is truth in the article, just not the whole truth. You don't post everything that happens to you on facebook do you? Some thing are left out for whatever reason Consider the NDA as AMD's privacy settings.
    Reply
  • Jamahl - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Scott also "previewed" conroe under the kinds of limitations Anand spoke about.

    http://techreport.com/review/9538/intel-conroe-per...

    The main difference is he didn't complain bitterly about it. Techreport doesn't have the staff to get these kinds of reviews done in time, so instead they take the easy option by slagging off AMD.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    It's not review of the product, but it's a review of the GPU performance. Period. Reply

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