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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  • Montrey - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    #8, I was wondering the same thing. I love the mobile 2600+ in my desktop, would be interested in seeing how high you can overvolt/overclock one of these. Anyone know what voltage they're running at to put out 35 watts at 2ghz? Reply
  • raskren - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    Wow. If Intel had taken a binned, low-voltage P4 and slapped a Centrino sticker on it, everyone here would be bashing to no end. Guess what, AMD just did it.

    Doubtful that these will outperform the latest Pentium M chips if they truly are lower speed, lower voltage K8 chips.
  • filterxg - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    #8 I don't think you'll ever see a miniITX NF4 board. NF4 (I think) can't go any smaller than full ATX, certainly can't go smaller than microATX. If you want miniITX for an AMD platform, VIA is really the only hope. Reply
  • xsilver - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    will there actually be MA - MZ type processors? bundled with the 4 different initial clock speeds?..... wow -- talk about a huge number of products! how will pricing work?
    and there will be an obvious shortage of the lowest power spec and cheapest versions....

    if its desktop socket compatible, should be a nice sucessor to the mobile xp cpus...
  • nserra - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    I hope that these Turion based platforms will succeed. WHY?

    Centrino is excellent! But its monopolist, you can only get the complete centrino package from ONE manufacture, so they all have the same specs, price, performance, features... which is bad, i think.

    I hope that they (amd and the others) will do fine, no doubt that the K8 is a superb design, it fills all needs in all markets, and very well.
  • alangeering - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    Sorry, may have missed it in the article, what socket will thie chip use? Will it be compatible with any desktop sockets (754/939/etc.)?

    If it were then we could see it heading for a fast introduction to the HTPC market.

    I'm still waiting for a nice s939 NF4 miniITX design to come along.
    For now the best power/performance miniITX MBord is based on the Pentuim M.
  • bersl2 - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    While I don't see it ever happening, #6, that would be awesome. As is, it's frickin' impossible to fix laptops. They make it so damn hard to disassemble. Also, I would hope that they wouldn't do stupid things with the design, such as putting a right-angled plug in the back, so that when you actually put the thing in your lap, it puts stress on the component that interfaces the plug and the motherboard, making the thing eventually come loose. Thanks, Compaq!

    And while I'm complaining: could laptop makers *please* start using Intel's ASL compiler for their ACPI DSDT tables? Microsoft's is nowhere near as strict and allows bugs through. OK thanks!
  • DigitalDivine - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    As long as these babies have a decent videocard bundled... i will get them.

    nothing below a 9600 mobility.

    god... i want an open standard for laptops so i can build my own.
  • Ardan - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    I like AMD's track record, and the low heat that my 90nm overclocked Athlon 64 produces. I think this is going to be just what the doctor ordered as well and I can't wait to see a full review of it. Not benchmarks-wise, but the package as a whole. I sure liked Centrino notebooks, but I think I might prefer these because of the flexibility actually. Reply
  • joeld - Thursday, March 10, 2005 - link

    waiting for the arima W622 w/ x700 to roll out... Reply

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