Final Words

I have to admit, Trinity's CPU performance made it a lot closer to Intel's Core i3 3220 than I expected it to. In the worst case there's still a huge gap in single threaded performance, but even SYSMark 2012 only shows Intel's Core i3 3220 with a 12% performance advantage. Multithreaded workloads do reasonably well on Trinity as well. Intel pulls ahead in some, while AMD does in others and there's another selection of applications/workloads where we see performance parity between similarly priced Trinity and Ivy Bridge parts. A big part of all of this is Intel disabling features on its Core i3 (the lack of turbo hurts), but Piledriver's high clock speeds and AMD's pricing strategy both play a role here as well.

The big exception to all of this is high-end gaming performance. If you're planning on pairing a beefy GPU with a cheap CPU, you're much better off going with Intel than AMD at this point. Single threaded performance is still far too important to most gaming workloads for the recommendation to be anything different.

As I mentioned earlier, Trinity's CPU performance puts the buying decision squarely in the tradeoff evaluation zone. Once again what matters the most is how important Trinity's GPU is to you. AMD holds a clear advantage there if you're going to use it, otherwise the decision is heavily weighted towards Intel. Intel holds a power consumption advantage and a clear single threaded performance advantage, while there are some specific workloads that will do better on Trinity (e.g. AES-NI accelerated apps, heavily threaded integer applications).

Overall Trinity is a step forward from Llano. It's not enough to make the job of recommending the APU any less complex than what I've outlined above however. Depending on what you plan on doing with your system, Trinity is either going to be perfect or a distant second.

What I am happy to see is AMD putting a little competitive pressure on Intel here. Offering unlocked K SKUs, features like AES-NI and great GPU performance at these price points is important. I don't believe Trinity is strong enough on the CPU side to really force Intel to do the same with the Core i3, but we do need AMD to keep doing this and getting better each time.

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  • delirious7 - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    also forgot to mention that one ivy bridge pentium has been out for a while now. the G2120. it is retailing for $100 on newegg.
  • bill4 - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    "Can easily upgrade down the line" pretty much misses the point imo.

    Theoretically, this thing might be for casuals who are never going to upgrade, or people who need to pinch every last penny, or people who want a general purpose machine that isn't a total dog when they wanna game now and again, etc.
  • LancerVI - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link


    I agree 100%. Trinity is perfect for a great kids/wife general use computer. Websurfing and minecraft or wizard 101.

    As long as they stay off my machine, we're good!
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    Yes, but you shouldn't expect people who didn't even read the conclusion to the article to pay any attention to what you have to say here. :(
  • parkerm35 - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    $70 will get you a nice GT630 which is slower than the 7660D! And then when it comes to threaded tasks, you will be left waiting an eternity. Nice plan....
  • ac2 - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    Actually I said "That puts a $50 saving towards...", I certainly didn't say that would be the total price!

    Highly threaded integer tasks are a rarity for me so...
  • CaptainDoug - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    why'd you pick a GT630? there's a 6670 for $65 that's roughly twice as powerful as the GT630. It would end up being like 35% more powerful than a 7660D.
  • Jamahl - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    Did you see how far the Pentium was behind in multi threading? It will not beat the A10 in gaming in most cases but feel free to waste money on a dual core if you want.
  • mattlach - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    Multithreading is still mostly irrelevant in most Games.

    Yes, there are a couple of games that support it pretty well well (Battlefield 3, Civilization 5) but the vast majority of games out there are still of the "load one core 100% and load a second (and possibly third) core 15-20%" variety.

    In these circumstances two fast cores are going to beat 4, 6 or 8 slow cores almost every time.

    It's not about IPC, and its not about clock speed. It's about the combination of the two. Per core performance is still king, and I don't think this is going to change any time soon due to the difficulties involved in writing good multithreaded code, and Amdahls law.
    ( )
  • bji - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    Yeah, but aren't *PC's* irrelevant in most Games?

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