Anand is covering AMD’s latest Kabini/Temash architecture in a separate article, but here we get to tackle the more practical question: how does Kabini perform compared to existing hardware? Armed (sorry, bad pun) with a prototype laptop sporting AMD’s latest APU, we put it through an extensive suite of benchmarks and see what’s changed since Brazos, how Kabini stacks up against Intel’s current ULV offerings, and where it falls relative to ARM offerings and Clover Trail. But first, let’s talk about what’s launching today.

AMD has a three-pronged assault going out today: at the bottom (in terms of performance) is their 2013 AMD Elite Mobility Platform, formerly codenamed Temash. The main subject of this review is the newly christened 2013 AMD Mainstream APU Platform, aka Kabini. And at the higher end of the spectrum we’re also getting the Richland update to Trinity, which AMD is calling their 2013 Elite Performance APU Platform. We’ll cover all of these with Pipeline pieces, but here’s the overview of the Kabini parts:

In total there are five new Kabini APUs launching: one 25W part, three 15W parts, and one 9W offering. The hardware is the same from the architectural side of things, with the A-Series parts coming with four Jaguar CPU cores and supporting DDR3L-1600 while the E-Series will be dual-core with DDR3L-1333 on two of the models and DDR3L-1600 on the highest performance option. The GPUs in all cases will be fully enabled 128 core GCN architecture parts, but clock speeds range from 300MHz on the 9W part up to 600MHz on the 25W part, with the 15W parts filling in at clocks of 400-500MHz.

AMD provided plenty of material to discuss, and as usual there’s a lot of marketing material that we don’t need to get into too much. For those of you that want to see the AMD slides, though, here’s the full Kabini presentation gallery. Or if you're really interested, I've put the full 2013 Mobility Platforms deck into our galleries.

AMD’s Kabini Laptop Prototype
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  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    kabini only has a single channel memory controller. Going to two DIMMS would not improve performance at all. Reply
  • Gaugamela - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    He didn't mention dual channel memory not even once in his comment. He mentioned comparing a inexpensive chip that competes against Atoms/Pentiums in price/performance/TDP with an intel i5 which is a much more powerful chip. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    I wonder how starvered the cores are for memory bandwith. Even the xbox one will be using quad channel memory (4 64 bit controllers) and 2133 mhz instead of 1600, that is over five times the bandwidth. The ps4 keeps the quad channel but uses gddr5 memory Reply
  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Well the xbox one has 6x the igp and the ps4 has 9x the igp. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    I am not asking if the gpu is bandwidth starved but is the cpu bandwidth starved

    I understand why amd went single channel, I am just curious if dual channel would make a difference
    Reply
  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    CPU is almost never bandwidth starved. Literally, you can run a 3770k on 1033 mhz ram and outside winrar you will never notice any differences compared to 2133 mhz ram. 3770k is dual channel but more than 4x as powerful as this kabini apu. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Your statement that an i7 does not need faster memory does not necessarily translate to this situation with jaguar and that is why I am curious if the cores are starved. I wish it was possible for anandtech to test this (but it is very hard to do so for there isn't really laptop ram faster than 1600 mhz for laptops). Here is why you can't just assume what works with an i7 translates with the jaguar chip.

    533 mhz dual channel is equivalent to 1066 single channel. (Remember i7-3770k is dual channel while amd jaguar in this implementation is single channel). Thus you can't just assume an i7 is fine with dual channel, than the jaguar would be fine with single channel for the i7 has 100% more bandwidth due to it being dual channel.

    Furthermore i7-3770k is intels high performance architecture with large r&d vs amd's energy efficent architecture with small r&d chip. It is very likely intel has better data predictors in their i7 so there's less cache miss and thus you don't care about the memory speed. Intel R&D money is a big deal and translates into better IPC for many reasons including branch prediction.

    Lets put it this way arm is going higher bandwidth for more ipc. Tegra 3 is a mere single channel 32 bit controller, Tegra 4 is likely to be a dual channel 32 bit controller, Exynos 5 uses a dual channel 32 bit controller. Apple on their Ipads now use a quad channel 32 bit controller. One reason why exynos and ipad were faster than tegra 3 was better memory bandwidth.

    I am not saying you will see improvements greater than 20% but I am curious if faster memory speeds would cause ipc to go up from 5 to 20%. For example with bulldozer amd gets 8% faster encoding with x264 first pass with 2133 memory dual channel instead of 1333 dual channel according to vr-zone.

    It may not be in amd best interest to make the jaguar chip dual channel 64 bit for cheap laptops that compete against intel's celeron or pentium lines, for laptops. Yet at the same time Jaguar is going to be AMD process for low power in the future. It is quite possible that AMD may in the future (if the tdp is low enough) make a 20nm dual channel chip for the higher margin tablets, high margin tablets would insist on higher ipc for the cpu and more bandwidith for the screen, while low margin cheap computers would not care about increase ipc. It is possible that in the future AMD can find a sweet spot between intel atom and intel haswell. (I am not saying this is likely, just merely possible all depends on intel's pricing to oems for haswell.)
    Reply
  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    It is extremely unlikely for this chip's cpu to be hurt by memory bandwidth. Sure the i7 has 100% more bandwidth but you must factor in the power of the chip. The i7-3770k is going to be something like 6x more powerful (3.7 ghz turbo + IPC advantage + HT). Even if the kabini chip tested in this review was half as efficient as the 3770k in utilizing memory bandwidth it still wouldn't show any differences in cpu performance.
    Phone/tablet SOCs mainly need the bandwidth for the gpu portion of the die (the high res screen was the reason that apple needed such an interface). If they need more bandwidth it'll be for the igp portion of the die (definitely 1066 mhz ram on a single channel will hurt this thing) for kabini.
    Reply
  • geoflouw - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Need a comparison against Haswell and Baytrail please. This data is misleading, i really would hope AMD can compete with 1 year old CPUs and SOCs..... Reply
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    It’s hardly misleading. Haswell is still under NDA and Bay Trail is due around Q4 which is why they aren’t compared. The better comparison will be Bail Trail based on pricing and performance. AMD should still have a healthy lead for GPU but if Intel’s recent info is true it should be close on the CPU front. The main difference is that Bay Trail has a low enough TDP for a cheap fanless tablet whereas the chip reviewed today is 15W so Ultrabook class. So you get two out of four with AMD:
    The Good: GPU + Price
    The Bad: power consumption + low IPC
    So business as usual really.
    Reply

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