Kabini vs CT/ARM: GPU Performance

I pulled out 3DMark and GFXBenchmark (formerly GL/DXBenchmark) for some cross platform GPU comparisons. We'll start with 3DMark Ice Storm and its CPU bound multithreaded physics benchmark:


The physics test is a bit unreasonably multithreaded, which is why we see a 75% uplift compared to AMD's E-350. For FP heavy game physics workloads however, Jaguar does quite well. While a big Ivy Bridge is still going to be quicker, AMD's A4-5000 gets surprisingly close given its much lower cost.

The 3DMark graphics test is more of what we're interested in seeing here. Two GCN compute units (128 SPs/cores) running at 500MHz will really put the old Radeon HD 6310 in Brazos to shame:


The results are quite good. Kabini manages a 61% performance advantage over AMD's old Brazos platform, and actually gets surprisingly close to Intel's HD 4000 in performance. As we discovered earlier, this isn't really enough performance to play modern PC games but casual (and especially tablet) gaming workloads should do wonderfully here.

3DMark—Ice Storm

The overall Ice Storm score just incorporates both physics and graphics test components. As expected, Kabini continues to lead over everything other than the i5-3317U.

Finally we have the GFXBenchmark T-Rex HD test. I threw in a handful of older PC GPUs, although keep in mind that T-Rex HD isn't very memory bandwidth intensive (penalizing some of the old big PC GPUs that had good amounts of memory bandwidth). The test is also better optimized for unified shader architectures, which helps explain the 8500 GT's excellent performance here.

GL/DXBenchmark 2.7—T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

Kabini does very well in this test as well. If we look at the tablet-oriented Temash part (A4-1200) we see that the number of GCN compute units remains unchanged, but max GPU frequency drops to 225MHz from 500MHz. If we assume perfect scaling with GPU clock speed, Temash could offer roughly the same graphics performance as the 4th generation iPad. AMD claims the A4-1200 Temash APU carries a TDP of only 3.9W, a potentially very interesting part from a GPU perspective if our napkin math holds true.

OpenCL Performance

For our last comparison we're looking at the OpenCL performance of these on-die GPUs. We're using a subset of Ryan's GPU Compute workload, partially because many of those tests don't work properly on Kabini yet and also because some of those tests are really built for much more powerful GPUs. We've got LuxMark 2.0 and two CLBenchmark 1.1.3 tests here. Their descriptions follow:

SmallLuxGPU is an OpenCL accelerated ray tracer that is part of the larger LuxRender suite. Ray tracing has become a stronghold for GPUs in recent years as ray tracing maps well to GPU pipelines, allowing artists to render scenes much more quickly than with CPUs alone.

CLBenchmark contains a number of subtests; we’re focusing on the most practical of them, the computer vision test and the fluid simulation test. The former being a useful proxy for computer imaging tasks where systems are required to parse images and identify features (e.g. humans), while fluid simulations are common in professional graphics work and games alike.

OpenCL GPU Performance
  LuxMark 2.0 CLBenchmark—Vision CLBenchmark—Fluid
AMD A5-5000 (Radeon HD 8330) 18K samples/s 1041 1496
AMD E-350 (Radeon HD 6310) 23K samples/s 292 505
Intel Core i5-3317U (HD 4000) 107K samples/s 819 1383

LuxMark is really a corner case here where Kabini shows a performance regression compared to Brazos. The explanation is simple: some workloads are better suited to AMD's older VLIW GPU architectures. GCN is a scalar architecture that is usually going to net more efficient usage, but every now and then you'll see a slight regression. Intel's HD 4000 actually does amazingly well in the LuxMark 2.0 benchmark.

Our two CLBenchmark tests however paint a very different picture. Here Kabini not only significantly outperforms its predecessor, but is faster than Ivy Bridge as well. 

Kabini vs. Clover Trail & ARM Kabini Windows 8 Laptop Performance


View All Comments

  • MrSpadge - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    It's a shame for Anandtech that AMD didn't include a dual channel controller on the die? Weird. Reply
  • HalloweenJack - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    rubbish Kabini includes dual channel on die - the `prototype` doesn't use it. which is ofc a shame , and if anandtech wasn't being paid by intel or employed intel staff on its website , they would likely have added another stick to show the improvement gained. Reply
  • t.s - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    "Just to call out a couple noteworthy items, first is the single-channel memory configuration. In theory that could be hampering performance somewhat, but we have no real way of knowing. While the laptop does support two SO-DIMMs, Kabini only supports a single-channel interface, so adding a second SO-DIMM wouldn't help." --Page 2

    So, Whose right? If Kabini indeed support dual channel on die, then yes, it's a shame. Knowing it will raise the bar for AMD and intentionally didn't include it with testbed in the review.
  • GuMeshow - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Kabini does not "include dual channel on die". All the websites i've seen say "Kabini features a single 64-bit DDR3 memory controller", two SO-DIMM sockets does not mean two channels ... Unless i'm mistaken and if that is the case i would ask for your source on that. Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    No, you're right. HalloweenJack is spreading FUD instead of candy. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Tool. Reply
  • johnny_boy - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - link

    I wondered the same thing, but I thought "shame on AMD". Why would they be that retarded though? I don't get it. Reply
  • johnny_boy - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - link

    I get it now, after having read the comments. I should also read the article. Reply
  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    I believe that kabini is typically $42-72, though I can't find the link Reply
  • polyzp - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    AMD back in the High End with Steamroller! Check out the benchmarks


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