Kabini Windows 8 Laptop Performance

With the SoC and “lighter device” benchmarks out of the way, let’s also look at what Kabini offers for a full laptop experience. Let me preface this section by simply stating many of our laptop benchmarks really aren’t a good fit for an APU like Kabini—e.g. doing 3D rendering or x264 HD encoding on such a chip is just asking for poor performance. We’re also looking at different OS configurations (Windows 7 vs. Windows 8, IE8/9 vs. IE10), so there’s a slightly higher potential for margin of error here.

Our current list of laptops includes AMD's Brazos E-350 (MSI X370), Kabini A4-5000, and Trinity A10-4600M; on the Intel front we have i7-3517U (Dell XPS 12) and Pentium 2020M (a late addition when we managed to get a laptop for short-term testing). Both of the Intel chips are 22nm parts, but note that the Pentium chip is a 35W part. Sadly, we have not yet been able to get a Pentium 2117U as a comparison. [Note: Some laptops are still being tested on some of the benchmarks; their scores will be added/updated as they complete.]

We do want to see what sort of gains are present relative to Brazos, however, so let’s get started. We’re presenting an abbreviated look at performance here, but we have the full set of benchmark results in Mobile Bench, including some of our older benchmarks that we’ve run against Brazos and other laptops prior to 2013. There are two main questions to consider for each benchmark: how much faster is Kabini than Brazos (and where does it place relative to other options), and does Kabini provide enough performance to handle the task represented by the benchmark?

PCMark 7 (2013)

Cinebench R11.5—Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5—Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

Starting with PCMark 7, we have both HDD and SSD results. As usual, the presence of an SSD boosts performance in the overall score by more than 50%, so Kabini with an SSD can feel far more responsive than Ivy Bridge with an HDD, depending on the task. Relative to Brazos, even with an HDD on both laptops, Kabini is nearly 50% faster. ULV Ivy Bridge on the other hand offers twice the performance of Kabini in the overall score, though Quick Sync skews that pretty heavily. Looking at the individual results, ULV IVB is around 30-50% faster on most CPU tasks, and it’s even a bit faster on the GPU side in most areas as we’ll see in a moment.

Update: We've added Pentium 2020M to the above charts, which lacks Quick Sync support and runs at a maximum clock speed of 1.8GHz. It's clearly slower than the i7-3517U in the Dell XPS 12, but it's also still a healthy step up from Kabini in terms of performance. The 2020M is a full 35W part, like the A10-4600M, and it tends to slightly outperform Trinity on CPU tasks while trailing in GPU performance. On the Kabini front, however, even the Pentium 2020M is able to lead on nearly all the performance metrics.

The CPU performance testing of x264 HD 5.x and Cinebench confirm the CPU deficit AMD faces with Kabini. In heavily threaded workloads, Ivy Bridge ULV is 50-100% faster, but the real problem is in the single-threaded workloads. A single Jaguar core in Cinebench manages to score just 0.39 compared to IVB ULV’s score of 1.24, so worst-case Kabini is one third the speed of Ivy Bridge. Standard Voltage Trinity APUs are likewise a big step up from Kabini, offering roughly twice the CPU performance in some cases. Of course, the power draw from standard Trinity tends to be far higher than Kabini.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark06

Quickly looking at the 3DMark results, if you were hoping Kabini would be fast enough to handle modern games at moderate detail settings, the relative standings in 3DMark should help prep you for what’s to come. The A10 Trinity can handle many titles at moderate details, but even it struggles with many of the latest releases; Kabini has about a third of the total GPU compute performance of Trinity, and while it’s a bit faster than that in some games, for the most part it’s best suited for older games that don’t require as much from the CPU or GPU.

As for Intel's chips, while the Core i7 ULV part ends up faster than Kabini, the same can't be said of the Pentium 2020M; it's a tie in some tests but falls behind (sometimes significantly, e.g. 3DMark 11) in others. As neither chip is really fit for high-end graphics work, it's not really a major concern. If you want decent graphics performance, you're going to want more than either Kabini or Ivy Bridge has to offer.

Kabini vs CT/ARM: GPU Performance Kabini Gaming and Battery Life
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  • Gaugamela - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    And by the way. HP announced the Pavilion 11 Touchsmart for 400$ with this A4 and the A6 APU. So 20% less than those wonderful i3 Ivy Bridges of yours and with a 10 point touchscreen.
    Jeez, I wonder if it's good enough to compete?
    Reply
  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    There are already $400 ivy bridge touchscreen i3 ULV notebooks. Reply
  • Gaugamela - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    With promotions. And there's no one saying that 400$ is the minimum price point that Kabini can achieve. Lets see what other OEMs will show in Computex. Because it can go lower.
    Ivy Bridge is an architecture in end of shelf life. Promotions are bound to happen. Those weren't the normal prices of notebooks of a freshly released architecture and if you were intelectually honest instead of trolling like a jackass you would recognize that.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Core i3 ULV laptops are routinely selling for $400 now. The ASUS VivoBook X202E for instance is at Amazon for $399 right now and comes equipped similarly to the Kabini prototype (other than the LCD of course), and it provides a touchscreen:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009F1I1C4/ref=as...

    The closest I can come to that with an AMD APU right now has...a Kabini processor and it's on preorder. What's more, it's the A4-1250 Kabini that cuts the CPU and GPU clocks by about 30% relative to A4-5000. The A4-5000 might be competitive with an i3-3217U, but the A4-1250 won't be (other than battery life, which should be slightly higher).
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CM1AAOG/ref=as...
    Reply
  • Gaugamela - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    You should refrain from commenting because you are just digging yourself deeper and showing bias against AMD. Which is pitiful since with a website with the reputation and impact that Anandtech has you should strive for impartiality. HP announced that the Pavilion 11 Touchsmart will come with a Temash and Kabini APU. Price will start at 400$ at launch.
    Less than that Acer, which I agree is a terrible deal and is overpriced because it is sporting hardware from a new generation. But again, you are just showing poor knowledge since that Acer doesn't bring a Kabini APU but a Temash APU. An APU with even lower TDP than what you reviewed in here - and you can also go check a decent review of the APU in that notebook in other websites since you guys don't seem to bother or care with those details since "it's AMD".

    But you, more than anyone else should know that when a CPU generation is nearing the end of its shelf life you usually see a lot of deals of notebooks with that silicon. Good consumers will use that chance to get cheaper and great notebooks but that doesn't invalidate the launch of new hardware that, when launched will sell for higher prices.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    You're one to talk about bias; check the mirror please. All I'm saying is that Kabini (and Temash) need to offer compelling price/performance/features against the competition. It doesn't matter whether the competition is "nearing the end of its shelf life" -- it's there and AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, etc. have to deal with this sort of thing all the time. I recommend products based on what's best, at a given price, and right now a $400 Ivy Bridge ULV laptop is going to be difficult to beat with a slower APU and a similar price point.

    Your "Ivy Bridge ULV is EOL" comments are actually wrong as well. Did you know ULV Pentium and Celeron parts just launched last quarter? Did you know that Intel is still making and selling Core i3 Sandy Bridge parts? Of course you did, because you want comparisons against the two-year-old Sandy Bridge parts so that Kabini looks better. The truth is that laptops with Ivy Bridge are going to be around for a long time. Pretending otherwise is dreaming, and of course you'll disappear when proven wrong or come back as a new user to spread more FUD when your fantasy predictions don't pan out.

    Ultimately, it will depend heavily on what the OEMs deliver -- and when they deliver it. The Pavilion 11 Touchsmart at $399 doesn't seem too bad, but what do you really get? Oh, that's right: it *starts* at $399, and that will almost certainly be with Temash as you're so keen to point out. But Temash is just Kabini at lower clocks and potentially two CPU cores instead of four. Do you know how bad an A4-1250 will look compared to an i-3217U, or a Pentium 2117U, or even a Celeron 1037U? Those should all be priced $400 or less, with the major difference being L2 cache and the lack of Quick Sync on Pentium and Celeron. I've seen some benchmarks elsewhere, and basically the A4-1250 is often half the performance of the Kabini A4-5000 reviewed here.

    Kabini is much better than Brazos and Atom, no doubt about it. It's also slower than Ivy Bridge ULV in many tests, and areas where it does win (some GPU benchmarks) are often meaningless for the Windows laptop market. (“Oh, you’re faster at running games! I can get an unplayable 15FPS compared to an even more unplayable 13FPS!”) On an Android tablet, Kabini and Temash will do much better, but for Windows they're at best "fast enough", while other similarly priced laptops are going to be faster. Who buys a slower part for the same price? I’m not sure, but as an unbiased tech journalist I’m certainly not going to recommend doing so.
    Reply
  • rocketbuddha - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    The reason why Kabini and Temash are good for AMD is the following.
    Clock for clock they are better than Sandy i3 ULVs and equal to Ivy i3 ULVs. They provide a better battery life than the ULVs but most importantly they have a smaller die size than their Core competition and are being made in a mature 2 + year 28nm Bulk HKMG process from TSMC.
    For the first time, AMD is giving a good performance and a lower die-size than Intel. Previously AMD had to compete in price and/or price/performance with a large die-size. No longer is it handicapped in that manner and this time it can definetely make an impact.

    Also JAGUAR architecture has made its way into both PS4 and XBox-one as semi custom APU and it will only make things better and easier for AMD.
    Reply
  • whyso - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    The name calling is uncalled for. I can respectfully disagree. Who cares about promotions or not? I care (and the consumer cares) about the price that they are paying out of their wallet; that is what matters in the market. Ivy Bridge is going to get discounts because its going EOL. That is the market that kabini will have to compete in. Reply
  • Gaugamela - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Yes, the consumer cares about promotions but my point is: Kabini notebooks won't have to compete against Ivy Bridge discounted notebooks except for a small portion of their commercial life.
    And if Kabini needs to compete with that, the same can be said about Haswell, Richland, etc, etc. Every new notebook that gets in the market now will compete with promotions for the older models being cleared out and it's not those promotions that will affect their success or not.
    And that's the point I am making and that you fail to understand. Promotions happen all the time, they direct the consumer to one product above another but they are temporary. And the flaw in your reasoning is assuming that Kabini/Temash notebooks will face Ivy Bridge notebooks with promotional prices during all the time they are going to be for sale and not recognizing that promotions happen for all products and aren't exclusive of Ivy Bridge notebooks.
    Reply
  • whyso - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    No haswell will be more expensive but offer more performance.

    Promotions happen all the time but if they happen all the time then they might as well be considered as non temporary (like dell's discounts).

    I have no doubt that promotions will happen for kabini I'm just saying that $500 is too much for a notebook of this class. Its not an i3 ULV competitor (see TH for i3 ULV comparison) and at this moment must be compared pricewise to the market its in.
    Reply

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