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. 



View All Comments

  • Regs - Friday, April 01, 2005 - link

    Of course we would of bashed Intel for rebranding a P4 for mobile. It would be a POS. But I praise the P-M. If I was willing to spend 2-3k on a laptop, I would chose it any day over AMD. And I'm even a AMD fanboi. Reply
  • bhtooefr - Monday, March 14, 2005 - link

    To clear up any confusion:

    The Turion 64 ML series is obviously a 90nm Mobile A64 (both are 35W, both are S754, etc., etc.) However, the MT series is a 90nm 25W Mobile A64. There is a difference, just not a big one.

    Myself, I'm waiting for a Geode 64. Seeing as the Turion 64 is hitting higher clock speeds at lower voltages than the AXP-M, a Geode 64 is very likely... Actually, I'm waiting on the dev board - hopefully, it'll be Mini-ITX ;-)
  • mac2j - Sunday, March 13, 2005 - link

    I've been waiting for these forever - I'm so excited they're finally here but I'm dissapointed in the lackluster vendor support.

    I thought I heard HP/Compact was planning a Turion 64 laptop for next month. And what about the gaming vendors like Alienware, Vector, Velocity and ABS?
  • Slaimus - Sunday, March 13, 2005 - link

    I thought the chip is supposed to be vastly different than the A64. AMD had a whole separate design team to do this, and all they could come up with is just underclocking a E-revision A64? Reply
  • larciel - Saturday, March 12, 2005 - link

  • Viditor - Friday, March 11, 2005 - link

    Questar - "Did you forget about the ultra low voltage Pentium M that's only 5.5 watts?"

    Since it's not used in laptops, they probably ignored it...but to be fair, they also ignored:
    1. The ULP Opteron and A64
    2. The data showing that TDP for Intel and AMD are based on different things (meaning that an Intel TDP of 27w is probably about equal to an AMD TDP of 35w because Intel uses probable power and AMD uses max theoretical power).
    3. Chipset power utilization

    "No chipsets from AMD either"

    Both Via and ATI have announced and shipped their chipsets already...Via's is the K8N800A, and ATI's is the mobile version of the Radeon Xpress 200.
    SIS and Nvidia are due to release theirs in the next 2 weeks...
  • stephenbrooks - Friday, March 11, 2005 - link

    Personally I'll be interested in these chips in laptops because I do a lot of the sort of stuff (floating point...) that I know the A64 architecture is so good at. I suppose if I were a digital video buff I might prefer the P-M.

    Incidentally... 2GHz! That is not bad. Even 1.8GHz used to be a "high" clock speed for AMD quite recently I recall, and now it's in 25W.
  • GoatHerderEd - Friday, March 11, 2005 - link

    #25, nice comment (=

    #30, nice, bring the picture comments over here. I will be the first to say, Why did you use JPG? They are so HUGE! LMAO JK.

    #33, yes, go to the UK.
  • Imaginer - Friday, March 11, 2005 - link

    IMO, I know that AMD doesnt have the luxury of controlling what it will brand with the mobile 64 for the Turion platform but that integration is what made the Centrino partly in its success.

    One thing i can think of is the software issues. There isnt multiple platforms or chips to worry about, just one set of 3 components dictated by Intel to a certain standard.

    Second, even though I like the power consumption of AMD's chip compared to the P4, its nowhere near the Pentium M in this case. Also while we are in the area of power consumption, I am sure that AMD will require the third party manufacturs to have chips under a certain power rating but I dont know if that will be the case.
  • yanon - Friday, March 11, 2005 - link

    Apperantly, Packard Bell is thriving in Western Europe but it has completely disappeared from North America. Reply

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