AMD's Fastest Mobile Dual-Core

Okay, so that's not technically accurate: as of this writing there's a 45-watt Phenom II X620 BE running at 3.1GHz, but I challenge our readership to find a notebook employing that chip. That leaves us with the L645D enjoying the mobile equivalent of an Athlon II X2 250, a $60 desktop chip that still offers enough horsepower to do general computing fairly comfortably. Remember that AMD is the reigning budget champion on the desktop. So that said, can a 3GHz AMD chip close the gap with Intel's hardware?

The two main take-aways here are that at 3GHz, AMD can at least hang with the i3-370M for the most part, and that AMD's mobile tri-core and quad-core chips were probably ill-advised. The extra headroom afforded by only having two cores allows the N660's 3GHz core clock to meet or beat the P920 with its four 1.6GHz cores and the N830 with its three 2.1GHz cores in even heavily threaded workloads. Ultimately the N660 is going to seem a little slow by comparison, but it's still offering a healthy amount of performance for most tasks and I wouldn't be completely aggravated doing more processor-intensive work (like video editing) on it.

Unfortunately, though the extra 800MHz on the processor gives the L645D a leg up on Sony's EE34, the HD 4200/4250 starts to show its age again. Intel's HD graphics in the Dell Latitude post numbers on par with it in most disciplines (beating it soundly in 3DMark Vantage), but when we get to actual game testing we'll find that to be less the case.

This is where it would be good to point out that Toshiba loses one of the main points of leverage AMD's integrated graphics have over Intel's solutions: driver quality. As Jarred has mentioned in the past (and it does bear repeating), Toshiba has inexplicably opted out of AMD's mobile driver program, leaving you at their mercy. Sony doesn't get off any lighter: they opted out, too. There's really no good reason for this (especially since downloading the actual driver on another machine and then installing it on these notebooks still works), and it actively sabotages one of the strongest aspects of AMD's graphics hardware.


Lose the Gloss, Toshiba Still Not Enough to Game


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  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    5400 RPM HDD, decent CPU hampered by terrible graphics, intentionally ruined graphics drivers, glossy screen, 10/100 ethernet?

  • XZerg - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    no usb3 also.

    it feels like these guys and many others purposely f**k up on AMD version to ensure they make more even though they could have sold it at a much cheaper price with all the bells than what a similar config from intel would have been.
  • alent1234 - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    it's $619. some people don't care about good graphics or USB3. some people just want a laptop to surf the internet and hold some data

    i just want something in the $600 range with a 15" screen, SB and 500GB hard drive. i use android and iOS a lot more than Windows so most of the time the laptop is off.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    Then why the decent CPU?

    Why the blu-ray drive?

    They're setting a standard the rest of the system utterly fails to match.
  • alent1234 - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    because this stuff is dirt cheap now. it's not like they make this stuff up. they have projected selling prices and profits per unit. they get a bill of materials from suppliers before designing something and prices probably dropped so much they can put in more hardware and still sell for a low price.

    a lot of times it's cheaper to use a more expensive part but use less parts in your products overall. think apple. it makes logistics easier and cheaper. and since toshiba is part of the blu ray consortium they are pushing their other products with this
  • Sam125 - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    I think AMD was the first to realize that there comes a point where going dirt cheap is kind of stupid when you end up with gimped/lopsided systems like this L645D which is why they're cutting the manufacturer out of the picture when it comes to choosing a balanced system architecture. That's why going SOC always made sense for AMD but not Intel. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    Seriously. Go to Newegg and look at the cheapest Core i3 laptops. They are all ProBookks that are mostly under $500. I'd rather get a slightly bigger laptop for less than gimp out just for "portability" (The Probooks are 5.25 lbs. That's plently portable enough) Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    Sorry sir to spoil your party, but calling the second-best IGP (after Brazos) on the amrket a terribel graphics ?

    Well shall we talk about ALL those Intel notebooks (taking 50% of the market) selling with their IGP's ... who not only do not have the performance are not actually able to _run_most of the graphics stuff ?

    Just remember, those Intel notebooks had a similar or faster CPU on board ... and sold for much higher prices ...
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    Do you think I'm anti-AMD or something?

    Because I'm not.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - link

    HD 4250 is hardly the "second-best" IGP. In order, the best IGPs at present are:
    GeForce 320M (only in MacBook)
    HD 6310 (Brazos E-series)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 (not as compatible with games, but generally more than twice as fast as the other stuff below)
    GeForce 9400M (yup, this was still faster than the 4250!)
    HD 6250 (Brazos C-series)
    HD 4250. Yay! So I'd put it as the seventh-best IGP, or sixth-best if you want to lump the two Brazos IGPs together. (I didn't because they have wildly different clocks.)

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