After months of waiting, AMD has finally announced its second-generation A-Series APU "Trinity" into the wild. AMD says the chip's CPU offers 29 percent better performance and higher processing speeds thank its predecessor. Those improvements, the chip maker says, are the result of its AMD 'Piledrive" CPU core and third-generation AMD Turbo Core technology.
Adding to the APU's power is AMD's Radeon HD 7000-series GPU, which the company says improves graphics performance by as much as 56 percent over previous generation chips. Battery life also sees a boost with the new APU, lasting an estimated 12 hours.
Like Intel's Ivy Bridge Core-series processors, the Trinity chips feature faster wake from sleep times thanks to AMD's Start Now technology. The feature is designed to wake the computer from sleep in roughly two seconds and boot to desktop in 10 seconds, though PCs have been able to do this for a long time and we're not sure how much the CPU is involved.
Six versions of the A-Series Trinity APU are available including the top of the line quad-core A10-4600M. That chip, which is available for mainstream notebooks offers a base processor clock speed of 2.3-GHz and maxes out at 3.2-GHz. The chip also runs on a Radeon HD 7660G GPU, which features a base clock speed of 497-MHz and tops out at 686-MHz.
Of course, specs mean nothing if the Trinity chip can't compete with Intel's vaunted Core-series chips. Through several chip product cycles, Intel's processors have been the best around and according to early reviews from sites like AnandTech.com and HotHardware.com, Intel is still on top when it comes to sheer processing power.
But AMD, as expected, did manage to score some points with its gaming capabilities. According to AnandTech, A Trinity chip equipped with a Radeon 7660G GPU was able to outperform an Intel Ivy Bridge chip running Intel's HD 4000 graphics accelerator. AMD has always been known for it gaming prowess, so those results aren't too surprising. It remains to be seen how the two processors would perform when running with similar discrete graphics chips.
We'll update you with our own testing numbers in the coming weeks as more AMD-equipped notebooks hit the market.