AMD Trinity hands-on performance overview
Trinity can offer great bang for buck if priced right
AMD’s latest Trinity APU system has been released overseas, and MyGaming was sent a test system to see if Trinity’s performance is all that and a bag of silicon chips.
The Trinity APU combines onto a single die the capabilities of a CPU and GPU, making it a functional proposition for laptop manufacturers looking to save space while providing good processing power.
While laptops based on this platform won’t be available in South Africa for a long while, we put Trinity through its paces to give some indication of what gamers can expect from it.
AMD sent us a laptop with the following specifications in order to test Trinity’s performance:
- HP Pavilion G6 2053SF
- 2.1 GHz AMD Quad-Core A8-4500M APU with Radeon HD 7640G + 7670M Dual Graphics
- 6 GB DDR3
- AMD Radeon HD 7640G + 7670M Dual GPU (1 GB DDR3 dedicated)
- 640 GB SATA (5400 rpm)
- 39,6 cm (15,6″) HD BrightView LED-backlit (1366 x 768)
First we ran some CPU specific tests to compare the processing power of the A8-4500M with other notebook CPUs. For the purpose of this preview we also ran the benchmarks on a laptop with a mid-range Intel Core i5 2410M.
Running Futuremark’s 3D Mark 06 CPU test, the A8-4500M gave us a score of 2345 points. The i5 2410M was marginally ahead with 2952 points.
In the Intel Cinebench R11.5 64-bit multi-CPU test, the Intel processor scored 2.25, ahead of the A8-4500M’s score of 1.75.
Finally, we ran PC Mark Vantage, a benchmark that tests the entire system’s performance. It’s worth noting that the AMD system had more RAM in it (6GB vs. 4GB in the Intel one), while both systems were using standard 5,400RPM hard drives rather than SSDs. Replacing the hard drive with an SSD would dramatically increase the PC Mark Vantage score.
The AMD system scored 4057 points, behind the Intel system which chalked up 4961 points.
The next batch of tests we ran was aimed at testing the GPU combination of the AMD Radeon HD 7640G and 7670M.
3D Mark 11 gave us a score of 1680 at a resolution of 1280 x 720. This compares favourably with HD7670M results from Intel systems collected by Notebookcheck, which lists the AMD Radeon HD 7640G and 7670M as a low- to mid-range GPU offering, with performance slightly higher than a standard 7670M.
We then played through two games on the AMD test system, Metro 2033 and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
Metro 2033 was played at a 1366 x 768 resolution with medium settings. Physics, Depth of Field and Anti-aliasing were all turned off. The average framerate while playing the game was around 27FPS. This dipped below 20 at times and even hit 15 during an action packed fight in an outdoor environment, though for the most part the game remained playable.
Skyrim was also tested at 1366 x 768, this time with a mixture of mid and high settings while object fade and anti-aliasing were turned off. The average framerate during gameplay was around 32fps, with a low of around 25fps. This made the game comfortably playable; no doubt thanks to the low resolution, but also due to the crossfire combination of Trinity’s built-in GPU and the discrete 7670M GPU.
Pricing and availability
There was no local pricing information at the time of publication. If Trinity systems can retail for around the same price as Intel systems based on Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge using integrated graphics it will be a price performance winner.
No Intel laptop with integrated graphics will come close to providing the same gameplay performance this AMD test system will, though to be fair it will completely overpower it in terms of RAM and CPU grunt. However, if Trinity is priced close to Intel systems with discrete graphics cards similar in performance to the 7670M, then there will be little reason to consider a Trinity based laptop.
Unfortunately, Trinity systems are not yet available in SA, and AMD’s representative told Mygaming that local retailers want to clear stock of old Llano systems to make way for Trinity; so you may have to wait a few more months before you can consider buying Trinity.
By that time, Intel systems based on Ivy Bridge will be widely available (selected models are already in stores), so do some research before you commit to either.
To conclude, the Trinity test system offers surprisingly good graphical performance which makes up for the poor CPU-only performance, if you’re looking for a mobile solution with a bit of gaming in mind.
All that remains is to see where local pricing will fit the Trinity systems. If they’re priced right they can offer impressive bang for buck. If not, competing options may be a better bet – we’ll have to wait and see.