Report: AMD A-Series mobile tops at 1.9 GHz
DonanimHaber has unearthed some details about AMD's top mobile A-Series part, to be branded A8-3530MX. It will be clocked at a standard 1.9 GHz, with Turbo Core up to 2.6 GHz. It features 4MB of L2 cache, as expected, with no L3 cache, much like the Propus CPUs. The USP of Llano is, of course, the powerful GPU part – to be branded HD 6620G. It features 400 SP, clocked at 444 MHz.
The APU has a TDP of 45W, which is comparable with AMD's current top end CPU, but below Intel's flagship 55W Core i7 Extreme. Considering the Phenom II X940 BE, AMD's current flagship, is clocked at 2.4 GHz, one may wonder how optimizations and a 32nm shrink resulted in a sharp 500 MHz downclock. If at all, the opposite would make more sense. The catch is that the A8 APU integrates a full fledged GPU, and 45W is actually a very power efficient result for a quad core CPU and a 400SP GPU at full load.
Of course, AMD will introduce Turbo Core 2 with Llano, and we may see the CPU part boosting to as high as 2.6 GHz if the GPU is idling.
One of the major bottlenecks identified for the Fusion GPU has always been the memory. A derivative of the HD 5500 series, the A8-3530MX is powered by 1600 MHz DDR3 which is higher than Intel's 1333 MHz support. Still, this is a fraction of the 3600 MHz GDDR5 memory in the HD 5570. The sharp difference in performance between the HD 5570 GDDR3 edition and the GDDR5 edition suggests why upping the memory clocks is important for the Llano APU. As part of the Sabine platform, the A8 APU will occupy the FS1 socket, paired up with the A70M chipset.
Interestingly, even for notebooks, dual-GPU will be enabled, for a kind of hybrid crossfire. So, adding a HD 6600M graphics card, for example, will see the APU's IGP and the additional GPU working in crossfire for maximum performance.
Llano will bring forth a new class of computer processors – power efficent notebook processors with an even balance between GPU and CPU. While Intel's mobile parts will run away with CPU performance, we can expect the A-Series APUs to offer far superior GPU performance and an overall superior power efficency. If you are in the market for pure CPU performance, the A-series APUs are bound to disappoint. Hopefully, AMD will cater to CPU performance needs for the mobile market with mobile Bulldozer CPUs.
Notebooks with A-series APUs are expected to hit retail mid-to-end June.