AMD Launches Carrizo APUs for Laptops

From Windows-based tablets, to high-end gaming latops, and Ultrabooks, Intel seems to be far and away dominating the mobile x86 market. While AMD does offer quite a few mobile processor and graphics solutions in the form of their APUs, OEMs seem to be continually opting for Intel’s alternatives, likely because that is what consumers are buying. In order to change this, and bring more variety to the market, AMD has made their best effort to date,  with their release of their all-new 6th generation A-Series processors, code-named ‘Carrizo’.


While all eyes are on AMD for next-year’s launch of their next-generation ‘Zen’ micro-architecture, AMD still has a few tricks up its sleeve for this year, in the form of three major APU launches.


The recently launched Kavari Refresh or “Godavari” desktop APU family marks the first of those launches, and the third is Carrizo-L which has not launched yet, but what we know of it now is that it will be a lower-cost companion to Carrizo, with similar power segements, and utilizing AMD’s ‘cat’ core designs, such as Puma. These chips will be socket-compatible with the higher-end Carrizo-based solutions, which should make the platform even more appealing to OEMs.


With Carrizo AMD set its focus on several areas: battery life, mutli-media uses such as gaming and video streaming, and of course, price. That third one is easily the most important of all, and is definitely the one AMD talks about the most with Carrizo.


What AMD is saying is that over 52% of the market consists of laptops and notebooks, with the exception of tablets, and the largest subset of that market is devices in the $400-$700 range. Incidentially, this is exactly the market AMD is targeting with Carrizo, which aims to bring premium ‘Ultrabook’ level performance at better prices.


AMD continues to drive their point home, staying on the subject of price, multimedia applications, and battery life, even going as far as to make bold statements such as “ALL DAY UNPLUGGED” however, in this case, all day is defined as >8hrs idle battery life, as noted by the small text on the bottom right. Still, AMD claims that Carrizo is “The most versatile notebook processor ever” and while that is impossible to confirm at this point, it is also hard to dispute based on what they’re promising.


AMD also provided some results of their own internal testing, comparing several of their new Carrizo based chips, the A8-8600P, A10-8700P and flagship FX-8800P to their closest Intel competitors. which are available on the market today.

We can see, that while in 15w mode – which these chips are designed for – gaming performance is favorable, when compared to Intel’s 15w offerings. That being said, at 35w which both the A10 and FX models will also offer, performance is increased dramatically, of course this will be at the cost of battery life. The main issue with this, is that enabling this mode is completely up to the OEM, and at this time there is no clear way of knowing which version of an A10 or FX chip you’ll be getting, the 15w or the more powerful 35w version. This is definitely something we hope to see addressed by the time devices sporting these parts launch.

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