Thursday, May 17, 2012

AMD's Trinity arrives

AMD's processors aren't known for their performance (quite the opposite), but their APUs certainly have a certain allure. A good enough GPU coupled with a good CPU all in one package. I'll certainly want a Trinity-based notebook.

Just check out the various reviews on all the major sites. Be it Anandtech, Tom's Hardware, or Techspot the result's the same. It's pretty obvious Trinity won't beat Ivy Bridge with CPU power. But then again, do we need all that? Some people certainly do. I'm thinking most people won't.

My current setup makes use of a AMD Athlon II quad core running @ 2.6GHz. While it's not going to win any CPU benchmarks, it's certainly far from sluggish. Sure, it's slower for things like compressing files, or video transcoding. Intel bests AMD there every time.

But I don't go around creating tarballs everyday nor do I encode videos every so often. If anything, I'd say any slowdowns in Ubuntu are usually caused by some strange software bug, or a unoptimized driver.

As for gaming, I'm betting most people are playing social games more than the latest 3D game. Enthusiasts will play those, for sure. Why would they care what IGP's paired with their CPU though? They'll most like get a discrete card anyway. Even a mid-range discrete GPU could beat Trinity's GPU without breaking a sweat and those aren't too expensive.

For the rest of us, Trinity's GPU is plenty fast. Having the option to hybrid CrossFire with a AMD discrete GPU is a value added feature in my book. Get a decent GPU now, get a small boost later if needed.

Let's not soon forget the recent Diablo 3 debacle. DRM in one form or other is here to stay. Maybe it has to get worse to get better, but I'm sure I'll be revisiting some old friends for a while yet despite the very strong temptation to immerse myself in Sanctuary in it's latest incarnation.

I should mention I barely use even a single core of that 2.6 GHz quad core most days. Trinity's CPU may not be a champ on review sites, but I'm pretty sure it's much more capable than my current CPU and I'm not even feeling held back here.

A notebook with Trinity sounds good to me. How about you?