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Jun 7, 2012

Fanless AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GHz Graphics Card from Sapphire

Sapphire is a well-known video card expert company. Unlike their usual mainboards, Sapphire’s video cards are often original, well-designed, powerful and always reliable.

During the Computex 2012 show, the company’s new AMD Radeon HD 7770 video card has been reportedly pictured. What’s different? Well, it has absolutely no fan and the memory chips are relocated on the backside of the card. The PCB is a clear departure from AMD’s Radeon HD 7770 reference design.

As we said, the memory has been relocated on the back of the card and the chips are cooled by a metallic plate that also gives the card an increased structural integrity. There seem to be only four heatpipes running through the cooler, but Sapphire is confident that those are enough to cool a fully fledged AMD Radeon HD 7770 GPU.

AMD’s Radeon Graphics on Intel Thunderbolt

MSI has been very popular lately considering, that it currently holds the record for the fastest Ivy Bridge notebook in the world. The company managed to impress many enthusiasts at this year’s Computex with their MSI S20 Slider convertible UltraBook/Tablet.

Now the company is reportedly  presenting its original external graphics technology that features an AMD Radeon GPU inside an aluminum case. The company promises it will make GUS II devices that will integrate video card solutions dissipating a maximum of 150 watts of heat. Considering the way the aluminum case looks, we say that a 250-watt version would also be manufactured and sold, but it’s on MSI to decide. MSI already conditioned the diversity of the product line with the fact that they’d monitor the market’s demand for such a solution, and only after will they decide on diversifying the lineup.

The interesting part is the fact that the GUS II external adapter uses Intel’s Thunderbolt technology to connect to the system and it’s nice to see AMD benefiting from Intel’s high-speed tech. The Thunderbolt connection will provide 10 Gbps bandwidth and MSI promises they’ll be selling GUS II adapters housing AMD Radeon HD 7870, 7850 and 6850 GPU beginning this summer. We would like to see many such technologies with more modest GPU using USB 3.0 connectivity for all those UltraBooks and notebook featuring Intel’s low-performance HD2xxx and HD3xxx graphics.

A cheaper GPU along with cheaper USB 3.0 connectivity would make the technology more accessible, and the market of USB 3.0-capable laptops is likely 50 times larger than the Thunderbolt market at the moment. Of course, we expect Intel will make everything it can to make such a combination difficult for AMD to implement, but up until now everything works great. If you like the technology you can sign up the petition that was put up by other external graphics fans here and give MSI a piece of your mind.

Sapphire’s Best AMD Trinity Motherboard Sighted

Sapphire’s motherboards never impressed us with anything but their traditional white PCB color. Now that these aren’t white anymore, we’re forced to analyze the rest of the board to see something interesting.

The Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT Socket FM2 motherboard was reportedly pictured at this year’s Computex show and it brings two PCI-Express slots x16 that can form a x8 by x8 configuration when both are populated. The FM2 socket is powered by a decent 8-phase VRM and there are four DDR3 DIMM slots next to it. On the rest of the motherboard we can find two PCI 32-bit legacy expansion slots, one PCI-Express x4 slot and two PCIe x1 and a mPCIe slot very ill-positioned.

There are also seven SATA III connectors along with an mSATA port and the Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT Socket FM2 is also reportedly coming with Bluetooth. We can only see solid capacitors on the rest of the board and we can only be happy about that. The I/O panel brings DVI, VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort along with Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and 8-channel HD audio.

GALAXY S III Email App Has Critical “Large Attachments” Crash Bug

Officially introduced on the market last week, the Galaxy S III is Samsung’s new Android flagship smartphone.

Although the super-phone has been much praised by media and consumers alike, it appears that the device is still plagued by some software bugs. One of these bugs that we have just discovered seems to affect the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync email application. Users who will want to set up their email accounts using through ActiveSync should know that they won’t be able to receive emails with attachments larger than 10MB.

As you can see from the screenshots above, the application cannot load 10MB emails and displays an unexpected error: “Unfortunately, Exchange service has stopped.” The bad news is that users won’t be able to receive any other emails at all, until the 10MB email that triggers the error is deleted via a third-party device (i.e. smartphone, PC). Hopefully, Samsung will take notice of this nasty bug and deploy a fix soon.

Apacer Intros Limited Edition Snow Leopard Series DDR3

Like so many other companies, Apacer is present at this year's Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan (Computex 2012). 

There, it has brought many NAND Flash and DRAM-based products, one of which will suit overclockers. We are referring to the Snow Leopard Series of DDR3 RAM (random access memory), rated at a 2,133 MHz performance. With a capacity of 16 GB, the Dual-Channel Overclocking Memory “adopts the world’s first-ever pure white PCB.” There's a lower-capacity product too (8 GB), called Ares.

We have no prices to impart, but the video embedded above does have every other relevant piece of info so far disclosed. If nothing else, the Snow Leopard and Ares will be much cheaper than G.Skill's 96 GB and 3 GHz kits. Sure, that comparison still allows for a huge price, but it's better than nothing.

AMD Desktop Trinity Delayed to October?

Considering that the wave of AMD Trinity motherboards displayed at Computex 2012 is too big to point to a CPU delay, we have difficulty in believing the rumors.

The problem is the fact that AMD might be indeed planning a short delay of its desktop Trinity APUs, but the reasons are completely different than what others are saying. Our take on this supposed delay is the fact that AMD has been really successful in ensuring design wins for its Trinity-based APUs and now fears a shortage or chips. Therefore, the Texas-based CPU designer is piling up Trinity APUs for shipments towards the mobile integrators. This may also have to do with the SOI technology. Remember that SOI might ensure an extra 10 or 15 percent frequency increase with the same amount of heat dissipation, but the really impressive results surface when the chip is being under-volted.

So, maybe AMD would rather take a Trinity APU that won’t reach 3800 MHz (and thus won’t sell for $190) and under-volt it and get a 3200 MHz mobile APU that will probably sell for more than $200. Last year, AMD’s Llano, although a great success, wasn’t so prevalent either in laptops, or inside tablets. This year however, AMD’s Trinity allows AMD to successfully provide solutions for tablets and ultrathin notebooks, and thus, the company has to supply even more APUs to satisfy more market segments.

Usually, the mobile segment is much more profitable than the desktop market and the fabless CPU company would rather ensure supply for the mobile market with increased margins than dump a lot of APUs in the desktop segment. There’s also the possibility that these are just rumors and there’s no delay at all.

iOS 6.0 Build 10B24 with "iStore" Reportedly Leaked

YouTuber JakeTechWizard, who apparently has his way with tech stuff, has published a video called “iOS 6 Beta (Build 10B24).” As its name implies, the footage aims to depict the next major version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

That’s right: “aims” to depict iOS 6. Not that the footage isn’t credible, but iOS 6 getting into the hands of someone who doesn’t have to sign an NDA with Apple and can just state their name and profession without fear of Apple’s wrath is a tad too fantastic in our view. Then again, if someone can leak an iPhone, how hard can it be to get your hands on some bits? In any case, the footage (spotted by Cult of Mac) shows how Jake quickly takes a trip to the Settings in the General tab to prove he’s running iOS 6 build 10B24, and then goes to showcase the various new features and apps in the software. One particularly interesting addition is the iStore that, according to the reviewer, is iTunes and the App Store combined. Another is the Dictionary app.

According to Jake, iOS 6 users will be able to perform various tasks using the system-wide search, such as calculations, just like Spotlight in OS X. The new Maps application seems to be there as well. Jake showcases that as well. He ends the video with a demonstration of how multi-tasking has evolved in iOS 6. Users can now switch between their apps in both portrait and landscape mode. Oh, and it is said that this release of the iOS will bring Siri to the iPod touch and iPad. Now, again, we wouldn’t want to burst anyone’s bubble here. Nor do we feel the urge to dismiss what we’ve just seen with our own eyes.

The video doesn’t seem to be edited in any way (except for the iOS 6 beta caption, of course), and Jake seems like a decent tech reviewer who wouldn’t want his reputation tarnished. With all this out of the way, we leave it to you to discuss in the comments.

PowerColor Shows Radeon Cards with 6 miniDisplayPort Connectors

We haven’t heard about AMD’s Radeon embedded video solutions in a while, but PowerColor has just reminded us that these are a great alternative those huge pre-overclocked Radeon cards.

We’re talking about Tul Corporation’s latest edition of Embedded Radeon cards that feature the E6000 series GPUs. The E6000 series GPUs reportedly use multi-chip module (MCM) packages, which put the GPU die and memory on the same package, reducing board size and power consumption. Video card solutions using embedded GPUs offer the video card manufacturer the opportunity to make cards with simpler design.

The power consumption is reduced, and thus, the power section of the card is simpler and cheaper to produce. The cards can fit diverse form factors and that gives the manufacturer the chance to address more market segments that require smaller cards, less heat dissipation or less complex cooling systems.

Alleged iPad mini Photos Leak

A leak signed ZooGue, an accessory manufacturer, aims to depict the rumored iPad mini with a square-ish design, room for 3G-networking components, and cameras. Not the most credible leak, but so seemed the first-emerged iPhone 5 cases.

Whether or not analysts are shooting their mouths when they claim industry sources tell them Apple is working on a smaller version of the iPad, ZooGue (via the Cult) has something interesting that might corroborate such claims. “Just days ahead of Apple’s WWDC 2012, our anonymous source has provided us with pictures of an iPad with miniature proportions,” the company reports on its blog. “Low resolution excused, the images give us a great look at the housing of what may be the ‘iPad Nano’, which has recently attracted so much speculative attention.” The chassis is said to house a display that measures 7.58 inches on the diagonal, not the rumored 7.85-inch form factor that has been thrown around in various research notes.

Despite Apple’s vocal reluctance towards tablets under the 10-inch form factor, ZooGue has a key takeaway from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, who stated at one point, “Whenever we can do fantastic products and they have different price points, we’ll do that, we don’t have a religion about making one product.” So while there are few indications that Apple is making an iPad mini, one can’t dismiss any rumors, especially when they’re accompanied by such intriguing imagery. “Instead of a six-pin dock connector, the ‘iPad Nano’ takes on a variant pictured only once elsewhere. The size difference between the six-pin and this new mysterious port is substantial, possibly suggesting a switch to microUSB by Apple amidst pushes for regulations that implement a universal charging solution for mobile technologies.”

Actually, there’s no mystery behind that port. If the leaked iPhone 5 cases are any indication, Apple is spreading these ports across its entire iLineup. That is, if the port is confirmed. The case also shows the two speaker grills also found on the leaked iPhone cases. However, it looks a tad too toy-ish to be something designed by Jony Ive. At this point, we can hardly call this a leak. What are your thoughts on this?

MSI's Core i7, GTX 680M GT70 Gaming Notebook

Micro-Star International has quite a few things at its Computex 2012 booth, only one of which we've actually covered so far (MSI Slider S20).

Now we get to take a look at the GT70, a gaming notebook that comes as close to being a desktop replacement as a laptop could possibly get. With an Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU and NVIDIA's newest mobile GPU, it breezes through heavyweight benchmarks as if they were nothing. What's more, MSI tossed in two SSDs instead of just one. They are configured in Super RAID, ensuring one of, if not the fastest, storage speeds on the market.

A final perk that the company saw fit to mention is the SteelSeries keyboard, with four-color backlighting and touch-based multimedia keys. Thanks to Shashwat for the tip.

SnapDragon S4 Notebooks Already in Production

AMD and Intel finally get some real competition in the Brazos/Atom arena. Qualcomm’s SnapDragon S4 is already inside notebooks that will launch later this year with Microsoft’s Windows RT.

We are very curious about what the performance level is. It’s most unfortunate that Windows RT doesn’t support legacy x86 software, as we would have been able to quickly benchmark the ARM-based Krait against Intel’s low-performing Atom processor AMD’s new Brazos 2.0 platform. On the other hand, there is an upside to Microsoft’s “no x86 legacy” decision. If legacy software were supported, the Windows RT operating system would have been quite bulkier and the programing overhead would have brought ARM’s processors only disadvantages. We complained many times in the past that programmers are stuck in legacy x86 thinking and that many new features of the new architectures available in the x86 market are not used.

In fact, most programmers don’t even bother with getting the best performance on as many platforms as possible. This is a strange thing as, up until now, AMD and Intel were the only two platforms available for usual Windows software. If there were four or twelve different architectures running on Windows platforms and programmers had to optimize for each one in part, we would have understood some mishaps or decisions against investing in optimizing and concentrating on compatibility. But there were only two architectures available, and the vast majority of software makers didn’t even bother to tweak Intel’s compiler to make sure it’s not sabotaging AMD’s performance on their own software. As we discussed back here, Intel’s compiler is widely used and it’s a very good piece of software. Intel invests billions into this development and then offers it for free to programmers – and that’s wonderful.

The problem is that Intel also makes sure that AMD’s processors will perform as bad as possible on any software compiled with the Intel compiler. The simple problem is that the compiler makes the program ask the processor for its identification string. If the answer is anything but “Intel Genuine,” the program will ignore any architecture improvements or functional units as SSE3 or SSE4 and will run in the most un-optimized mode possible. This problem can be resolved quite simply by modifying your own software not to ask such a question and simply check for functional availability. Is SSE3 available on this processor? Then let’s use the SSE3 optimized run path.

Well, for the past two decades programmers never even bothered to make sure their software runs well on AMD computers, although the effort would have been minimal. The most recent obvious problem was with Adobe’s Photoshop that refused to run on AMD AthlonXP processors, saying SSE2 was not available although those CPUs were SSE2-capable and compatible. It took Adobe quite some time before issuing a patch. Now, Microsoft practically tells programmers to work with a little bit more interest and program separately for ARM and x86. If they want to have software running on Windows 8 and Windows RT, then they should work just as much for ARM as they do for x86.

If this weren't done, ARM’s CPUs would have always been in a disadvantage, as most programmers wouldn’t have bothered to write code separately for ARM. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not as much as programmers don’t want to work, are lazy or ignorant. We believe it’s a financial decision made by the software companies paying those programmers. Let’s pay some more work hours to make sure our software runs well on AMD-based computers that our customers use. Let’s not! We believe that Windows RT-based laptops powered by ARM processors have a real chance to achieve a 20-hour battery life and we can’t wait to see how they’ll compare with AMD’s Brazos 2 and Intel’s Clover Field.

Kepler GPUs on DELL Sooner Than We Think

DELL will most certainly equip its next 15.6-Inch XPS notebook with NVIDIA’s frontrunner, Kepler Quadro GPU, or so the supported graphic cards list found in 296.79 drivers says.

Kepler GPUs are using the 28nm technology to deliver speeds up to 1,006 MHz stock rating, or 1,058 MHz with GPU Boost. These are speeds for desktop workstations; the latest GTX 680M GPU for mobile devices can go up to 720 MHz. The 296.79 drivers package has been spotted online, available for download, and offers support for Windows 7, both x32 and x64 architecture.

What’s interesting about it is that the “NVDM.INF” file lists a bunch of supported GPUs from Kepler line (K series), amongst others. The driver version is and is dated 05/10/2012:

NVIDIA_DEV.0FFB.053E.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K2000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.0FFB.153E.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K2000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.0FFC.053E.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K1000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.0FFC.153E.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K1000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.11BC.053F.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K5000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.11BC.153F.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K5000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.11BD.053F.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K4000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.11BD.153F.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K4000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.11BE.053F.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K3000M"
NVIDIA_DEV.11BE.153F.1028 = "NVIDIA Quadro K3000M"

DELL Kepler Quadro Mobile NVIDIA Display Driver 296.79 for Windows 7
DELL Kepler Quadro Mobile NVIDIA Display Driver 296.79 for Windows 7 x64

“Transformers 4” Will Be Michael Bay's Last, for Real This Time

Few were surprised when, earlier this year, Michael Bay announced that he had unretired as director of “Transformers” and would do another installment for Paramount, the fourth. As it turns out, this is really the last one – no joke this time.

Just like he once said 3D was just a flash in the pan that he would never deign to use, and then changed his mind and released “Transformers” in 3D, fans knew from the start Bay would be back after “The Dark of the Moon.” Now working on “Transformers 4,” which will be out in the summer of 2014, Bay is determined to make it his last film in this franchise, it has emerged. In fact, he's just preparing the ground for another director to take over on the new and improved franchise, the Los Angeles Times notes. In a piece dedicated to the launch of the new Transformers park ride, the LA Times paraphrases Bay as saying that he would no longer be on board past the upcoming installment.

Bay also reveals that the fourth “Transformers” will have an entirely new cast. “The director, by the way, says that the fourth film will include some redesign of the robots and an entirely new cast. He also said it will be his last and set the franchise up 'for the next guy',” the piece reads. This means that Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Josh Duhamel are out of the picture. Fans must have known that Shia was done with the franchise from his interviews he gave before “The Dark of the Moon” even came out, but the other two are quite a surprise. In other words, “Transformers 4” won't be that much of a sequel as a reboot, and Michael Bay is taking the reins for one more time before he passes on the torch to another director.

Given how much money all three “Transformers” films have made so far, despite being thrashed by critics, it's no wonder Paramount thought a reinvention would be the best thing right now. “Transformers 4” has been confirmed for release for June 2014 – and that's about all that is known about it at the moment. Michael Bay is currently working on a passion project of his, “Pain and Gain,” starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Nokia Belle FP2 Screenshots Leak

Nokia 808 PureView, the first smartphone to be shipped with Nokia Belle FP1 out of the box, has yet to make its entrance on the market.

However, the Finnish company is already preparing to deliver a new major OS update for its Symbian handsets. Nokia Belle FP2, formerly known as Nokia Donna, is expected to be officially announced in the following months. Still, the folks over at MyNokiaBlog have recently received several screenshots of the upcoming Nokia Belle FP2 update. Although FP2 has yet to be announced, rumor has it that it will come with new keyboard, gallery, music player, unlock screen and search button in home screen toolbar.

Obviously, these are not the only changes included with Nokia Belle FP2, so expect more goodies to be unveiled in the official announcement. For more screenshots check out the original post.

Acer’s QuadCore Tegra 3 Tablet to Cost Just $199 USD (€159)

Acer’s 7” A110 quad-core tablet, which we already talked, is planned for a 199 USD price point. This is probably the first Kai tablet out on the market right now.

The Acer A110 pricing has reportedly been confirmed by Acer’s representatives at the company’s Computex 2012 booth. This is a lot of value and performance for the money spent and the budget buyers might actually enjoy more performance than the more cash-endowed buyers of more the expensive A210 10” tablet. The A110’s screen is just 7”, and so the resolution is a little bit more modest when compared with the 10” model.

Because the GPU and CPU are the same, a smaller resolution will lead to better performance results.

This Is the iPhone 5 Design – All But Confirmed

There’s hardly any doubt right now regarding the design of Apple’s next iPhone. Assuming this new leak isn’t a forgery (and the consistency of these rumors has been staggering), this is what the next iPhone will look like, period.

The video embedded below features the exact same type of hardware showed in photos by various repair shops with access to Apple’s supply chain. By all accounts, this is what the next iPhone should look like (pictured left). Showcased in a YouTube video by eTradeSupply (highlighted by the peeps at cydiablog) this unibody construction looks genuinely fit to house the internals of a next-generation smartphone from Apple. The video description states: “New iPhone component. Maybe for iPhone 5. But it is neither a battery door nor a middle pate. It is a integrated part! Great changes in the design.”

A comparison is shown indicating that all rumors regarding the next-generation iPhone 5 are correct: the device is longer but identically wide; the screen will be bigger; the jack plug has been relocated to the bottom; the dock connector has shrunk, paving the way for Apple to release new cables and perhaps new iPods as well. Furthermore, the enclosure is now one big part, as opposed to a chassis covered by to glass plates; the back is made of metal, not glass; the antenna frame is no longer present (at least not as a standalone part); the speaker grills are longer, more prominent, featuring larger holes; the SIM slot seems to be identical to the one found on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S; Finally, the handset will be a tad thinner than the current-generation iPhone.

The metal used to manufacture these parts is said to be aluminum, not Liquidmetal as previously rumored. A co-inventor of the amorphous metal alloy was recently quoted as saying that the technologies used to manipulate Liquidmetal are not yet mature, and that large-scope manufacturing will require at least another three years for Apple to adopt the material for large components.

AsRock Shows AMD Trinity mATX FM2 Motherboards

AMD’s Trinity was clearly yesterday’s star at the Taipei Computex 2012 show. If the mobile lineup has been displayed and discussed over and over again, the desktop line is still eluding us, but the motherboard manufactures are at least showing us the platforms.

AsRock reportedly steps up in the desktop Trinity ring with three new motherboards. The first two of the new additions are the most affordable, and the FM2A75M-DGS is the cheapest. Based on AMD’s A75 FCH complete with SATA III, the FM2A75M-DGS is a mATX board powering the FM2 socket with a modest 4-phase VRM. It only brings two DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to DDR3 2400 MHz memory and even more if overclocking is allowed. The PCB is a nice cool black like the whole color scheme and it only comes with a single PCI-Express x16 slot and a legacy PCI 32 Bit one also.

Six SATA III ports are present, and the most important areas of the mainboard are using higher quality solid capacitors. Luckily for the budget system builders, the FM2A75M-DGS does come with four USB 3.0 ports and, for the legacy fans, LTP and COM headers are also present. The I/O panel includes DL-DVI, D-Sub, 6-channel HD audio and Gigabit Ethernet. The FM2A75 Pro4-M is a little more refined than the FM2A75M-DGS, as it comes with 6-phase CPU fueling and a heatsink over the MOSFET components. The board comes with four DDR3 DIMM slots with support for up to 32 GB DDR3 2400 MHz memory, and even faster when overclocking comes into play.

There are two PCI-Express x16 slots and a legacy PCI 32 Bit one along with fours USB 3.0 connectors and eight USB 2.0 ones. The I/O panel is rich with HDMI, DVI, VGA, 8-channel HD audio with THX TruStudio Pro support and the expected Gigabit Ethernet. Both boards come with UEFI BIOS and an extra PCI-Express x1 slot.

AMD’s Trinity Crashes Intel’s Computex 2012 Party

We were wondering where is AMD at Computex 2012. We were even comparing this year’s Computex to an Intel/Microsoft party where AMD was not invited.

Well, today AMD started teasing us with some rather intriguing products. The intriguing part was how exactly AMD was able to fit a quad-core CPU inside such a slim device. Sure, Compal’s AMD tablet is not the thinnest device we’ve ever seen, but there wasn’t an AMR or Atom processor in there. That tablet is powered by a full-blown x86 APU using the Trinity core. When we first saw it, we were honestly expecting an AMD Bobcat-based CPU, not a Trinity APU. Later in the evening, AMD’s party crashing show was lighted up and Intel’s marketing campaign started taking hit after hit. We’re a little bit unsure about AMD’s claims, but most of them make sense and are in line with our expectations.

These mobile devices are really thin. From what the pictures show, the notebook and tablets powered by AMD’s Trinity APU are just as thin as the Intel-based UltraBooks. Considering that AMD’s iGPU is much more capable than any other Intel product, such an achievement is impressive. AMD “Hybrids” offer the best of both worlds. The Texas-based CPU designer is really into the ASUS Transformer style. The company seems to believe that having a powerful tablet will give it an edge over low-performance Atom-based Intel tablets. The battery life might be a little more modest, but adding a backup battery inside a keyboard dock that brings extra connectivity and functionality is a great way to compensate.

AMD’s Trinity offers the best performance in the UltraThin/UltraBook and TabletPC formats. While this is not the whole story, we completely agree with AMD on this one. What the company is not saying is that if we get into productivity and multimedia notebooks with discrete graphics, Intel’s Ivy Bridge is clearly superior. AMD is claiming that Trinity is the only UltraThin platform that offers good battery life with discrete graphics level. Intel’s $599 price point is perfectly hit and AMD’s Trinity is the clear winner at this mark. The Texan company is also claiming a very good relationship with Microsoft that spans over more than a decade. We’re not on the same page with AMD here. The fact that Microsoft’s Windows 7 doesn’t yet know how to distribute computing threads on the new Bulldozer CPUs is clear proof that the relationship is not so rosy after all.

Trinity shows 21% improved compression performance win the latest version of WinZip. We’re quite happy with the news, but we’ll believe it when we see it. The collaboration with the VLC team is most welcomed and we eagerly await an opportunity to test this. We’re certainly hoping this will induce better battery life when playing high-quality movies. The year 2012 brings 200% AMD specific optimized software when compared with 2011. This is probably one of the best news we’ve heard in this AMD presentation. We often said that software development and optimization is key to AMD’s success. AMD’s Brazos 2.0 platform offers up to 3 hours more battery life than Intel’s B940 mobile processor when idle and more than an hour and a half during heavy flash gaming.

We find that AMD’s claim is true and quite logical, but we don’t think that the computing performance is even remotely comparable. Intel’s dual-core Sandy Bridge-based B940 Pentium processor is a very capable solution. Sure, in any 3D related task, AMD’s Brazos 2.0 will mop the floor with Intel’s iGPU. Once Intel adds a discrete GPU, their battery life is only going down. Therefore, we believe we must mention that there’s a clear x86 computing difference between Brazos 2.0 and Sandy Bridge, with the latter holding the advantage. All in all, AMD’s Trinity showing at this year’s Computex has helped the industry see clearly what it can do and where its strong points are.

We’ve been playing the devil’s advocate while writing this article and we can’t end this without mentioning that these are clear cases and conditions where AMD’s trinity shows superiority. Take the battery life argument out of the way and give Intel’s Ivy Bridge or even Sandy Bridge a 60 USD discrete GPU and the whole situation looks much different. Adding a 60 ~ 70 USD cost to the already more expensive Intel-based solution is not quite the best way to achieve more sales, so Intel’s argument isn’t perfect either.

AMD’s APUs Bring 61% Better Battery Life Than Intel CPUs

Most of the journalists and experts covering this year’s Computex show were in complete agreement on the fact that it all looked like an Intel/Microsoft Windows 8 party. AMD let Intel enjoy a first day of impressive announcements, but last evening, it decided to crash it.

One of the most impressive claims that AMD marketing slides have revealed was a 61% battery life superiority in a 3D-intensive applications. The application of choice was Futuremark’s 3D Mark 2006 and the processors tested were AMD’s E series versus an unnamed Intel counterpart. While we trust AMD’s mathematics, we don’t believe that the slide is telling the whole story. The Intel CPUs tested were clearly not Atom parts, as Atom could easily equal or surpass the Brazos 2.0 battery performance.

Therefore, the solution tested was most likely a low-power Sandy Bridge part and we feel obligated to mention that the x86 performance of AMD’s Brazos 2.0 E series APUs is clearly lacking by comparison. On the other hand, AMD has carefully chosen test applications in which the iGPUs play the main role. In the end, in each test, AMD’s APUs demonstrate superior performance and impressively longer battery life.

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