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Gaming Performance

As we have found out, the desktop Kabini series can deliver good enough performance (by the standards of affordable and energy-efficient solutions) when running simple parallel computing algorithms. However, applications which are typically run on entry-level home and office PCs call for different processor properties, therefore the Socket AM1 platform isn't the best choice available for everyday computing tasks.

AMD processors have one more advantage, though. The Kabini’s integrated graphics core features the latest GCN architecture. If it can ensure acceptable gaming performance, the Socket AM1 platform may turn out to be most attractive. Well, the Kaveri has a GPU with six or eight computing clusters whereas the Kabini has only two, so we don’t really have much hope about the Athlon 5350 and Sempron 3850 in this respect.

As a tentative test of the 3D performance of the integrated graphics core, we will run Futuremark 3DMark. Its Cloud Gate test is designed to benchmark DirectX 10 performance of typical home PCs whereas the most resource-consuming Fire Strike is targeted at gaming DirectX 11-compatible configurations.

The Kabini’s Radeon R3-class graphics is better than the integrated graphics cores of the Bay Trail or energy-efficient Celeron (Ivy Bridge) processors but inferior to the Haswell’s GT1 core with six execution devices. It is also far slower than the Radeon HD 8470D core from the A6-6400K processor.

Anyway, 3DMark is a synthetic benchmark, so it wouldn't be quite correct to form any general conclusions on its basis. Let’s first check out the integrated graphics cores in actual 3D games. Considering their low performance, we will only have one test mode: 1280x720 pixels with low image quality settings.

These three examples suggest that the Kabini’s integrated graphics isn’t good for serious gaming. At a low resolution and with minimum visual quality settings we get a poor picture, yet the frame rate is barely playable. The Socket AM1 platform may only be good for casual or browser-based games with low system requirements.

In the next generation of its energy-efficient processors codenamed Beema AMD plans to boost graphics performance twofold. Hopefully, it will allow building entry-level PCs suitable for gaming.

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