The times when integrated graphics just had to work are long gone. Since the graphics cores settled inside the CPUs, AMD and Intel started increasing their potential very aggressively, thus ousting entry-level graphics accelerators from the market and opening new usage models for their CPUs. AMD is currently at the head of this race of integrated GPUs: the fastest graphics cores from Ivy Bridge processors are still unable to surpass the Llano graphics, not to mention the new Trinity. However, this situation didn’t slow AMD down en route to innovation. This company is not fighting against a specific product from their primary competitor, but is trying to reshape the attitude towards hybrid processors in general. This requires not just higher scores over the competition in specific benchmarks, but a completely different level of product quality.
It looks like desktop Trinity processors, which we introduced to you today is this specific qualitative leap forward. AMD A10-5800K is not just a hybrid processor with the today’s fastest graphics core. Moreover, this core is fast enough to deliver acceptable performance in almost any contemporary 3D games in FullHD resolution. Of course, you can’t use the highest image quality settings in this case, but the fact in undeniable: Trinity looks very good against the background of entry-level discrete 3D graphics accelerators in the $60-$70 price range, which the new hybrid processor can easily replace. In fact, it would be fair to state that graphics cards like Radeon HD 6570 and GeForce GT 630 will reach their EOL once Trinity is out, at least this is true for their DDR3 modifications.
Today we have discussed only the graphics component of the new highly promising AMD initiative. And this component is its undeniable strength. In terms of general performance, Trinity most likely won’t be as impressive. Even the 25% performance boost promised by AMD may not be enough to let A10-5800K and other members of this family to successfully compete against Intel Ivy Bridge generation. Of course, we can expect AMD to succeed in global popularization of the APU concept and their hybrid processors will speed up at the expense of graphics core resources. However, even if it happens, it won’t be soon. Therefore, we will have to keep in mind that Trinity also has a weakness.
So, what does it mean? Think: most users buying desktop Intel processors do not really care about their graphics performance. They are ready to put up with any graphics speed, because they value high speed of the x86 cores. Trinity, on the other hand, could approach this matter from the other end. If this APU offers attractive 3D performance, does it really make sense to worry so much about lower speed of its x86 cores? The answer to this question can easily be “no”: the current Trinity performance will most likely be more than sufficient for the majority of common tasks.
However, let’s not rush into conclusions and wait for the official embargo lift on the complete performance analysis. While you are reading this article, we continue working on our next review.