AMD challenges Intel’s Ivy Bridge with the release of Trinity APUs

15 May 2012

Intel rival AMD has released its second-generation A-Series APUs plus VISION technology, aiming to come out on top for gaming and entertainment.

The specs for AMD’s second-generation of accelerated processing units (APUs), codenamed ‘Trinity’, show the company’s focus on delivering high performance and graphics capabilities to enhance user experience.

Picture-perfect video playback

Competing with Intel’s Ivy Bridge, the new series of processors claim an impressive graphics performance. The AMD HD Media Accelerator brings together a unique set of technologies to enable the best possible video quality, including Perfect Picture HD, which automatically improves picture quality with colour vibrancy adjustments, edge enhancement, noise reduction and dynamic contrast fixes; and Steady Video, which enables smooth playback of jittery video content via plug-ins for browsers and applications.

Multi-tasking is assisted by Quick Stream, which prioritises video streaming so that you maintain an uninterrupted viewing experience even if you are streaming while downloading.

Immersive graphics for gaming

Gamers can rejoice at the inclusion of Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics, boasting an increase in graphics performance up to 56pc. For the first time, immersive Eyefinitytechnology is available from an APU without the need for a discrete graphics card, while the DirectX 11 graphics architecture and 1080p gaming offer a life-like level of detail.

If serious gamers do add a discrete graphics card, Radeon dual graphics support can deliver a performance boost of up to 75pc.

Improved battery life and performance

The improved design claims to be the best-in-class in PC mobility, too, with 12 hours of ‘resting’ battery life. This is attributed to the power-optimised Piledriver core and the inclusion of AMD Start Now technology, which allows the device to quickly enter and exit low power states, resuming from sleep mode in as little as two seconds and booting the desktop in just 10 seconds.

CPU performance with the new APUs is increased by up to 29pc and, by dynamically shifting power between the CPU and GPU depending on application needs, devices can be more responsive. All-in-all, the Trinity series is claiming double the performance-per-watt of its predecessor, the Llano APUs.

A major step forward

“Our second-generation AMD A-Series APU is a major step forward in every performance and power dimension, allowing users to enjoy a stunning experience without having to give up the things that matter to them most,” said Chris Cloran, corporate vice-president and general manager of the AMD Client Business Unit.

Some of the latest applications – for example, Adobe Photoshop CS6 and VLC Media Player – have already been optimised for use on these new APUs, and AMD also hopes to take advantage of the upcoming transition to Windows 8.

Consumers can expect to see ultra-thin notebooks based on dual-core 17-watt and quad-core 25-watt AMD A-Series APUs from the likes of Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba, at a range of competitive price points. Desktops systems and component channel parts will be available later this year.


Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.