Skip to main content

AMD reveals next-gen processors for tablets and laptops, but can they compete with Haswell?

Image used with permission by copyright holder

AMD’s jumping ahead of Intel’s new Haswell processor release (which is about a week away) by revealing details about its upcoming line of mobile APUs. The chips, which combine AMD processor cores with Radeon graphics, will come in several different flavors that seek to counter Intel in all but the most powerful laptops.

The least powerful of these parts, code-named Temash, will come to market as AMD A4/A6 processors consuming between 4 and 8 watts. Although designed to compete against Atom, these parts will still have a Radeon HD 8000-dervied integrated graphics processor that AMD claims will be able to play Battlefield 3 (albeit at a low resolution). That will clearly provide an edge against Intel’s current line of Atom processors, which are still saddled with a hopelessly slow IGP.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Above Temash is Kabini, a mainstream notebook part that will be sold under the AMD A4/A6 brand and will target a power envelope between 9 and 25 watts. Given the broad range of power consumption, we think it’s fair to say that the capabilities of these processors will vary significantly. Some will be placed in ultra-thin laptops that compete with Intel’s Ultrabook platform, while others will appear in mainstream notebooks.

Most powerful of all is Richland, a high-end all-purpose APU that’s built to provide strong performance in both applications and games. AMD claims processors based on Richland, which will be sold with two to four cores and target a power envelope between 17 and 35 watts, offer graphics performance up to 71 percent quicker than current Intel Core i5 laptops.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Features are also being used to distinguish these new products, and AMD has a boat-load to talk about including gesture control, facial recognition, wireless display technology, support for multiple external monitors, and even a Gaming Evolved bundle with select AMD A10 systems.

Still, while all of this is impressive, Haswell remains the elephant in the room. AMD’s expected performance benchmarks could only pit these new APUs against currently sold Intel parts, not those that will launch next month. When asked about this, AMD’s representatives stated that the company has not tested Haswell parts and so can’t comment on how its new products will compare to them in either graphics or processor performance.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

While graphics performance was highlighted, processor performance was barely mentioned. A single graph, shown above, referenced compute performance by suggesting it will rise as much as 12 percent. That sounds competitive with Intel’s new parts, which promise an increase of around 10 percent. However, Intel’s parts are already quicker in compute tests by a wide margin, which means a 10 percent increase relative to Intel’s previous generation translates to a larger improvement overall.

AMD did not announce any specific design wins but did reveal that these parts will be found in some upcoming Acer laptops. Additional retail products based on the new hardware will appear this summer.

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew S. Smith
Matthew S. Smith is the former Lead Editor, Reviews at Digital Trends. He previously guided the Products Team, which dives…
CES 2023: AMD’s next-gen laptop GPU could beat a desktop RTX 3060
AMD's CEO showing off the RX 7600M XT at CES 2023.

In AMD's CES 2023 keynote address, it debuted its next-generation RDNA3 mobile graphics chips, and their performance and efficiency look to be incredibly impressive. We don't have details on the entire range yet, and we want to conduct our own testing to verify performance, but AMD's bold claims leave us rather excited for the year ahead, especially when these chips are launched alongside impressive onboard GPU performance in next-generation AMD laptops.

The AMD RX 7600M XT and non-XT versions will feature up to 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 128-bit memory bus, with support for AMD's smart power and tuning technologies, and are built on a 6nm process. AMD makes major claims about the performance of these GPUs, with the XT model reportedly able to deliver greater gaming performance than even an Nvidia desktop-grade RTX 3060 12GB. We'll need to test that ourselves to verify it, but if true, next-generation mobile gaming laptops are going to be incredibly impressive.

Read more
Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti vs. AMD RX 7900 XT: Two odd choices for your next GPU
The RTX 4070 Ti graphics card on a pink background.

Nvidia's RTX 4070 Ti is here, which means that the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT has a direct competitor now. Comparing AMD to Nvidia is never overly straightforward, but it can be done. Benchmark results speak for themselves, and we've got plenty of those, all based on our own thorough testing of both cards.

While the RTX 4070 Ti and the RX 7900 XT are not some of the best graphics cards on the current market, they certainly fill important roles by offering gaming at a more affordable price -- at least in theory. Below, we'll talk about which of these GPUs is the better option if you're looking to upgrade your PC.
Pricing and availability

Read more
The idea for AMD’s next-gen GPUs all started on a napkin
The RX 7900 XTX.

Have you ever imagined the process of creating the blueprint for a brand-new piece of PC hardware? If you're picturing a bunch of engineers and a whiteboard, you're probably not wrong, but sometimes, it all starts with a small idea jotted down during a slow meeting.

That seems to be the case with AMD's upcoming RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT. AMD experts talked about the creation process of the new GPUs, soon set to rival some of Nvidia's top graphics cards.

Read more