AMD’s latest generation, highly integrated Trinity processor for the desktop has been released to the public. No longer is Trinity a mobile only chip. Six new processors have been made available, ranging in price from $122 for the A10-5800K, all the way down to $53 USD for the A4-5300. The top of the line A10-5800k integrates 4 of AMD’s latest Piledriver CPU cores alongside a fast ATI graphics core to produce the most practical integrated graphics solution to date.
AMD is taking aim squarely at Intel’s Core i5 processors with the release of Trinity for the desktop. The weak integrated graphics performance of Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors makes the Intel budget chips an easy target.
Along with the new Trinity chips comes a brand new socket, Socket FM2. The FM2 socket appears to be almost identical to the previous FM1 socket, but with an altered pin pattern the new socket isn’t backwards compatible. Neither will the new Trinity chips fit into older FM1 motherboard. Time for a new motherboard, socket FM2 here we go.
Integration is the name of the game in the value segment of the CPU market. Integration reduces the number of parts, shrinks motherboards, lowers power consumption and most importantly it creates a new generation of CPU to play with. Both AMD and Intel’s current generation of integrated solution include quad core CPU, GPU, NorthBridge and I/O functions into a single processor and matching socket.
Gaming on a budget is the Trinity specialty, gaming on integrated graphics is now practical. Starcraft 2 at 73 fps using integrated graphics, Resident Evil 5 and Far Cry 2 both blast along at over 100 fps, not too shabby indeed. Some processor intensive games can push Trinity to its limits though, Crysis 2 and The Witcher 2 barely breaking 30 fps.
The VLIW4 (HD6900) based integrated graphics chipset includes up to 384 graphics cores delivering between 10 and 50% improvement over the previous generation A8-3850, also leaving Intel’s integrated graphics in the dust. In many games the A10 can deliver two to three times as many frames per second when compared to Intel’s integrated graphics.
The Intel Core i5’s fire back at AMD, taking advantage when it comes to application processing speed, this is most noticeable with demanding tasks such as video encoding and conversion. Intel’s processor powerhouse completes video conversion tasks typically 50% quicker than the AMD processors. Let’s just say Photoshop loves Intel, but if that’s your main application a Core i7 is a must.
Single application speed is only part of the computing picture though. Allowing AMD to compete with the far more expensive Core i5-3470 is the quad core CPU at the heart of Trinity. Able to juggle many smaller applications at once the CPU is well suited to today’s most common workload, lots of internet with a few apps open, or as we call it here at Highpants, working.
Trinity has been in production for many months now, proving incredibly popular with large system builders AMD has kept Trinity for its select cliental, until now. The battle of the value processors heats up once again, no matter which brand you choose there is undoubtedly an enormous amount of processing power available for only $100 bucks.