If today's Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition launch has taught us anything, it's that AMD remains a step behind Intel when it comes to CPU performance. That's discouraging news for Llano, whose CPU cores are based on the current Phenom II architecture. However, AMD's upcoming mainstream APU does have a potential ace up it sleeve in the form of integrated Radeon graphics.
Turkish site Donanim Haber has come across some interesting information on the new Radeon, which reportedly makes up about a third of Llano's die. According to the site, the Radeon HD 6550 will offer DirectX 11 compatibility and up to three times the performance of Sandy Bridge's integrated HD Graphics component.
Tripling Sandy Bridge's graphics performance would be an impressive feat for the Radeon, which is said to feature 400 "parallel processing units" (according to Google's translation) clocked at just under 600MHz. If those figures are legit, Sandy will face a stiff challenge in games. We've already seen a $55 Radeon HD 6450 with just 160 shader ALUs clocked at 750MHz lay waste to Intel's fastest HD Graphics solution on the desktop. With substantially more ALUs and a reasonably quick GPU clock speed, Llano could dramatically redefine integrated graphics performance.
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