The A-Series APUs and a whole bundle 'o Radeons
AMD is spinning Llano into a host different models for the laptop market, most of them quad-core parts. Here's a look at the lineup.
All of these models fit into one of two power bands, either 35W or 45W, both aimed at mainstream laptops. AMD tells us a 25W Llano derivative is a possibility, too, but it hasn't chosen to introduce one yet. We expect that introduction is much more likely to happen once the native dual-core Llano silicon is shipping.
As if the amount of technology stuffed into Llano weren't complex enough, AMD's product segmentation efforts have yielded three different tiers of A-series APUs—A8, A6, and A4—along with a corresponding trio Radeon brand names for the IGP configurations. Although AMD hasn't revealed exact prices for these mobile GPUs (and isn't likely to do so, since its customers are big PC builders, not consumers), we do have a sense of the basic product positioning, right in the meat of the laptop market. A4 APUs should go into laptops starting at around $500. A6-based systems should start at $600, and A8 systems at $700. (AMD's Brazos-based E- and C-series APUs will continue to compete with Intel's Pentium, Celeron, and Atom processors in systems below $400.) John Taylor, AMD's Director of Product Marketing, reckons the A4 series will compete with low-end mobile Core i3 processors, while the A6 will straddle the Core i3 and i5 lineups, and the A8 will face higher-end Core i5s and lower-end Core i7s.
We're sure you've fully absorbed all of those APU and IGP model numbers and their related specifications, so we'll move on to the next step of your education in Llano branding. Not only do the three IGP configurations get their own Radeon model numbers, but adding a second GPU for Dual Graphics gives you two more models to track: the discrete GPU's, and a new model number that AMD marketing has generated to reflect the combined power of the Llano IGP and the discrete GPU together.
Long-time readers might think I am making this up, but alas, it is not a joke. Here's a matrix from AMD that explains the whole scheme.
I think that explains it, at least. Say, for example, you have a laptop with an A6 processor and a Radeon HD 6520G integrated GPU, and that laptop also has a discrete Radeon HD 6630M GPU on board. Their combined wonder-twin powers would add up to a "Radeon HD 6680G2" label on the box.
If, like me, you're going to forget these model numbers in about 15 seconds, it may be useful to remember that an "M" at the end of the model signifies a discrete GPU alone, a "G" indicates an IGP alone, and "G2" denotes a Dual Graphics configuration. If that has you feeling more confident, this will knock you back down a peg. Only Llano systems equipped with dual-channel memory configurations are eligible for Dual Graphics operation and branding. The drop in IGP performance with a single DIMM apparently throws things far enough out of balance for AMD to scuttle the whole deal.
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