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The Kaveri whitebook and the test
AMD seems to be making a habit of holding events where the press can benchmark its latest mobile silicon. The company invited us to Austin to test Mullins back in April, and this time, it hosted an event in San Francisco where we could test a 15.6" whitebook based on the FX-7600P.

We would have loved to test an ultra-thin laptop based on the FX-7500, but alas, AMD didn't have one of those at the event. The FX-7600P whitebook was surprisingly slim and light for that form factor, however, as the photo above shows. Along with the 35W Kaveri APU, the machine came loaded with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB Samsung XP941 solid-state drive. Its 15.6" display had a 1920x1080 resolution and multi-touch input.

As far as we're aware, the whitebook doesn't directly correspond to an upcoming system from an AMD partner. If a similar machine were to hit stores, however, AMD says it might retail for something like $699.

So, what did we compare this thing against?

As it turns out, laptops based on Intel's standard-voltage mobile processors are relatively rare these days. Systems featuring the company's 15W, ultrabook-focused CPUs are much more commonplace. Faced with such a dearth of competitors, we wound up turning to the nice folks at Zotac, who supplied us with one of their Zbox ID92 mini PCs. The Zbox is based on a Core i5-4570T, which is technically a desktop processor. However, it has a 35W power envelope and specs nearly identical to those of the mobile Core i7-4600M—one of the chips AMD identified as a direct rival to the FX-7600P.

Like the Core i7-4600M, the Core i5-4570T we tested is a Haswell chip with two cores, four threads, a 2.9GHz base speed, a 3.6GHz Turbo speed, 4MB of cache, and Intel HD Graphics 4600. The only major difference is in graphics clock speeds. Where the i5-4570T has base and Turbo graphics clocks of 200MHz and 1.15GHz, respectively, the i7-4600M runs its IGP between 200MHz and 1.3GHz. The i7-4600M also has a slightly higher TDP of 37W instead of 35W.

In non-graphics benchmarks, the i5-4570T should give us a good sense of what Intel's competition to the FX-7600P looks like. Just keep in mind that, in our graphics benchmarks, the i5-4570T may be slower than its mobile counterparts.

We also included, as a reference point, the Trinity whitebook AMD sent us a couple of years back. That system is based on the A10-4600M, which was the fastest 35W flavor of Trinity at the time. AMD released higher-clocked Richland chips last year, but Trinity and Richland are based on the same silicon, and Richland didn't raise clock speeds by very much at 35W. The A10-4600M will give us some good historical context for the FX-7600P's performance.

Oh, and one last thing: we outfitted both the Zotac and Trinity systems with 4GB of DDR3-1600 memory, while AMD set up the Kaveri machine with 8GB of DDR3-1866 RAM. DDR3-1866 may not be the fastest speed Kaveri supports, but it's still faster than DDR3-1600—and the faster the memory, the better the integrated graphics should perform. As for the disparity in memory capacities, we don't expect it to have a significant impact on our benchmarks, but keep it in mind nonetheless.

The results

Productivity apps

Let's see. Kaveri comes out very slightly ahead in 7-Zip decrompression, and it has a clear edge in data encryption using TrueCrypt's Twofish scheme. The Core i5-4570T, meanwhile, has a nice lead in 7-Zip compression, TrueCrypt's AES scheme, and x264 encoding. I'd say that's a win for Haswell overall.

Web browsing

Mobile Kaveri also falls behind in these two web benchmarks, which we used to measure JavaScript performance in Google Chrome. We saw a similar competitive breakdown when stacking up Kaveri against Haswell on the desktop. No question about it, AMD is at a disadvantage here.

3D rendering

Kaveri loses another round in Cinebench 3D rendering. As in the other tests, the FX-7600P offers a nice performance increase over Trinity, but it's not quite quick enough to catch up to Intel.