Leaked slide teases improved Cedar Trail graphics performance

The rumor mill suggests that Intel’s next-generation Atom platform, code-namded Cedar Trail, won’t make its formal debut until November. Will it be worth the wait? Maybe, at least based on some benchmark numbers leaked by VR-Zone. The site has posted an official-looking slide detailing the performance of a couple of Cedar Trail CPUs versus their Pine Trail and Oak Trail predecessors.

On the CPU front, Cedar Trail doesn’t look like much of an upgrade. The upcoming Atom N2800 dually scores higher than the fastest Pine Trail CPUs, but it also has a 166MHz clock-speed advantage over its closest counterpart. Clock for clock, Cedar Trail’s CPU component appears to offer equivalent performance to its predecessor.

The lone graphics benchmark in the set is 3DMark06, a DirectX 9 affair that’s getting rather long in the tooth. Graphics performance has always been a weakness of the Atom platform, but Cedar Trail’s integrated GPU appears to be much improved, boasting up to three times the graphics performance of the GMA 3150 in Pine Trail. VR-Zone says the higher 3DMark score is mostly a factor of GPU clock speed, though. Atom N2600 and N2800 CPUs will reportedly have GPU clocks two and three times higher than Pine Trail.

Arguably more important than Cedar Trail’s 3D credentials will be the chip’s ability to accelerate the decoding of high-definition video, whether it’s coming from a Blu-ray disc or streaming over the Internet via Flash. AMD’s Ontario and Zacate APUs have offered smooth HD playback and respectable gaming chops for quite some time now, setting a high bar for Intel’s next-gen Atoms to reach.

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    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    It’s still woefully inadequate for even the lightest of gaming, why even try to make the GPU performance better if it’s still going to end up worthless?

    Just give us dedicated video decode logic instead, admit that they’re not designed for 3D and save die space to improve battery life and lower costs.

    • jimbo75
    • 8 years ago
      • Game_boy
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://semiaccurate.com/2011/08/11/intel-throws-money-at-faltering-ultrabooks/[/url<] Ignore the tone of the article (it's Charlie) but it looks like Intel is paying OEMs to use Atom in this form factor now. And where are all the Atom phones and tablets Intel promised? Conclusion: Intel can't even /give/ them away.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        Ultrabooks won’t have Atoms in them – they’ll use low-power Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPUs.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Ontario CPU is slower than the last-gen Atom CPU because it had to be clocked ridiculously low to meet the power consumption specs. GPU was obviously faster (and is likely to still be faster than what these new Atoms have), but there are folks who wouldn’t consider using any of these systems for gaming anyway because they are all slow.

      The power consumption of this new 32nm Atom platform might beat Ontario (especially if Intel figured out how to optimize the whole platform consumption – something they have failed to do with Atoms of the past), and if the dedicated HD hardware does its job, this could be a winner in the HTPC market.

    • jensend
    • 8 years ago

    Wow! That’s enough of a boost to make it equal the 5-year-old GMA X3000! It may even match the 9-year-old Geforce FX 5200 and Radeon 9200! Everybody better hold off buying a new laptop so they can get in on this tremendous leap in graphics processing!

    (It’s almost 1/3 as fast as the Radeon 6250 found in AMD’s slowest Ontario chips!)

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      The key questions:

      -how much power does it consume while being 1/3 as fast?
      -does it do what you need it to do?
      -how expensive is it?

      These chips will have a process advantage compared to Ontario, that can translate to power savings and cheaper prices.

        • Goty
        • 8 years ago

        The main problem for Cedar Trail and these delays is that it pushes it ever closer to competing with Krishna/Wichita, meaning it will lose its process advantage and more than likely also lose whatever ground it gains in performance.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          True, although I’m not sure how much volume there will be available for Deccan chips until maybe mid 2012. There are already reports that 28nm GPUs are being delayed because of process issues.

          Krishna/Wichita will certainly beat Cedar Trail in performance, but it looked like they were focusing on increasing performance while keeping power consumption more or less the same. Meanwhile, it seems that Intel is moving Atom down in power while keeping the performance more or less the same. It’s hard to predict what the market would prefer. For me personally, Deccan is a clear winner, but most of the market might not “need” as much performance as I do..

          I’m actually more excited to see how all this plays out in tablets. I think “ultrabooks” will take over the higher-price notebook market, and Deccan will own the netbook market (unless 2013 Silvermont-based Atom changes the landscape significantly). But the Main Event will be between ARM and x86 on tablets.. Will ARM hike the performance without losing efficiency? Will x86 manage to cut the power?

          EDIT: Airmont isn’t expected out in 2013 – Silvermont is

    • Hattig
    • 8 years ago

    I guess they used a DX9 benchmark because the DX10 drivers aren’t working…

    And 3x slower than pitiful is still pretty poor.

    But we’ll just get into another pointless argument that even Zacate isn’t reasonable for gaming because it can’t do 1920×1080 Crysis HQ. If you’re one of those guys – nothing in this market area will satisfy you, so move to the next topic.

    • codedivine
    • 8 years ago

    Well somehow “teases” doesn’t seem the right word when it comes to graphics performance from Intel

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Teases sounds good to me. Doesn’t it imply that you might get something, but in reality it’s unlikely to happen? That seems spot on.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    3 times faster than going nowhere isn’t very fast.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      I can play torchlight on an Atom netbook, that shows just how well optimised torchlight is i guess more than how good atom’s are at gaming. Still, 3 times faster in benchmarks seems promising. No word on power consumption.

        • Goty
        • 8 years ago

        I wonder how current-gen Atom graphics compare to say, Arrandale graphics? A friend of mine bought a shiny new laptop with an Arrandale-based i5 and was extremely frustrated when he couldn’t play minecraft at anything over 10FPS. If these chips can best that, they might finally be worth something.

          • Farting Bob
          • 8 years ago

          Must have been doing something wrong, i could play Minecraft on my atom netbook if i turned a few things off like dynamic lighting (hell the game looks and feels the same on minimal settings as it does on normal or high).

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Did it have ION graphics, by any chance…?

        • ET3D
        • 8 years ago

        Power consumption should be low, considering it’s a PowerVR core.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          … and considering it’s 32nm

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