So, that was our first brush with Kaveri in a mobile setting. What did we learn?
At 35W, Kaveri offers somewhat lackluster CPU performance compared to Haswell, but its graphics and GPU computing capabilities are excellent. This is, of course, the same picture our data has painted practically every time we've looked at a desktop or notebook AMD APU in recent years. These results should come as no surprise to folks familiar with the current state of the CPU industry.
What's missing from our results is an indication of whether Kaveri can compete on battery life—something we couldn't test during our benchmarking session, which was limited to just a few hours. We're especially curious to know how the 19W ultra-low-voltage Kaveri chips fare against Intel's 15W ultrabook processors. AMD may claim equivalency, but that's something we'll need to verify for ourselves.
Yes, it's really too bad AMD didn't give us a 19W Kaveri system to play with. As I noted earlier, notebooks with standard-voltage Intel processors seem to be getting harder to come by, while slim and light machines with 15W CPUs are all over the place. If AMD is the least bit competitive at 19W, then I think notebook vendors will happily follow the same template already set on the Intel side. That, in turn, might mean the 19W versions of Kaveri will be the most popular ones.
When we broached the subject with Kevin Lensing, AMD's Senior Director of Mobility Solutions, he conceded that notebooks in general are "getting thinner." He also told us we should indeed see AMD in a greater number of "mainstream thin notebooks" thanks to Kaveri. Interestingly, though, Lensing added that AMD won't be chasing the $899 and higher price points occupied by more upscale ultrabooks, since the market for those is smaller.
In any case, it does seem like the real contest will take place in lower-cost ultra-thin systems—and we still don't quite know what to expect there.
61 comments — Last by tipoo at 2:28 PM on 06/21/14
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