AMD’s Carrizo brings power savings to mainstream laptops

The Carrizo processor is AMD’s follow-on to Kaveri and a direct competitor to Intel’s Broadwell CPUs. After a lengthy prelude, AMD is officially taking the wraps off of Carrizo today at the Computex trade show in Taipei. The firm expects laptops based on Carrizo to be available near the end of this month, and now that the chip is official, we know a number of juicy details about it that had previously been murky.

The long and short of it is that Carrizo is a quad-core processor with integrated Radeon graphics. Unlike prior “big-core” CPUs from AMD, this one is a true system on a chip (SoC), with an integrated south bridge I/O section and no need for a companion chipset. Chips like this one, which AMD calls “APUs” or accelerated processing units, pack a ton of complexity into a single die. To give you some idea, have a look at Carrizo’s basics, neatly baked into a stat sheet from AMD.

Carrizo’s highlights include a next-gen x86-compatible CPU core code-named Excavator and revised Radeon graphics based on the third revision of the GCN architecture.

Unlike Kaveri before it, Carrizo will not be making its way into socketed desktop form, largely because it’s tuned for optimal operation in a frugal 15W power envelope. This new APU’s benefits likely wouldn’t translate well into full-sized desktop systems. Instead, AMD has chosen to target laptops, all-in-one desktops, and small-form-factor systems with power envelopes of 35W and lower. Smartly, the firm has also decided to consolidate the infrastructure for its high-performance and low-power APU lines into a single setup. Upcoming processors known as Carrizo-L, similar to the low-power Beema APU, will be drop-in compatible with Carrizo motherboards, so system makers can mix and match AMD processors as they wish.

You may have noticed in the specs table above that Carrizo is manufactured on a 28-nm fabrication process. That’s the same basic generation of process tech as Kaveri before it, and it’s a far cry from the 14-nm tech Intel is now using for Broadwell. Fortunately, AMD tells us it has managed to squeeze some formidable improvements into this new APU regardless. In fact, I’ve already covered Carrizo’s advances in power efficiency and transistor density in some depth, so go read that article if you’d like to know more. I’ll try not to repeat too many of those claims here. Instead, I’ll focus on new information, including filling in some details about Carrizo’s various components and the overall performance of the chip.

Excavator digs in

The newest member of AMD’s Bulldozer lineup of x86-compatible CPU cores is Excavator, which debuts exclusively aboard Carrizo. Like the past “heavy equipment” cores from AMD, Excavator includes a number of targeted tweaks intended to improve its performance and power efficiency. AMD’s architects estimate Excavator’s performance has improved between four and 15% on a clock-for-clock basis, and the firm is quick to point out that this new core occupies no more silicon die area than Piledriver did before it.

To achieve those gains and save on die space, the Excavator team slashed the size of the L2 cache from 2MB per dual-core module on Steamroller to 1MB per module here. They then doubled the size of each core’s L1 data cache to 32KB while keeping access latencies the same. That tradeoff between L1 and L2 cache capacities was apparently a worthwhile one. They also found ways to reduce the caches’ power consumption, such as clock gating, that cumulatively produced a 50% power savings. Here’s a look at the dynamic power use of the L1 caches in Excavator versus, presumably, Steamroller, straight from AMD’s presentation:

Beyond the cache tuning, the team improved the core’s branch prediction accuracy by growing the size of the branch target buffer from 512 to 768 entries. They also implemented a fast-flush capability in the floating-point unit that, I presume, allows the pipelines to more quickly recover from a branch misprediction.

Furthermore, Excavator adds support for some new x86 instructions, including the AVX2 suite and MOVBE, SMEP, and BMI1/2. Applications that employ those instructions could see some nice increases in performance and efficiency.

The final bit of goodness AMD built into Excavator is something that has been sorely missing from these big APUs: support for low-power standby modes. These deep sleep states enable features like Windows 8’s Connected Standby and Windows 10’s InstantGo, although those are apparently two names for the same basic thing. The idea is to bring smartphone-style sleep modes with periodic wakeups for notification checking to Windows-based systems. Intel’s CPUs have supported this capability for several years at least. Interestingly enough, AMD tells us that the InstantGo capability on Carrizo systems will make use of the ARM Cortex-A5 CPU built into the security processor portion of the chip in order to control wake and sleep behavior with minimal power use.

Carrizo’s combination of better per-clock performance, improved power efficiency, and higher clock speeds translates into some measurable gains in CPU performance. Here’s a look at some results AMD supplied from Cinebench, an FPU-intensive image rendering benchmark.

True to its billing, Carrizo shines brightest in the 15W power envelope, where it’s up to 55% faster than Kaveri. The lion’s share of the gains come from higher clock frequencies, while the remaining 10-15% is attributable to increased per-clock throughput.

 

A beefier GPU based on a better GCN

The Radeon graphics units in this new APU are based on the third generation of the GCN architecture, and they’re most closely related to the discrete Tonga GPU that powers the Radeon R9 285. The core graphics technology isn’t terribly different from what AMD first shipped aboard the Radeon HD 7000 series, but the firm has made some incremental improvements over time in areas like tessellation performance.

Carrizo inherits the delta-based color compression scheme first used in Tonga. This logic conserves memory bandwidth by storing color data in a losslessly compressed format. AMD claims this feature alone can improve performance in games by five to seven percent at the cost of a “modest” amount of additional silicon area.

This SoC’s graphics block consists of eight GCN compute units tied to two render back-ends and 512KB of dedicated L2 cache for graphics. All told, that amounts to 512 stream processors, 32 texels per clock of texture filtering capacity, and eight pixels per clock of ROP throughput. AMD cites a peak arithmetic rate of 819 gigaflops, presumably for the fastest 35W model of Carrizo.

Notably, the graphics portion of Carrizo occupies its own separate voltage plane on the chip. Thus, it can operate more efficiently by selecting the optimal voltage for its own needs. As a result, this chip can squeeze into smaller power envelopes while keeping all eight of its GCN compute units active. Those units can run at higher peak frequencies, as well.

These changes add up to concrete gains in performance over the prior generation, again especially in the 15W power envelope.

AMD bills Carrizo as the first HSA 1.0 compliant APU, a claim that may seem strange to those familiar with HSA, since AMD has been talking about it for years. However, the 1.0 spec is a new thing, and Kaveri didn’t implement a few features needed to meet its requirements, such as GPU-based context-switching. Carrizo adds that capability and thus earns its billing.

This APU’s support for HSA should position it as an obvious development platform for HSA-based applications, but I don’t believe Carrizo has the necessary plumbing to deliver on HSA’s performance promises. We’ll likely have to wait another generation or two, until APUs get a cache-coherent common interconnect fabric and shared last-level caching, before the hardware is ready to match AMD’s vision.

Better video processing hardware

The UVD block on AMD’s chips hosts dedicated logic meant to accelerate the encoding and decoding of popular video compression formats. Carrizo’s UVD unit looks to be the very latest revision of AMD’s technology in this space. It adds the ability to decode the HEVC/H.265 format expected to be widely used for streaming in the future, especially for 4K content.

AMD has quadrupled the throughput of the UVD block, too, in order to support 4K video properly. The firm demonstrated flawless 4K video playback with low CPU utilization back at CES in January on early Carrizo silicon. This is one area where Carrizo’s feature set clearly trumps that of Intel’s Broadwell. For 1080p video playback, the APU is now able to spend about 25% of its time doing the actual decode work and the rest dropping into a power-gated sleep state, saving energy.

Another video-focused enhancement in this SoC is the addition of a dedicated, high-quality image scaling unit in the display pipeline. Older AMD APUs have used the GPU’s shader units to scale images to fit the target display’s resolution, but doing so burns power. By switching to custom scaler hardware, the firm reckons it saves about half a watt compared to GPU-based scaling.

All in all, AMD estimates that Carrizo cuts power consumption during 1080p video playback roughly in half, taking it down under five watts.

Here is a terrifying slide from the AMD presentation that shows older APUs lasting only 3.3 hours while playing 1080p videos on a 50Whr battery. I’m not sure what to make of that.

A bit of the performance picture

AMD’s presentations are rife with performance results from various scenarios, but I’m naturally skeptical of performance claims in the absence of actual hardware to test—and AMD tells us we won’t likely see that until perhaps July. I’ll offer a couple of slides, though, in order to give you a sense of what the firm expects users to see from Carrizo-equipped laptops.

Yes, it can play DOTA 2 and LoL. And yes, it’s faster than Haswell-based Core i5 and i7 processors (at least in 3DMark).

I think the question on everyone’s minds is whether it’s faster than Intel’s just-introduced Broadwell Core i5/i7 processors. Although AMD has traditionally led the market in integrated graphics performance, those Broadwell chips look to be pretty formidable, thanks in part of 128MB of eDRAM serving as a graphics cache. Then again, the Iris Pro Broadwell processors have 47W power envelopes, above the 35W peak for the first round of Carrizo parts.

 

The speed and feeds—and where we’ll find these APUs

This would be the part of the article where I’d show you a list of Carrizo models, specs, and prices. Unfortunately, despite several requests, we don’t yet have that info from AMD.

I can tell you that Carrizo products will range from 12W to 35W. The peak CPU boost clock on the fastest 35W Carrizo variant will be 3.4GHz, and the GPU boost clock will be 800MHz. DDR3 memory speeds will range from 1600MHz to 2133MHz, depending on the power envelope. The 15W parts will use 1600MHz memory, for instance. We’ll try to add specific speeds and feeds for the first Carrizo-based products when we receive that info.

One dose of reality that we got from our discussion with AMD about Carrizo is where we can expect to see these chips deployed in consumer systems in the coming months. The company is targeting “mainstream clamshell laptops,” likely those in the $400-700 range. PC makers sell those things by the boatload, but they’re not exactly the sexy, image-defining systems that tend to hog most of the attention these days. Intel seems to have locked up the lion’s share of the design wins for convertible systems like the Microsoft Surface or the Transformer Chi T300. Mainstream laptops have grown thinner, but they’re not the thin-and-light class of systems that are so often labeled Ultrabooks (an Intel brand).

AMD expects the first Carrizo notebooks to arrive near the end of June. Those systems will likely be basic clamshells. A little later, in early July in North America, we should start to see some thinner form factors and eventually a couple of ultrathins. At least one PC maker has a Carrizo-driven convertible system in the works, slated to hit the shelves at Best Buy in mid-July. After that will come systems that team the APU’s built-in graphics with a matching discrete GPU for added gaming power, along with all-in-one desktops and small-form-factor systems.

AMD’s challenge is to capture a chunk of the PC market with Carrizo going into the crucial back-to-school and holiday seasons. That first season should officially kick off with the Windows 10 launch on July 29. Assuming it doesn’t see any delays, Carrizo should at least be present in consumer systems at the right time. We’ll have to see whether the systems built around it will prove compelling to the folks doing the buying.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    I hate to say it but I call BS on all of this. AMD’s performance slides have consistently been over-inflated to create product hype in the past and it’s no different here. If/when TR reviews Chorizo, I’d like to see some comparisons/debunks made to the slides in this article.
    Thank you.

    PS, I’m not saying Chorizo isn’t an improvement over Kaveri. Just that it’s not nearly the landslide they’re portraying.

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      The video with the Scottish Guy (who left AMD less than 2 months after that video was made) went out of his way to say: PERFORMANCE [sub<]per watt[/sub<] to make sure that he wasn't lying while also making statements that give fanboys who don't listen carefully just enough disinformation to keep the dream alive. Marketing, it's a fine art... related to the art of the Con. Video link, note that it is NOT from AMD's official channel because they went out of their way to delete it after he left: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ksc0q7anH4[/url<]

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        John Byrne. His name is John Byrne.

        Perhaps he’s somehow related to Rhonda Byrne? You know, that crazy lady who came out with The Secret which made everyone actually believe the universe is some sort of Genie?

        So yeah. Marketing. It’s pretty cool.

          • chuckula
          • 5 years ago

          ONLY IN DEATH DOES HE GET A NAME!

          HIS NAME WAS JOHN BYRNE!

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 5 years ago

    I wonder how would Carrizo compete against Broadwell/Skylake if it was fabbed on Intel’s 14nm instead of TSMC’s or GF’s 28nm?

      • Phartindust
      • 5 years ago

      Wouldn’t surprise me if that happened when GloFo ramps up Samsungs 14nm process.

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 5 years ago

        By that time, Intel would’ve started moving onto 10nm, or would’ve already completed the 10nm process and started on the next process.

        We all know GF does not have the best reputation with keeping their manufacturing schedules, and screwed over AMD consistently.

          • Phartindust
          • 5 years ago

          Quite possible Intel will be at 10nm by end of 2016, but don’t think they will move beyond that till around 2018. Tick Tock and all that. And yes, AMDs’s move to 14nm does depend on GF being ready, but I do feel that they will get it done. And even if Intel is at 10nm at that point, I rather like AMD’s chances a lot better at 14nm than if they were still at 28nm. The move to 14nm is really needed, and needs to be taken advantage of. This is a chance for AMD to possibly be on the same process node as Intel, even if it is for a brief time. I do believe they are quite aware of this, and will move as quickly as they can as supplies of 14nm wafers increase.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Look at all that space being taken up by the GPU. 8 core CPU without a GPU for the same price as the 4 core with one please.

    • Phartindust
    • 5 years ago

    Dude, your gettin a Dell…with a AMD processor.

    When was the last time that happened? Apparently Dell thinks enough of Carrizo to start using AMD again.

    [url<]http://www.cnet.com/au/news/dell-inspirion-amd-carrizo/?hootPostID=45e689fbdf6be721715660994800ebed[/url<]

      • Platedslicer
      • 5 years ago

      Well, that was unexpected.

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      Are those full Carrizo or Carrizo L parts?
      All of the Intel parts listed in those models are actually Atom based, and Carrizo is more targeted at the higher-end of the performance scale.

        • njoydesign
        • 5 years ago

        considering they equip those with Atoms mainly to lower the price of the system and not because of space or thermal constraints, I don’t see why those can’t be full Chori.. I mean Carrizos.

          • Phartindust
          • 5 years ago

          I don’t know at this time, but I don’t see any reason why the full Carrizo wouldn’t work in those form factors.

    • ermo
    • 5 years ago

    [b<]@Damage:[/b<] Did they mention DX12, Vulkan and hybrid crossfire? The 35W 'gaming version' is sort of begging for a companion GPU and a 1080p 14-15" display. Pretty obvious build for the back-to-school crowd with Win10 methinks. 512 + 512 GCN CUs is nothing to sneeze at.

      • Damage
      • 5 years ago

      They will have dual graphics versions available, although I’m deeply skeptical that asymmetric CrossFire in low-end GPUs is a good idea. Deeply.

      As for DX12 and Vulkan, the marketing presentation did talk about DX12. I think we all know how a GCN-based part fits into that picture, so I didn’t elaborate on it in my write-up.

      Now, the combo of DX12 mGPU (i.e., not AFR but other forms of sharing the load) and dual graphics *could* be a good thing. But that’s all unicorns and rainbows until it happens for real.

        • ermo
        • 5 years ago

        What are the odds that you are going to put out feelers to AMD and e.g. Dell about this? It’d be sort of cool to see an “inside the second”-derived article about DX12 and mGPU. If it works, it could be a pretty decent USP for AMD and its customers?

    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 5 years ago

    So in the presentation they’ve quit comparing themselves to Intel? I think that is a good choice for now insomuch as they can tout the improvement process over their earlier iterations with proven results.

    If they do pump out better figures than Intel, in whatever sector, then it would be up to the reviewers to point it out. I like how others have pointed out the diminishing returns on hardware investment these days. Now AMD is providing (theoretically) the numbers we expected four years ago, so is it too late? Not necessarily when you figure everyone will need to replace their non-corporate PCs eventually. Usually the home PC (for the non-tech) is bought as a system usually at a store so the folks usually look at it like anything else, the best bang for your buck. So if AMD is able to persuade companies to put these SoCs into their fleet PCs, then AMD stands a chance of recouping at least the middle ground.

    • kuttan
    • 5 years ago

    AMD Carrizo is a superb upper mid range APU for laptops and netbooks. Carrizo a well put together SOC. A single chip powers the entire computer, not even the need of a south bridge. A beautiful chip.

      • Wild Thing
      • 5 years ago

      I agree.It’s quite an elegant new processor.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    So we know what to expect from the GCN cores, they’ll be a little bit better than the old ones because they’re Tonga-based and there’s more of them, hopefully the Tonga memory compression will help with the bandwidth starvation caused by the measly 64-bit DDR3 channels.

    The real question is how good the Excavator cores are. Steamroller was lukewarm but brought marginal IPC gains along with marginal power savings. Excavator promised more significant IPC gains and it looks like they’ve managed to hit their lower power targets too.

    I’m not expecting miracles, but if these things can compete with an i3 it’s good enough for a laptop, especially when you consider the GCN graphics cover what the vast majority of casual gamers pretty comfortably, even AAA titles if you whack the detail sliders and resolution down.

    • bella pretty
    • 5 years ago
      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Wow – there’s some good stuff there! E.g.,

      [quote<]16, vanishing spell 17. Invisible human spell 24. Supernatural power spell[/quote<] Some suspicious ones too: [quote<] 20. Avenging spell 22. Killing spell [/quote<] Do I really want cancer (23.), HIV (28) or tuberculosis (29)? And I'm pretty sure I don't want to suddenly lose my body (30)...

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        I’m sure they’re just selling in-game purchases for some Android RPG game. 🙂

    • Mat3
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<] AMD claims this feature alone can improve performance in games by [b<]five to seven percent[/b<] at the cost of a "modest" amount of additional silicon area.[/quote<] That's a bit disappointing. I thought the improvement from the compression would have been higher.

    • maxxcool
    • 5 years ago

    I love spicey power savings …

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    I would like to see this on Intel’s 14nm process.

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      So would we!
      — AMD

        • Phartindust
        • 5 years ago

        LOL never happen. Besides they don’t need Intel’s 14nm process when they have access to Samsung’s in 2016 via Glofo

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    All this attention surrounding AMD these days in light of their renewed efforts to play in the high end has got me thinking. While I’m sure AMD somehow hoped Bulldozer would hit Intel’s top offerings right between the eyes, one look at BD’s block diagrams will immediately make you doubt it would even hit their chests. Maybe they thought they could play in the high end by giving you more cores, but as we witnessed during the last few years things just didn’t play out that way in the industry.

    What’s funny is how I seem to have read somewhere about how they consciously took a step back during BD development (that is, determining the ‘optimal design point’ in AMD Speak) and deliberately decided not to step on Intel’s toes. Shoot for the stars and you just might hit the moon. Shoot for the ceiling, and you obviously shouldn’t even expect to hit the clouds. How the heck would they keep themselves in the race by giving you and me ‘good enough’ computing? How did they think it was possible to make good profits from that? What? Mediatek? Well, they have the volume, for one thing. And cheap Chinese phone makers to back them up.

    And now it seems they’ve finally come to their senses, which is kinda funny too because it comes at an awkward time. The last few years have been some of the most exciting years in x86 history. Both Intel and AMD CPUs have become faster than ever (but less so for AMD, obviously), enabling better and better experiences. So why is it awkward at this point to get back into the fast lane? For one thing, it comes at a time when it has become so increasingly difficult to push performance farther. Also, as chips gain less and less performance increases over the preceding product generation, people find increasingly fewer reasons to upgrade, which means they hold on to their rigs longer. Third, AMD has far less money now than they’ve had in the last 10 years or so.

    So, deciding to make high end chips again at a time when squeezing more performance out of silicon has become harder than ever, doing so at a time when people have fewer reasons to upgrade, and doing so with far less R&D money to throw at the problem… isn’t it awkward how AMD had to wake up this late to realize this? If they decided early on, say 2007, to make a very wide architecture like Zen, things wouldn’t have been so disastrous for AMD and they would have more money to make products that demand increasingly more money to build.

    But what’s done is done, or rather, what’s not done stays undone. AMD is back. Better late than never, right? While it’s kinda sad to think how AMD has fallen behind so much, and while in the real world an FX CPU will still deliver terrific performance for most people, those in the know know that CPU performance is and has always been relative. And if you don’t win the benchmarks, you price lower, which obviously hurts your bottom line.

    So, good morning, AMD. Wake up and smell the coffee. Good to see you’ve woken up from your long coma. Good to see you’ve stopped dreaming about optimal design points (the world doesn’t care about your optimal design point; they care about either getting the best performance regardless of price or getting the best performance for the money). We honestly thought you were done for, and we hope you didn’t wake up just before the world ends tomorrow.

      • Unknown-Error
      • 5 years ago

      I gave you a +1 for the sheer size of the post.

      • Mat3
      • 5 years ago

      The higher-ups at AMD several years ago were completely inept buffoons. They didn’t like SMT. They didn’t want big cores. They though per core performance wasn’t important. They thought making very minor improvements to the Athlon/Phenom cores every couple years was enough. “Let’s increase some buffers here and there, that’ll do.”

      BD and its followers did exactly what the Phenom lines did before it, in some cases not even as good: moderate per thread performance that scaled well only with many threads. They would have been better off scrapping BD and saving their R&D budget by improving Phenom, with probably better results. Phenom cores were very small compared to Intel. They had lots of room to improve them.

      • Peter.Parker
      • 5 years ago

      I generally agree with you when you say they could have done this much sooner, however, in 2007 Intel wasn’t in either, not to mention Microsoft. In other words, the ecosystem wasn’t ready for this big shift. I suspect that the good guys at AMD know they are a little late in the game. But the launching of Windows 10 must be a good reason to hope they get back up (and I for one, I wish they can). I see a nice Surface low cost with AMD silicon, which can only be a good thing for both Microsoft and AMD. Or even affordable phones with Carrizo core.

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        Well, back in 2007 Intel was already peddling Core 2 which would cement their leadership to this day. Intel knew what people would need and want. AMD, on the other hand, even after the massive back-to-back successes of K7 and K8, was afraid and too conservative to create the next big thing. So what did they do? Phenom. And it’s a yawner in terms of core innovation.

        There are some rumors, however, that there were many canceled projects within AMD, two of which were supposed to deviate from the K7 lineage. The K8 we had, for example, wasn’t the original K8 project which was headed by Jim Keller, and that’s why it’s disingenuous to call Keller the father of K8 because he fathered (!) a different K8 (the aborted K8 child!). There was also supposedly a K9 project which was also scrapped. To make up for lost time I would imagine AMD rushing to get something out — anything — to have something to sell, and these two canceled projects would’ve been the reasons why the fundamental K7 architecture went on and got extended for so long.

      • Voldenuit
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]While I'm sure AMD somehow hoped Bulldozer would hit Intel's top offerings right between the eyes, one look at BD's block diagrams will immediately make you doubt it would even hit their chests. [/quote<] They were aiming much, much, lower, hoping it would hurt. (coughs)

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      Ronch, i just read your last paragraph, but amd didn’t wake up. in 2 years you’ll write the EXACT same post and we’ll all still be wondering why and how they exist. they’ll never wake up. it’s amd. WOULD WE EVEN RECOGNIZE THEM IF THEY DID?

        • w76
        • 5 years ago

        If they don’t improve their financials, are you sure in 2 years you’ll be wondering how and why they still exist? 😉

        Just glanced over their financials, they haven’t made a dollar on an annual basis since 2011, gross revenue has sunk like a rock — from which they’ve had to service a growing debt burden, and interest rates are set to rise. (EDIT: Thought I linked a credit analysis report, but paywalled; it wasn’t very pretty much past a couple years, anyway)

        Xen will either save their bacon, or put them under.

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          They’ll still exist in two years, and still suck.

            • chuckula
            • 5 years ago

            Consistency is a virtue!

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            no it isn’t.

            • ronch
            • 5 years ago

            In the semicon industry, you can’t suck indefinitely.

            • BIF
            • 5 years ago

            Okay, I don’t want to take away from your very well written treatise above, because I thought it was cogent and hit so many truths.

            But this comment right here sums up all that and more to a “t”. 🙂

      • swaaye
      • 5 years ago

      I think it’s pretty difficult to really know what they’ve been doing at AMD over the past few years. I mean we all know what they tell us in their marketing slides, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a thing. What we do know is it takes years to build a new CPU, and AMD doesn’t really have much of an R&D budget. Semiconductor manufacturing has also become even more costly, they’ve been stuck using processes not tuned for high performance CPUs, and Intel seems to have more lead than before.

      They’ve tried to adapt to the market demands for mobile junk that doesn’t sell well. Hey what can ya do? lol. Be prescient maybe? Still, that Zen chip has been in the works for years too. Maybe it will turn out better than Bulldozer.

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]AMD's Carrizo brings power savings to mainstream laptops[/quote<] Wouldn't they first have to be in "mainstream laptops" before they could actually bring it to them? AMD's APU's in laptops are more on the fringe side.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    By the way, while there are no official reviews, it seems that a couple of reporters were able to sneak in and run a couple benchmarks on the Carrizo systems that AMD was showing off at the event.

    [url<]http://www.pcworld.com/article/2928189/amd-aims-carrizo-chip-at-making-the-most-popular-notebooks-run-longer.html[/url<] Spoiler: [spoiler<] The results are not all that amazing. From TFA: "Of course, Intel just announced its faster Broadwell-H chips at Computex on Monday night. And when we quietly ran some benchmarks on the Carrizo chip at AMD’s event, the performance was rather lukewarm: 2,388 for 3DMark’s “Sky Diver” test, 959 for the Fire Strike test, and 282 for the Fire Strike Ultra test, using a processor 3DMark reported as the AMD K15 “Carrizo,” running at 2.1GHz (and at 3.3GHz “turbo” speeds), and with the integrated, 256MB of Radeon R7 graphics inside running at 800 MHz. AMD Carrizo benchmarksMARK HACHMAN We didn’t have any AMD Kaveri chips on hand to test, but the Kaveri-based A8-7600 runs at speeds of up to 3.7GHz to 4GHz. Hot Hardware reported that that A8-7600 chip generated a score of 1,320 to 1,336."[/spoiler<]

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Oh, so Carrizo has NO socket. And AMD is basically not releasing a single actually new product using a socket this year. Oh and their only new product is intentionally designed to not be overclockable.

    I think I have a statement that Bensam123 would like to share with all of us:
    [quote<]Yup... and kicks a bunch of smaller manufacturers out the door, rings in consumers and forces them into a structure in which they have to purchase pre-rated chips (overclocking headroom disappears) and certain combinations, and allows AMD complete control over the motherboard. I'm sure the socketed models will be limited to socket FM3 or whatever their next ridiculously high end [at least in AMD's universe] 'enthusiast' product is. As I said before, if you value your sockets and your freedom to build a system the way you want to it's time to change to Intel (I'm sure tons of people will scoff at this). The performance landscape may change immensely if you're limited in your ability to OC [since AMD's Carrizo doesn't overclock whatsoever] and are being forced into buying a motherboard at a certain cost. And yes, I do understand for AMD this makes sense and will save them money. It's not always about what the big corporation that wants to nom your dollars wants. Soldered on chips should be limited to ultra low end, integrated, disposable solutions... Like Everything AMD makes.[/quote<] [url<]https://techreport.com/news/24191/trusted-source-confirms-soldered-on-broadwell-cpus?post=700884[/url<]

      • Kretschmer
      • 5 years ago

      Why would you care about OCing a laptop chip? That just spells trouble…

        • chuckula
        • 5 years ago

        It was more a point about how a certain company has basically abandoned sockets and the desktop for at least the next year or so while another company who was accused of hating overclocking seems to have no problems releasing multiple new socketed overclockable product lines in a single year….

        • njoydesign
        • 5 years ago

        actually, it doesn’t. You even get +2 on your turbo multiplier for free with Intel’s XTU, on a locked CPU.

      • the
      • 5 years ago

      It seems that AMD pivoted on their Carrizo plans. There was supposed to be a socketed version for FM3 and Carrizo’s integrated south bridge would be disabled in favor of the chipset’s IO hub. I guess AMD killed that plan either due to engineering difficulties, lack of demand, excess inventory of FM3 parts, and suboptimal desktop performance (Kaveri clocks far higher it seems) or some combination of these factors.

      So instead desktop users will get the Godvari refresh instead.

      Mobile does play out a bit differently where the customers are not the same as the end users. Some of those factors that stopped the release on the desktop don’t apply to OEMs. If Carrizo is such an improvement in mobile as AMD claims, it’ll have better success than Kaveri in that space.

      Just from an enthusiast stand point, it is disappointing to see another product disappear.

      • njoydesign
      • 5 years ago

      haha I now understand all the downvotes on my comment about mobile Broadwell being BGA-only =))) So this is where it all came from.

      • albundy
      • 5 years ago

      this year…and last year…and the year before that. it’s been a while…in fact it’s so been so long that FX chips are being made into keychains. and you can tell by rate that motherboards are being churned out for AMD CPUs. Just head over to newegg and take a gander at the number of boards that are available for Intel and AMD. The numbers are getting smaller and smaller for AMD.

    • tanker27
    • 5 years ago

    MMMMMMM…….Chorrizo…….grggggglgggggl /Homer

    • Hattig
    • 5 years ago

    It does look like AMD has made some decent advances for making a half decent mobile APU, after years and years of being behind.

    “This would be the part of the article where I’d show you a list of Carrizo models, specs, and prices. Unfortunately, despite several requests, we don’t yet have that info from AMD”

    Oh dear, typical AMD. At least we know there are at least three from the graphics, and it’s clear the TDP is configurable 15W/35W on two of these.

    I also fully expect that Carrizo laptops will be chunky, ugly and often sporting 1366×768 15″ screens. AMD is very weak at defining its desired platforms for the OEMs to launch with. Hopefully the 1080p GPU graphs indicate what AMD would like OEMs to use.

    • Bensam123
    • 5 years ago

    “Then again, the Iris Pro Broadwell processors have 47W power envelopes, above the 35W peak for the first round of Carrizo parts.”

    They’re also 2-3x as expensive and probably will be matched with dedicated graphics hardware which makes their graphics performance mainly academic. It’d be different if they were matched with $100 chips.

      • Topinio
      • 5 years ago

      Exactly. Also

      [quote=”Damage”<]Yes, it can play DOTA 2 and LoL. And yes, it's faster than Haswell-based Core i5 and i7 processors (at least in 3DMark). I think the question on everyone's minds is whether it's faster than Intel's just-introduced Broadwell Core i5/i7 processors.[/quote<] If this line refers to the 3DMark number in the image just above it, those are Broadwell not Haswell i7's and i5's its beating at the same TDP. Question is answered by image...

    • Unknown-Error
    • 5 years ago

    Personally, I am very skeptical about anything from AMD. Plenty of pretty slides, but I’ll wait for the independent reviews.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Me wants Zen.

    • wimpishsundew
    • 5 years ago

    Great improvement over Kaveri but Kaveri wasn’t that great compared to Intel’s offerings. And while it still won’t beat Intel’s efficiency and CPU performance, its price to performance ratio should be great.

    Too bad it will still be paired with slow HDD, weird RAM configs, terrible screens, unlit keyboards, small batteries, and tiny trackpads. As every generation since Trinity, you will find one or two decently config laptops but it will be overpriced and have 0 marketing that’s nearly impossible for a person to stumble on in a website unless you are specifically looking for it.

    But there’s actually good news this time. AMD may finally get their act together to launch before back to school and holidays instead of after it.

      • auxy
      • 5 years ago

      This is the problem. (ノ/\`)・゜・。

      We have some Beema laptops in my store right now that would be reasonably nice if it weren’t for the rest of the hardware! 1366×768 low-quality TN screens (visible gamma shift without even moving!), DDR3-1333L RAM, 500GB 4200RPM (yes, 4200) HDDs, “Beats” audio on a machine that doesn’t get as loud as my phone… it’s just pathetic.

      Why are laptop manufacturers still including these garbage HDDs in cheap laptops? Little SSDs are so much better! People buying a $299 laptop do not need 500GB of storage! [sub<]And if they do they can get external HDD or flash drives or cloud storage![/sub<]

        • yuhong
        • 5 years ago

        Hopefully SSDs getting cheaper will help, particularly in the 128GB range.

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 years ago

        Even low end intel laptops are the same, crap hdd and crap 1366×768 tn panel.

        Any laptop I buy first thing that goes in it is a 256 or 512GB SSD, so cheap hdd is kinda null.

        the 100Mb lan is annoying, they should be gigabit. As for a screen, I bought an IPS for about 80 as a trial, it was only 1366X768, but viewing angles, yes worth every cent.

          • Disco
          • 5 years ago

          do you have a certain cloning program you use to the swap the data over to the SSD? I’ve had some issues with that in the past, and curious about your methods.

          thanks

            • anotherengineer
            • 5 years ago

            I usually get an ssd with a new laptop, well that’s what I did last time.

            Swapped them and booted from my win 7 dvd and used the sticker code on the machine.

            Windows 8 laptop I did was even easier, swapped them and installed cause key is in bios.

            If you had data, personally I would get a decent sized usb key and dump it there, put in the new ssd and format.

            I find most laptops come with some to enough to lots of bloatware, formatting is probably the first thing I do to any new laptop, ssd or not!!

          • UnfriendlyFire
          • 5 years ago

          There’s a lot more variety of Intel laptops, so it’s easier to find one that suits your needs, compared to the slim pickings of AMD laptops.

      • divide_by_zero
      • 5 years ago

      I wish I didn’t agree with you re: the ” slow HDD, weird RAM configs, terrible screens, unlit keyboards, small batteries, and tiny trackpads” configurations this APU is likely to be featured in.

      Even when AMD releases compelling parts, they just can’t seem to secure design wins without really unpleasant compromises.

        • chuckula
        • 5 years ago

        When your #1 bragging right is that Intel’s parts are too expensive and that your parts are cheap…. don’t be surprised when the rest of the system ends up using parts that are cheap too.

    • Sam125
    • 5 years ago

    Reading this made me think Carrizo laptops might not be that bad. I’d be interested in how the 35w hybrid Crossfire version performs for a mid-range laptop. Preferably from HP as they used to make some really decent hybrid Crossfire APU laptops a few years back but seem to have just given up the past few years.

      • auxy
      • 5 years ago

      Hybrid crossfire has never, ever been worthwhile, for the record. ( ;∀;)

        • Sam125
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah, I know people like to make stupid statements like that these days, but the last person I knew who had a hybrid crossfire laptop really liked his. He’s a college professor who would bring it along with him when he was giving lectures while play some games between classes.

      • BaronMatrix
      • 5 years ago

      [url<]http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/Laptops/hp-elitebook-755-g2-notebook-pc[/url<]

    • tootercomputer
    • 5 years ago

    My wife is looking for a tablet, possibly a convertible in the near future, and the price range 400 – 700 would be spot on . A system built on this chip looks like it could fit the bill, and be a decent system for someone using it for work, email, Skype, and the like. Not gaming. It times nicely with Win 10. This could be an interesting. Thanks for the heads up.

      • wimpishsundew
      • 5 years ago

      Tablets and convertibles are kinda the same. I don’t think these chips will go into tablets as 15W would be too high for those devices.

      If you really want this chip, probably an ultra thin is your best bet. Just watch out for the tiny batteries and shitty screens they love to toss in with AMD chips.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      A tablet with a 15W chip…? I think a Cherry Trail system would fit the bill better.. considering the modest expectations.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 5 years ago

        I’ve got a Cherry Trail system as a tablet. Its good for what it is, but if you prefer a “normal” sized laptop, the AMD chips are so much faster than Cherry Trail it isn’t even close.

        There really is a wide gulf between Cherry Trail and a i5-M or i5-U. You may not think CPU speeds are important… but they actually help out a lot in Windows Update speeds. Sometimes, shutting down / restarting my Cherry Trail tablet can take a long time (10+ minutes) because the slow CPU is going through all of the updates. (Say… a month goes without me using the tablet. I boot it up, and restart to install updates. Well.. I just wasted 10 minutes)

        In contrast, a AMD Kaveri system I have doesn’t really have the slow-CPU / slow-Windows updates issue. And an update to a cheap SSD has made this Kaveri system of mine perfectly usable. The battery life is definitely worse than all of the Intel laptops I’ve got. But “good enough” laptop performance is closer to AMD-big core. Honestly, the only difference I can tell between it and Intel is the battery life. Performance wise, I have to dip down into benchmarks before I notice a difference.

        But day to day? I can compare the eight i5-laptops that we ordered for Interns this year against my personal A10 Kaveri.

        AMD-little core (Carrizo-L) and Cherry Trail are still a bit too slow for me to comfortably recommend. Especially with an occasional Windows user that will pile up a bunch of Windows updates over time.

    • xeridea
    • 5 years ago

    I would say as long as there are some 15″ laptops with 1080p panels they should move a lot. 1080p laptops are more available than in previous years but progress is painfully slow. They have done a lot to improve performance, battery life, and video playback so it should be a good competitor. 20-50% performance improvement (performance was previously fine for most needs), and a lot of power saving features are big plusses for laptops.

    • odizzido
    • 5 years ago

    I actually felt this looked pretty good. Course we will have to see with actual hardware but I felt the warm fuzzies.

    Also it was interesting to see how little die space the IGP took compared to the intel article that was just up.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 5 years ago

    I hope we’ll see some NUC-style systems that utilize these chips, they sound like they’d be perfect for that (although, I think the IGP especially would have benefited greatly from DDR4 support, so I’m a little bummed to see that left out).

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 5 years ago

    “likely those in the $400-700 range”

    Uhh… So much for waiting for a decent AMD laptop design other than HP’s overpriced Elitebooks.

    You can make the best silicon chips, but that means a lot less if paired with 768p TN display, 5200 RPM HDD and other compromises.

      • Medallish
      • 5 years ago

      Hopefully Asus steps up and remakes the wonder that was U38N
      [url<]http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/asus-u38n[/url<] Priced around $900 at launch according to this review, sure it weren't perfect, but remember this was in the late stone age times during Trinity(Which itself afaik wasn't aimed at high-end notebooks) It still had a Full HD 1080p IPS monitor, it was quiet, and paired with an SSD it was no slouch, mine is still great, but I think even a 15W Carrizo would feel like a huge upgrade in performance, and add several hours to it's battery life.

        • brucethemoose
        • 5 years ago

        Unfortunately the U38N was vaporware.

        I waited for it when I heard about it… and waited… and waited… and waited. When it finally came to the US AFTER the richland launch, it was overpriced and pretty much obsolete.

      • Klimax
      • 5 years ago

      Elitebooks are not overpriced for target segment. (Workstations and such) You get even access to nice full service manual, so you can replace almost everything. (And IIRC even upgrades and not just RAM/HDD type…)

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 5 years ago

        Notebookcheck disagrees: [url<]http://www.notebookcheck.net/HP-EliteBook-850-G2-Notebook-Review.142456.0.html[/url<] "Unfortunately, the 850 G2 also exhibits a few drawbacks, which ultimately prohibit a better rating. For instance, we would have wished for a viewing-angle stable IPS display instead of the installed TN panel, as it can nowadays be found in many (often even significantly cheaper) laptops. Additionally, the manufacturer should redesign the cooling system, which seems to be overwhelmed by the additional heat output of the Radeon GPU." And that's why other business laptops from Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Dell and Asus were ranked higher: [url<]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Notebookcheck-s-Top-10-Premium-Office-Business-Notebooks.98925.0.html[/url<]

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Excavator and GCN combine at 15W[/quote<] [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbW5sxyu9bU<]BY YOUR POWERS COMBINED! I AM CAPTAIN CARRIZO![/url<]

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