Anand is covering AMD’s latest Kabini/Temash architecture in a separate article, but here we get to tackle the more practical question: how does Kabini perform compared to existing hardware? Armed (sorry, bad pun) with a prototype laptop sporting AMD’s latest APU, we put it through an extensive suite of benchmarks and see what’s changed since Brazos, how Kabini stacks up against Intel’s current ULV offerings, and where it falls relative to ARM offerings and Clover Trail. But first, let’s talk about what’s launching today.

AMD has a three-pronged assault going out today: at the bottom (in terms of performance) is their 2013 AMD Elite Mobility Platform, formerly codenamed Temash. The main subject of this review is the newly christened 2013 AMD Mainstream APU Platform, aka Kabini. And at the higher end of the spectrum we’re also getting the Richland update to Trinity, which AMD is calling their 2013 Elite Performance APU Platform. We’ll cover all of these with Pipeline pieces, but here’s the overview of the Kabini parts:

In total there are five new Kabini APUs launching: one 25W part, three 15W parts, and one 9W offering. The hardware is the same from the architectural side of things, with the A-Series parts coming with four Jaguar CPU cores and supporting DDR3L-1600 while the E-Series will be dual-core with DDR3L-1333 on two of the models and DDR3L-1600 on the highest performance option. The GPUs in all cases will be fully enabled 128 core GCN architecture parts, but clock speeds range from 300MHz on the 9W part up to 600MHz on the 25W part, with the 15W parts filling in at clocks of 400-500MHz.

AMD provided plenty of material to discuss, and as usual there’s a lot of marketing material that we don’t need to get into too much. For those of you that want to see the AMD slides, though, here’s the full Kabini presentation gallery. Or if you're really interested, I've put the full 2013 Mobility Platforms deck into our galleries.

AMD’s Kabini Laptop Prototype


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  • Gaugamela - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    I'll beg to disagree with that. As a non-promotional price, for a notebook with a 1080p touchscreen display I think that 500$ is more than fair. As for promotions happening your line of reasoning seems to assume that discounts will only affect Intel notebooks which isn't clearly the case.
    While you may get cheap Ivy Bridge notebooks when in promotion, go search for cheap Trinity/brazos notebooks with promotions and you'll find them even cheaper. The same will be said of Temash/Kabini notebooks.

    I fail to understand why you don't seem to acknowledge that.
    Or the proposition of an APU that beats Pentiums and Celerons in performance (excluding single-thread performance, which is much less relevant nowadays) and has superior battery life.
    Will Atom and Haswell Pentiums offer better performance/efficiency/price ratio? It remains to be seen.
  • whyso - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Depends really. With a 1080p screen its a good price. Sales happen all the time. Yes you can and will get i3 ULV systems for cheap and can get kabini systems for cheap. I'm simply saying given the fact that these promotion happen all the time literally (go to newegg laptops, sort by price-lowest and more than 75% of the notebooks on that page are on sale) you have to take these things into consideration. Kabini is competing against discounted but perfectly fine notebooks in this segment. You can get a nice lenovo g580 with SV i3 for $350. Any promotion that runs with a kabini notebook will have to match that price/perf and kabini is much weaker than SV i3.
  • whyso - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Sale % was taken from .ca g580 price from .com for .ca about half are on sale. Reply
  • dusk007 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    The performance quite poor and notebookcheck doesn't really tell a different story. An i5 is the right CPU to compare it too because it runs in the same performance envelope. With all the other stuff that goes into a decent notebook or tablet/hybrid the CPU cost alone does make that much of a difference.

    The problem with Kabini is Single Threaded performance which matters for responsivness in plain old office work loads. Which is what most of these notebooks do. x264, cinebench, ... none of that really matters.
    And gaming. In game low settings don't do much for CPU requirements and that is why even at low many games aren't playable. Something Intel can offer despite its HD 4000 which has nowhere near the reputation of AMD's GCN. If all you want is an office notebook for some casual gaming like a bit of Starcraft. An i5 is still a worthwhile investment.
  • Gaugamela - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    The i5 is the right CPU because it runs in the same performance envelope??????? How about no??
    How much more does the i5 cost?
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Well theres two arguements. One is cost, and yes amd will come in cheaper because intel likes their margins. So if cost is your primary motivator than this chip looks good.

    The other argument is performance/watt and peak performance, both of which make an i5 look much better than this chip.

    Now it's true an i5 doesn't scale down to 3.9W, so in that market this chip appears to be a real contender and the one to beat. But that's not the version that was tested here today so we don't know that for sure.

    Personally, I'm disappointed, and think haswell will compare very favorably in all metrics except price. I'm not sure haswell will be tablet suitable though, where some sku's of this chip should be.

    Not saying this chip is terrible, just saying for anything 8-9W and up it seems to me haswell will be the clear choice if price isn't a major factor.
  • Gaugamela - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    And this is a product that competes on price and battery life. Not performance as Haswell does. Reply
  • dusk007 - Saturday, May 25, 2013 - link

    Just that it does compete on performance doesn't mean performance isn't valuable information. How much speed loss are you dealing with when going with cost effectiveness. This isn't a smartphone CPU that will ultimately end up running different software. It is still Windows and the same games and programs as an i5 is used for.
    The cost difference in the end product isn't that huge or insurmountable. The buyer would like to know how much they get when paying up or who much they loose when going cheap. Comparing it only with Atoms would be cheating and something marketing folks do not a review site that wants to have some reputation.
    These chips don't go into Smartphones not even Tablets (that is Temash) they go where 15W Haswells will go and 2/3 of those sub $800 notebooks BOM is still none CPU related. So even if Kabini was given away for free the notebooks would still cost something.
  • Parhel - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    But price is always a major factor. It's the "majorest" factor. This is a site for enthusiasts (read geeks) but think of the person at the AT&T store who picks the 2 or 3 generation old iPhone because it's $50 cheaper. Reply
  • tunaman - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    AMD set the standard with x64 that Intel evetually agreed was superior and joined. With the introduction of these hUMA (fully shared CPU and GPU memory) chips AMD has again set the standard that Intel will have to copy.
    As I've said before; Intel hasn't been a tech leader in a decade and, again, they'll be playing catch up once they cave to AMD's superior design. But by then, just as has been true for years, Intel graphics and multitasking will continue to lag behind AMD. Intel's only bragging right is saving one or two watts and slapping an "Intel Inside" tatoo on products, but charging twice as much for it.

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