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AMD Trinity APU review roundup: good battery life, so-so performance

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The first reviews of AMD's next-generation mobile Trinity APU have arrived, and agree that while it represents a step forward for the chipmaker, it can't compete with Intel's Ivy Bridge.

AMD Trinity Die Stock 1024
AMD Trinity Die Stock 1024

The first reviews of AMD's next-generation mobile Trinity APU (a CPU and GPU combined) have arrived, and the verdict is "so-so." Trinity is AMD's competitor to Ivy Bridge, but according to many reviews, it struggles to even keep pace with Intel's last-generation Sandy Bridge processors.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, however: AnandTech, Tech Report, Tom's Hardware, PC Perspective, and Hot Hardware have all reviewed the top-of-the-range A10-4600M Trinity APU and agree that it represents a definite step forward for the company when compared with AMDs last APU, Llano. AnandTech claims that while Trinity brings and entirely new, much-improved architecture, it's limited by the same 32nm manufacturing technique used for its predecessor. Also, while CPU performance has dramatically improved over Llano, Trinity's GPU is one of last year's Northern Islands chips, rather than an all-new Southern Islands GCN (Graphics Core Next) GPU. You can get up to speed on the APU's architecture and new features over at our Trinity preview.

One thing all the reviewers agreed on was battery life — AMD is very competitive in this area, although its GPU was flagged as being very power-hungry. All-told, Trinity can't really compete head-to-head with Ivy Bridge, but it could find a home in low and mid-range laptops. AMDs big leap forward will arrive next year, when it shrinks its die process down to 28nm, and includes the much-improved GCN GPU architecture.