AMD's Kabini: Jaguar And GCN Come Together In A 15 W APU

Power Consumption

AMD's Kabini-based APUs cannot be evaluated based on performance alone. This 15 W processor is meant to go into mobile devices driven by batteries, and lower power use translates to more compact and lighter platforms.

Let's measure consumption in three disciplines: gaming, Web browsing, and HD video playback. The following tests are run by removing each notebook's batteries, plugging them into the wall, and logging power use. In order to factor out each system's LCD, we turn them off and in favor of an external monitor.

Although the A4-5000-based notebook is soundly bested in our F1 2012 benchmark, it also uses a lot less power than the Core i3- and especially the Pentium-based laptop. 

The 14 W delta between A4 and Core i3 is particularly notable since the processors driving those platforms have TDPs only 2 W apart.

Web browsing doesn't apply as much of a graphics load, so we're seeing more impact from the x86 cores. The field narrows substantially, but A4-5000 remains the most power-friendly option.

All three of these platforms feature fixed-function logic able to accelerate H.264 playback in hardware. So, the workload isn't much more demanding than simply browsing the Web. 

Each solution appears equally adept at offloading the decode process, so we again see the A4-5000 in first place, with Intel's Core i3 just 2 W higher.

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  • bemused_fred
    The PS4 is built on this? What a shame.....
  • MajinCry
    Y'know, I'm curious as to the settings used.
    What was the Texture Filtering (AMD) set at? If it is at quality, no wonder it is chugging. If it's at performance...Ergh.
    Also, what happens when RadeonPro and it's performance tweaks are thrown in? Would setting the mip-maps to performance help at all?
    What about the few optimization settings?
  • ivanthechemist
    I am really curious as to how legacy or low demanding games play on this platform. Talking about LoL, DOTA 2, SC2, WoW and so on. This may be a deal deciding factor for some consumers.
  • jaslion
    well it is a a4 for a reason just hope the a6 will be better
  • selfmade_exe
    1st: 128 ALUs in kabini, how many intel EUs respectively are? I think its just 2 CUs [1 Compute Unit = 64 Unified shaders) if I am correct.
    2nd: the gpu clocks of kabini are standard while intels are variable (favors intel, innacurate results)
    3rd: kabini's gpu is probably bottlenecked by ram speed?