AMD's New Laptop CPUs And GPUs Are For Gaming On The Go

If you're buying a new laptop any time soon, the usual wisdom just got a shake-up. AMD has just launched a bunch of new low-power CPUs and discrete graphics chips that will be appearing in plenty of mainstream laptops, and they're a genuine contender for Intel's Core i3 and Core i5 — especially if you're thinking about playing any games.

Crucially for thin-and-light systems, some of AMD's new 7000 Series APUs — that's Accelerated Processing Unit, the AMD term for a single system-on-chip combining both CPU and GPU — boast 40 per cent more graphics power than an equivalent Intel Core i5. Considering even the most energy-hungry new AMD FX, A10 and A8 chips are rated at a miserly 25 Watts of power consumption.

Based on the new generation of AMD's processor architecture called Carrizo, the processors also include the world's first hardware H.265 HEVC decompression support in a notebook. If you're watching high-resolution video from a new 4K-capable camera like the Samsung NX1, am AMD Carrizo APU will display it smoothly where a non-accelerated Intel will drop frames.

Power efficiency is much improved, too. A laptop with a new AMD processor could have battery life twice as long thanks to improvements in the way chips communicate and the low-power states they can switch into at a millisecond's notice, with the biggest improvements made when you're watching video — that crucial "try and get enough battery life for a long-distance plane flight" scenario. Even with Web browsing and productivity tests, AMD's 7000 Series APUs show energy usage improvements of 40 per cent.

AMD's new chips will be shipping in Australia soon in laptops from Dell, Alienware, HP, Lenovo and other system-builders. [AMD]


    Smart move by AMD. I'm not a fanboy either way, but in the battle of graphics cards, it would be likely swinging in NVIDIA's favour. So instead of continuing to fight in the same battle, they're diversifying to corner a new segment of the market. Good move.
    I'm sure there's some AMD history that I've missed where they've done this before, but keen to be enlightened.

      I'm not a fanboy either, but I am legitimately more interested in the direction that AMD is moving from a technological perspective.
      Discrete graphics cards will eventually become very niche in the same way discrete sound cards are. The logical direction is for not only GPU's to be integrated onto the same die as the CPU, but the breakdown completely of a barrier between the two. AMD are already moving this forward with their work on HSA, what are traditionally "GPU" elements now just become another component of the CPU die for compute instructions if the code you are running can use those functions [and, oh yeah, they also run GPU functions super fast too].

      The gap between APU and discrete GPU capabilities is still quite wide, but it's narrowing very fast. Granted, intel has actually done a really good job in getting their on-die GPU tech up to snuff relatively quickly. I'd wager nVidia would be pretty worried about their long-term future in the x86 space, as they do not have any CPU capabilities. But, again, ARM based SoC's are also catching up for general computing use, so they've got a solid foothold in that market too.

      It's exciting stuff! I can't wait to see where it all goes!

      Last edited 08/05/15 5:08 pm

    I'll wait to see the reliability and benchmarks before I consider switching from Intel/nVidia

      I agree, they are selling the chips in china already but yet Tom's Hardware has not benchmarked them yet? That raises the same hackles as a game without a pre-release reviewer copy for me.

    I'm still weighing up to buy an i5 4690k or waiting a bit longer. Would the 4690k last the remainder of this generation? Up until the PS4/XBO my Q6600 has done me admirabley

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