The news is out, HP has just announced the addition of AMD’s brand new APUs (a combination of a traditional CPU and graphics processing unit) in some of their existing notebook models.
First a little about AMD Llano chips: they’re made as an answer to Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors. Made using the 32 nm process, they are available in dual and quad core variants that the system can dynamically and automatically scale and overclock when needed, what AMD calls Turbo Core (Think Intel’s Turbo Boost). The processors support USB 3.0, stereoscopic 3D and AMD Wireless Display; certain models also can take 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM (which is fairly fast on a laptop), while the others will go up to 1333 MHz.
They also have built-in AMD HD 6000G series graphics that are quite a bit more powerful even versus Intel’s HD 3000 Integrated graphics, support DirectX 11 and Open CL/Open GL.
TDP ranges from 35W to 45W, with AMD naming their dual core A4 chips (not to be confused with Apple or Audi’s naming conventions!) as direct competitors to Intel’s Core i3 series, A6 chips as competitors to Intel’s Core i3 and lower tier Core i5 while their A8 chips will take on upper tier Core i5 and Core i7. The AMD A6 and A8 chips also feature quad core as standard, with clock speeds ranging from 1.4 to 1.9 GHz (boostable to a range of 2.3 to 2.6 GHz). AMD is claiming very ambitious battery life numbers, ‘up to 10 hours’, for their new chips thanks to improved efficiency and power management.
And now, on to the notebooks… HP has named several notebooks ranging from 14 to 17 inches in screen size to begin sporting these new AMD processors. From the consumer side, we have the updated Pavilion dv4, dv6 and dv7 (starts at $550) as well as more affordable Pavilion g4, g6 and g7 laptops (starts at $450), which will be available with AMD’s new goods beginning July.
If you’re looking for a business-class notebook, HP has updated their ProBook 6465b and 6565b series as well as ProBook 4535s, 4435s and 4436s series ‘entry-level’ business notebooks. Availability of AMD’s new Llano A-series chips in these notebooks should begin June 27.
As for their Intel variants, no worries, they aren’t going anywhere. This is just in-line with HP’s trend of giving folks a choice between AMD and Intel processors. For years, AMD has been more of the ‘affordable’ choice while Intel has been known for better and more stable performance. But looks like AMD is planning to change that this time… I wonder how these new processors will fare because they sure look good, on paper at least!