• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Number of Cores: 4
  • Core frequency: 2.3GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 3.2GHz
  • Pros:
  • Improved processing performance
  • Great graphics
  • Lower power consumption
  • Cons:
  • Poor memory delegation

The Wholly Trinity

AMD has been launching a series of new processors as of late, specifically their CPU+GPU fusion that they have called an APU. The idea was that it is possible to create a fusion of the two processors into one single die that combines performance and efficiency (not to mentions reducing costs). The AMD A10-4600M APU is one of them.

The testbed that was given to us by AMD is the HP Pavilion g4, powered by a 2.3GHz AMD A10-4600M APU, and 2GB of RAM. Setting the brightness levels to Auto and with Wi-Fi on throughout the review stages, the g4’s battery lasted about four to five hours, doing daily tasks such as browsing, video watching, and a bit of gaming for good measure. That’s a good improvement over power consumption.

Processor-wise, the AMD A10 mostly delivers on what it promises with excellent on-board graphic performance and processing power. While it won’t be topping the class in processing performances, the A10 is well capable of day-to-day activities like surfing, document work and videos. Some additional features of the APU do come handy in enjoying media, particularly the AMD Steady Video Technology 2.0 and Quick Stream.

Graphical performance is where it shines. It’s not as gaming-capable as a discrete GPU would be, but being able to run Skyrim on medium settings while maintaining 40fps is great on our count.

An issue that we found out as we were testing the g4 was that it has a tendency to slow down drastically the more programs you leave running at the same time. Upon checking the Task Manager, we found out that the slowdown is caused by the lack of RAM on the machine. The processor used relatively little processing power, while the RAM is constantly almost maxed out, even with only two or three programs running.Memory delegation, it seems, is not its strong suit, and as such it requires more memory to buffer tasks.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The AMD A10-4600M APU offers a Wholly Trinity of performance, graphics and low-power consumption, a recommendable option for people looking for a lower-cost notebook. We just find that it could do better with memory delegation.

(previously published in issue February 2012)

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