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AMD's Llano APU works in tandem with discrete graphics

By Matthew · 21 replies
Jan 21, 2011
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  1. AMD is reportedly developing a new multi-GPU solution for its upcoming Llano APUs that will utilize the chip's integrated graphics core alongside a discrete GPU. According to DonanimHaber, the feature will allow users to run the IGP in tandem with any Radeon HD 6000 series graphics card. Doing so will increase the number of monitors supported in addition to boosting performance.

    Read the whole story
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Im interested, give us more info!
  3. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    So their new chip using a next gen video card is going to be faster than Intel's old chip using the last gen video card? I should hope so...
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    I hope the comparison chart isn't showing a 4-core Llano being roughly equal to a dual-core entry level Intel Core i3. Introducing a new architecture to slog it out in the sub-$100 bracket isn't going to help AMD's average selling price.
  5. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    Kills me that they chose the 5550 as a reference point, because it's one of the least meaningful. The Radeon 5550 supports DDR2, DDR3 and GDDR5. With GDDR5 it's around 5570 performance, making it okay for gaming as long as you keep image quality settings or resolution down. With DDR2 it only slightly surpasses the 5450, meaning it's not playable in some games and in others you need to turn settings way down. So which one are they comparing to?
  6. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    @dividebyzero, I don't think Llano is meant to help AMD's average selling price (Bulldozer might be for that, if it's good enough). What it's meant is to increase its market share and profits. Llano should be able to get AMD into the low end notebook and similar markets, where Intel still rules. Llano could be pretty convincing for notebook makers, and if successful should win a lot of market share from Intel. If 3D performance is decent it should also push NVIDIA's low end solutions out of that market. While there's not enough information to tell if Llano is good enough for that, I think that's what AMD is hoping for.
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    That implies that AMD are going to take a fairly substantial share of Intel's market with a series of SKU's that on first glance look roughly equal to Intel's entry level CPU that's just been made irrelevant by Sandy Bridge, no? Volume sales on low-end parts -AMD still need to recoup it's ROI.
    If by Bulldozer you mean the desktop parts (Zambesi) then there's an ASP upper limit probably defined by their competition (Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge), if you're talking server (Interlagos) -the sky's the (relative) limit -but that presupposes that AMD's narcoleptic server marketing arm actually start to make inroads into the marketplace -not a given by any stretch of the imagination.
    How many lower volume Bulldozer parts does AMD need to sell for every hundred Zacate/Ontario and Llano APU's in order to raise AMD's average selling price?

    While I would think that Zacate/Ontario will be a cash cow for AMD, this also is a high volume/low ASP market

    Realistically Zambesi can't retail for much more than the Phenom II X6/Core 2500K so I don't see how AMD would bank on a smaller volume mainstream/performance desktop part providing a healthier bottom line for AMD. As far as I'm aware, Llano (170-210mm²) and Zambesi (~320mm²) are substantially larger than their competition (less dies per wafer) - I think we can safely assume that Sandy Bridge and NOT Clarkdale* will be Llano's competitor at 131/149mm² as well as the desktop variety at 216mm²- so for your hypothesis to be correct I gather you expect Bulldozer to command a higher premium due to higher performance than say the 2500K/2600K/ low-end LGA2011.
    I for one hope you're right. AMD badly needs to hit one out of the ballpark, but the pragmatist in me says New architecture + new process node + new technology. How often are all three introduced on the same product? And on top of this Bulldozer is now expected to be viable at an SKU price that exceeds it's competition...a competition that is already in the marketplace.
    As far a Llano is concerned it needs to be either substantially better than it's Intel competitor to supplant the incumbent (unlikely if AMD are comparing it with the last generation) at a better price, or substantially cheaper to win in the performance/$ metric -where AMD are at present.

    *Rather a pity that AMD's slide didn't include Sandy Bridge 2820QM (mobile) or 2300 (desktop) for comparisons sake ;)
  8. 1.6x! ok thats faster than 1.0. thanks amd for the diversion but we need bulldozer performance.

    - by sandy b. :p
  9. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    As I understand it, AMD needs to sell a Bulldozer desktop part at the $300 level which performs at par with the Core i7 2600K and another desktop chip at maybe the $400-$500 level to compete with faster variants of Sandy Bridge and/or X68 in order to stay competitive with Intel this year. That's a lot to ask for in a chip even with the advantages of newer architecture and manufacturing processes. At this stage, it's almost like asking for a miracle, not that AMD fans haven't been praying for one since last year.
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,159   +829

    Ok... so for people who are a bit slow and cant read... DISCRETE GRAPHICS, on a NEW MULTI-GPU SOLUTION (AKA cheap but ok for a day to day basic computer capable of 3D graphics).

    God I hate fanboys and their comparisons of pears (To not say apples... no one knows what sort of hype fanboy could be awaken with that) to oranges.
  11. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    I think it's possible. The estimate of Llano's die size puts it around (or a little over) the size of a Radeon 5770 or Athlon II X4. AMD should be able to charge a premium over what is charges for these, and still undercut Intel. The low end notebooks ship even with Pentiums and the like, some something with the power of an i3 540 should be enough to be attractive to OEM's, IMO.

    Of course there's desire to recoup development costs, but first of all AMD is paying less than Intel for process changes because it's fabless, and secondly it doesn't have to make as large a profit as Intel. Sure it would be nice, but even with less it can be profitable.
  12. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    BTW, that said, I'll wait to see if AMD can deliver.
  13. Who needs a integrated-discrete multi gpus nowadays in desktop with only 1.6x increase, and the worst part, comparing it with a i3 540. amd needs to change their benchmark methods. they haven't heard yet of sandy bridge.

    come on amd, dont focus on integrated-discrete multi-gpu now. let the motherboards do that. focus on the bulldozer to gain back the pride. I'm sure amd fanboys will surely disappointed if you can't keep up with intel.

    with love,

    Sandy B.
  14. Jurassic4096

    Jurassic4096 Banned Posts: 155

    Didn't nVIDIA already do this with Optimus? AMD needs its own thing. Stream vs CUDA = fail. Eyefinity vs Surround = fail. Eyefinity is a silly idea considering AMD is known for its price/performance while still being number two, and now they want you to buy 3-6 of the same monitor to see a single image? With nVIDIA you do NEED at least 2 cards, but it makes sense considering AMD is promoting and selling single GPU cards with 6 ports for Eyefinity, which doesn't make sense considering all the pixels you'd be pushing. AMD needs to fix their drivers, and work on making the better single GPU and not relying on dual GPU cards to take "the crown over nVIDIA's top single GPU."

    I'm not a hater, my Radeon 5770's in Crossfire prove that... but i did get them because i don't have the money for the GTX 570 i really wanted, let alone two in SLi right now. 28nm will be another story perhaps!
  15. Jurassic4096

    Jurassic4096 Banned Posts: 155

    Sorry for double post (can't edit on this site), but also hardware accelerated Havok vs PhysX. AMD needs some new and original ideas quickly. Even i hope losing Dirk was a good idea... for AMD's sake. But if they go the mobile and MID route, they better not forget about drivers and performance enhancements, as well as raw performance.
  16. ...quite frankly, those who aren't using eyefinity should stfu; they don't know what they are talking
    about. i ran three 20" gateways off a 5850 for awhile, worked fine; now am running three hp 2310's with a 5970.

    at the highest settings and triple 1900x1080 res, everything blast away at high framerates and provides a gaming experience i will never give up - i simply won't play a game that doesn't support eyefinity anymore, it's a parsec leap backwards...

    i am no ati fanboy; 90% of my gpu's over the recent years have been nvidea, but my "old"
    5970 still eats anything nvidea currently offers, and noway would i run two gpu's to accomplish the same purpose. cuda? wgaf? nvidea surround blows big donkey.

    nvidea has to do a Whole Lot Better before they ever win back my business.
  17. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    Optimus is a graphics switching technology. It allows an NVIDIA chip to replace the integrated graphics, not complement it. Not that I think the ability to add a low cost card is really great. AMD had done that in the past, and IMO it just ends up providing something that's still too low end and can be surpassed by paying another $20 for a better graphics card. Though maybe on the mobile side it would matter.

    As for the other things, would you prefer that AMD didn't go into Bullet physics, OpenCL, etc., and all that was on the market was NVIDIA's proprietary solutions? I much prefer the open direction AMD is taking.
  18. Just to sum up all the comments here.

    AMD will surely fail in the processor business this 2011. Mark my words amd and intel fanboys..

    focus more on cpu AMD.. bring back the glory. we dont need your publicity stunts. show us the real thing.

    and to the guest who has eyefinity. good luck in boasting your rig here. and its NVIDIA not NVIDEA. Or maybe your a fan of nivea lotions. you might be using Nivea lotions too much in your mouth.

    "......5970 still eats anything nvidia currently offers"

    Are you kidding me? comparing a dual chip to the gtx580. come on even a kid will tell you you s*ck., wait till nvidia release its dual chip and guess what, you have the best rival to your graphic card.
  19. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,159   +829

    Have no idea why you even bother...

    Look at the final dude "wait till", when things like that pop up GTFO! There is nothing to be said or done that could help any argument.

    People still can't or won't (Cant figure out which) read so why bother.
  20. ^ bad day. :p
  21. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    Previous guest? No, I think all his days are like this. Mind must have burned out a while back.
  22. While all this competition is fine and Dandy. Bulldozer isn't going to be out til what? last few months of 2011, if not 2012. Llano is going to be a desktop and mobile aimed APU.

    They're competing in graphics cause I think intel has too much resources and a headstart and some unprofessional bribing from what i've heard.

    For a mobile platform, the 5550HD with a quad core at a $700 tag price (I'm guessing), that is amazing. Most AMD Vision systems in stores are 850 minimum with a 5650.

    Now, This doesn't include the new power gating technology and power saving methods and not to mention I hear Llano will run much cooler, unlike my Dual core Turion with 4200 that over heats often.

    I think they're competing differently cause you don't need power graphics anymore. Most fanboys are people competing for the high end. College students, teens, adults, don't need more than a 2ghz dual core, but graphics is something that needs a little more up in it. Guys like me enjoy playing some decent video games on medium settings or so on their 2 hour breaks between classes. For desktops, I guess it'll make a decent entertainment PC.

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