AMD Kaveri FX-7600P GPU Performance Preview

Given the 3DMark results we just showed as well as the increase in CPU performance, I was very interested to see what Kaveri could do in terms of gaming performance. Here I have to temper my comments somewhat by simply noting that the graphics drivers on the prototype laptops did not appear to be fully optimized. One game in particular that I tested (Batman: Arkham Origins) seemed to struggle more than I expected, and there are other games (Metro: Last Light and Company of Heroes 2) that will bring anything short of a mainstream dGPU to its knees. I've posted the Kaveri Mainstream and Enthusiast scores in Mobile Bench, but they're not particularly useful as most of the scores are below 30 FPS. Here, I'll focus on our "Value" settings, which are actually still quite nice looking (Medium detail in most games).

Bioshock Infinite - Value

Company of Heroes 2 - Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value

GRID 2 - Value

Metro: Last Light - Value

Sleeping Dogs - Value

Tomb Raider - Value

As expected, in most of the tests the Kaveri APU is able to surpass the gaming performance of every other iGPU, and in some cases it even comes moderately close to a discrete mainstream dGPU. There's a sizeable gap between the Trinity/Richland APUs and Kaveri in most of the games I tested, which is great news for those looking for a laptop that won't break the bank but can still run most modern games.

Getting into the particulars, Skyrim seems to be hitting some bottleneck (possibly CPU, though even then I'd expect Kaveri to be faster than Richland), but the vast majority of games should run at more than 30 FPS. There was one system with a pre-release Mantle driver installed that was running Battlefield 4 reasonably well at low/medium details, and with shipping laptops and drivers (and perhaps DDR3-2133 RAM) I suspect even Metro might get close to 30 FPS. Of course, we're only looking at the top performance FX-7600P here, so we'll have to see what the various 19W APUs are able to manage in similar tests.

AMD Kaveri FX-7600P System/CPU Performance Preview Initial Thoughts
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  • Gondalf - Thursday, June 5, 2014 - link

    "maybe even better" i have some doubts, AMD has a process disasvantage that is a damnation in those uses where the cpu works at very low voltage or stay idle for a little. Web surfing is an example.
    Mullins has showed that AMD main weakness is there, being behind Qualcomm (TSMC) and Intel (in house) in idle power.
  • Shivansps - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    Wait, why they are comparing it to a 15W ULV I7? for the same price you can get a Acer Aspire V3-772G-9822, its a I7 QM+760M..
  • takeship - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    Comparing these chips to the haswell mobile i7 quads would only show that AMD has stopped competing in CPU perf. The cinebench scores tell that story - my old workhorse i5-520M from 4 years ago scores higher in both single & multi than these chips. I think the graphics scores also make it apparent that memory bandwidth is a big issue for GCN, and even 2133ddr3 doesn't cut it. 4x the gpu cores as kabini, with only 2x the output. What AMD desperately needs is an OEM that will put their chips in a design that doesn't look and perform like a black friday door buster. Sadly, with Intel's ultrabooks all calling for 17w cooling systems (and broadwell will be less!) there just aren't that many compelling (read: apple-like fashionable) 35w designs for AMD to hope they get recycled into.
  • parkerm35 - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    "a big issue for GCN, and even 2133ddr3 doesn't cut it"

    It was using 1866MHz ram.
  • jabber - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    They probably gave up competing because 95% of the customers stopped caring around 2006 onwards.
  • iTzSnypah - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    I think the next step AMD should make in APU progression is the addition of DRAM on die. It's more efficient than adding more GPU cores for performance and you have hUMA so the CPU cores could take advantage of it too.
  • Novaguy - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    Except that 3000mhz ddr4 is coming out, so why invest time and r&d into on die dram for that next chip?
  • CarrellK - Friday, June 6, 2014 - link

    What you are asking for is an Xbox One APU. DRAM on die is not a trivial choice. The amount of DRAM you'd want to add is not insignificant and thus the amount of die area consumed would be very significant. To use the inevitably limited amounts of on-die DRAM introduces tremendous complexities in software, as coders have to special case the use of the high-bandwidth on-die DRAM and manage its use very carefully. You can do that with consoles, not with PCs. And the XBox One APU is at different cost/power/etc. points than Kaveri.

    There are other solution paths, but that isn't suitable for a comment to a comment in a review article.
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    Is it a faux "FX" chip or is it unlocked?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    It's not unlocked, but what would the point be? Let's just say my experience with overclocking laptops is that there's usually a reason 99% of laptops don't allow it. Huge notebooks with much beefier coolers can try, but even then we often get only marginal bumps in performance.

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