AMD Kabini APU Preview - Combating a Changing Computing Landscape


The Reference Kabini Notebook & Test Setup

The AMD Reference Kabini Notebook

The reference Kabini notebook given to us from AMD is a simply designed, no frills machine. It has a 1080p full HD, 15-inch display and just about 20 mm thick and weighs 1.75kg. Of course, this being a showcase of the processing platform and not the kind of notebooks one can expect, we didn't really mind its physical attributes.

Under the hood is AMD’s new A4-5000 APU, which is the second most powerful model in the Kabini lineup. This quad-core APU runs at 1.5GHz, has a 2MB L2 cache and an integrated Radeon HD 8330 GPU with 128 stream processors running at a GPU clock speed of 500MHz. The A4-5000 APU has a TDP of just 15W and according to AMD literature, was designed to go head to head with Intel’s Pentium offerings.

For comparison, the top of the line A6-5200 APU has a clock speed of 2GHz and an integrated Radeon HD 8400 GPU that has the same 128 stream processors but running at a higher 600MHz GPU clock speed. The TDP of this A6-5200 is also much higher at 25W. This more powerful APU was designed to compete against Intel’s entry-level Core i3 processors.

Here’s a look at the reference Kabini notebook from AMD.

Test Setup

While we haven't really reviewed many entry-level systems, we've put together some test comparisons to get a better idea where exactly does the new Kabini A4-5000 APU stand. For starters, we will be compariing it against AMD’s own A10-4600M from our review of the Trinity notebook platform last year and also the recently reviewed Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini-PC, which has a mid-level Trinity A8-4555M APU. Additionally, from Intel, we will be including results from the Intel NUC Mini-PC and the ASUS Vivobook X202, both of which are powered by the Intel Core i3-3217U processor.

Here's a summary of the various systems' key specifications.

Model Processor Clock Speed GPU RAM Storage
AMD Kabini Reference Notebook A4-5000 1.5GHz Radeon HD 8330G 4GB

1TB HDD
(5400rpm)

AMD Trinity Reference Notebook A10-4600M 2.3GHz Radeon HD 7660G 4GB 128GB SSD
Sapphire Edge VS8 A8-4555M 1.6GHz Radeon HD 7600G 4GB

500GB HDD
(5400rpm)

Intel NUC Mini-PC Core i3-3217U 1.8GHz Intel HD Graphics 4000 4GB 128GB SSD
ASUS Vivobook X202 Core i3-3217U 1.8GHz Intel HD Graphics 4000 4B 500GB HDD (5400rpm)

The systems were tested using the following benchmarks:

  • BAPco SYSmark 2012
  • PCMark 7
  • Cinebench
  • Handbrake
  • 3DMark 11
  • 3DMark 2013
  • Powermark