AMD Trinity APU - A Notebook Platform Performance Review

Performance Benchmarking: Far Cry 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Dirt 3

Gaming Performance

For a real-world gauge on just how the Trinity platform fares when running PC games, we've selected three games which we feel are representative and intensive enough to put the new APU to the test.

Far Cry 2

While all of our test machines are capable of DX11 gaming, we starting off with our trusty DX9 Far Cry 2 title to see how things stand. As expected, the HP DV6’s discrete GPU GeForce GT 650M was way out in front, followed by the Acer's GeForce GT 640M. Among the compared IGP units, we were happy to see the Trinity’s HD 7660G attaining playable frame rates at both Medium and Very High settings and also showing a significant performance increase compared to the Llano, almost doubling its average FPS. It was also only trailing  behind the discrete GeForce GT 640M by about 30%, proving that the new APU is capable of matching low to midrange discrete graphics units.

While the DV6’s Intel’s HD 4000 graphics performed better in an actual game (compared to its 3DMark 11 scores) it still trailed the Trinity APU by some 30%, and was unplayable at Very High settings. By comparison, the Trinity suffered in some scenes with lots of foliage or explosions, but was generally still playable even at the Very High quality setting.


Battlefield: Bad Company 2

In our desktop GPU testing, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has traditionally favored AMD graphics with its DX11 Frostbite 1.5 engine particularly good at stressing a GPU’s geometry shading power. This trend seemed to continue to the IGPs, with both the AMD Trinity's Radeon HD 7660G and previous generation Llano's Radeon HD 6620G IGPs holding a sizeable lead over Intel’s HD Graphics 4000. In fact, the Radeon HD 7660G performed twice as well as Intel's HD Graphics 4000.

Overall, the AMD Trinity’s Radeon HD 7660G was again impressive, being the only IGP to attain playable frame rates at both Medium and High settings. Even the GeForce GT 640M wasn't really any better as seen in the Acer M3 machine's results.


Dirt 3

In Dirt 3, both the DV6’s Intel HD Graphics 4000 and Trinity’s Radeon HD 7660G graphics were playable at medium settings, although Intel’s IGP was noticeably choppier. By comparison, the Trinity APU remained relatively smooth, with an excellent average of 49.2 FPS, a lead of about 38%.

At High settings, only the Trinity IGP was able to attain playable if somewhat laggy frame rates at just under 30 FPS. By comparison, all other IGPs, as well as the Llano’s discrete HD 6630M graphics were unplayable at High settings. This is despite the fact the new APU managed nearly 50 to 70% better performance than the Llano APU.


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