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Old 10-04-12, 07:30 PM   #1
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Post AMD's A10-5800K and A8-5600K 'Trinity' APUs reviewed

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AMD's Trinity chip is making a debut, but it's not exactly a fresh face. We reviewed the mobile version of Trinity back in May and had mostly positive things to say about it. The second generation of AMD's do-everything, converged APU offered solid progress over the first-generation "Llano" chip on many fronts. Not too long after Trinity's mobile release, desktop versions of it started shipping exclusively in systems from large PC makers. Those wishing to build their own systems based on the chip, or to buy them from smaller PC vendors, had to wait. AMD took its time ushering this chip into broader sales channels, but the time is finally upon us. Trinity is now available as a retail product, as are motherboards based on the new Socket FM2 platform.


Trinitarian doctrine

Since Trinity is a known quantity, we won't recount its architecture in great detail. You can read our review of the mobile version for that info. The basics are fairly straightforward, though. Trinity is, in many ways, a direct answer to Intel's Ivy Bridge processors. The two CPUs incorporate many of the same functions, including things like PCI Express connectivity and graphics that were formerly delegated to support chips. The name of the game is integration, because integration saves power, reduces costs, and shrinks the footprint of a system. The latest PC processors are beginning to look very similar to the system-on-a-chip (or "SoC") products that power smart phones and tablets.

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