AMD Trinity for the HTPC Previewed
AMD's latest processors, the desktop version of their Trinity processors, will be released next month, but the company recently decided to allow the press to offer up "previews" of certain aspects of the new chips' performance ahead of the lifting of the official embargo in October. The move has been met with some controversy as the previews may not offer a complete picture of Trinity's performance, but for anyone interested in gaining some insight to how Trinity might work out for HTPCs, our friends at Anandtech have put together an HTPC-specific evaluation of the forthcoming AMD A10-5800K. Running at 3.8GHz and packing an integrated Radeon HD 7660D GPU, the A10-5800K and its 100W TDP are probably overkill as far as most HTPC enthusiasts are concerned, so some questions will remain unanswered, but it is a start. Feature-wise, it sounds like Trinity has all of the pieces it needs to be competitive with Intel in at least this one specific market segment, though its hard not to be a bit disappointed that the 7660D GPU lacks some of the more forward-looking video playback capabilities of its discrete siblings. If the 65W Trinity processors can be as competitive and offer a more reasonable power envelope, then Trinity might be set to offer a compelling alternative to Ivy Bridge for HTPCs.
AMD provided us with an A10-5800K APU along with the Asus F2 A85-M Pro motherboard for our test drive. Purists might balk at the idea of an overclockable 100W TDP processor being used in tests intended to analyze the HTPC capabilities. However, the A10-5800K comes with the AMD Radeon HD 7660D, the highest end GPU in the Trinity lineup. Using this as the review platform gives readers an understanding of the maximum HTPC capabilities of the Trinity lineup.