AMD's Puma notebook graphics 3x quicker than Intel's current best?Watch the video here, exclusively on HEXUS.tv.
AMD is feeling particularly bullish about the prospects for its latest mobile platform, Puma, and it's not hard to see why.
HEXUS detailed Puma's underpinnings some nine months' ago, comprising of the all-new, mobile-oriented Griffin CPU (Turion Ultra) and accompanying 780M chipset.
The CPU is based on the K8 architecture present on the 65nm Athlon 64 range, albeit with significant power-saving technology - with independent power-planes for each core and the northbridge - built-in to conserve mobile battery life.
Patrick Moorhead, AMD's VP for advanced marketing, allowed the HEXUS.tv film crew behind-the-scenes access at CeBIT 2008, to shoot a Puma-powered MSI notebook taking on an Intel equivalent - Penryn CPU on top of a G35 motherboard - when running a timedemo in Half-Life 2, at 1,024x768. The video, viewable here, shows the AMD notebook to be up-to 3x faster, Surprised? You shouldn't be.
Now, AMD launched the desktop variant, RS780, last week. 780G, the headline SKU, combined a fully-functioning DX10-compliant integrated graphics core - based almost entirely on a discrete Radeon HD 2400 GPU - with a new supporting southbridge. Our view was that 780G's 3D performance unequivocally raised the bar for IGP-based rendering, ensuring that casual gamers could play the latest games at a 1,024x768 resolution.
Much of 780G's goodness has been carried on over to the mobile 780M, leading to, well, stellar 3D performance from a mobile IGP.
There are a few flies on the ointment, however. Puma-based notebooks will only be available in Q2/Q3, and we fully expect to see Intel hit back with its Centrino 2 platform - formerly known as Montevina - that will ship with energy-efficient 45nm Penryn CPUs on a G45-class mobile chipset that also promises potent DX10 graphics and full-screen, hardware-accelerated HD decoding for Blu-ray content.
Bottom line: AMD's Puma looks to be a winner on paper, sure, but don't count out Intel's Centrino 2. H2 2008 will bring significant IGP performance upgrades to the mobile space.