It is hard to write a conclusion after spending an afternoon with a prototype notebook, but our early impressions on the mobile version of Kaveri are pretty positive. The 15.6-inch laptop that we given the chance to benchmark on was nicely built and felt very peppy with the AMD FX-7600P processor at the helm. We did notice that AMD was using a Samsung XP941 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD though, which is a very fast drive capable of hitting 1170MB/s read and 950MB/s write since is uses the M.2 PCIe interface. We were very well aware of the fact that this $300 USD storage drive was part of the reason this platform felt so good during our use and we aren’t sure how many retail laptops will feature M.2 PCIe slots or drives of this caliber. Most laptops these days from AMD are trapped down into the under $400 budget market and this is certainly not one of those laptops. We really do hope that AMD really does get some good design wins with this platform as if you put on a high quality panel with a decent resolution, a killer touch pad and support for M.2 PCIe storage drives you would end up with a great notebook. The AMD protoype that we were shown does a great job showing off what AMD’s Kaveri mobile architecture can do and we can only hope that the major OEM brands (Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and so on) will see the same value and build something nice.
The x86 CPU performance isn’t amazing, but it was enough to have a good user experience. The graphics side of the processor has always been good for AMD and that hasn’t changed with Kaveri. We streamed online videos from YouTube and HBO GO without and issues, surfed the web, played Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite, Metro Last Light and even Angry Birds. Yes, Angry Birds as we had to try out that touch-screen display!
So, AMD’s Kaveri mobile APU looks really exciting and after spending just an afternoon playing around with a system we have high hopes for it. If AMD can get some solid design wins with this platform there should be some great notebooks coming out this fall just in time for the back to school rush and holiday shopping season. We’ll have to see what hits the market and how good it is later this year!