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New laptops expected to approach Ivy Bridge performance, but come up a bit shy of it

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is still struggling to compete with the "double-whammy" of ARM chipmakers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:A005930) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), as well as perennial x86 rival Intel Corp. (INTC).

Even as AMD plots a precarious shift to the ARM architecture amid this troubled run, it is still seeing strong sales of its "Fusion" accelerated processing units (APU) which pair AMD CPU cores with on-die GPU cores.

Its latest design win comes courtesy of Micro-Star International Comp. Ltd. (TPE:2377) (MSI), who announced a pair of Richland (A10) based laptops in its Gaming G Series.
First -- a quick recap on what Richland is; Richland (in this case the quad-core AMD A10-5750M) is AMD's second generation 32 nanometer APU design. Like its predecessor Trinity, it is based on the Piledriver core design.  AMD's experience with the 32 nm node has allowed it to bump clock speeds roughly 10 percent.  Richland also gets a new Neptune on-die graphics processing unit (dGPU) -- Radeon HD 8970M.

Like the new "Iris" dGPUs set to launch shortly, the Radeon HD 8970M has its own dedicated memory -- 2 GB of GDDR5, to be precise.  However, the memory in the AMD Neptune GPUs is likely slightly slower as it's in an MXM module, versus directly on-die with Iris.

Unfortunately, it's not a true Graphics Core Next GPU like its HD 8000 series counterparts.  Instead it uses a reduced version of HD 7000 series core designs (not true GCN), with a bumped clock.

Here are the full specs on MSI's pair of G Series models:

GX70 3BE-007US

GX60 3AE-216US


AMD A10-5750 (2.5-3.5 GHZ)

Operation System

Windows 8





17.3" Full HD Non Reflection

15.6" Full HD Non Reflection


1920x1080 (16:9)


AMD Radeon™ HD 8970M (2G GDDR5)

AMD Radeon™ HD 7970M (2G GDDR5)

Hard Disk Drive

750GB (7200 RPM)


8GB  DDR3 1600MHz

Optical Drive

Blu-ray Disc Reader

LAN / Bluetooth

Killer™ E2200 Game Networking


AW-NB114H Combo (b/g/n)+BT4.0

AW-NB100H (802.11 b/g/n)

Card Reader


Audio Ports

Headset AMP + Gold Flash jacks


USB 3.0 x 3
USB 2.0 x 2

USB 3.0 x 3
USB 2.0 x 1


HDMI 1.4 / mDP v1.2


720P HD Webcam


THX Speakers x 2 + Subwooferx1


9 cell


SteelSeries Gaming Backlit

SteelSeries (Chiclet)


Multi Touch

Dimension (WxDxH)



Weight (w battery)

8.6 lbs.

7.7 lbs.




Don't expect the performance gaming-wise to match Ivy Bridge. Trinity trailed Ivy Bridge; Richland is expected to close that gap, but not all the way.  And with Haswell around the corner AMD looks to continue to compete with Intel for customers and design wins in much the way it did in the Trinity vs. Ivy Bridge era -- on a price basis (Intel's chips, while outperforming AMD's, are significantly more expensive leading to higher laptop price points).

Source: MSI

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16:10 Please
By toffty on 5/22/2013 4:43:05 PM , Rating: 3
If the screen was 16:10 instead of 16:9 I'd be more interested...

RE: 16:10 Please
By txDrum on 5/22/2013 7:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
16:10 is gone. It sucks and it would be wonderful to have it back, but other than Apple almost nobody is (sadly) producing them anymore. If you want a 16:10 laptop of any quality, you'll probably have to go get a MBP. I don't think even Thinkpads and other workstations offer them anymore.

RE: 16:10 Please
By Flunk on 5/23/2013 8:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct, only Apple offers that aspect ratio (for now, who knows when they'll give it up too).

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