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AMD’s Trinity combo processors aimed at do-it-yourself PC builders and gamers

Advanced Micro Devices’ new family of combination graphics-microprocessor chips is available today for do-it-yourself PC builders and gamers.

As we noted earlier, the chips, code-named Trinity, are accelerated processing units (APUs) that combine graphics and computing functions on a single chip. Now the second-largest maker of PC processors is announcing prices, ranging from $53 to $122.

With the new Trinity-based chip designs, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is refreshing its entire line of A-Series APUs for the first time since it launched the code-named Llano chips in 2011 and its first generation of Trinity chips earlier this spring. It goes up against Intel’s widely used Ivy Bridge combo chips, and it should hit the sweet spot for gamers who want PCs with cool 3D graphics at an affordable price.

The chips have four cores based on AMD’s Piledriver core design, along with Radeon HD 7000 graphics. The chips have a whopping 1.3 billion transistors, or tiny electrical switches. That enables the high-end quad-core A10 APU to run at a frequency of 4.2 gigahertz, compared to the similarly priced Intel Core i3 2120/3220 processor with two cores running at 3.3 gigahertz.

AMD is also introducing other versions — dubbed the A8, A6, and A4 chips — at different performance levels and prices. AMD says the high-end APU can be overclocked, or run at faster than recommended specifications (at a risk of melting down) up to speeds of 6.5 gigahertz, gaining a 68 percent increase in processor performance. The APUs can run games at anywhere from 77 percent to 107 percent faster than the same games running on a system with an Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics chip set.

In another cool feat, the AMD A10 can run the PC game Torchlight II at 32 frames per second — even with all graphics settings turned on — across three connected screens. That’s pretty badass. The products will be available today (Oct. 2).

AMD APU users can use the AMD AppZone and a list of accelerated applications that leverage the full power of the APU. AMD says the A-Series APU is ideal for anyone looking for a new desktop or home theater with the leading performance per dollar, said Leslie Sobon, the corporate vice president of desktop and component products at AMD. Supporting customers include MSI, ECS, Gigabyte, Asus, and others.


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