AMD launches Fusion answer to Sandy Bridge

A-series chip is first integrated graphics 'actually worth a damn'
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AMD launched the firm's range of A-series Fusion APUs at the chipmaker's AMD Fusion Developer Summit in Bellevue, Washington.

The new A-series launches with three models of 32nm-fabricated combined CPU/GPU chips, incorporating two to four x86 processor cores each and an updated graphics core.

The A-series is AMD's highest performance APUs to date and the firm is hoping that the chips will be able to compete against Intel's similarly integrated Sandy Bridge chips in the notebook market.

Signaling a graphics advantage over arch-rival Intel, AMD said that the A-series APUs would offer between 50 and 300 per cent better graphics performance than an Intel Core i7.

Anandtech greeted the release of AMD's new 'Llano' APUs with an in-depth review. Lamenting how long AMD took to launch a competent Fusion APU, the tech site nevertheless described Llano as the "first platform with integrated graphics that's actually worth a damn."

Anandtech was not full of all-consuming praise for AMD's new Fusion APU range, however, pointing out that CPU performance still struggled against Intel. Despite four processor cores of the A8-3500M, Intel's dual-core i5 outperformed it by 30 per cent, they said.

Describing the value of the new Fusion APU range, Anandtech said: "Instead of selling you more CPU cores for less money, what AMD is now selling is substantially better graphics for less money."

The site said businesses and non-gamers would likely still be better served by Intel-equipped devices but welcomed AMD's new chip in enabling "sub-$700 gaming capable laptops."

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