AMD’s recent launch of its Trinity APUs focused heavily on laptops and the expectation was that the desktop variants of the APU would arrive shortly afterwards, maybe in the August timeframe.
On the show floor of Computex we saw several motherboard designed around the new FM2 socket needed for Trinity. Unfortunately, much like last year when AMD’s Bulldozer CPU missed Computex, it looks like actual Trinity CPUs are a long way off, with several people mentioning that the launch window is now October.
From our experience with the laptop A10 APU, the mobile market is probably the best place for AMD to focus, given that the APU has noticeably lower CPU performance than equivalent Intel CPUs. This is more forgiveable in laptops, where power savings and a much better base level of GPU performance than Intel means that the total experience is quite tempting.
On the desktop however, you just have a processor that is slower than Intel’s - and the likelihood is that the system will have a discreet GPU as well. But there are advantages to be had, especially for media boxes designed to use the media acceleration functionality of the APU.
For now at least we’ll just have to wait and wonder about what niche AMD can carve out on the desktop. The motherboards look solid enough, with the new A85 chipset largely the same as the existing A75 chipset for the previous generation Llano APU (AMD has added two more SATA 6Gbps channels for a total of eight).
Gigabyte is using this new chipset on several motherboards that we saw today, whilst ASRock has deigned to use the older A75 chipset with the new FM2 socket, trading in two Sata channels for cost savings).