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Old May 5, 2011, 11:21 AM   #20
caveman-jim
Deposed King of Rage3D
 
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If you only consider the CPU architecture inside the APU x86 cores, and neglect form factor, power, heat, and new API support, then yes, you're exactly right, it's more of the same. If the only reason that people upgrade computers is because it has a nice new architecture inside of it, then you are completely correct.

I don't think that's why people upgrade computers. Hence, that's not a REAL reason to upgrade. People upgrade for more performance in the tasks they do everyday. It's completely subjective. They also upgrade to get new features and to save power.

Oh wow, I can get Sandy Bridge new architecture! Awesome, this integrated GPU is twice as good as the previous one in my Core 2 Duo laptop with Intel HD graphics! Imma play me some nice new Rift with my buddies... wait, mine looks like ass compared to theirs! Why can't I turn up the graphics resolution and quality without it turning unplayable?

Case in point - recently, Caveboy Sr's girlfriend wanted to buy a new laptop. She had a Compaq with a Core 2 Duo and Intel HD graphics. She wanted to play Rift on it. It met the minimum requirements, but she hated the way if felt and played - lowest settings, lowest resolution, and she couldn't run it in a window so she could do all the other things she wants to do at the same time. So, I went looking for a laptop for her, her requirements were to play Rift and she wanted a 17" screen. I was thinking, hmm, how about a nice Core i5 and maybe Optimus, or perhaps AMD graphics. For her budget, $700, I could get a nice SB Core i5 at ~2.7Ghz or so. But Intel integrated graphics. Or, I could get her a Phenom II X4 2.3 with Radeon HD 6670M. So, I asked her, what else do you do on your laptop? School work, photography (basic processing of Photo's in Photoshop). So right there I'm thinking, hmm, that SB is better for PS. But the graphics suck. I ask her, do you have any problems with PS now? No, she says, works great. Well, what about battery life? She uses it like a portable desktop, rarely uses battery for more than 15-30mins - most of the time she plugs in and settles down for 4-6hours.

So, which to get? SB Core i5 would have great battery life, better performance in PS. But she'd have to live with poor gaming performance, one of the main reasons for her purchase. With the AMD system, she still gets a great upgrade in CPU performance, plus a massive boost in graphics performance. She loses on battery life, and it's not the latest and greatest technology. Does she care? No. She has a great gaming and productivity laptop.

And that's why Llano is win. Very few people care about 'gotta have the best!'. Most people, 90%+, want good enough to get what I want to do, done simply and easily.

Are you an APU customer? Not this time, perhaps. But in two years, when BD 2 based APU are appearing? We'll see. For me, for the people I work with, advise, buy for, APU's can't come fast enough.
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