Intel Ivy Bridge vs AMD Trinity head-to-head review

We compare the design, performance, business features, availability and price to see which chipset you should invest in.

AMD hasn't unveiled its desktop Trinity parts, with laptops boasting the new cores slated to hit the market in the next few weeks.

Trinity won't be available in Ultrabooks, but this doesn't mean AMD's latest chips won't be found in slimline machines. HP is releasing its own "SleekBook" machines that share many of the same desirable attributes, and we've no doubt other firms will follow suit.

AMD's selection of Trinity-based parts isn't as extensive, with no workstation-specific parts to compete with Intel's Xeons. There's still plenty to choose from on the consumer side, however. Laptop users can pick from two mid-range, dual-core A6 parts, a single, more powerful A8 chip with four cores, and two top-end, quad-core A10 parts.

Clock speeds range from 2.7GHz at the bottom end to 2GHz at the top, but don't let the lower speed fool you the increased number of cores and improved Turbo Boost performance will more than make up the difference. Each mobile part has a dedicated graphics core, ranging from the Radeon HD 7520G at the bottom with 192 stream processors to the HD 7620G, with its 384 stream processors, at the top.

Six Trinity-based processors will soon be available for desktops. The budget A4-5300 sits at the bottom of the range, and is paired with the Radeon HD 7480D graphics core. There's a single A6 chip, too, but the bulk of AMD's desktop offering is made of quad-core A8 and A10 chips, which range in speed from 3.2GHz to 3.8GHz. The latter speed is reserved for the A10-5800K, which can Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz, and it also includes the HD 7660D graphics core, which includes 384 stream processors and is faster than any of the firm's Trinity-based mobile GPUs.

Winner - Intel - Ivy Bridge has a slight headstart on the AMD and there are more options available especially when it comes to high performance requirements of enterprises.

Pricing

Traditionally AMD's strong suit has been value, and we've no doubt that will continue, especially with its A4 and A6 chips towards the budget end of the market. However, Intel's Core i3 and Core i5 range should provide strong competition at similar cost.

Prices for laptops and desktops based on Trinity and Ivy Bridge are few and far between, with devices using these chips largely yet to appear. Indications from AMD's own materials, though, suggest it could win the value battle: the firm intends its A4-series chips to sit below the Core i3 in the marketplace, with prices starting at $379 - around $80 less than it anticipates Core i3-based devices costing.

At the top end, AMD is also trying to cut prices when compared to Intel: AMD reckons its A10-series chips will appear in devices starting at $699 dollars, with Core i7-based machines costing a little more. When it comes to prices, though, there really isn't much in it. The buying decision will come down to the device itself and how it will be used, with AMD leading on its graphics performance but Intel striking back with pure processing power.

Winner - AMD - Trinity chipsets should be cheaper than Ivy Bridge counterparts, so users will have to decide whether they need the extra processing power provided by Intel.

IT PRO VERDICT

Verdict

Intel Ivy Bridge beats AMD's Trinity in our head-to-head when it comes to performance, business benefits and availability. AMD is still a winner when it comes to pricing and design of the chips was declared a draw. If you're after a more rounded level of performance and will be working extensively with graphical applications, then it's worth seeking out a desktop or laptop boasting AMD's latest. For everyone else, though, the breadth, power and dominance of Intel's range is hard to beat - and it's for those reasons that we'd recommend Ivy Bridge.

Featured Resources

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

How the right software can improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Recommended

Best laptops 2022: Acer, Asus, Dell and more
Laptops

Best laptops 2022: Acer, Asus, Dell and more

18 Jan 2022
The IT Pro Podcast: Intel vs AMD
components

The IT Pro Podcast: Intel vs AMD

14 Jan 2022
Podcast transcript: Intel vs AMD
components

Podcast transcript: Intel vs AMD

14 Jan 2022
Intel claims its new Core i9 CPU outperforms Apple's M1 Max
Hardware

Intel claims its new Core i9 CPU outperforms Apple's M1 Max

5 Jan 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022
Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better
Laptops

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022