IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

A look at AMD’s Carrizo

We explore the latest processor offering from AMD, Carrizo.

carrizo

Launched in June 2015, Carrizo is AMD’s 6th-generation APU, succeeding Kaveri. It has three separate offerings, the A8, A10 and FX Series. It is the final processor to be built using the 28nm processor microarchitecture codenamed Bulldozer.

The processor is designed for notebooks and low-power desktops and is latest in a long line of attempts by AMD to break Intel’s grip on most important segment of the PC market, the $400-$700 notebook. This coveted segment of the market represents nearly 25 percent of all PC sales in 2015.

Offering significant improvements on its predecessor, has Carrizo done what AMD hope it will? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

What does Carrizo bring to the table?

Carrizo is an odd proposition for consumers. While it marks the pinnacle of what’s achievable on the 28nm processor build, attention is uncontrollably drawn towards the next generation 14nm build, codenamed Zen, which is rumoured to debut in October 2016.

That being said, the processor incorporates technical innovations which make it an interesting proposition. The basic architecture of the processor comprises of up to four Excavator CPU cores and eight new GCN (Graphics Core Next) cores. Claimed to be roughly the equivalent to Radeon R6 and R7 discrete graphics.

Carrizo also offers built-in HEVC hardware decoding, a first for AMD, allowing users to stream 4k content and access low-power video playback. We also see the debut of Adaptive Voltage and Frequency Scaling technologies implemented on what is AMD’s first “big-core” SoC.

Going head-to-head, all these enhancements offer significant gains in CPU, graphics, and multimedia performance over predecessor, Kaveri.

How does Carrizo stack up against the ‘real’ competition?

It’s all well and good outperforming the old model, but the true test for Carrizo is how it stacks up when compared to the real competition, Intel’s Skylake processor. If AMD is to break Intel’s grip on the $400-$700 market then consumers need to see real value above and beyond. Unfortunately for AMD, an in-depth analysis by Ananadtech found that Intel came out on top across the range of processors.

Most telling is the head-to-head comparison between two Lenovo Y700 models at the same price, one with AMD FX-8800P and the other with equivalent rival, the Intel Core i5-6300HQ . There was a clear performance deficit per watt between AMD’s best and Intel’s best, due to both the architecture and the process node.

While the price/performance ratio is a little bit trickier to digest, there is a strong feeling that AMD still loses out. While AMD processors is renowned for being cheaper, offering apparent value for money, the cost difference is increasingly not being passed on to consumers by OEMs.

The verdict

There’s no sugar coating the outcome, while Carrizo offers impressive gains over Kaveri, when pitted against Intel Skylake processors, it falls far short. By failing to compete with Intel, Carrizo could be the latest in a string of financial setbacks for AMD.

But all is not lost; rumours on AMD’s 14nm Zen architecture are positive – giving AMD another (final) chance to take on Intel.

AMD vs. Intel: Battle of the processors

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

Accelerating security and success for MSPs with automation
Sponsored

Accelerating security and success for MSPs with automation

25 May 2022
Schneider Electric unveils Grid Operations Platform as a Service on Microsoft Azure
cloud computing

Schneider Electric unveils Grid Operations Platform as a Service on Microsoft Azure

24 May 2022
T-Mobile unveils new 5G Advanced Network Solutions
Network & Internet

T-Mobile unveils new 5G Advanced Network Solutions

24 May 2022
Google unveils new Assured Open Source Software service
open source

Google unveils new Assured Open Source Software service

18 May 2022

Most Popular

Open source packages with millions of installs hacked to harvest AWS credentials
hacking

Open source packages with millions of installs hacked to harvest AWS credentials

24 May 2022
Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon
automation

Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon

23 May 2022
Nvidia pauses hiring to help cope with inflation
Careers & training

Nvidia pauses hiring to help cope with inflation

23 May 2022