Feeds

AMD Llano vs Intel Sandy Bridge

Which is the best notebook buy?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Speeds and feeds

Whichever Intel processor you choose from its mobile range, the integrated graphics core will be a GMA HD 3000 which packs a mere 12 unified shaders that run at 650MHz.

The second HP laptop, a Pavilion dv6-6051ea, comes with a Core i5-2410M: 2.3GHz and dual-core with HT. However, the stickers on the chassis also proclaim that the laptop has "Radeon Graphics". HP has fortified the Intel HD 3000 graphics with a Radeon HD 6490M chip, just like the one in the dv6-6102sa.

Intel Core i5-2410M CPU-Z AMD A6-3410MX CPU-Z

CPU-Z readouts: Intel Core i5 (left) and AMD A6 (right)

The 6490M, as I've said, is a middle-of-the-road part. However, here it overcomes a significant flaw in the spec of the Intel laptop. It supports DirectX 11 - the GMA HD 3000 only stretches to DirectX 10.1.

As you'll see from my test results, the dv6-6051ea will run the 3DMark11 benchmark quite happily in 'as delivered' form. But as soon as the AMD GPU is disabled to show the Intel hardware at work, the test refuses to run. Intel's chippery isn't up to the job.

Intel Core i5-2410M CPU-Z AMD A6-3410MX CPU-Z

CPU-Z memory: Intel Core i5 (left) and AMD A6 (right)

In other areas, Intel has the edge over AMD, specifically with its support for the SSE 4.2 multimedia instruction set - AMD only supports SSE 4A. Intel also has Quick Sync Video encoding in Sandy Bridge, which I'll come to shortly.

Take a closer look under the bonnet and you'll see that AMD has loaded each of the A6's cores with 128KB of L1 cache and 1MB of L2. By contrast, Intel endows the Core i5 with 64KB of L1 and 256KB of L2 but adds 3MB of shared L3.

Intel GMA HD 3000 GPU-Z AMD Radeon HD 6520G GPU-Z

GPU-Z: integrated graphics from Intel (left) and AMD (right)

AMD has a larger quantity of fast cache. However, Intel has the advantage in terms of clock speed. The AMD A6-3410MX has a clock speed of 1.6GHz that ratchets up to 2.3GHz, while the base speed of the Core i5-2410M is 2.3GHz can Turbo Boost to 2.9GHz.

So much for the technical details - how do the two laptops compare in action?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Price:Performance

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.