Timed with the imminent arrival of Windows 8, AMD’s new Z60 APU (Accelerated Processor Unit) is attacking a market that was previously not really covered: Windows tablet that are both thin and light, but with good graphics performance. By “good”, you should understand “fast enough to play Modern Warfare 2 at high frame rates” (30FPS+).
AMD has just released the specifications of its AMD Z60 APU, and it has a dual-core CPU (1GHz, 1MB cache) along with a Radeon HD 6250 graphics unit (80 Cores, if you want to compare with other AMD products). Then unit has a TDP (thermal design point) of 4.5W, which is an obvious hint that it would consume much more power than its Intel competitor (1.7W TDP), which has much slower graphics performance.
When compared to ARM-based tablets, AMD basically blows everyone away in that space – granted at a relatively high power usage cost. Yet, this is probably the best absolute graphics performance you can get in this particular form factor today.
Of course, there’s the question of “who’s going to buy it”. To be honest, I’m not sure what kind of market this chip will cover as most tablet users have gotten used to having limited CPU and/or graphics performance, and it is likely that Windows Metro apps will adapt to the lowest common denominator. Yet, this means that AMD could potentially attract customers in the Windows Pro tablet where it consumes significantly less power than a Core i5.
In the end, the market will decide, but AMD believes that its approach is right in the long term and that there is an opportunity for the company to ride the Windows 8 wave. What do you think? [AMD Z60 specs, ]