AMD demonstrate its Zacate low-power processor
Photo courtesy of AnandTech

AMD has made a tradition of holding a “get together” media event while the Intel Developer Conference is in full swing. Today, they have demonstrated their Zacate CPU, a direct competitor for Intel’s ATOM. That means Netbooks, and possibly Tablets. So, what’s so cool about Zacate? Well, the idea is that it’s a low-power (9W-18W) chip that comes with an integrated graphics that outperforms Intel’s current graphics offering by a good margin (AMD says 2X).

Of course , having a good GPU is one of the advantage that one would expect from AMD, but knowing that it actually works is always a good thing. So far, it looks like AMD’s integrated graphics can give Intel quite a run for its money in the $500 -and below- segment. AMD’s new products will make it into computers by early next year, which is the typical PC refresh cycle. Maybe the company will finally make a break in the Netbook/Tablet market.

You’ll probably read drama-driven articles like “AMD Zacate beats Intel Core i5”, but you have to understand that we’re talking about graphics performance only. The current Core i5 has a low-performance integrated graphics, so for AMD to beat a weak graphics processor is not *that* interesting to start with. It’s funny to see how both AMD and Intel (with Sandy Bridge) are telling the world how much faster their new integrated graphics is — when compared to the slowest 3D graphics accelerator on the market. Just to be clear: Zacate might beat the current Core i5 integrated graphics, but it certainly doesn’t match its overall computing performance. Many articles are just very ambiguous, just for the sake of stirring controversy.

Video courtesy of netbooknews

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