Battery Life and Conclusions
Battery and Power Consumption
Maybe more important than just performance is the need for power efficiency with the Kabini platform. To test that I ran our in-house battery test that does web browsing over WiFi and logs time stamps along the way. Here are the results from some recently tested devices.
The Kabini A4-5000 reference system was able to pull in 405 minutes of usage time, or 6 hours and 45 minutes. It was only beat by the Nexus 7, the Surface RT and my personal Lenovo X230 with a 9-cell battery. Our Ivy Bridge Ultrabook reference platform was a little bit lower, but that isn't even the whole story.
Here are the battery capacities of the devices tested above. Note that the Nexus 7 and Surface RT have the smallest batteries yet the longest battery life – a testament to the architectures powering them. (Performance issues aside, of course.) But look at the X230 and the Ultrabook reference – both have much larger batteries, yet similar battery life. That leads us to our next graphic.
Here you see the minutes of battery life you get per watt-hour of battery capacity. This gives us a general idea of the efficiency of the entire platform and allows us to see what the battery life would be on larger battery sizes. The A4-5000 rates at 9 minutes per WHr of battery while the IVB Ultrabook reference machine gets only 5.55 minutes. My Ivy Bridge X230 Lenovo machine gets 6.03 minutes per WHr. The results for the ARM-based systems, especially the Nexus 7, are impressive as well.
So what does this mean? If you put a 9-cell battery of the same size as the Lenovo X230 (84 WHr) on the A4-5000 platform, we would guess it would get 756 minutes – 12 hours and 36 minutes.
AMD's Kabini platform, as demonstrated by our A4-5000 reference platform today, looks to be a very promising solution for OEMs that want to build budget systems that mainstream performance and excellent battery life. For AMD, the primarily dilemma is finding the right OEMs to build the right devices that users will WANT. Previous Brazos systems were just okay; there wasn't a flagship product that really showed off the performance and benefits of the AMD architecture and was also exceptionally well built. For Kabini's performance and power efficiency to really get a spot in the limelight there needs to be a system with the class of the Microsoft Surface and the value of the Nexus 7 that will utilize it.
Stay tuned in the next few weeks as we get our hands on retail-ready systems powered by both Kabini and Temash!
I would highly encourage everyone to read over our two complementary articles launching today:
- AMD 2013 Mobile Platforms – Temash, Kabini and Richland
- Jaguar + GCN – The Compute Architecture behind Temash and Kabini
With those stories and this one, you should have a solid understanding of where AMD stands today on these various mobile APU markets. Despite the continued laggard performance in the x86 space, I truly believe that AMD has responded well, and responded quickly, to the need for an ultra-mobile product with Temash and Kabini.