But here are a few desktop samples for you to look at in the meantime! Before you get ahead of yourself though, AMD isn’t planning to launch Trinity processors for mobile until much later in Q3 of this year. Yeah, no, you’ll be better off checking things out at Christmas time if you’re looking for an upgrade for your laptop or netbook. Desktop users won’t have to worry, though.
Confused? I am too, but the company has been on a mission to make sense and sensible decisions lately, so I guess this is about right. AMD wants its third-party mobile manufacturers to sell out stock of Llano boards completely before they let Brazos 2.0 and Trinity hit the market. Rory Read has this minor issue with tons of Llano stock left waiting to be sold and wants that out (possibly at massively discounted prices) before the company gets their ducks in line with the revised Bulldozer design. While doing so, it can prioritise the production of Trinity and Brazos chips and also Piledriver for the desktop, as their predecessors suffered a lot of stock issues a couple of weeks from launch.
In addition, only Acer, ASUS, HP and Lenovo are getting Trinity and Brazos mobile chips for review for their laptop offerings, with other third-party manufacturers getting their chips just before the official launch so they can work on the new motherboards for the holiday season. I do hope the strategy pays off and the mobile chips break the mould for first-time buyers or those upgrading when they’re shopping for a notebook, netbook or Sleekbook around Christmas. There’s also rumours of Brazos-powered tablets running Windows 8 in the works, so that’s something the company needs to get right first time as well.
The motherboards, however, show no signs of delay. MSI showed a bevy of new designs at Computex 2012 and even has a rather attractive mini-ITX board on show as well. I really like the idea of the ITX specification and so wish that more manufacturers would get their ass in gear to get that market covered. MSI’s boards show logical design cues and good SATA port placements, although the A55M-P33 could have been done better. From left-to-right: A85-XA-G65; A85IA-E53, A55M-P33 and the A85MA-E35. (one of the few eATX boards I’ve seen in a while)
The A85MA-E35 in particular seems to have a black Thunderbolt header, but whether or not this is the case remains to be seen. All the new APU boards are limited to PCI-Express 2.0 lanes, but in reality this won’t be much of a let-down – I don’t see anyone running dual HD7970s on an APU anytime soon. The A85 family will also provide headers for MSI’s OC Genie, the front-panel overclocking controller that the company sells separately.
The last on the list is Sapphire’s Pure Mini E2-1800. Using AMD’s Brazos 2.0 E2-1800 dual-core 1.7Ghz processor, the Pure Mini will launch with an integrated Radeon HD7340, two SATA 6.0Gb/s slots, dual-channel SODIMM slots, support for mSATA SSDs and a PCI-Express 2.0 slot for a discrete graphics card. The slot also doubles as a mini PCI-Express 1x or 4x slot, depending on the card inserted. Brazos for the desktop fits into a very, very small power envelope of just 18w, which is enough for passive cooling and a completely silent chassis. A good fit for a low-cost HTPC, I would think.
Bear in mind, though, that Brazos 2.0 isn’t actually a technical revamp of its predecessor, but I’ll have more info on that for you later. For now, though, its a step in the right direction for the company.