Just some days ago AMD unleashed their new APU, codenamed Llano, and send some samples to selected hardware sites. This new, interesting APU brings an improved Stars (K10.5) CPU architecture and an integrated, mid-class Radeon core. At the moment, the only officially released APU versions are the mobile ones, while for the desktop ones we had to wait some more days.

To recap, the remarkable things about this new APU are:

  • the integrated, reasonable-performer Radeon core (up to 400sp, 20 TMU and 8 ROPS)

  • up to four improved Stars (K10.5) class cores

  • the promised Turbo core technology (to speed up cores based on their utilization and estimated thermal room), called “Core Performance Boost” of CPB in AMD BIOS documentation

  • the very low power consumption

From the many web reviews, I found particularly interesting the ones from Anandtech and Tomshardware. If you want, you can read these reviews at:

  • Anandtech – Mobile Llano [1]

  • Anandtech – Desktop Llano preview [2]

  • Tomshardware – Mobile Llano [3]

While I don't have any chip sample, I elaborate on the results showed by these articles to analyze two of the above listed interesting Llano features: the improved Stars core and the functionality of the Turbo core technology. To be more precise, I will try to ask to these two questions:

  1. How much are the Stars core really improved from a microarchitectural standpoint?

  2. How much the Turbo core technology really improve performances?

While I hope to give you two meaningful answer, please remember that, as AMD didn't explain much relative to the degree of these improvements (for example, they didn't show a table with core utilization / Turbo P-state available, nor they supply an utility to see instantaneous core speed), I can mostly make some educated guess.