AMD has just revealed a new processor intended for Windows 8 tablets. According to the company, the Z-60 ‘Hondo’ is capable of running Call of Duty on the tablet form factor.
The AMD Z-60 Hondo is intended to compete directly with Intel’s Clover Trail Atom chips, which means they’ll be capable of running the full Windows 8 OS.
As the headline suggests, AMD is focusing on the chip’s graphical chops. It claims that the Z-60 has five to six times the graphic-pushing capabilities of Intel’s last generation of Atom processors.
That results in the claims that the Z-60 will be able to run Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at medium settings, a 1024 x 768 resolution and 30 frames per second. That’s a similar performance level to - and probably even a little better than - current home consoles like the Xbox 360.
The key to such performance seems to be that the AMD Z-60 is actually a shrunken version of its low-end laptop chip, the C-60. It features a dual-core 1GHz processor and 80 Radeon HD 6250 graphics cores.
There are a couple of side-effects of this, it seems. Laptops need more cooling than tablets, and so it proves with the punchy Z-60 - AMD’s recommending its usage in 10mm-thick tablets, as opposed to the 8.5mm tablets Intel’s Atom chips can run in, hinting at the extra heat it will generate.
The Z-60 could also suffer from its increased power when it comes to battery life. While Intel’s Atom chip can run 10 hours of HD video on a nice bright screen, the AMD equivalent can only manage six hours on low brightness setting. It’s also got a third less standby life than the Intel chip.
Of course, if you mostly use your tablet at home that won’t be much of an issue, and if AMD can top Intel on price - as it usually does with its PC processors - as well as power then it could have a vital advantage in the forthcoming Windows 8 tablet scrum.