When AMD unveiled its new SoC at COMPUTEX 2022 Mendocino the first thing we thought was that it was a great bet for the lower-tier laptop and console market, a way to compete with Intel for the low end. The features seemed more or less interesting: manufactured in 6nm by TSMC, 4 cores and 8 threads with architecture Zen 2 and an RDNA 2 graphics card. It sounded good, but new leaks throw everything to the ground, since its iGPU will not be as expected and the frequency of its Cores will be very limited.
As we said at the time, AMD seeks maximum profitability in every chip it designs and sends to TSMC. Mendocino as such is perhaps the culmination of this, since from the SoC of the Steam Deck with Van Gogh as microarchitecture those of Lisa Su took this Mendocino
AMD Mendocino, when an idea seemed attractive
If we say that porting the somewhat clock-limited SoC of the Steam Deck is a good idea for handheld or minor console releases, everyone would agree that it’s a smart move. Capping it abruptly is no longer the case. Van Gogh and Mendocino will be two different silicons in terms of performance, which makes it less attractive if we take into account the latest leaks about it.
The high performance desktop processors known as Raphael will also have iGPU RDNA 2, specifically they will have four CUs under their belt and it is only specified as an option to give video and not to play as such , at least according to AMD. Steam Deck has 8 UA
A disappointment that only seeks to lower costs
Delivering the minimum performance required to be comfortable with the most basic tasks and a truly adjusted price that seeks to reduce costs for manufacturers. This will be AMD Mendocino’s ultimate goal. As disclosed, this SoC will only have a single WGP which, being an RDNA 2 architecture, involves two CUs as we mentioned.
It is true that they do not report frequencies, just as they do not with those of the cores of the processor, but everything suggests that we are facing a SoC that seeks to extend the battery of this device to the maximum where it is integrated.
We saw the first example in yesterday’s presentation of the new AYANEO Air Plusthe most basic console from the company that will introduce it to compete in price with the cheapest version of Steam Deck, which remains to be seen, because Valve’s console is much faster than the first, so we understand that the price of this should be knockdown if you even want to tickle her.
Either way, AMD’s goal is to make better use of wafers by using failing chips for the Steam Deck for consoles and budget laptops. Therefore, the basic configuration remains the same, where it seems that the recording problems come from the iGPU side.
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