AMD currently has two desktop platforms for budget and mid-class systems with integrated graphics. Socket FM2 platform was launched recently, and it includes 6 retail Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) to choose from, with a promise that more will be released in the future. Older Socket FM1 platform has greater selection of slower (albeit less expensive) products, but no new APUs are planned for the platform, making it essentially obsolete. The good news for those stuck with the socket FM1, is that some processors will get even cheaper in the near future. According to DigiTimes report, AMD is going to cut prices of A4-Series products by as much as 35%.
AMD A4-3300 currently sells for $46, and it will cost $30 after the price drop. Slightly faster A4-3400 will have the price slashed from $48 to $35. Both are dual-core processors with 1 MB L2 cache and HD 6410D graphics. The A4-3300 is clocked at 2.5 GHz, and the A4-3400 is 200 MHz faster.
In addition to these cuts, in a quarter AMD will reduce the price of A4-5300 socket FM2 APU from $53 to $30. This SKU also has two CPU cores, however it employs better HD 7480D GPU. The APU is built on newer and less efficient microarchitecture, that allowed AMD to raise clocks to 3.4 GHz, or even up to 3.6 GHz when Turbo Core technology is active.
DigiTimes report stated that the price drops are intended to increase competitiveness with Intel Pentium CPUs. Seeing, that Intel doesn't have any Pentium microprocessors in the $30 - $50 price range, it would be more logical to assume that AMD wants to position their entry-level APUs as a cheap alternative to Intel Sandy Bridge Celerons (now), and Ivy Bridge Celerons in Q1 2013. Clearly, Celeron chips are a much better choice when raw CPU performance is needed. On the other hand, HD graphics on Celeron dual-core processors can't compete with HD 6000/7000 series GPUs on A4-Series APUs. When the new price cuts are implemented, in addition to better graphics AMD will add another reason for choosing APUs: lower prices for similar CPU / GPU averaged performance.
Below is a summary of old and new prices, as well as specifications of all above mentioned products.
Stock / Turbo
|L2 cache||Socket Type||Graphics||TDP||Old Price||New Price|
|A4-3300||2||2.5 GHz||1 MB||Socket FM1||HD 6410D||65 Watt||$46||$30|
|A4-3400||2||2.7 GHz||1 MB||Socket FM1||HD 6410D||65 Watt||$48||$35|
|A4-5300||2||3.4 GHz / 3.6 GHz||1 MB||Socket FM2||HD 7480D||65 Watt||$53||$30|