AMD disappoints with Mendocino: only cheap consoles will carry it

When AMD unveiled its new SoC at COMPUTEX 2022 Mendoza the first thing we thought is that it was a great bet for the market of lower level laptops and consoles, 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 one iGPU RDNA 2. 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 is looking for maximum profitability in each chip that it designs and sends to TSMC. Mendocino as such is possibly the culmination of this, since from the SoC of the Steam Deck with Van Gogh as microarchitecture those of Lisa Su have taken this Mendozaso the chips that do not arrive for the Valve console will go to cheap or portable consoles with the same objective, although this may not be so attractive now…

AMD Mendocino, when an idea seemed attractive

If we say that porting the Steam Deck’s somewhat clock-limited SoC is a good idea for handheld or minor console versions, everyone will agree that it’s a smart move. Brutally capping it is no longer so. Van Gogh and Mendocino will be two different silicons in performance, which makes it less attractive if we take into account the latest leaks about it.


The high-performance desktop CPUs 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 CUso it is at least twice as powerful in the absence of knowing the frequencies of the first one, so imagine the performance we can expect from Mendocino knowing that it will have only 2 CUs on your iGPU.

A disappointment that only seeks to lower costs

Offer the minimum performance required to have ease in the most basic tasks and a really adjusted price that seeks to reduce costs for manufacturers. That will be the ultimate goal of AMD Mendocino. As leaked, this SoC will have only one WGP which, being RDNA 2 architecture, implies two CUs as we have mentioned.

It is true that they do not report on frequencies, just as they do not do so with those of the CPU cores, but everything suggests that we are facing a SoC that seeks to extend the battery as much as possible of that device where it is integrated.


We saw the first example in yesterday’s presentation of the new AYANEO Air Plusthe most basic console of the company that will introduce it to compete in price with the cheapest version of Steam Deck, which remains to be seen, since Valve’s console is much faster than the first, so we understand that the price of this should be knockdown if you want to even tickle her.

In any case, AMD’s goal is to make better use of wafers by using failed chips for the Steam Deck for cheap consoles and laptops. Therefore, the core configuration remains the same, where it seems that the recording problems come from the iGPU side.

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