AMD Richland APU Launch Review: A10-6800k and A10-6700
To tie in with Computex which takes place in Taiwan this week AMD are following Intel’s launch of “Haswell” with their own refresh. That comes in the form of “Richland”, a new range of APUs which look to enhance what we have seen from the current generation “Trinity” parts. Today we take two of AMDs new “Richland” APUs through a selection of platform and gaming tests which include media playback and conversion, Crysis 3, Grid 2 and even a peek at PCMark 8.
Before we talk about the new A10 series, it is worth noting that these new models use the FM2 socket and pin layout which was introduced with the last generation of A10s. So with a simple BIOS flash we can update an existing board to support these new APUs which is a nice bonus.
Looking at the APUs each uses the standard AMD heatspreader and they are 32nm quad core models. The 6800K runs at 4.1GHz, the 6700 at 3.7GHz as standard turbo-ing up to 4.4GHz and 4.3GHz as required. The 6800K is an unlocked model which uses a 100MHz bus and the 6700 is locked (AMD are launching a 6400K and 6600K for those looking at lower spec/cost unlocked models). Mixed with this spec is 2x2MB of level 2 cache and support for all major instruction sets including 64-bit, SSE 4.2, AES, AVX and XOP. It is also worth noting that the cores used on "Richland" are AMDs Piledriver architecture (also seen on the FX 43xx, 63xx an 83xx desktop range) and that DDR3 support now officially includes 2133MHz on the 6800K.
What’s the main change since Trinity (A10-5800K)? As well as bumping up the clock speed, memory support and GPU spec AMD have also added additional power states to make this a more efficient APU, in theory.
The new A10’s GPU is branded Radeon 8670D and runs at 844MHz core with 384 unified shaders and 8 ROPS, supporting DirectX 11. It is also able to assist the "CPU" components when combined with appropriate software such as Cyberlink Media Expresso where the GPU can speed up conversion times as well as reduce CPU use, freeing it up for other tasks. Additionally various Richland parts will support OpenGL, OpenCL and Â AMD HD3D along with HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2. finally for the GPU, as before we can combine the new models with value-midrange Radeon cards for enhanced graphics performance.
AMD have also been producing memory for some time now and feel that their latest kit very much suits the new A10 6800K APU. This 16GB kit is rated for 2133MHz at Cas 10 and 11-11-30-2T. Black metal heatspreaders are applied to each side of the black PCB and we run at 1.65v to achieve the rated specifications.