AMD Launches A10 7860K & Athlon X4 845

Despite being stuck on the 28nm node for the past while, AMD has been working to bring more CPUs to consumers with better binning and performance as the process and technology matures. Case in point is the A10-7860K Godavari and Athlon X8 845 Carrizo chips launching today. Both chips are focused on increasing performance/watt either by using a new architecture design or simply better binning and process improvements.

First up is the 2M/4T Athlon X4 845, a 65W Carrizo part based on of the “Excavator” architecture. As expected of an Athlon part, it does not have an iGPU and uses the FM2+ platform with DDR3 and PCIe 3.0 x8. As the sole desktop Excavator part, the chip is a bit of a curiosity with only 2MB of L2 instead of the usual 4MB but still manages to have a higher IPC due to improved pre-fetch, large L1 cache and better branch prediction. The low power nature of Excavator also limits the clock speeds to 3.5-3.8Ghz.

Next we have the A10-7860K which is a Steamroller based 2M/4T chip with 512 GCN Stream Processors. With a 3.6-4.0Ghz clock speed, the chip places lower than the 7890K and 7870K but it comes in with a 30W lower TDP at 65W. Despite the lower TDP, the 7860K will get the 95W cooler which should make it a good choice for an HTPC/budget gamer. Overall these chips should tide AMD over till more Excavator and Zen based APUs hit later this year.

iPhone 7 to Feature Innovative new Intel LTE Chip

A new report suggests that the new Apple handset, the iPhone 7, is set to feature the Intel 7360LTD modem chip, which doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but given that it’s also reported that Intel already has 1,000 employees working on the brand new hardware for the upcoming handset, it should be pretty special.

The new LTE chip is set to give the next-gen Apple handset a hefty speed boost, offering much faster wireless speeds that I’m sure any user of the device will welcome. The new chip is said to be capable of up to 450Mb/s downlink, will support an impressive 29 LTD bands, meaning that using the phone virtually anywhere in the world shouldn’t be an issue, with all major 4G LTE bands supported.

“Sources with knowledge of the situation say that Apple eventually would like to create a system-on-a-chip (SOC) that includes both the phone’s Ax processor and the LTE modem chip. A system-on-a-chip design could deliver significant returns in improved speed and better power management.” said Venturebeat

If this works out, a partnership between Intel and Apple could be very lucrative and could open up a lot of possibilities for both companies in the future. Of course, Apple is sticking with the LTE chip for now, as the iPhone 7 is expected the run on the new 10nm A10 chip.

AMD Preparing Updated A8 and A10 APUs

AMD’s strategy regarding APUs is to update the range with small boosts on a regular basis. The new flagship A10-7890K features an increased frequency of 4.1GHz compared to 3.9GHz on the previous model. AMD’s lower-end chip, the A8-7690K will reportedly be at least 100MHz faster than the current A8 APU. According to CPU-World, it’s uncertain if the revised APUs will receive any kind of improvement in terms of GPU frequency. Technically, the latest A8 and A10 products contains four “Steamroller” cores, DirectX 12 functionality, GCN 1.1 architecture, a second-generation video encoding engine (VCE) and fourth-generation unified video decoder (VCE). This allows for smooth, high-quality playback across a number of widely used codecs.

Both APUs employ the latest “Kaveri” design instead of the older “Godavari” process. As a result, the circuitry is improved and allows for a higher and more efficient power delivery. AMD hopes this will entice overclockers, and provide the headroom required to push the frequency even further.

While there’s no official release date, early predictions indicate a release within the next 3-4 months. Performance wise, APUs don’t really interest me as someone opting for extreme-grade hardware. Although, they are very useful for HTPCs and machines without huge gaming demands.

Do you currently use an APU?

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information.

AMD Could Release a New Kaveri APU Soon

AMD are forever in the back seat of the CPU market, but in recent years they have dominated the low price point gaming sector with their line up of Accelerated Processor Units (APU). This is basically a hybrid CPU with real GPU cores crammed in.

The newest version, Kaveri has been with us for a few months, based on the FM2+ socket; with its flagship unit being the A10-7850k  (review here). Now there seems a new flagship APU is floating around the internet, dubbed the A10-7870k. The A0-7870k, on paper, it looks to be the same as the A10-7850k with a higher base clock; set to 3.9GHz.

Along with the A10-7870k, there are rumours of another lower spec chip, the A8-7670k. This follows a similar suit to the A10-7870k, by looking to be a beefed up version of its predecessor, the A8-7650k (review here). Pricing is still unconfirmed, but pre-order pricing of around 175EURO has been seen on some websites.

The new chips will be placed under the Kaveri series, but with the rumoured launch of Godavari, or Kaveri Refresh APU’s due this Summer, is this a strategic launch from AMD to fill the gap and draw our attention elsewhere? Who knows.

Are you an APU user? Will you be changing to these new APU’s on release or will you be waiting for the release of the Godavari to change your system? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ComputerBase.de for providing us with this information.

AMD Launches Elite Software for APU Based Systems

AMD has launched the new and free Elite Experiences software to enhance the functionality of their APU series. Sadly these function are limited to the mobile version, so desktop users will lose out this time. The logic behind it is however clear as most stationary systems don’t have the extra hardware needed for it to work. I still hope that it’ll be made available on a ‘use at your own risk’ basis for the desktop users who do own a webcam.

The new system brings a row of new functionality to the mobile hybrids with Face Login, Gesture Control, Quick Stream Technology, Perfect Picture and Wireless Display. These are functions that for the most part already exists, but in the past they usually were custom-created software by the hardware-manufacturers. Now there is a unified experience for all mobile AMD APU users with A10, A8 and A6 APUs from 2013 or newer.

AMD Face Login is a software that uses your webcam and enhanced image processing to recognize if the face in front of the camera matches one stored in the database. This way the software allows access to Windows and certain websites without requiring keying of passwords. AMD Face Login is designed as a convenient tool to help you log into Windows and many popular websites quickly and should not be used to protect your computer and personal information from unwanted access. However, it isn’t just some simple image matching algorithm and it won’t work to just hold a photo of someone up to the webcam. For extra security, you can let the system automatically lock your windows session or put the computer it into sleep when you leave the work area. The software can store up to 40 different images for the facial recognition.

AMD Gesture Control is a software that utilizes advanced real-time image processing and machine vision algorithms to track a user’s hand gestures and convert them into commands. These commands are then used to control functions and software within the device, creating a more natural user interaction.

Supported gestures are waving left and right and swiping your hand upwards. It also recognizes the mute gesture when you put a finger in front of your mouth to go “Shh”. Virtual mouse controls are performed by holding up an index finger and you can grab objects by making a fist. Clicking sounds tricky as you’ll have to keep the hand steady while quickly dipping the standing finger from vertical to a horizontal position and back up. The mapping of the gesture movements can be customized to any standard windows short-key.

AMD Wireless Display allows a computer to send up to 1080p HD video and 5.1 surround sound to a Miracast-compatible TV, projector or streaming media player. The protocol uses a direct Wi-Fi connection between two devices without involvement of a wireless router and cannot be used to stream to a router access point. AMD Wireless Display is already built into Windows 8.1 and is available from the Devices screen. Just click “Add a wireless display” and follow the instructions on the screen. The option will only be available if your hardware supports it. If you’re worried about DRM protected content, AMD Wireless Display can handle that as well.

The last two parts aren’t really that new, but still useful to have around. AMD Quick Stream was created to make video viewing experiences better. The application helps prioritize and manage software in a bandwidth-constrained environment to prevent stream-stuttering. AMD Quick Stream is essentially a Quality of service (QoS) that prioritises media streams over the rest.

The final part mentioned is the AMD Perfect Picture that is a set of optimizations and settings designed to improve and provide controls for video quality. It has options available for basic and advanced colour, video quality, AMD Steady Wide, Global video quality and accelerated video conversion. This is however a familiar function to all of us that have used AMD cards.

Thank you AMD for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of AMD

Leaked CPU-Z Images Reveal AMD Carrizo APU A10-8890K Specs

A CPU-Z image which appears to detail AMD’s next-generation APU, the A10-8890K, has apparently been leaked. WCCFTech has found the image via Guru3D, but at this point it should be taken as a rumour, since nothing has been officially announced.

The CPU-Z image appears to show that AMD is still keeping the current APU name, having it part of the A10 series, possibly the A-10 Elite. The K suffix at the end shows that the APU in question has an unlocked multiplier and the ‘Elite Hexa-Core’ present in the AMD logo indicates that the APU comes with 6 cores. Also, the 95W TDP and 4.4 Ghz core clock makes it an impressive piece.

The latest AMD APU appears to be based on the FM3 socket, which has been stated to come in 2016, which leads to two possibilities here. The first is that the report from AMD was inconclusive and the APU might come early than reported, or the leaked CPU-Z image does not display an actual Carrizo APU.

The CPU is said to boast Excavator cores, the latest revision of the Bulldozer architecture. This might be the case in the leaked image, having it show a high core clock and number of cores. However, the L2 cache appears to show 3 x 1024 KB, which is said to be very low for a 6-core CPU. AMD might have something up its sleeve with some stacked DRAM lifting the L2 Cache, but nothing is sure at the moment.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of WCCFTech

AMD Announces the Specifications for its Upcoming Kaveri Mobility APUs

It appears that AMD has just revealed the specifications of their upcoming Mobility Kaveri APU lineup via AMD’s website, indicating that the company is planning to launch the lineup as soon as possible, having Computex 2014 in June as possible date of launch.

The AMD Mobility Kaveri APU lineup is said to come with the most basic features compared to the desktop Kaveri lineup launched in January, arriving in a variety of SKUs such as A-series, FX and Pro A-series APUs. There is also information of technologies such as Dual Graphics, Face Login, Eyefinity, Gesture Control, Wireless Display, Quick Steaming Technology and Start Now which would be available on the models.

In terms of specifications, the FX-7600P, which is also said to be the mobile platform APU, will feature 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores, while the x86 Steamroller would be clocked at 2.7 GHz stock and 3.6 GHz while in boost, having a 4 MB L2 cache and displaying a GCN graphics of 512 stream processors operating at 686 MHz with a TDP of 35W. The APU is also said to support 32 GB DDR3 memory having speeds of up to 2133 MHz.

The A10 Mobile Kaveri APU series includes the A10-7400P, having 4 CPU cores and 6 GPU cores, while the x86 Steamroller APU will be clocked at 2.1 GHz stock with a boost speed of 3.3 GHz. Looking at the cache, the L2 will present the same 4 MB cache as the FX version previously mentioned, while the GCN graphics will boast 384 streaming processors working at 654 MHz with a TDP of 35W. The amount of memory and frequency support is similar to the FX model, having a 32 GB DDR3 memory limit with up to 2133 MHz operating frequency.

The more business-oriented Pro model includes the A10 PRO-7350B, featuring 4 CPU and 6 GPU cores. The x86 Steamroller is said to be clocked at 2.1 GHz stock and 3.3 GHz in boost, while boasting a 4 MB L2 cache with a GCN graphics of 384 stream processors working at 553 MHz with a TDP of 19W. The APU will support 32 GB DDR3 with a working frequency of up to 1600 MHz.

The rest of the Kaveri Mobility lineup can be viewed below:

A few benchmarks have been made with the lineup, and the results show that AMD is gaining some ground in terms of gaming performance, since the retail FX-7500 is currently ahead of the ULV Maxwell and even the A10-7300 is showing its power ahead of Intel’s i7-4500U, i5-4200U and i3-4010U. The 3DMark11 and PCMark8 benchmark results can be viewed below:


In addition to the above, it is said that there is also a small chance of AMD along with its OEM partners will introduce the Crystal Series-based notebooks along with the mobility APU launch. Information about the new Crystal Series GPU also mention some enhancements including GCN 1.1 architecture, with a probability of offering Dual Graphics support along with the Kaveri Mobility lineup. A list of the latter GPUs can be viewed below:

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of WCCFTech

Braebo Computers ‘Titan’ Budget AMD Gaming System Review

Introduction


When we take a wide look at the pre-built systems market in the UK, the number of names out there that one can choose from is growing on a near day-to-day basis. The scale at which each of these system integrators run does vary quite considerably and on the high-end of the scale where the big names such as Scan Computers and Overclockers UK dominate the market, competition is fierce and the number of systems that each name has to offer covers an incredibly wide range of budgets. When we look towards the other end of the scale, where getting your name out there is key, pitching just high-end systems that costs hundreds to buy is not exactly going to be an easy way of doing this. Instead of offering systems on the upper end of the performance scale, the other option is to create a line of budget friendly systems that contain a more modest level of performance making them ideal for the first time buyer who is just getting their feet into the door and the world of gaming on a PC.

Based in Rushden, Northamptonshire; Braebo Computers, compared to the big names out there, are a small company that was setup by two brothers since they started building systems for the public back in 2002. Since then they have developed a small range of systems, all with components from some of the biggest brands in the industry and whilst their operation my be small, they strive to offer excellent value for money with a customer service that would rival that of the market leaders. Building quality systems that are suited to your needs are where they excel and this ethos is what is driving them forward in a highly competitive market space.

The system that we are taking a look at today is one of their latest creations, offering an all-AMD based lineup consisting of the latest A10-7700k APU and an R9 270 graphics card, along with an SSD courtesy of Corsair, 16GB of memory from Crucial and off of this is spread out across one of Gigabyte’s top performing AMD boards – the F2A88X G1 Sniper. Alongside the system itself, our review package today consists of a full desktop setup that Braebo offer to all of their customers meaning that we have all the basic items needed to get the system up and running – ideal for the first time buyer. In this care package we have a 22″ monitor for AOC and a USB mouse and keyboard set from Microsoft. In addition the Titan comes with the lastest version of Windows 8.1 pre-installed and the added extra of a wireless card for connecting your new system into your home network. It looks as though all the basic essentials have been taken care of and ticked off, so lets take a look at the Titan system and see what it’s made of.

  • Name: Braebo Titan
  • Case: Xigmatek Asgard 381
  • MB: Gigabyte G1 A88X Sniper
  • CPU: AMD ‘Kaveri’ A10 7700k Quad Core APU @ 3.4GHz
  • Cooler: Stock AMD
  • RAM: 16GB Crucial CT2KIT102464BA160B 1600MHz (8GB x2)
  • SSD: Corsair Force LS 64GB
  • HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda
  • GPU: VTX3D AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB
  • PSU: Corsair CX600
  • ODD: 24x Dual-Layer DVD Writer
  • WLAN: Asus PCE-N10 802.11n 150Mbps
  • Monitor: AOC E2250S 22″ LED
  • Peripherals: Microsoft Basics Mouse & Keyboard
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Warranty: 3 year RTB – 1 month collect & return
  • Price: £799.99 Inc VAT / £699 Inc VAT without monitor, mouse & keyboard

Compared to the full on specifications of the systems that we have seen up to today, Braebo’s Titan is more modest and this all comes down to its target audience. When looking across the board at every pre-built system that can be bought, the main bulk of these are aimed directly at the mainstream consumer and up towards the super enthusiast, where money is no object and performance is everything. The Titan brings this all back down to earth with a more basic lineup of components that round-up to a price that is more suited to the entry-level end of the spectrum.

When we look at the accessory set of a pre-built system, on the whole it is made up of all the little extras that come with each individual component such as manuals, adaptors and cables. Braebo’s Titan is no different, although depending on the package that you opt for, you can choose to get a complete setup headed your way instead. in the complete package Braebo bundle in a 22″ AOC monitor and a Microsoft mouse and keyboard set, giving you everything that you need to get up and running.

AMD’s Revenue Propels By 38% At The End Of Q4 2013, $1.59 Billion Recorded

AMD has related its financial situation today at the Q4 2013 Earnings Conference, where they have detailed their milestones, earnings and overview of their company’s financial situation. They have stated that they were successful in executing their “3 step strategic turnaround”, which ultimately lead to “transform” AMD.

According to AMD’s officials, they have accelerated their business growth during the 2013 year, leading to profit growth in the second half of 2013 by diversifying their product range from semi-custom SoCs, ARM and all the way to the PC component market.

In Q4, AMD reported a $1.59 billion revenue, a 9% sequential increase and 38% annual increase since 2012. They have also exceeded the goal for the semi-customed and embedded market with a 20% revenue growth in this sphere for the Q4 2013, ultimately leading to their expectations of reaching a 50% increase in revenue by 2015.

The embedded and semi-customed market propelled the business in Q4, where the demand for Sony and Microsoft had been met and both companies combined sold and estimate of 7 million next-gen consoles in less than 2 months (double than the previous number of consoles sold in their first quarter).

In terms of graphics solutions, AMD pointed to an excellent year in growth revenue, pointing to the dual FirePro graphics solution inside Apple’s Mac Pro. Though, the R7 and R9 chips have also been brought up, where they related a sequential increase in revenue from the chip demands, which they are expected to see in 2014 as well.

APUs and FX CPUs have also seen a steady increase during the third and all the way to the fourth quarter of 2013, having the launch of the Kaveri chipset market as a turning point and an exponential increase in revenue. AMD is aiming to provide a performance oriented solution at a reasonable price, having mentioned the A8 and A10 series of Kaveri CPUs as the best alternative to other competitors, which we mainly think is Intel’s Haswell.

The hardest part comes last, where AMD is aware of the 2013 decrease in the PC market, which they felt as well, and are continuing to cautiously approach it during 2014. They have predicted a slight decrease in 2014 as well and have stated to tackle the decrease quarter by quarter, while managing their expansion into other areas where AMD is not strongly represented to compensate their estimated loss in the PC sphere this year.

All in all, AMD has been keeping in on the green last year, and are going to do the same in 2014 by getting more involved in the semi-customed SoC, embedded and ARM markets.