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.
For a little while now we have been expecting the release of a new APU series from AMD; some places have been calling it Godavari, some as a Kaveri Refresh. We can now confirm some of the information previously leaked.
During a conference call with James Prior who is product manager client business unit at AMD, he supplied us with the information surrounding the upcoming release of the new A10-7870k APU. The A10-7870k will be a better version of the current A10-7850k, this has been achieved through production optimization for the chips and has enabled for a higher performance gain. The new processor series is called Kaveri Refresh, not Godavari like previously believed; the name Godavari was introduced as an internal code name, so not to get confused.
The A10-7870k is a more optimised version of the A10-7850K. We see a small CPU frequency increase of about 6%, but the major difference is in the graphics frequency, a huge 17% increase. It still features a range TDP of 95W and under, but it doesn’t feature configurable TDP due to maximizing performance over A10-7850k.
This new APU is fully supported by all current FM2/ FM2+ motherboards. Some motherboards may require a BIOS update to fully accept the A10-7870K.
The direct competition is the Intel i3 4370 processor due to the almost comparable $150 price tag. You can see complete domination in the graphical testing
Even when the i3 is combined with a discrete graphics card, the price increases even more, but the A10-7870K is still more powerful.
When combined with an AMD R7 250 GDDR3 graphics card in hybrid crossfire, the performance is greatly increased.
AMD offer AMP enabled memory units, similar to that of Intel XMP memory units. When combined with the A10-7870K, the FPS increases, around double the performance when upgrading from single 1600MHz AMP memory module to dual 2400MHz AMP memory modules. The processor can support 2133MHz memory kits, with AMP AMD memory support that increases to 2400MHz memory kits.
AMD has recently introduced Virtual Screen Resolution on the R9 285 discrete graphics card. This feature essentially renders the image of a higher resolution screen and displays it on a lower resolution screen. Ideal for those who want 1080p detail on a lower resolution screen. Just like the AMD discrete graphics cards, this APU offers Freesync, zero performance penalty for smoother game play.
This is a new game, Ashes of the Singularity. This will be one of the first DirectX 12 games to be released later this year. What is being depicted is that everything in red is what is being rendered by the APU, everything else is rendered by the GPU.
There are set to be even more processors launched under the Kaveri Refresh code name, we can speculate that they will most likely be optimised versions of the current line up, so the A8-7650K will be replaced by the A8-7670K and so on. Are you excited for the new release? Do you currently use the FM2/ FM2+ platform and are looking for the best processor? Let us know in the comments.
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.