AMD APUs Get a Significant Price Cut

The only thing better than technology is technology at a reduced price. In what is likely a move to combat Intels G3258 budget CPU, AMD has cut the MSRP on a lot of APUs and you can save up to 30 percent on some models.

The current flagship Kaveri A10-7850K APU will get a reduction from $180 to just $143 and the A10-7700K will drop to just $123 from the previous $159. Placed in the middle is the locked A10-7800 that only will cost you $133 now instead of the previous $164. Other Kaveri price cuts include the A8-7600 priced at $92 instead of $109 and the A8-7400K that is down to just $58 MSRP.

There seems to have been a slight mistake in AMD’s announcement as the A8-7600 only features 6 GPU cores and not 8 as the image portraits, but that’s just a cosmetic error here and doesn’t affect the news on price reductions.

Richland and Trinity also get their prices reduced. The A10-6800K will only cost you $112 instead of the previous $139, the A8-6600K is down to $92 from $99 and the A4-6400 will only cost you $34 now. Yes, we can go even lower as the A4-5300 will retail for $31 and A4-4400 for just $27 after the price-cuts.

In one way, this seems like a weird move as they enter the AM1 price-territory. On the other hand, the two chips target different market segments so there might not be any conflict.

And there is more, as added bonus AMD will be providing customers of the A10 APUs with one free game chosen from Murdered, Thief and Sniper Elite 3. If you don’t want any of those games you can get Corel’s Aftershot Pro 2 software instead, but you’ll have to pay a tiny $5 on top of the coupon to get this program. The code will be placed inside the box and be offered for a limited time.

Thanks to GamersNexus for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of GamersNexus

4 Generations Of The AMD APU: How Much Progress Has Been Made?

Introduction


Cast your mind back to mid-2011 when AMD released its first “APU”. Back then “APU” (Accelerated Processing Unit) was a term not many of us were familiar with, although the concept wasn’t alien as we’ve had it for quite some time: a CPU that also provides a GPU. Up until the first AMD APU most CPUs had pathetic onboard GPUs that were good for about one display, some video playback and that’s about it – that applies to both AMD and Intel CPUs. Now we have APUs that are capable of realistic 1080p gaming and that large shift has occurred in just three years – largely thanks to AMD’s APUs.

We have gone through four generations of AMD’s game-changing idea “the APU”, arguably something that has driven integrated graphics performance forward on both AMD and Intel platforms. The ball started rolling when AMD released its desktop “Llano” FM1 platform in 2011, this was followed by “Trinity” and the FM2 platform in late 2012. AMD then brought out a refreshed FM2 platform APU with “Richland” in 2013 and we have seen AMD’s latest “Kaveri” FM2+ APU platform this year in 2014. That’s three years of the APU across four generations of product releases – even if Trinity to Richland was more incremental than generational. What we want to look at today is examining the all important question: how much progress has been achieved with the APU? It’s a fairly simple examination we will be doing, we will be testing AMD’s four APU flagships from each generation to see how performance has changed over the generations and over time. In testing today we have the A8-3870K (Llano), the A10-5800K (Trinity), the A10-6800K (Richland) and the A10-7850K (Kaveri). We will be putting all these APUs through the same selectionof tests with fully updated drivers, benchmarks and operating systems to give a conclusive look at the APU’s progress since its first inception.

We won’t bore you with all the technical details of the APU and its history, but we do encourage anyone who is interested to check out some of our reviews and feature articles that have included AMD APUs in the past as these explain a lot of the technical aspects. All our past APU reviews and featured content can be found below so just click on any of them to get started!

Three New A58 Series FM2+ Motherboards Launched By MSI

MSI launched its three additions to the AMD A58 series FM2+ motherboards, the MSI A58-G41 PC Mate, MSI A58M-E35 and MSI A58M-E33, with support for the new AMD Kaveri APU having also compatibility with AM2 socket processors such as the Richland and Trinity APUs.

The motherboards are said to be available in ATX and mATX form factors, offering a great connectivity with its Dothill RAID controller, onboard LAN, PCIe 3.0, SATA and up to 12 USB ports. It is also stated to offer a multitude of multimedia features, such as H.264 hardware decoding and encoding, support for 4K UHD video, Blu-Ray playback and 8-channel HD Audio through HDMI, all suitable for multi-purpose multimedia use.

With the help of AMD’s Kaveri APU, the MSI A58 motherboards are said to support triple display 4K UHD configurations with up to 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution. Along with Military Class 4 components such as Hi-C CAPs, Solid CAPs, Dark CAPs, SFC and Dark Chokes, it ensures every PC runs stable under extreme conditions.

The MSI A58 motherboards are also equipped with a variety of new technologies, like OC Genie 4 providing easy to use overclockcing functions, the easy to use Click BIOS 4 and the Command Center software, providing the ultimate monitoring, tuning and controlling features for the hardware at hand.

More information about the MSI A58-G41 PC Mate, MSI A58M-E35 and MSI A58M-E33 can be found on MSI’s official website here.

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

The Ultimate AMD Kaveri Review: A10-7850K, A10-7700K and A8-7600

Introduction


If you follow our website and the technology industry more broadly then you may have heard a lot about Kaveri since it was officially launched on January 14th 2014. Kaveri is the codename for AMD’s fourth generation of desktop APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) after Llano, Trinity and Richland. In successive generations we have seen AMD’s APUs grow a lot stronger mainly in terms of graphics performance but also bringing refinements in terms of power consumption and CPU performance as well as new features.

So what does Kaveri bring to the table that is new? In terms of new architectures we see a transition from Piledriver (Trinity) to Steamroller on the CPU side and from VLIW4 (Trinity) to GCN 1.0 on the GPU side. Yet the most exciting and easily the most talked about new feature is the inclusion of AMD’s new HSA technology. HSA is AMD’s “Heterogeneous Computing” plan which includes two main components: hUMA (Heterogeneous Unified Memory Architecture) and hQ (Heterogeneous Queuing). hUMA allows for the sharing of system memory equally between GPU cores and CPU cores and hQ allows for both the CPU and GPU cores to independently schedule tasks.

There is of course more to Kaveri than Steamroller, GCN and HSA – but those are the main components. Other new additions include full support for AMD’s TrueAudio technology, Mantle support and an improved Unified Video Decoder and Video Compression Engine. However, before we delve into those new technical improvements and features, let’s first discuss what this article is all about.

Today we are examining AMD’s entire new range of Kaveri Desktop APUs – the A10-7850K, A10-7700K and A8-7600. In addition we will be comparing those to their equivalents from the last generation – the A10-6800K, A10-6790K and A8-6500T respectively. Then for a bit of perspective we are comparing those three parts with their main Intel rivals – the Core i3 4330 and Core i5 4440. What we’re looking to do is provide a complete perspective on how AMD and Intel’s offerings match up across a wide range of CPU, GPU and combined benchmarks covering areas like gaming, productivity and general system performance, as well as the generational changes Kaveri offer over Richland. Below you can see a summary of all the contenders in this comparison. Please note that the number of GPU cores are not comparable between all processors below, but are only for reference. GCN cores are much more powerful than VLIW4 cores while Intel’s “cores” work in a different way, they are technically “execution units” not cores.

ASUS A88X-PRO (FM2+) Motherboard Review

Introduction


With AMD’s fourth generation of AMD APUs, Kaveri, just around the corner it couldn’t be a better time to look at a brand spanking new FM2+ motherboard from ASUS. Today we have the ASUS A88X PRO motherboard on the test bench and this high-end motherboard will make the perfect home for any Kaveri based system. Of course you can use Trinity or Richland APUs too as the FM2+ socket is backwards compatible with FM2 APUs, but the main reason these motherboards have been released is to cater for the new Kaveri APUs that have more CPU and GPU performance than their predecessors.  The ASUS A88X-PRO has already been released in a few markets, including the USA, but in the UK we won’t see this motherboard until some point next month. Of course Kaveri will take until the the end of Q1 to hit the shelves so there’s no rush in that regard. The specifications of the ASUS A88X-PRO FM2+ motherboard are as follows:

ASUS is pushing its 4 Way Optimisation package as one of the key features – this includes the Digi+ power controls, TPU performance boost, EPU energy savings and Fan Xpert 2 fan controlling and monitoring software.

ASUS claim that by enabling their GPU Boost function you can boost the graphics performance of locked APUs from within AI Suite III

ASUS are also using their 5X Protection package which includes digital power stability, overcurrent protection, ESD guards, 5K rated solid caps and a stainless steel shielded rear I/O

Other features of this motherboard included a revised ASUS UEFI BIOS, ASUS Remote GO! support for an advanced home wireless management system, all the latest connectivity (USB 3.0/ PCIe 3.0/ SATA III), AI Suite III, DirectKey (a dedicated “go to BIOS” button) and 4K/Multi-monitor support with the advanced FM2+ graphics that are due to come with Kaveri.

More details can be found on the product page here.

Gigabyte G1 Sniper A88X (FM2+) Motherboard Review

Introduction


AMD are rumoured to be exiting the high end desktop market with the FX series of processors on the AM3+ socket expected to be AMD’s last range of standalone CPU products. Of course the main reason for that decision by AMD, if it does turn out to be true, is that AMD simply cannot compete with Intel at the highest end market segment. However, when it comes to APUs AMD have a distinct advantage thanks to the advanced integrated graphical performance and so AMD’s APU platform isn’t going anywhere any time soon. AMD’s current APU products for the desktop platform are codename “Richland” and they bear the AX-6XXX monikers. The predecessors to those were “Trinity” which were of the AX-5XXX naming system. Of course Trinity and Richland APUs are virtually identical – using the same graphics VLIW4 architecture and the same 32nm Piledriver CPU cores, the main difference between the two is higher clock speeds and improved power efficiency. They are physically identical, both supporting the FM2 and FM2+ sockets on the A55, A75, A85X and A88X chipsets.

What’s coming after Richland is Kaveri, expected early next year Kaveri will run on the FM2+ socket with A88X and A85X motherboards. Today we have with us one of those newer Kaveri-Ready AMD desktop APU motherboards running off the A88X chipset. Of course the fact Kaveri isn’t here yet means we are using AMD’s best Richland APU, the A10 6800K, to test this motherboard as AMD Trinity and Richland APUs are compatible with all FM2+ motherboards.  Specifically we are reviewing Gigabyte’s G1 Sniper A88X motherboard today, this motherboard is Gigabyte’s best gaming offering for AMD’s APU platform featuring support for Trinity, Richland and Kaveri APUs, up to 64GB of 2400MHz memory, high quality audio with interchangeable op-amps, CrossFire support and support for up to 8 SATA III 6Gbps devices. Gigabyte have certainly left no stone unturned as they have tried to cram every feature a gamer could want into an attractively priced package. Below you can see the full specifications of this motherboard:

As always most motherboard vendors want to showcase unique or interesting features their motherboards have. In the case of Gigabyte, if we put the usual Ultra Durable 4 Plus component set aside, the main feature Gigabyte have developed and focused on is the audio implementation. Gigabyte’s extensive modifications start off with a USB digital to analogue converter with an isolated power source maximising the quality of the audio output. Gigabyte have also added Gain Boost switches which can switch between 2.5X and 6X Gain Boost ratios depending on the headphones or speakers being used. 

The star of the show, aside from the gold plated audio hardware, separated PCB and Nichicon Pro Audio caps, is the interchangeable Op-Amps. Gigabyte’s Premium Upgrade Kit, which is sold separately, includes three additional Op-Amps:

  • OP-AMP A – Burr-Brown – OPA2111KP
  • OP-AMP B – Linear Technology – LT1358CN8
  • OP-AMP C – Analog Devices – AD827JNZ

The kit also comes with an IC extractor to help you remove the current Op-Amp to swap in a new one. Of course each Op-Amp gives you a different tonality, different warmth and bass levels and so on. These are really aimed at gamers who are using headphones or 2.1 speakers as only the “green” audio jack is amplified by it. However, it really is quite nice to have the option to customise your audio – it is something we rarely ever see.

AMD A10-7850K and A10-7700K Kaveri A-Series APU Specs Revealed

A little over a month now until AMD would release the Kaveri A10 series, and specs for them have been revealed. The A10-7850K has four Steamroller cores and 512 GCN stream processors, with a max compute of 856 GFLops compared to 779 GFlops on the Richland A10-6800K APU.

The clock speed of the APU is maintained at 3.7 GHz which is presumably the base clock while Turbo clock would push the speeds beyond 4 GHz barrier. The GPU which is positioned in the R7 2**D series is clocked at 720 MHz while the APU itself has 4 MB of L2 cache. The GCN graphics die would feature 8 GPU cores which represent a total of 512 stream processors. The TDP for the A10-7850K would be set at 95W. AMD A10-7850K will support both Mantle API, DirectX 11.2 and OpenGL 4.3 and feature dual graphics functionality with the AMD’s Cape Verde based discrete GPUs.

Taking a look at the A10-7700K, another unlocked chip, we see it featuring the Steamroller core architecture with a max boost clock of 3.8 GHz and base clock of 3.5 GHz. It has 4 MB of L2 cache plus HSA features and True Audio technology support. The GPU side ships with a GCN graphics die featuring 6 shader units equaling to a total of 384 Stream processors clocked at 720 MHz. This part may possibly feature a lower TDP of 65W due to the cut down graphics die but still pack a mean punch in terms of performance.

The Kavri A10 series would be released on 14th January 2014 on the desktop FM2+ platform. The prices are set to be below the $150 / €110 / £92 range.

Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of WCCF Tech

AMD A10-6700T 45W Energy Efficient Richland APU Now Available

AMD’s “low power” A10-6700T APU will go on sale this week and it will be targeting the energy efficient market segment. The T moniker after the A10-6700 title denotes the reduced power limits of just 45W. Even with a 45W TDP the unit still has 2.5GHz across four cores based on the Piledriver micro-architecture.

This codename Richland APU can TurboCore up to a maximum frequency of 3.5GHz and still stay within its 45W thermal envelope. The APU features 4MB of L2 cache across its four cores and has a Radeon HD 8650D graphics core using 384 stream processors at 760MHz stock and 844MHz boost. As with all Richland APUs there is support for up to 2133MHz memory and PCIe Generation 2.0. It is worth noting that performance with AMD APUs scales quite a lot with memory speeds up to its IMC (integrated memory controller) limit, the iGPU normally benefits the most.

We will see the AMD A10-6700T retail for around $140-160 MSRP or about £125-135. This chip should be ideal for low power HTPCs, media centres and light-load gaming PCs or even just for ordinary desktop PCs on quite a budget.

Image courtesy of AMD, Information via TechPowerUp

Asus To Launch FM2+ A88X & A55 Motherboards

Asus has introduced two new motherboards to their range and while they’re nothing fancy they are the first range of motherboards from Asus with the FM2+ socket, which is set to be compatible with the upcoming release of AMD Kaveri hardware. The new A88XM-A and the A55BM-A/USB3 motherboards are both FM2+ socket boards and both will support the new mid-range APU from AMD aka “Kaveri”.

Of course, in true AMD fashion, the new AMD socket will be backwards compatible with Trinity and Richland components giving them grate upgrade potential for people already using the Trinity and Richland processors.

both of the boards are mATX and pack all the standard modern luxuries plus a few extras such as PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.0 Boost, a Xpert fan controller, Asus 5X protection technology and DIGI+ VRM.

The boards require a bios update before they’ll handle the new chips but that’s hardly a big issue and something Asus can resolve pretty quickly and we can expect the rest of the FM2+ motherboard range from Asus later in the year.

We don’t’ have any prices or availability information just yet, but these aren’t exactly the most exciting motherboards in the world so I would expect them to be budget friendly.

AMD A10-6800K “Richland” Sets New World Record @ 8.2GHz

A Finnish overclockers who goes by the name of “The Stilt” has bagged him self a new world record for highest CPU overclock, no easy task given the clock speeds involved and that the benchmark for this becomes harder with every attempt.

Using the AMD A10-6800K and a huge amount of liquid nitrogen, The Stilt was able to blast 2.008 volts through the chip via the Asus F2A85-V Pro motherboard.

The first run scored him a taste 8000.48MHz with a bus clock of 126.99MHz, but that wasn’t the end for this run and he employed a so-called x87 fix which helped boost performance in SuperPi. On the second run he got the chip to 8203.01MHz using a bus clock speeds of 130.21MHz and a multiplier of 63.

 

Thank you PCGH for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of PCGH.

AMD Could Delay Kaveri APUs to Q1 2014

According to a report by Digitimes AMD may delay the next series of APUs, codename Kaveri, until 2014 instead of releasing them in Q4 of this year. Apparently manufacturing is starting later than expected and so the Kaveri APUs will need some extra time to be developed.

AMD’s Kaveri APUs are expected to arrive with Steamroller CPU cores, GCN GPU cores as well as a unique HUMA memory architecture derived from the HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) project. This would essentially allow for cross-sharing of RAM between the GPU and CPU.

AMD will only provide two A10 and one A8 Kaveri APU samples to its channel partners in December according to reports meaning the retail channel probably won’t be able to get enough stock until February to April 2014. AMD’s Kaveri platform will arrive on the A88X and A87X chipsets with socket FM2+ motherboards. AMD Trinity and Richland APUs will work with FM2+ motherboards but Kaveri APUs will not work on older FM2 motherboards due to a different pin lay-out.

Image courtesy of AMD, information via WCCFTech

Gigabyte Introduce F2A75M-DS2 Budget FM2 Motherboard

Looking for a budget motherboard for a cheap AMD FM2 based system? Then Gigabyte have released just the motherboard for you. Gigabyte’s new F2A75M-DS2 motherboard supports socket FM2 AMD CPUs and APUs including the latest Richland platform. This motherboard isn’t exactly aimed at the overclocker as it features a relatively “low-end” 4+1 phase VRM for the FM2 socket and memory. It also used a compact Micro-ATX form factor and a brown PCB.

The two memory slots support up to 32GB of dual channel 2133MHz memory and the motherboard is equipped with a single PCI Express 16X generation 2 slot, a PCI Express X1 slot and a legacy PCI. There are four upward facing SATA 6GB/s ports provided by the A75 chipset and the board also supports four USB 3.0, two via the rear I/O and two via a header. 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports finish the rest of the connectivity. The board uses an AMI Aptio UEFI BIOS and has Gigabyte’s Dual UEFI technology. Pricing will be around $60.

Image courtesy of Gigabyte, Information Via TechPowerUp

AMD Preparing Energy Efficient Socket FM2 APUs

AMD’s current series of FM2 Richland APUs have been well received for the excellent bang for buck they offer yet one thing that does let them down (and also lets down most AMD CPUs) is the rather large TDPs they have of 65-100W depending on the models. That said AMD are responding with a couple of energy efficient models, the A10-6700T and A8-6500T that should help tame power consumption and heat but at the expensive of performance.

Both these SKUs from AMD bring TDPs down to 45W but this does come at the expensive of clock speeds. On the CPU front these are reduced to 2.5GHz and on the GPU front 720MHz. Sadly not much else is known but from the cache amounts of 4MB we can assume that both the A10-6700T and A8-6500T should be quad core parts (as they have the cache for all four cores enabled), especially as they have the A10 and A8 prefixes which typically denote quad core models. We don’t know if these units will have Turbo mode or a reduced GPU core amount, neither do we know the price yet. However, we will be sure to bring you more details as we get them.

Image courtesy of Guru3D

AMD A10-6800k & A10-6700 ‘Richland’ APU Review

It’s been a busy time of year in the CPU market, with Haswell now on sale and making its stand as one mighty processor for its size, it’s time for AMD to release their update to the Trinity APU platform.

Whilst Intel’s new Z87 platform has seen a vast improvement in performance over Z77, it still has one major downside for some people and this relates to the cost. A new ground up platform means that users need to buy a new Z87 board in order to use the latest fourth generation processors and on the top end of the scale, this can equate to a large hole in the wallet. This is where AMD’s APU platform makes a strong stand against Intel. Whilst they have got their FX line of CPU’s that can perform virtually neck and neck with the 3rd Generation offerings from Intel, they do lack a built in GPU.

The APU or Accelerated Processing Unit is something that AMD have been proud of for a while now and the Trinity platform showed that with the inclusion of HD Radeon graphics into the same chip as a quad core CPU, it was able to give quite a substantial amount of power, especially for the price.

Richland is the next generation of APU’s to roll out of the AMD factories and even though AMD have made it clear that their HD Radeon 8xxx series of discrete GPUs will not be around until the early part of next year, back at the start of the year they did state that their 8000 series mobile graphics would be making appearance way before then within notebooks and within their APU’s

So what extra is there to be had over Trinity? Well over the last generation chips, AMD is promising a boost of 30-40% in performance and the biggest shouting point of all is the total cost of upgrading. Whereas Intel users need to buy both a chip and board in order to upgrade, the Richland APUs will all work on the current line of FM2 A85X motherboards with a simple BIOS update.

Other new features within Richland include the new HD Radeon 8000 series GPU cores, with up to 384 shaders, 8xAA and 16xAF support, DX11 support, DisplayPort 1.2 support and a clock speed of up to 844MHz. On top of this the A10 APUs will now also have native support DDR3-2133MHz memory speeds and the chips as a whole will offer more voltage and frequency levels for overclocking meaning that we should see some chips that are easier to work with when taking them to the next level in terms of speed.

AMD Super Pi Performance Fixed With Patch, Benchmark Record To Be Smashed

AMD has always been very poor at Super Pi test scores since the Bulldozer architecture was released. You only need to take a quick glimpse at the graph below to see that both Bulldozer and Piledriver based AMD CPUs flat-out suck, there is no other way to put it. The reason is because the benchmark is very old and uses an instruction set that just doesn’t work very well with AMD.

Unsurprisingly it turns out that the program not AMD CPUs are what is causing the unusually low scores. The Stilt from Finland, according to the HWBot forums, have developed a fix for AMD Bulldozer/Piledriver on Super Pi. For the real world this is totally irrelevant but for the extreme overclocking and benchmarking community this is quite a huge break through.

Apparently the Stilt used BIOS developers guides, that are made available to motherboard vendors, to figure out this performance issue and devise a solution. It’s an impressive achievement and shows how just one person can develop something the entire motherboard industry ignored/missed. The patch for Bulldozer/Piledriver systems can be seen here.

A rough idea of performance is that a 4.1GHz Richland A10-6800K managed 17 minutes and 34 seconds with this patch while without the patch a 5GHz Richland A10-6800K could manage only 18 minutes and 15 seconds. The patch clearly makes a huge difference and we look forward to seeing some more results.

Image courtesy of the Stilt

AMD Collaborate With Adobe For OpenCL “Richland APU” Acceleration

AMD has just announced the results of some of its long standing collaboration with Adobe to bring OpenCL acceleration to programs like Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro. As a result Adobe has just released Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC which both feature OpenCL acceleration. These new program revisions from Adobe allow GPU acceleration so AMD APUs (both FirePro and Consumer APUs) can become more competitive in comparison to the competition from Intel.

As you can see without OpenCL AMD is more or less totally battered by Intel in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Photoshop CC, but with OpenCL acceleration on its A10-6800K APU it is able to comfortable beat Intel’s i5 3470 thanks to the combination of the CPU and GPU working together.

This move is part of AMD’s HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) initiative and AMD is currently making big pushes to combined the CPU and GPU power in its APU devices to work in sync with each other. This will allow AMD to claw back some performance ground from Intel’s CPUs despite having dramatically weaker CPU components. AMD and Adobe’s collaboration together is quite impressive and boasts 64 qualified graphics devices on the official hardware support list. OpenCL acceleration of Premiere Pro can be enabled manually by users of the software.

Images courtesy of AMD

AMD A10-6800K Passes 8GHz With LN2

Extreme overclocking always seems to be in the news and as we’ve mentioned before, hardware vendors are always trying to get one over on each other in terms of frequency records to prove that their hardware is better than the rest. The latest record comes courtesy of ASUS and AMD.

AMD’s A10-6800K may be new to the market but it certainly hasn’t taken overclockers very long to crank up the frequency. The Finnish overclocked dubbed “the Stilt” managed to hit 8GHz with his A10-6800K chip. This was done with a core voltage of 1.992 (not 2.008 as reported by CPU-Z) volts and 63 X 126.99MHz in terms of the multiplier and bus speed. Naturally LN2 cooling was used to keep this all under control.

What’s more impressive is unlike other overclockers who disable all but one core/thread to achieve the maximum frequency, the Stilt kept all four cores active. He also ran 8GB of RAM at 1692MHz DDR3 speeds.

The relevant validations can be seen here over on HWBot.

Image courtesy of HWBot

AMD Athlon X4 FM2 “Richland” CPUs Now Available

AMD has announced the latest Athlon CPUs for its FM2 socket. Since AMD first released its APUs for the desktop platform, aka with Llano and FM1, we have seen AMD offer Athlon versions of its APUs. These Athlon versions are essentially APUs without the integrated graphics – this allows AMD to save on costs in terms of producing them and thus they are able to sell them at a cheaper price. They are in essence AM3+ FX 4XXX series Piledriver processors but on the FM2 socket.

You do need a discrete graphics card with these as they lack integrated GPU capabilities of any sort. TechPowerUp reports on these new AMD Athlon X4 CPUs and states that at the top of the Athlon “Richland” series is the Athlon X4 760K Black Edition (AD760KWOHLBOX). This is a quad core with a 3.8GHz base, 4.1GHz maximum turbo, unlocked multiplier and a 100W TDP. Expect pricing for the Athlon X4 760K to be around $100. For now this is the only Richland based Athlon X4 CPU we will see but AMD has lots more parts planned for later.

In terms of architecture the 760K X4 CPU is based on Piledriver and has 2 modules/ 4 cores. There is 4MB of L2 cache and support for up to 2133MHz DDR3. These CPUs still use PCIe Gen 2 controllers and are supported on FM2 A55, A75 and A85X chipset AMD motherboards.

Image courtesy of AMD

Computex: Gigabyte Show Off G1.Sniper A85X AMD FM2 Motherboard

The G1.Sniper designation of motherboards from Gigabyte has traditionally been reserved for high end platforms like Ivy Bridge Z77 and Haswell Z87. Yet now Gigabyte are now expanding this line up to include AMD’s FM2 socket and A85X chipset. Gigabyte’s latest creation is the G1.Sniper A85X. This motherboard is designed to support second and third generation AMD APUs, that is Trinity and Richland. Most users of this motherboard will probably be opting for the A10 5800K or A10 6800K.

Gigabyte are using Ulta Durable 4 plus, not 5, with these motherboards and they have also implemented their UEFI Dual BIOS technology. This motherboard supports dual Nvidia or AMD graphics thanks to having two PCI Express lanes which probably operate at 8X/8X Gen 2 PCI express speeds when populated. The audio implementation is courtesy of Realtek ALC898 which has a 110dB sound to noise ratio and features an audio noise guard with LED path lighting. Gigabyte have also integrated their new “AMP-UP” audio technology into this motherboard which allows you to upgrade to “OP-AMPs” of your choice using Gigabyte’s new sound toolkit.

Furthermore their are four USB 3.0 ports with Gigabyte “3X” USB power which allows you to turn fast charging on or off. Three monitors are supported and you can output these via the HDMI, Dual link DVI and VGA ports at the rear of the motherboard. The LAN implementation, probably Realtek, comes with Electro Static Discharge (ESD) protection and supports CFOS SPEED “internet acceleration software”. Finally the whole design is capped off with a new heatsink for improved cooling.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image courtesy of eTeknix at Computex 2013.

Rumour: AMD Kaveri APUs Bring FM2+ Socket And Late 2013 Launch

According to an AMD roadmap leaked by ComputerBase.de the new AMD APU platform “Kaveri” is going to be arriving by the end of 2013. This new Kaveri APU will bring a new FM2+ platform to the market.

The raw mechanics of the Kaveri APU see it bring a new CPU architecture to market, the long awaited Steamroller, which wasn’t expected to be available until Q2 of 2014 at the earliest. It will pack 2 to 4 of those Steamroller CPU coolers and will adopt a GCN architecture for the first time. Despite the HD 7000 series being GCN based and Richland APUs being recently released, Richland APUs still use the VLIW architecture of the HD 6000 series so when AMD make the shift towards GCN we can really expect to see APUs pack a much more serious punch.

Why is this important? Well for those who didn’t see, Intel’s recently launched Iris Pro 5200 enlarged GPU for Haswell comfortably beats AMD’s Trinity A10 5800K in most games and GPU applications. Of course the Richland A10 6800K will shrink this deficit somewhat but only by around 10% if most sources on Richland performance are to be believed. This means AMD really needs to bump up its GPU game on its APUs as it risks being left behind by Intel who have a drastically superior CPU component. This is where Kaveri will come in and it will used a refined GCN architecture design that could hopefully bring performance levels in the HD 7750/HD 7790 region which would give it a huge advantage of Intel’s Iris Pro 5200.

Details about what FM2+ will have that is different to FM2 is not known. However, we know FM2+ will bring HSA application support, that is great integration of CPU/GPU workloads for improved performance. If you add that improved integration performance to the improved generational CPU/GPU performance increases then Kaveri could be a very potent APU indeed.

Image courtesy of ComputerBase.de

Richland Desktop Prices Detailed, Trinity Prices Slashed

Richland hasn’t been on sale for long but there are still plenty more of AMD’s popular APU range to come and now it seems the folks over at FudZilla have discovered their prices. Five more entries to the Richland range have been found in online price listings that show some very exciting and competitive pricing.

A6-6400K (Black Edition)

  • 64w TDP
  • Dual-Core
  • 3.9GHz
  • HD 7470D Graphics
  • 192 Shaders @ 800MHz
  •  €69

That puts the A6-6400K just  €10 above the A6-5400K (Trinity).

Further up we have the A8-6500 and the A8-6600K Black Edition, both priced at just  €109, these will be replacing their 5xxx series Trinity components which are now also getting price cuts throughout Europe to compensate for the new hardware release. The A10-6800K and A10-6700 are priced at €139, which is a little more than their predecessors but hopefully the performance will pick up to and justify that extra investment.

Trinity cores are already bargain prices for their performance and these new releases are cutting between 5 to 15% off of their prices, making them an absolute steal for those looking to build a punchy budget system.

It’s also worth noting that FM2 motherboards can be snapped up for as little as  €40, mid range A75 for around  €50. Until Intel adjusts the prices of their Ivy range to compensate for Haswell, there are some real bargain to be had for those building on a tighter budget, because while they may not offer i5 / i7 levels of performance, you will struggle to get more bang for your buck under  €100.

HP Envy 14 TouchSmart Notebook To Get A 3200 by 1800 Display

HP has been showing off a revamped line of notebooks and ultrabooks to The Verge recently that both take advantage of new AMD mobile Richland APUs and Intel Haswell mobile CPUs. All of them have come a long way to previous generation HP products but the one that stands out by far is the HP Envy 14 SmartTouch. The reason being is that it packs one of the highest resolution displays we have ever seen an a notebook – 3200 by 1800 on a 14 inch screen.

What’s interesting is that traditional PC vendors are finally recognising that they need a direct competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro Retina, there are currently very few if any alternatives to the MacBook Pro Retina in the high resolution notebook space (that is notebooks with a resolution higher than 1080p). In fact it is sad that you can find tablets with higher resolution displays, the Google Nexus 10 is the most obvious example being just 10 inches in size yet having a 2560 by 1600 display.

HP’s Envy 14 TouchSmart will have an edge to edge glass display and a touch screen, plus support for Windows 8. Pricing and availability isn’t known but it is expected that HP might announce some more details at Computex next month.

What are your thoughts on high resolution notebooks? Do you know of any other alternatives to the MacBook Pro Retina?

Image courtesy of the Verge

First AMD Richland A10 Powered Gaming Laptop Released by MSI

 


According to recent speculation AMD’s Richland APUs for desktops are right around the corner with an expected release date of June the 4th and their pricing has also been detailed and looks pretty aggressive.

Though it seems AMD Richland APUs for notebooks are now upon us as MSI announces the world’s first AMD Richland A10 powered gaming notebooks.

MSI’s GX70 and GX60 gaming notebooks will both incorporate the A10-5750M APU which it claims boasts an additional 40% increase in “visual” performance over the previous generation.

The AMD A10 5750M APU has a clock speed of 2.5 to 3.5GHz and can use the A76M or A70M chipset according to the spec sheet.  MSI have decided to pair the Richland mobile APU with the HD 8970M (for the GX70) and HD 7970M (for the GX60).

You can see the rest of the full MSI GX70 and GX60 gaming notebook specifications below:

I don’t know about you but I am excited to see AMD’s Richland APUs arriving in notebooks. Personally I can’t wait to see how they shake up the more budget orientated $400-$700 market segment of notebooks, and how they compete with equivalently priced Intel notebooks.

Though I think the potential of the APU is wasted by pairing it with a high end discrete gaming GPU, like the HD 8970M/7970M, as the advantage of the APU lays in the combination of CPU and GPU. The CPU component of the APU is probably going to be a bottleneck for high end discrete mobile graphics like the HD 8970M. The only advantage I can see the APU offering here is that with AMD Enduro technology the notebook can switch between discrete and APU graphics to save power, much like Nvidia’s Optimus technology that works between Nvidia discrete graphics and Intel HD Graphics.

According to our friends at Overclockers UK the MSI GX70 gaming notebook is arriving in the first to second week of June for £999.99.

Are you going to be grabbing an AMD Richland APU powered notebook? What are your thoughts on these Richland powered gaming notebooks from MSI?

Source: PR

AMD Richland APU Pricing and Launch Date Revealed

AMD’s Richland APUs look set to be very interesting propositions. They look set to further raise the bar in terms of “integrated graphics” while still being hugely affordable and offering decent Piledriver based CPU parts. In fact the flagship, the A10 6800K will cost only around $140 according to the latest leak published by ChipLoco, yet is capable of pushing 1100 3DMarks in the FireStrike benchmark making it competitive with low end graphics cards like the HD 7730/HD 7750 and the GT 640/GTX 650 (Non Ti and Boost).

AMD are also providing the A10 6700 with the same HD 8670D graphics component as the A10 6800K except it features a locked multiplier and slightly lower clock speeds. That said it can still post 1000 3D Marks in FireStrike while costing only $122.

The A8 6600K and A8 6500 make up the mid range area with HD 8570D graphics and $112 and $91 price tags respectively, while the A6 6400K joins a couple of other A6 and A4 models forming the sub $70 entry level market segment. The A6 6400K uses HD 8470D graphics which hits around 550 3DMarks in FireStrike, still more than the i5 3470 which scores 317 and costs $195 relative to the A6 6400K which costs just $69.

So all in all AMD have got a really aggressive pricing strategy with their Richland APUs. While on their own the CPU and GPU components don’t do anything out of the ordinary, for the money and for the entry level gamer these APUs provide an unchallenged amount of gaming bang-for-buck.

Finally, according to ChipLoco the AMD Richland APUs will launch June the 4th, just in time for Computex and just in time to lock horns with Intel’s Haswell release spotlight. They also suggest AMD will keep on selling the entire Trinity APU series alongside the Richland APUs, though Trinity will probably get healthy price cuts to stay competitive. What are your thoughts on the AMD Richland APU Pricing? Will you be getting one next month when they are released?

Source

First AMD Richland APU, The A4-4000, Now Available In Europe For €40

While Haswell has captured the attention of enthusiasts and overclockers, the launch of AMD’s Richland APU has caught the attention of the more mainstream and budget-conscious market segment. The entire range of Richland APUs will be very aggressively priced given AMD’s tradition of pricing and we can particularly see this shining through with the AMD A4-4000 APU which launched yesterday in Europe and should pop-up at most European retail stores today. In the UK you can get it already at online retailers for around £32.

The A4-4000 is AMD’s entry level option and it offers two cores at 3GHz with a turbo frequency of 3.2GHz. It retains motherboard compatibility with all FM2 socket motherboards and it has a measly 1MB of L2 Cache. However, its main “win” over the competition is that it can offer a lot more graphics performance thanks to the integrated HD 7480 graphics part clocked at up to 720MHz.

As the above AMD graphic demonstrates the A4-4000 beats the similarly priced Celeron and Pentium competition from Intel in terms of graphics. The AMD A4-4000 would make an ideal 720p gaming system for someone on an extremely tight budget.

What are your thoughts on the new A4-4000 and its pricing? Will you be buying one?

Source

AMD Richland APUs Pictured, Arriving In June

AMD’s next generation of accelerated processing units (APUs), codename Richland, are set to arrive this June. In the run up to their release next month they have been pictured by the media. The three models in question are the AMD A10 6800K, A10 6700 and A4 4400, which will be among the first three to get released. The A10 6800K, part number AD680KWOA44HL, features four Piledriver cores with a 4.1GHz stock clock and 4.4GHz maximum turbo mode frequency. The AMD A10 6800K features HD 8670D graphics clocked at 844MHz, the A10 6800K also features an unlocked base clock multiplier.

The AMD A10 6700, part number AD6700OKA44HL, features the same HD 8670D graphics core clocked at 844MHz with four Piledriver cores at 3.7GHz stock and 4.3GHz maximum Turbo mode frequency. The A10 6700 features a locked base clock multiplier.

The AMD A4 4400, part number AD4400OKA23HL, is AMD’s Richland APU entry level model. It features AMD Radeon HD 8370D graphics and two Piledriver cores at 3.7GHz stock clock speed with a turbo up to 3.9GHz Turbo mode. The A4 4400 also features a locked base clock multiplier.

As far as the physical design goes you can clearly see above that nothing has changed, with the AMD Richland APUs looking identical to FM1 Llano, FM2 Trinity and AM3+ socket CPU. AMD Richland APUs will be backwards compatible with the FM2 socket, except they may require a BIOS update to function properly on older chipset motherboards.

It is believed that most retailers and media publications already have their hands on Richland APUs for the June release which will probably use Computex 2013 as a launch platform . Are you excited for AMD’s Richland release? Will you be buying a Richland APU?

Source

AMD Richland APUs Appearing In OEM Desktop PCs

AMD’s Richland APUs are expected in the near future and although AMD is declining to release any information that hasn’t stopped leaks occurring  through its OEM partners’ websites.

Lenovo’s H535 and H535s pre-built desktop “family friendly” PCs have been spotted on the Lenovo website with AMD Richland APUs in. The AMD A10 6700, A8 6500, A6 6400K and A4 6300 APUs are all listed, although detailed specifications are missing. Since they are using the AX-6XXX moniker it would almost categorically confirm they are part of the next gen APU line up.

All we can derive from this is that the A10 6700, A8 6500 and A4 6300 APUs all use locked multipliers while the A6 6400K is the only one with an unlocked multiplier. This is still strange given pre-built desktop PCs from an OEM partner normally discourage overclocking as it has too many associated risks with system reliability, overheating and component longevity.

Interestingly the product page also lists an “AMD 240” and “AMD 340” CPUs which are expected to be Athlon processors, probably both quad cores, based off the FM2 socket. The AMD 240 is probably not the Athlon II X2 240 released way back in 2009 but a newer iteration of the FM2 socket.

The lack of technical details is disappointing but the OEM availability would suggest we will see AMD’s Richland APUs soon.

Source