|AMD A10-6800K APU Richland Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Wednesday, 05 June 2013|
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Wireless Capabilities of Richland APUs
There are a couple of new technologies that AMD has implemented with the Richland APUs, and more specifically with the Radeon HD 8000 on-die graphics, that I think are worth discussing here. The first is Miracast support. Miracast is also called AMD Wireless Display, and can be used with any compatible motherboard using Broadcomm or Atheros wireless adapters. This wireless display technology is controlled from the AMD VISION Engine Control Center (Catalyst). Obviously, your display, whether it is a monitor or a TV, would have to be compatible as well, containing a Broadcomm or Atheros adapter. Once connected through the Control Center, your computer is usable wirelessly on your display.
While this technology would be nice for just about anyone, I think it really has potential in the HTPC market. The on-die graphics on the Richland APUs are perfect for HTPC level graphics anyway, and the wireless display technology would allow you to hide away the box. Using a wireless keyboard and mouse, or an HTPC remote control, the only cord that would have to be plugged into the system would be the power cable. Considering the massive mess of cables smashed between my desk and the wall, this would actually be a great idea for an office computer as well. AMD A series processors are also great for office environments.
Another new, and similar, technology available with AMD APUs is Personal Cloud Gaming. AMD partnered with Splashtop, a remote desktop software manufacturer, to allow APU users to game remotely on a laptop or tablet. Basically, AMD's accelerated Splashtop version can be loaded onto your mobile device and you would connect your main system (an APU based system) to the mobile device through Splashtop. You should then be able to play your games over the network on your mobile devices.
AMD notes that there may be latency issues depending on wireless connectivity. They also recommend, of course, AMD based tablets and laptops for use with the Personal Cloud Gaming technology. Another issue that you might run into is the need for a keyboard and mouse, or another controller, to play the games you want to play. Splashtop does offer a more expensive version of their software that supports a virtual controller and keypad so that you can use your tablet or phone and keep the controls on-screen.
Dual Graphics Configurations
Now is also a good point to discuss CrossfireX dual-graphics configurations using the built-in graphics on the A-Series APUs. As we know from the previous generations of APU, one of the features is the ability to pair another AMD discrete GPU with the on-die graphics and without having to use a third-party program or controller like Lucid Virtu. Of course, more and more motherboard manufacturers are starting to offer products with Lucid functionality built in. This offers a much more robust ability for graphical pairing than the dual-graphics configurations available natural with the AMD APUs.
In fact, AMD is a little unclear with what discrete GPUs can be paired with the A10-6800K and its on-die Radeon HD 8670D graphics. The recommendation is to pair it with a Radeon HD 6670 or a Radeon HD 6570. I don't happen to have either of those GPUs on hand, especially considering that those are very outdated GPUs at this point. I haven't had a chance to see if the necessary profiles are available to enable dual-graphics with a 7000 series Radeon HD GPU. From the benchmarks provided by AMD, it looks like pairing a 6670 with the AMD A10-6800K can significantly increase performance, at the very least making new games like Tomb Raider or BioShock Infinite actually playable.
I tried to pair the AMD A10-6800K with both a Radeon HD 7850 and a Radeon HD 7790, but I was unable to do so.