|AMD Trinity APU A10-5800K & A8-5600K Preview|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Wednesday, 26 September 2012|
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Closer Look: A10-5800K & A8-5600K
The first new introduction of the Second Generation APUs is the addition of the A10 series. Llano capped out at A8 with the quad-core A8-3870K Black Edition processor at the top. The A10-5800K is one of the first Trinity APUs out the gate. The A10 keeps the quad-cores but bumps up the clock frequency significantly. Where the A8-3870K had a base clock of 3.0GHz, the A10-5800K clocks in at 3.8GHz. Being a Black Edition APU (as you can tell from the K on the end), the A10-5800K can also turbo up to 4.2GHz.
The other APU we got is the A8-5600K. The A8-5600K also provides a dramatic increase in clock speed when compared to its predecessors. The A8-5600K clocks in at 3.6GHz with the ability to turbo up to 3.9GHz. Other than the clock speeds, though, the A10-5800K and the A8-5600K are nearly identical. They both have just over 1.3 billion transistors and a die size of 246mm squared. Both APUs have 4MB of L2 cache and no L3 cache. This is no surprise. AMD entry and mid-level processors typically lack the L3 cache. That is reserved for the high-end AMD CPUs.
The A10-5800K and the A8-5600K both feature MMX, SSE up to 4a, AES instructions, Advanced Bit Manipulation, Advanced Vector Extensions, AVX 1.1, AMD64 Technology, Virtualization technology, Enhanced Virus Protection, and Turbo Core 3.0 Technology. That sounds like a lot, but only the Turbo Core 3.0 Technology is new to the second generation.
The only other difference between the A10-5800K and the A8-5600K comes in the form of the on-die GPU. The A10-5800K comes equipped with the Radeon HD 7660D GPU running at 800MHz and stocked with 384 Radeon cores. The A8-5600K, on the other hand, touts a Radeon HD 7560D GPU running at 760MHz with 256 Radeon Cores. For reference, I've included a table with the details of the currently planned FM2 socket APUs.
The Second Generation A-Series processors also appear to have some pretty good overclock room. According to the documentation that AMD sent us, they got the A10-5800K up to 6.5GHz on liquid nitrogen. I don't know how many AMD A-Series buyers are going to go all out for a LN2 setup, though, so I'll certainly be evaluating the overclock potential on air for myself. You'll be able to see those results in just a couple of short weeks.
Before we get to a couple of gaming benchmarks, let's talk about what really makes the difference in those tests, the GPU. This is where the A-Series processors really shine and really outperform the similarly priced Intel line of processors. As I mentioned above, the A10-5800K and the A8-5600K sport Radeon HD 7000 series discrete-level GPUs. When I reviewed the A8-3850 APU, I noted a couple of things. First off, the discrete level 6550D on the A8-3850 couldn't compete with low-end discrete graphics solutions like the GT430 unless I overclocked it. Also, while the 6550D on the A8-3850 took the Sandy Bridge graphics on the i3-2100 to school, I couldn't compare the two in DX11 tests because Sandy Bridge didn't support DX11. Ivy Bridge supports DX11, so that makes this time different. I'll really be able to show the differences now.
AMD claims that, this time, the discrete level graphics on the A10-5800K and the A8-5600K are more than a match for Ivy Bridge graphics. I don't doubt this at all. They also claim that the A10-5800K's 7660D can outperform the i3 graphics combined with a GT 630. I haven't had a chance to test all those variables yet. Like I said, I got these two APUs less than two prior to the publishing of this article. I did get a chance to check the performance against the 6550D in the A8-3850 and the Intel HD Graphics on the i3-2100.