|AMD A8-5600K APU Trinity Desktop Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Wednesday, 03 October 2012|
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AMD A-Series A8-5600K Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
If you are looking for a great deal on a computer to use as a Media PC or as a PC for someone in your life who dabbles in gaming, the A8-5600K is what you are looking for. If you need your PC for CPU performance more than GPU performance, or if you are planning on buying a nice GPU for gaming, then you should probably look at the Intel Ivy Bridge i3 CPUs. That being said, Trinity accomplishes what it came out to do. Dollar for dollar, I would certainly call it a better value than its Intel equivalent.
The A8-5600K came very close to the Intel i3-3220 in terms of performance. Very close indeed. In the pure CPU tests, it even surpassed the i3-3220 a couple of times. For the most part, however, it fell slightly behind. Not by much, mind you, but it was behind. The GPU performance was outstanding, though. As an all-on-die solution, the A8-5600K really excels. The A8-5600K really is the whole package. The distance that it puts between itself and the i3-3220 in GPU performance more than makes up for the amount it trails in CPU performance.
As for construction, it's a little difficult to rate the A8-5600K. It's built very similarly to the previous generation APUs, with a lot taken from the FX CPUs. That being said, AMD has always lagged behind Intel in shrinking their processes and the A8-5600K still uses a 32nm process. Also, as is natural with the processor fabrication process, the earlier iterations of CPUs tend to experience a lower yield until some of the kinks have been worked out. Intel also has this in its favor since Ivy Bridge has been out for a while.
Unfortunately, I was unable to spend as much time as I would like on overclocking the A8-5600K. It is an unlocked processor and there is a lot to try out. Because of that, I didn't include an overclocking section in this review and I will not pass judgment on the overclockability of the A8-5600K just yet. All signs point to some good overclocking in the near future, so you can expect another article with those details soon.
Functionally, the A8-5600K is very robust. With the increase in encryption performance that AMD stressed on this second generation of APUs, you can really depend on the A8-5600K for just about anything you need. As an internet browsing, YouTube watching, small-time gaming, Netflix and Hulu machine, the A8-5600K offers more than you will ever need. If you plan on bumping up your gaming or using very CPU intensive software, then you probably already have something else in mind that will cost quite a bit more.For $109.99 (Newegg), I just have to recommend the A10-5800K instead. Its a hard decision for me, but I'd spend the extra $20 every single time. I think $109.99 is an amazing price and the A8-5600K is a great value, especially seeing that the A8-3850 released at nearly $150 last year. The A8-5600K is priced to move, but the A10-5800K is priced even better.
Pros:+ Discrete level 7660D graphics
+ CPU performance on par with Ivy Bridge i3-3220
+ Can use dual Discrete GPUs in x8/x8
+ Memory support up to 1866MHz
+ Supports 8 native SATA III ports
- No backwards compatibility with FM1
- Late market entry
- No Native Virtu MVP support
- You can run two Discrete GPUs, but can't pair those two with the APU graphics
- Drop it another $10 and we'll talk
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
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