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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors
Written by Hank Tolman   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD A8-5600K APU Trinity Desktop Processor
AMD FM2 Chipsets - A85X, A75, A55
Processor Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.1 Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
DX10 Gaming Benchmarks
DX11 Gaming Benchmarks
Video Transcoding Tests
A8-5600K Power and Temperature
AMD A8-5600K APU Final Thoughts
AMD A-Series A8-5600K Conclusion

AMD FM2 Chipsets - A85X, A75, A55

If you are familiar with last year's AMD FM1 platform, you'll recognize that the A55 and A75 chipsets stuck around for the FM2 platform. Nothing has changed on those two chipsets, except that they will use the FM2 socket for the FM2 platform. Like I talked about last week, the FM1 and FM2 sockets are not compatible with each other, as we have seen on previous AMD socket updates. Considering the fact that Intel went just the opposite and made the Sandy and Ivy bridge CPUs backwards compatible, I'd say that's a step backwards for AMD.

Since the A75 and A55 chipsets haven't changed at all, let's take a look at the A85X.


Not much has changed when moving to the A85X chipset either, though. What the A85X does is brings a few more enthusiast and gaming level features to the Fusion platforms. That being said, the A75 chipset could certainly be used by gamers as well.

With the release of the FM2 APUs, AMD has specified which processors they have targeted for which chipsets. According to AMD, the A55 chipset is targeted for use with the A4 and A6 series APUs. The A75 chipset is targeted for the A6 and A8 APUs and the A85X chipset targets the A8 and the A10 series APUs. There is a little bit of overlap there, as you can see.


Even though AMD touts the A85X chipset as targeting enthusiast and performance users, it really doesn't bring a whole lot more onboard. The reason for that is that the APUs have most of their functionality built right into the processor. The old "northbridge" is now a function of the CPU and the A85X chipset is really just a functioning "southbridge", now known as the Fusion Controller Hub (FCH). Since the APU controls almost everything, the FCH brings in the use of external controllers and connections.


The A85X chipset brings with the ability to use a second PCI-Express GPU slot. The total number of lanes remains the same, however, so if you use two PCI-Express slots for GPUs, you'll be running at x8 and x8. Using a single discrete GPU, you'll still be able to run it at x16 of course. In addition to adding the use of another PCI-Express slot, the A85X chipset brings with it a full complement of eight SATA III 6Gb/s ports. That's up from six on the A75 chipset and zero on the A55 chipset. All the SATA ports on the A55 chipset are SATA II. With those SATA III ports also comes RAID 5 support, absent on the A75 chipset. The USB connectivity remains the same between the A75 and A85X chipsets with support for 4 USB 3.0 ports, 10 USB 2.0 ports, and 2 USB 1.1 ports.


The odd thing about AMD keeping the A75 and A55 chipsets with the FM2 socket is going to be the motherboard naming conventions. Just because a motherboard says it has an A75 chipset doesn't necessarily mean that it is a Piledriver FM2 motherboard. It could be a Llano motherboard, supporting only FM1 APUs. Because of that, you'll have to keep on your toes. I don't expect too many A55 FM2 motherboards, but just beware that when you are searching for your next upgrade, if it doesn't say FM2 or A85X, it may not support your Trinity APU.



# RE: AMD A8-5600K APU Trinity Desktop ProcessorLinus 2012-10-04 05:34
Happy to see some processor and videocard combinations in the benchmarks. Most other sites just used processors with the integrated graphics. This review actually shows the difference between the new Trinity processors and an Intel chip with a discrete video card. Great review!

(I think you might have a typo in the page index; the second DirectX link should be DX11?)
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# Raid 5?David Simpson 2012-10-08 09:48
Has anyone seen any reviews using the raid 5 of the A85X chip? I'd really like to know how well it works
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# RE: Raid 5?pantau 2012-11-22 11:23
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# RE: RE: Raid 5?David Simpson 2012-11-24 16:55
Well, I went ahead and built a 3 drive RAID with the new 2TB WD RED drives. Seems OK to me, but I'm not sure how to make a good test of the array.

It was a pain to get my SSD boot drive to work though, still not sure it's set correctly.
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# RE: AMD A8-5600K APU Trinity Desktop Processorstupidfuckingrequirement 2013-03-13 09:08
Would be very nice if there were some A85X mini ITX motherboards that had integrated WIFI and Bluetooth since there are no expansion slots and I am not interested in sacrificing two USB ports to get these basic wireless connectivity radios.
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# runs kool ???????????george 2013-06-21 09:32
dont know where u get your info from but this chip runs hot idle 40-45
playing games round 80 so where do u get the 53 when running apps or games
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# RE: runs kool ???????????David Simpson 2013-06-21 10:50
Max temp would depend on the cooling system. My Core i7-3930K has never gone over 45C (12x prime95), as I know how to cool a CPU. On the other hand, with no cooler, a 2GHz "cool" chip will overheat. I don't think any of my A10-xxxx's have ever gone over 50C, even at 100% CPU/GPU.
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# RE: AMD A8-5600K APU Trinity Desktop Processorgeorge 2013-06-21 11:09
we r talking about the a8 5600k right ??? i have i7 2600k and it never reaches 54 during game play via bf3 and at idle im 24 but this amd a8 5600k hits 80-85 during gameplay idle is round 40-44 so looking at ther numbers its safe to say idle temp doubles during intence gameplay
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# RE: RE: AMD A8-5600K APU Trinity Desktop ProcessorDavid Simpson 2013-06-21 11:33
I currently only have A10-5800K, but since it's just a faster and there for hotter version, but I'm not seeing those temps. What cooler are you using. I haven't used a factory cooler in 20 years.
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