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The run up to Computex has been insane. Kabini, Haswell and Iris hit us back to back to back, not to mention all of the travel before receiving those products to get briefed on everything. Needless to say, we're in major catchup mode. There's a lot more that I wanted to do with Haswell desktop that got cut out due to Iris, and much more I wanted to do with Iris that I had to scrap in order to fly out to Computex. I will be picking up where I left off later this month, but with WWDC, Samsung and a couple of NDA'd events later this month, it's not going to be as quick as I'd like.

One part that arrived while I was in the middle of launch central was AMD's Richland for desktop. Effectively a refresh of Trinity with slightly higher clocks, a software bundle and more sophisticated/aggressive turbo. Richland maintains socket compatibility with Trinity (FM2), so all you should need is a BIOS update to enable support for the chip. AMD sent over two Richland parts just before I left for Computex: the 100W flagship A10-6800K and the 65W A10-6700. I didn't have time to do Richland justice before I left, however I did make sure to test the 6800K in tandem with Haswell's GPU just so I had an idea of how things would stack up going forward as I was writing my Iris Pro conclusion.

For all intents and purposes, Iris Pro doesn't exist in the desktop space, making Haswell GT2 (HD 4600) the fastest socketed part with discrete graphics that Intel ships today. In our Haswell desktop review I didn't get a chance to really analyze HD 4600 performance, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to refresh the current state of desktop integrated processor graphics. Unlike the staggered CPU/GPU launch of Trinity on the desktop, the situation with Richland is purely a time limitation on my end. This was all I could put together before I left for Computex.

Although Richland comes with a generational increase in model numbers, the underlying architecture is the same as Trinity. We're still talking about Piledriver modules and a Cayman derived GPU. It won't be until Kaveri that we see GCN based processor graphics from AMD at this price segment (Kabini is already there).

As Jarred outlined in his launch post on Richland, the 6800K features 4 - 8% higher CPU clocks and a 5% increase in GPU clocks compared to its predecessor. With improved Turbo Core management, AMD expects longer residency at max turbo frequencies but you shouldn't expect substantial differences in performance on the GPU side. The A10-6800K also includes official support for DDR3-2133. AMD is proud of its valiation on the A10-6800K, any parts that won't pass at DDR3-2133 are demoted to lower end SKUs. I never spent a ton of time testing memory overclocking with Trinity, but my A10-5800K sample had no issues running at DDR3-2133 either. I couldn't get DDR3-2400 working reliably however.

AMD Elite A-Series Desktop APUs, aka Richland
Model A10-6800K A10-6700 A8-6600K A8-6500 A6-6400K A4-4000
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Base Freq 4.1 3.7 3.9 3.5 3.9 3.0
Max Turbo 4.4 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 3.2
TDP 100W 65W 100W 65W 65W 65W
Graphics HD 8670D HD 8670D HD 8570D HD 8570D HD 8470D ?
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 128
GPU Clock 844 844 844 800 800 724
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 2133 1866 1866 1866    
Price (MSRP) $150 ($142) $149 ($142) $120 ($112) $119 ($112) $80 $46

Just to put things in perspective, here are the previous generation Trinity desktop APUs:

AMD Trinity Desktop APUs
Model A10-5800K A10-5700 A8-5600K A8-5500 A6-5400K A4-5300
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Base Freq 3.8 3.4 3.6 3.2 3.6 3.4
Max Turbo 4.2 4.0 3.9 3.7 3.8 3.6
TDP 100W 65W 100W 65W 65W 65W
Graphics HD 7660D HD 7660D HD 7560D HD 7560D HD 7540D HD 7480D
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 128
GPU Clock 800 760 760 760 760 723
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 2133 1866 1866 1866    
Current Price $130 $129 $110 $105 $70 $55

For my Richland test platform I used the same Gigabyte UD4 Socket-FM2 motherboard I used for our desktop Trinity review, simply updated to the latest firmware release. I ran both AMD platforms using the same Catalyst 13.6 driver with the same DDR3-2133 memory frequency. AMD was quick to point out that only the A10-6800K ships with official DDR3-2133 support, so the gap in performance between it and Trinity may be even larger if the latter tops out at DDR3-1866. The HD 4000/4600 numbers are borrowed from my Iris Pro review using DDR3-2400, however I didn't notice scaling on Haswell GT2 beyond DDR3-1866.

I'll be following up with a more thorough look at Richland once I'm back from my current bout of traveling.

Gaming Performance
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  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    No, the comparison is absolutely meaningless. You are saying that someone's decision to buy a Core i7 4770 is influenced by the iGPU. It is not. Reply
  • Ortanon - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    The comparison isn't for people buying Core i7 lol. You wouldn't need a comparison if you were already going to buy it. The comparison is exactly what it says: Radeon HD 8670D vs. Intel HD 4600. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    That's what I said. He is saying the price between the two should also matter. And as you say, people buying a Core i7 are not comparing iGPUs. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    The comparison in question is not the article... It's the price comparison, go back to the beginning of the thread. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Unless you're very much interested in QuickSync, that is. Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    1080p monitors can be found even bellow 100$ ,there isn't really a point in reviewing desktop anything bellow 1080p. going lower to find where a game becomes playeble is fine but the review should have 1080p tests even if the products are not good enough.
    Would be nice if Kaveri would double the SP count but AMD might be going for a smaller die to cut costs given their difficult financial situation. Wouldn't quite match the Xbox in perf but would be close enough and could do a decent job at playing console ports for the next few years.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Why test at a resolution where you're not going to get playable frame rates? If you can only get playable frame rates @ 768p by running medium quality, I'm pretty sure it's going to be unplayable at anything other than low / minimum @ 1080p. Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    that's one of the points ,"you are pretty sure" not sure because the review doesn't do it's job to show you for sure and if you want a clear picture you need to look elsewhere. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Considering that nothing here is playable at 900p, it is quite possible to extrapolate that 1080p won't be playable either. So I'm pretty fine with them not testing it. If you get a $150 APU to play the latest games at 1080p (a resolution much larger than current consoles support in gaming, might I add), you are deluded. Reply
  • britjh22 - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Are the tests currently set up to show higher res but lower detail settings? I know there is a set benchmark settings that they use to normalize, which is fine for high end CPU/mid to high end GPU testing. If I remember correctly the setting, as they climb in "quality" (low, medium, high) increase both resolution and detail concurrently. With Trinity/Richland and eventually Kaveri, it would be interesting to see if these APU's can handle recent games at higher resolution, but lower detail settings. Essentially can you get any recent games to play at common resolutions, even if you have to crank down settings. Reply

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