Today marks the launch of AMD’s newest Fusion APU series, the successor to their Llano APU’s and codenamed Trinity. With up to four physical X86 cores and very respectable discrete-class graphics, the A-series processors may very well change the face of low-budget gaming computers.
Still reeling from the disappointment that was their FX of desktop CPUs, AMD is clearly hoping that Trinity—which has been available in mobile form factors for several months now, but has only just been released for desktops—and its much more powerful onboard graphics will sway potential Intel customers away from the Pentium and Core i3 processors in the same price range. The past week has seen benchmarks of the Radeon 7660D and 7560D (in the A10 and A8 APUs, respectively) that show massive performance boosts over Intel’s HD4000 and HD2500 integrated graphics, so we already know that AMD hasn’t disappointed on that front. Today’s release of CPU benchmarks show that the $130 A10-5800k will trade blows with Intel’s recently-released Ivy Bridge i3-3220, while the lower-end A8-5600k ($101) lies somewhere between the Pentium G850 and the i3-2100. Both are fairly respectable results, although Intel’s chips are still undeniably more powerful (and more efficient) on the CPU side. The margin, however, is shrinking, and the differing balance of compromise between CPU and IGP performance mean that the i3 and the A10 serve two different markets.
One major benefit AMD offers with the Trinity APUs is the ability to overclock. Like Black Edition Phenom processors, the A6, A8, and A10 processors are available in unlocked forms (labeled, like Intel’s, with a -k suffix), greatly increasing the performance potential. Intel’s processors are all multiplier-locked below the $229 i5-3570k (or the slightly older Sandy Bridge i5-2500k), so there’s no possibility of overclocking an i3 apart from highly restricted base-clock modifications. Both the CPU and GPU are overclockable; AMD’s internal efforts have resulted in a stable 6.2GHz (on liquid nitrogen, of course) on the A10’s CPU and 1.05Ghz on the GPU. All processors—even the locked SKUs—have a “turbo boost” ability that will automatically raise clock speed when necessary, up to 4.2GHz on the A10-5800k. Anandtech has managed 4.4Ghz on the aforementioned A10, although this was using a stock heatsink assembly. More powerful cooling systems should enable overclockers to squeeze a few hundred extra MHz out of the chip. Memory overclocking is also possible, and although 1866MHz is natively supported, speeds up to 2133 MHz and beyond are possible with some tweaking. And unlike most other systems, high-speed RAM will make a noticeable difference with Trinity processors, as it is also being used as VRAM.
Notably, the new Trinity APUs are Eyefinity-capable, meaning the onboard graphics are able to run up to 3 monitors on its own. In a demo for Newegg.com, AMD had an A10 system running Torchlight II at max settings on three monitors and achieving a perfectly playable 32FPS. And while Torchlight II is not by any measure the most demanding game on the market, this performance is still a milestone for onboard graphics.
In terms of power consumption, the more powerful graphics chip on Trinity APUs mean increased power consumption compared to i3 and Pentium processors on their own (100W vs 65W); however, they should undercut the power needs of an Intel processor/low-end GPU combination (up to 135W total).
Like Llano before it, Trinity APUs support what AMD calls Hybrid Crossfire, which uses the onboard 7-series D graphics alongside a dedicated GPU (possibilities include the Radeon HD 6670 and below) to boost performance. We’ve seen last-gen Llano Hybrid Crossfire systems (A8+6670) push framerates comparable to midrange enthusiast video cards, so Trinity’s improved GPU performance promises even better hybrid results. The usual multi-GPU problems, however, still come up: unsupported games, driver issues, and microstuttering, so a Hybrid Crossfire solution may to some people be more trouble than it’s worth.
All in all, if you’re looking for a budget gaming platform with a dedicated graphics card (AMD 7750/GT640 or better), a Pentium G850 + GPU combo is still the better choice. And outside the budget market, AMD still has no offerings that aren’t soundly smashed by Intel’s i5 and i7 processors. However, for low-power, low-budget or small-form-factor computing, AMD’s Trinity APUs may strike the perfect balance of computing and graphical capability.
Watch the Newegg.com Trinity launch video and read AMD’s press release below:
New AMD A-Series Processors Bring Faster Speeds, High Core Count and AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series Graphics to Do-It-Yourself PC Enthusiasts and Gamers
SUNNYVALE, Calif. —10/2/2012 AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced retail and distribution channel availability of its second generation AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for desktop, small form-factor and home theater PCs. These new APUs target do-it-yourself (DIY) PC builders, mainstream gamers and value-added resellers who want to upgrade their PC infrastructure with affordable performance, discrete-level graphics, multiple cores and fast processing for outstanding responsiveness.
The second generation desktop AMD A-Series APU is available at prices ranging from $53 to $122 USD1. Compared to similarly priced competitive offerings, the new APUs offer more cores, more speed, best-in-class entertainment experiences and an easy upgrade path based on a stable socket infrastructure2. AMD APU users also gain access to the AMD AppZone and a comprehensive list of accelerated applications that leverage the full compute power of the APU. With hardware-accelerated support for DirectX® 11 on AMD Radeon™ graphics and AMD Eyefinity technology delivering a more immersive experience, the AMD A-Series APUs are the ideal solution for systems running the highly-anticipated Microsoft Windows® 8 and today’s Microsoft Windows® 7 operating systems.
“The new AMD A-Series APU is ideal for anyone looking for a new desktop or home theater PC with leading performance for the dollar,” said Leslie Sobon, corporate vice president, Desktop and Component Products, AMD. “The combination of processing speed, multiple compute cores and discrete-level graphic capabilities on the second generation AMD A-Series APU make it an excellent platform for the gamer and PC enthusiast alike.”
More Cores, More Speed and More Value
The second generation AMD A-Series APU provides higher performance and capabilities over the first generation:
- More than 700 GFLOPS of compute performance3;
- Up to 4.2 GHz max frequency;
- Unlocked Central Processing Unit (CPU) with AMD OverDrive™ software for up to 6.5 GHz of extreme overclocking performance4.
With CPU and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) AMD Turbo Core 3.0 Technology, the second generation AMD A-Series APU performance is improved by allowing frequencies of the GPU and CPU cores to automatically increase. PC users looking for ultimate control tweaking their system can use the AMD OverDrive software application to overclock both the CPU and the GPU, and also increase the memory frequency to deliver a superior gaming experience.
Better Video and Gaming with AMD Radeon Graphics
The second generation AMD A-Series APUs include AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series graphics, providing high-performance discrete-class graphics. These APUs extend AMD’s legacy of gaming leadership with a significant increase in both CPU and GPU performance5 over the previous generation and support for:
- AMD Eyefinity Technology – The only multi-monitor technology that supports a single-surface Windows 8 experience across up to four monitors. For the first time, this immersive technology is available from an APU without the need for a discrete graphics card;
- Industry-leading, high-performance DirectX 11 graphics architecture capable of delivering full 1080p gaming for a life-like level of detail;
- AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics support that delivers a performance boost of up to 75 percent when a discrete graphics card is added to the APU6. The AMD Radeon Dual Graphics option also offers support for DirectX® 9 and 10 for older game titles, and uses new AMD CrossFire™ Application Profiles for easier updates.
Easy Upgrade Path
The second generation desktop AMD A-Series APUs combine AMD’s next-generation “Piledriver” CPU architecture with AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics on the new FM2 motherboard infrastructure to deliver a host of new features and a brilliant visual experience, all on a platform with future upgrade capability.
Three different chipset options are available on motherboards with the FM2 socket, each with a different feature set: AMD A55, A75 and A85X. These chipsets support AMD Memory Profiles which enable graphics memory to run at 1866 MHz, with up to a 266 MHz boost for faster performance.
ASRock: “The new A-Series APUs are a perfect combination of performance and price for PC enthusiasts,” said James Lee, ASRock vice president of Sales and Marketing. “The ASRock FM2 motherboards come with a complete product line supplying those enthusiasts to achieve the highest level of computing. Besides, with ASRock smart X-Boost Technology, overclocking the APU can become a one-button process.
Asus: “Second generation AMD A-Series APUs are ideal for desktop PC builders and mainstream gamers,” said Joe Hsieh, general manager of Asus’ Motherboard Business Unit. “Our award-winning motherboards outfitted with these leading processors provide customers an immersive experience, easy upgrade path and affordable price.”
ECS: “The performance, price and upgrade options of the second generation AMD A-Series APUs should make these products wildly popular with a wide range of PC enthusiasts who are building a new system or about to upgrade his or her system,” said David Chien, vice president of ECS Channel Business Unit. “We look forward to supplying those enthusiasts with the stability and performance features of our special gold-plated A85F2-A Golden FM2 motherboard.”
GIGABYTE: “With AMD’s second generation APU platform, GIGABYTE is bringing several exclusive technologies to an AMD platform for the first time, including our new Ultra Durable 5 technology and Digital Power delivery,” commented Henry Kao, vice president of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. “These technologies help ensure GIGABYTE FM2 series motherboards will get the absolute maximum graphics and processing performance from AMD’s new and exciting A-Series APUs.”
MSI: “Combining second generation AMD A-Series APUs with MSI’s new FM2 mainboards creates a platform that offers an unprecedented level of flexibility and gaming performance, especially with easy-to-use features like MSI OC Genie,” said Ted Hung, MSI vice president of Mainboard Department. “We are ready to impress the market with stable, high performance products that are a great home for AMD’s new APUs.”
Details and Availability
Starting today, the following AMD A-Series APUs are available from AMD’s channel partners and retailers worldwide:
|AMD A-Series Component Desktop APUs|
|APU Model||AMD Radeon™ Brand||TDP||CPU Cores||CPU Clock (Max/Base)||AMD Radeon™ Cores||GPU Clock||L2 Cache||Max DDR3 Memory Support||Suggested Retail Pricing|
|A10-5800K||HD 7660D||100W||4||4.2 GHz / 3.8 GHz||384||800 MHz||4MB||1866 MHz||$122|
|A10-5700||HD 7660D||65W||4||4.0 GHz / 3.4 GHz||384||760 MHz||4MB||1866 MHz||$122|
|A8-5600K||HD 7560D||100W||4||3.9 GHz / 3.6 GHz||256||760 MHz||4MB||1866 MHz||$101|
|A8-5500||HD 7560D||65W||4||3.7 GHz / 3.2 GHz||256||760 MHz||4MB||1866 MHz||$101|
|A6-5400K||HD 7540D||65W||2||3.8 GHz / 3.6 GHz||192||760 MHz||1MB||1866 MHz||$67|
|A4-5300||HD 7480D||65W||2||3.6 GHz / 3.4 GHz||128||724 MHz||1MB||1600 MHz||$53|
- Find photos and other support materials on the second generation A-Series APU
- Read a DIY blog from AMD’s John Taylor
- Check out demos of AMD APUs on the AMD YouTube Channel
- Folllow all news from the AMD on Twitter at @AMD_Unprocessed
AMD (NYSE: AMD) is a semiconductor design innovator leading the next era of vivid digital experiences with its groundbreaking AMD Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that power a wide range of computing devices. AMD’s server computing products are focused on driving industry-leading cloud computing and virtualization environments. AMD’s superior graphics technologies are found in a variety of solutions ranging from game consoles, PCs to supercomputers. For more information, visit http://www.amd.com.
AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, AMD Overdrive, AMD CrossFire, Radeon and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.
- AMD suggested retail pricing
- The Quad-core AMD A10-5800K using AMD Turbo Core technology has a maximum frequency of 4.2 GHz with a suggested retail price of $122 as compared to the Dual-core Intel Core i3 2120 / 3220 with a maximum frequency of 3.3 GHz (Intel Turbo Boost technology is not available for the Intel Core i3 family of processors) and a retail price of $124.99. Intel pricing on TigerDirect.com on 9/26/2012: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3734679&csid=_61
- GFLOPS calculations developed by AMD performance labs measuring compute capacity for the AMD A10-5800K desktop APU which is 736 GFLOPS. AMD GFLOPS calculated using GFLOPs = CPU GFLOPs + GPU GFLOPS = CPU Core Freq. (3.8GHz) X Core Count (4) X 8 FLOPS + GPU Core Freq.(800MHz) X DirectX® 11 capable Shader Count (384) X 2 FLOPS TRD-38
- 6.5 GHz reached on an AMD A10-5800K with AMD Radeon™ HD 7660D Graphics, 2x4GB DDR3 1866, Windows 7 64bit using LN2 cooling @ 1.85V. AMD’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking, even when overclocking is enabled with AMD hardware or software.
- Testing conducted by AMD performance labs using PCMark®7 from Futuremark® benchmark, the AMD A10-5800K APU with AMD Radeon™ HD 7660D Graphics scored 4079 while the AMD A8-3850 APU with AMD Radeon™ HD 6550D Graphics scored 3226 . All scores rounded to the nearest whole number.
- Testing conducted by AMD performance labs using DiRT 3™ @ 1280×1024, DirectX®11 under medium settings. The AMD A10-5800K APU with an AMD Radeon™ HD 6570 in AMD Dual Graphics mode scored and average of 92.62 FPS while the AMD A10-5800K APU with only the AMD Radeon™ HD 6570 Graphics card enabled scored an average of 52.63. Test configuration with AMD Dual Graphics enabled and disabled: Pre-production engineering sample AMD A10-5800K APU with AMD Radeon™ HD 7660D Graphics, AMD Radeon™ HD 6570 graphics card, 2x4GB DDR3-1866, 7200rpm Hard Drive with Windows® 7 64 bit on AMD “Annapurna” reference design. TRD-18