Richland Review

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hypersonic

My brother owns a HP pavilion (2006) & runs win8pro. I hope to rip the insides out and install AMD's APU Kaveri platform sometime in 2014. If anything it'll be a lot cheaper than Intel & NVidia, that's for sure.
No one will think to steal this 'brick' of a laptop but the battery life will be unheard of given it'll be a week between recharges !
Besides, computers are like people, looks aren't everything, its what's inside that counts !

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PCLinuxguy

AMD's APUs are underrated. I picked up a $400 Asus with a Trinity A8 APU and FWIW it's a decent mid-range gaming laptop. I added 4GB more Ram to it for personal taste as well as an SSD, but even before I did those things it was still pretty impressive for the price.

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JimmyD1964

Very good job, Gordon.
I am now thinking my wife's next computer will be an AMD APU to replace her 1065T and ASUS-6670, although it does fine for her "Steam" Casino Games. I want it for an HTPC.
But then again I could give her my 8150 and Crossfire 7770's, because I want the next FX chip :)
I am almost 62. My next upgrade will probably last until my Personal Warranty expires and my PSU stops pumping out watts.
I guess you could let my subscription run out then Gordon :[
My last words will be "AMD TO THE END" or maybe uuuuuugggg! (LOL)
Jim

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StaggeredSix

I'll be honest, I prefer AMD over Intel. AMD is not gunning for top tier CPU performance in the chips it makes. The APU is a FANTASTIC deal for the average person playing some silly games. I've sold quite a few PCs with the APUs and people love them. The chips are dirt cheap, they can do pretty much anything you want them to and they can do some gaming to boot. AMD is not putting Intel in the crosshairs here, they are carving out a nice market for people looking for an alternative to an oversized GPU that blows heat and sags like grannys old boobs. If someone who reads the article is looking for a pretty nifty and cheap part I'd go with it. If you dont NEED the power of descrete graphics then don't waste your money on it.

I have an 8150 with 16 gigs of ram and a 7970. It's all underwater and I enjoy it. I love my 3x1 eyefinity and wouldn't turn back. Just because I didn't spend $500-1000 more on my PC doesn't mean it wont do the same thing an Intel based machine will do. All of my laptops have been Intel based with an nVidia gpu, and I have loved them as well. Stop the hate.

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herk427

So the A10 alone out performs the A10+580 in hitman looks like AMD don't plan on playing well with others. Good thing The next generation of games is not developed for this A10 oh wait...

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lordmidnight

I hate to do this, but "peddle" means "to sell." The word you're looking for here is "pedal," which is a foot-operated control of some kind. Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. Sheldon moment over. Thank you.

By the way, if you guys need a copy editor, I'm available!

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markstrelecki

Nice article Gordon. You're just getting better with age, brother.

I also like to see mentions of workloads that do and do not benefit from a particular architecture or design (video rendering, go Intel; photoshow stuff, AMD OK). This plain talk goes a LONG way to helping techies and non-techies get the most bang for their hardware buck, and does not require interpretation or further research on the part of those of us who are charged with building and implementing this stuff.

I've respected your senior technical engineering perspectives since the boot magazine days, and will always look to you for the no bullshit explanation that has become your hallmark.

Keep up the great work, man. You are one of a kind.

MARK STRELECKI
Atlanta, GA.

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joeyjr

Pretty good tests.

Power usage could have been added for an added comparison of an even more indept look at the hole story.

Thanks Gordon

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WessexRaven

Thanks for the review, Gordon. I am looking at building a cheap PC for my parents. They will use it for word processing, facebook, email, surfing. When I visit, I will also play not-so-demanding games like Civ5 and WoW. They currently have my old PC, which is showing it's age. The monitor, case, PS, DVD drives, etc are all good. Just need a new CPU, RAM, mobo and maybe discreet graphics. I was thinking A10-6800K might remove the need for a graphics card.

QUESTION 1: You and others report that the A10-6800K allows for RAM up to DDR3/2133, which helps it shine in the absence of discreet video. I can't find any FM2 mobos that allow 2133 except in O.C. Do you know of any? Better yet, what is the best currently-available board for this APU? One that allows for USB3 and SATA3 and at least one PCIex16.

QUESTION 2: The HD 7660D inside the Trinity A10-5800K was said to work well with HD6xxx discreet graphics, such as HD 6670, via AMD "Dual Graphics Technology". Have you heard which discreet GPU's work well with the HD 8670D inside the Richland A10-6800K? In case I want to get one.

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gordonung

Any A75 and up board should have SATA 6 as well as USB 3.0. I think there is official support for JEDEC 2133. I suspect 2133 was called "OC" because the boxes were probably printed before a 2133 spec was blessed. Either way, it should work fine.

 

I did not try the a hybrid graphics mode as I did not have the 6670 that attaches to it nor do I think it makes sense. The 6670 is selling for $80-108. I personally think if you really need something that the A10's onboard grahpics can't handle, then it makes sense to invest in something with more punch and just move into the $130-170 range.

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WessexRaven

Thanks for the prompt reply, much appreciated. I'll check out the A75 mobos (and A85 for comparison). Also, I concur with your comment regarding the 6670, especially since I can't even find one for sale. If I need a discreet card, I think the "Best of the Best" budget card recommendation of the HD 7850 would be more than adequate.
Cheers!
John, long time reader

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Xenite

Gordon,

Do you think APU's will ever have the ability to replace the discrete graphics card? Personally, having an APU capable of sharing the system memory sounds great (assuming higher DRAM speeds).

Or do you think heat issues and performance will ever keep this from being a viable option for enthusiast/gamers.

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gordonung

First, they already have that capbility to replace a discrete graphics card. They can run multi-monitor, power 4K displays and actually offer reasonable performance at low settings. I think what mean is can an integrated part/APU ever replace a high-end graphics card right?

 

Never say never, but I think it's pretty close to never unless Nvidia and AMD radically shift their approach to discrete graphics. It looks like HD 5200 is pretty close to GeForce 640/650M in performance. At some point though, Nvidia will just drop out a new part which will make the 640M look like roadkill.  The power and thermal budgets for  discrete budget also can't be touched by integrated graphics. We are like 10 AU's  away from an integrated/APU part ever touching even low-mid-range GPUs. 

 

Now the real problem is this: Nvidia and AMD are fabless. They rely on the third-party fab's ability to keep moving down in process technology. Can TSMC or any number of fabs keep pace with Intel to not too far behind? Intel is on schedule to intro 14nm next year. It's pretty clear that graphics performance is actually very important at Intel right now. What happens if a 14nm Intel part can offer 660 Ti performance? Intel is already the leader in graphics market share due to its integrated parts. If they continue to erode the low-end and eat into the mid-range (which is where Nvidia and AMD ship the most volume) what happens? Titans and 780's really cannot sustain the financials. Intel is relently and is the master of the fab. They don't really have to beat high-end discrete graphics, they just have to continue to eat the big money maker for Nvidia and AMD in the volume "segment."

 

The good news for the graphics vendors is that competition is good for everyone and Intel has a lot of battles to fight right now. Intel is likely  more worried about putting its foot on the throat of ARM than Nvidia or AMD eating into CPU sales as more and more vendors/customers embrace GPU-computing right now.

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Jasker

Are you serious? Why in any world would you run a 6800k with a 580? There are FX parts that do not have GPUs that run much better with dedicated GPUs. They are a much better value, if you are going to use a dedicated GPU. This is pure unadulterated idiocy. Or a terrible attempt at subtle bias. My truck does 0-60 in 14 seconds, WTF!

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gordonung

Speak for yourself. I am currently running a GeForce Titan in that A10 box hooked up to a 4K panel.

 

The point of using the GTX 580 is to show the x86 performance of the CPU when used with a discrete graphics part. And it's not like a 580 is anywhere near a high-end GPU today. They go for under $200 on eBay

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Jasker

Sorry, I just don't get it. What advantages come from using an APU with a dedicated card versus using a plain CPU with a dedicated card. Any CPU inside of an APU, can be had for less money as a plain CPU. The dedicated card can't be used in tandem with the IGP.

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gordonung

That's my problem as well. The graphics inside Richland is actually not bad. Once you add a discrete card card that is above the performance of a Radeon HD 6670 (hybrid crossfire) the best part of the APU gets essentially neutralized. If you're going to go that route, why not just build an AM3+ box using quad-pile drivers and have the ability to run everything from low-end AM3+ parts to high-end AM3+ parts.

If you're saying, why even bother offering an FM2 board with a PCie slot for GPU people would reject that on on a "real" motherboard. In fact, it's been done before. Intel's original 810 "Whitney" IGP had no AGP slot and people screamed bloody murder. Intel came back with 815 which fixed that oversight.

I personally think people will want to know how the chip peforms on its x86 side as well that's why we included those benchmarks.

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Baer

Depends, if you are running a single monitor and are not into high performance gaming then I agree but if you are doing graphics intensive work or gaming across two or three monitors then I would not want the frustration of embedded graphics either in set up or use.
Some of us do not drive trucks!

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MaximumMike

Eventually, AMD has got to bring more than graphics to the table. I guess this a compelling budget part with decent graphics performance. But how many people looking for budget performance care about graphics. If I had to own one or the other in the budget market, I would want to own CPU performance. Here's to hoping AMD will one day return to competitive in that arena.

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warptek2010

I think this chip is perfect for the budget build aimed at someone not too computer savvy that also plays the occasional game. (like my mother-inlaw). She's not exactly rendering a 1080P 3D movie here. Just checking e-mail, surfing the web, Youtube, uploading her photos, MS Office and playing Scrabble through Facebook. Also, not a bad choice for an HTPC.

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PCLinuxguy

Some people just can't think that far, or see the bigger picture, Warp. These APUs are more than adequate for those that need a PC, butonly uses it for casual things that a tablet or smartphone can't do (multitasking or maybe the person needs a bigger screen due to eye sight.) or for a powerful yet not power hungry HTPC with great graphics without spending extra on a dedicated GPU card. Zotac has been using some APUs in their boxes and they seem to be selling well.

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MaximumMike

Yea, but cheaper Intel parts could just as easily fill that role, and would be better on the multitasking side. I guess it would come down to how much you wanted to actually use the computer, as opposed to streaming content from it. Like I said, the AMD part looks like a decent budget part. I just wish AMD would be more competitive on the CPU side of things.

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warptek2010

Thank you. Some people get it, some don't.
In fact, I upgraded my mother in-laws computer to one based on
the A8. She couldn't be happier for the huge performance boost she received going from a single core Pentium and also for all the money I saved her.

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Hilarity

What a shitty CPU. If you need GPU grunt, get an i5 and a dedi GPU. Mystery how APU's even sell, they are hideously unbalanced. Intel, plowing AMD since Core 2.

Disclaimer: My office's PC's all have i5 quads and 16GB RAM. Pffft, budget.

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warptek2010

Yeah, we all know your not biased against AMD. Don't forget to light a candle at Intel's altar tonight and say a prayer, wish for the demise of all their competition.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

wow, a freaking i3 outpaces this thing? *facepalm

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borkbork

lol, maybe you should read the entire article.

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jimofnyc

On your second graphic I think you meant to say "Llano evolved to Trinity and that into Richland"... That being said, My A10-5800K's CPU index is about the same as a Core2 Quad 9550...

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gordonung

Fixed.

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John Pombrio

I am surprised at the progress of Intel in integrated graphics lately. Still not quite there against AMD, but getting closer with each generation.

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tom_m

Yeah, the HD 4600 in Haswell appears to get about twice the performance of the IGP in Ivy Bridge. Portal 2 was playable at 1080p with everything maxed out except for anti-aliasing -- and something "light" like 1X FXAA or SMAA would probably take care of some jagginess without killing framerates.

But yeah, the Richland A10 performs better in such tasks, for about $100 less than the unlocked Haswell i5. It'll be interesting to see how intel populates the *rest* of the Haswell i5 tier. And what if the Haswell i3 can keep up? I have no idea if it will, but it wouldn't shock me.

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lll_ll_l_llll_lll

One's? Really, Gordon?

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The Mac

again with the no conclusion?

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Insula Gilliganis

Conclusion is on the first page under the heading "The Upshot".. "But rather than having you click around looking for the conclusion, we’ll just put it right here." Gordon is sneaky that way.. like Jim Kirk!! It also helps to read the article!!

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vrmlbasic

Only 1600 MHz RAM used in testing? I thought Richland officially supported 1866 - 2133 Mhz. Science calls for a retest :)

I expected more from Hitman:Absolution, both as a game and as a performer on AMD hardware as I thought it was one of those "Made-with-AMD" games. Someday, perhaps in my lifetime, software will both be made and be mainstream that realizes AMD's "grand vision" for how their module architecture should work and we will finally be able to get a "bona fide" benchmark of it.

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gordonung

Not to steer this back to nerd talk, but yes, the A10 would benefit from higher clocked RAM, but so does Intel's IGP so it's not like only one of them would benefit. DDR3/1600 is a very good common clock these days for budget RAM. Unless you're saying test the Intel IGP with maybe DDR/1066 and the AMD part with DDR3/2400?

 

Also, the video we used for our encoding was 1080P video of the St. Louis Ram's walk through in prepartion for Super Bowl XXXVI. 

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vrmlbasic

I'd like to see each chip tested at the maximum RAM speed that it can support, especially if that RAM is available to "mere mortals", as 2133 now is. I'm somewhat surprised that AMD didn't ship some of the 2133 Mhz RAM with the new A10 for testing purposes.

I don't want bias, I want to see the fullest potential of these chips.

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AETAaAS

The review on Toms Hardware was more in depth and properly took into account the RAM parameter; they showed a 10-20% jump in FPS (F1 2012, Skyrim, Tomb Raider and Metro Last Light were tested) when using 2133 RAM against 1866, so it will probably be an even larger gap than against 1600.

So it really counts to get the RAM right with APU systems.

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John Pombrio

That RAM is expensive. Are you saying that folks are going to buy 2133 RAM over a discrete graphics card on a low budget system? Get real.

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Peanut Fox

I'm not so sure about it now, but when I built my machine a year ago I picked up 16GB of 2133MHz (Gskill) memory for just over 100 bucks. I'd imagine even today 8GB of the same stuff would be pretty cheap.

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Calorim

If you look at the cheapest 1600Mhz 2x4gig kits and 2133MHz 2x4gig kits, you will find at most a $12 difference from the cheapest two offerings on the Egg. If you buy decent named RAM the price difference drops to $5 separating the two.

Please tell me where you would get a discrete graphics card for $12 that would out perform the performance boost going from 1600Mhz to 2133Mhz...

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Ilander

Seconded. What's more, the user who buys this processor is not the user that even touches the 5th GB of RAM. Anything over 4GB is wasted on them, as many, many programs still are incapable of passing the 2GB 32-bit limit on RAM usage. So, really, it's $40 versus $35 for RAM.

It is worth mentioning you could get a similar Vishera-based quad core (the FX4300) instead, thus not paying for the graphics. That widens the gap out to about $45 which you could use to buy a refurbished HD 6570.

That second option WOULD perform better, but comes in at about an additional 50 Watts under load, is certainly noisier, and more complex to maintain.

But, it's a fairly moderate upgrade, with more hassle, more size, more power, and more failure-points in your system.

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jgottberg

To hear you consider money as a consideration for buying something is like listening to Tim Tebow extoll the virtues of Satanism.

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The Mac

Freakin Belichick, i dont want that bozo on my Patriots...

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vrmlbasic

Tebow's inclusion might actually ease my ire for the Patriots...

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jgottberg

LOL! Yeah, the guy is a TERRIBLE QB - seems nice enough, but terrible QB. I just don't understand all the hype that guy gets. He played high school ball, college ball and now 4 years in the pros. If he hasn't discovered even a rumor of accuracy yet, I don't think it's gonna happen. It seems like his supporters conveniently forget that completing a pass is kind of a requirement for a QB, lol.

Speaking of bozos... We have Jay Cutler. Enough said. lol!

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The Mac

Cutler played for Denver as well (drafted 11th round 2006) I wonder if there is a patern there.

lol

Tebow was a Heisman winner, but how do you go from the best QB in NCAA to the worst QB in the NFL? its just weird....At least Cutler is better...lol

I just dont want him on the pats because hes a distraction...

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jgottberg

The offense they ran in Florida for Tebow is the farthest thing you'll see from a pro-style offense in the NFL. I think that's the reason success didn't translate from college to the pros for Tebow. It is a shame because he does seem like a good kid.

Hopefully Belichick can keep the hype machine under control. He's off to a good start... Belichick looked like a coroner going over the cause of death in his first press conference. lol

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The Mac

He always looks like that, the guy has all the warmth and personality of a wet sock

He drones....i find my eyes starting to droop a lot during post game interviews...

lol

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limitbreaker

lol you guys seriously talking about sports?

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