When it comes to building PCs, the enthusiast builds that we here at LanOC focus a lot on are only a small part of the market. A lot of builds don’t require 6+ cores and multiple GPUs. In fact a lot of people don’t need or want dedicated GPUs at all. AMD and Intel both recognize this with their focus on upgrading the integrated graphics of their mainstream CPUs and APUs. When AMD sent over their new Richland-based APUs, the A10-6800K and A10-6700, I was excited to see how they compare to previous APUs we have taken a look at and to see if the APU would be capable of any gaming without adding a dedicated GPU.
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
AMD coined the APU name three years ago with its Llano based APUs, three years later we are now taking a look at the Richland APUs. If you look at the photo below its clear that the majority of the platform changes happened between Llano and Trinity; Richland is just an extension of that. The original Llano ran on the FM1 platform while Trinity and now Richland both run on the FM2 socket. It’s always a nice bonus when CPU and APU changes don’t mean changes to your motherboards, although generally when you are replacing one you are replacing the other anyhow.
Richland much like Trinity features up to 4 “Piledriver” 32nm cores, up to 128 KB L1 Cache, two 128-bit FPUs (compute modules) and up to 4 MB of L2 cache. The APUs have around 1.3 billion transistors according to AMD (I didn’t count) and are available in 65 and 100 watt configurations. They packed all of those transistors into a die size of 246m2. Part of those of course are dedicated to the compute cores while the rest are dedicated to the built in VLIW 4 architecture, A.K.A. an HD 8000 Series GPU. It all adds up to a maximum of 779 GFLOPS of processing power.
Turbo Charged x86 architecture featuring “Piledriver” cores
-Supports up to 4 cores and support for the latest ISA instructions including FMA4/3, AVX, AES, XOP
-Up to 2MB L2 cache per dual-core module (up to 4MB total)
-Max Turbo Frequencies up to 4.4 GHz
-Configurable via AMD OverDrive1
AMD Radeon™ HD 8000 Series GPU Cores
-Featuring VLIW 4 architecture
-Up to 384 shaders
-Up to 844MHz
-Up to 8xAA and 16AF support
-Controllable via AMD OverDrive1
New DDR3-2133 support on A10 APUs
Enhanced AMD Turbo Core
-More Frequency/Voltage levels for CPU and x86 cores
-Temperature Smart Turbo Core
-New bottleneck detect algorithms
-Controllable via AMD OverDrive
UVD and VCE
-Video Encode and Decode Hardware to offload CPU
-AMD Picture Perfect support with HD Post Processing technologies
Support for latest display technologies
-AMD Eyefinity technology for 3+1 monitor support
-Display Port 1.2 support
AMD CrossFire support with AMD A85X motherboards
AMD Memory Profile support (auto select memory timings in select DIMMs)
AMD Dual Graphics support with AMD Radeon™ HD 6450, 6570, and 6670 graphics cards
Here are the details on the Richland product line. As you can see there are 5 different APUs ranging in price from $142 to $69 that will get you 2 or 4 cores on the compute side of things with only a slight difference in compute power on each model. If you look at the chart below you will see other differences between the models like the three different GPUs found in the range as well as differences in TDP and in the case of the A10-6800K you also get a higher Max DDR3 speed as well as an unlocked core for overclocking.
Along with the different GPUs available in the five different APUs you can also complement them by adding a discrete graphics card and running a hybrid Crossfire configuration. The charge below breaks down what video cards will go with what APU. Our A10 APUs for example would run best with an HD 6670 or HD 6570.