Over the past few years AMD has invested most of their efforts into their APU line. This has paid off for them in the way of performance improvements every launch and even more importantly this focus helped them score all three of this generations gaming consoles. Considering how many of the PC games that we play today are ports from those consoles AMD is in a great position to benefit from all of the fine tuning done on their console hardware. They recently introduced their Kaveri APUs and after spending some time making changes to our CPU test suite and retesting some of the competition I finally have the chance to sit down and talk about how their latest APU performs both from a compute side of things as well as the performance of the integrated graphics processor.

Product Name: AMD A10-7850K Kaveri

Review Sample Provided by: AMD

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

Specifications

Model

A10-6700K

A10-6800K

A10-7700K

A10-7850K

Core Name

Richland

Richland

Kaveri

Kaveri

Microarchitecture

Piledriver

Piledriver

Steamroller

Steamroller

Socket

FM2

FM2

FM2+

FM2+

CPU Cores

2/4

2/4

2/4

2/4

CPU Base Frequency

3700

4100

3500

3700

Max Turbo

4300

4400

3800

4000

TDP

65W

100W

95W

95W

L1 Cache

128KB I$

64KB D$

128KB I$

64KB D$

192KB I$

64KB D$

192KB I$

64KB D$

L2 Cache

2 x 2 MB

2 x 2 MB

2 x 2 MB

2 x 2 MB

Graphics

HD 8670D

HD 8670D

R7

R7

GPU Cores

384

384

384

512

GPU Clock Speed

844

844

720

720

Max DDR3 Speed

1866

2133

2133

2133

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Our Test Procedures and Test Benches

Our CPU Test Benches for each CPU tested

AMD Socket FM2+

Asus A88-Pro

Kingston HyperX 128GB SSD

Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM

Noctua NH-U14S heatsink

Cooler Master V1000 Power Supply

Nvidia GTX 780 Video Card

Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

AMD Socket FM2

Asus F2 A85-V Pro

OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD

Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM

Noctua NH-U14S heatsink

Cooler Master V1000 Power Supply

Nvidia GTX 780 Video Card

Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

Intel Socket 1150

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming

Kingston HyperX 128GB SSD

Kingston HyperX 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM

Noctua NH-U12S heatsink

Cooler Master V1000 Power Supply

Nvidia GTX 780 Video Card

Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

Intel Socket 1155 (Ivy Bridge)

Crucial Ballistix Tracer Ram 1600Mhz 2x2Gb

Intel DZ77GA-70K

OCZ Agility 3 120Gb SSD

Noctua NH-C14 heatsink

Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850Watt PSU

Two Nvidia GTX580’s for SLI testing

Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

Intel Socket 2011 (Sandy Bridge-E)

Intel DX79SI Motherboard

Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600MHz Quad Channel Ram

Two Kingston HyperX SATA 3 SSD’s in RAID 0

Intel Active Thermal Solution RTS2011LC Water-cooling

Cooler Master Silent PRO Gold 1200w PSU

Nvidia GTX 780 Video Card

Highspeedpc Test Bench

Intel Socket 1155 (Sandy Bridge)

Crucial Ballistix Tracer Ram 1600Mhz 2x2Gb

FATAL1TY P67 Profess1onal Series Motherboard

OCZ Agility 60Gb SSD

Noctua NH-C14 heatsink

Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850Watt PSU

Sapphire HD6970 BF:BC2 Edition for AMD testing

Two Nvidia GTX580’s for SLI testing

Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

Intel Socket 1366

Gigabyte G-1 Assassin Gaming Motherboard

EVGA Classified GTX580 Video card

Cooler Master HAFX Nvidia Edition Case

Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3 Ram 1600MHz

Cool-It Water-cooling

Cooler Master Silent PRO Gold 1200w PSU

Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSD

CPU Testing Procedures

Bioshock Infinite

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Xtreme” quality setting.

Tomb Raider

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Xtreme” quality setting.

Hitman: Absolution

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Xtreme” quality setting.

Sleeping Dogs

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Xtreme” quality setting.

3DMark Vantage

CPU Score- Performance benchmark

3DMark Fire Strike

Physics Score – Performance benchmark

wPrime

1024M and 32M

X264 HD Benchmark

Pass 1 and Pass 2

Cinebench

CPU and CPU (Single Core results)

Passmark 8

CPU Mark Score

PCMark 7

Full benchmark Suite

Power Usage

Idle and load testing using a Kill-A-Watt and Wprime to put the cpu under load

Onboard GPU Testing Procedures (for CPu’s that have built in GPU’s)

3DMark Fire Strike

Performance setting

X264 HD Benchmark

Pass 1 and Pass 2 with results averaged out

Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0

Extreme preset

Cinebench

OpenGL benchmark

F1 2013

Ultra preset

Bioshock Infinite

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Medium” quality setting.

Tomb Raider

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Medium” quality setting.

Hitman: Absolution

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Medium” quality setting.

Sleeping Dogs

Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool on the “Medium” quality setting.

 

 


Compute Performance

There isn’t any one test that can show the overall performance of any CPU or APU compared to others. For the A10-7850K I ran through our entire suite of tests and then broke them down in groups to help you pinpoint the exact benchmarks that apply to you.

 

In Game and 3D performance

Our in game and 3D performance benchmarks are all run with a GTX 780 installed and active and don’t have anything to do with onboard video testing that is on the next page. Here was can see how well the CPU performed in real world gaming to give you an idea of any CPU bottlenecks you might run into when running on of today’s fastest video cards. In some cases like Tomb Raider, the benchmark result is still completely limited by the video card. However, in some of the other cards and benchmarks we can see where the A10-7850K stands compared to the competition. From here, you can decide at what point is the difference not worth the additional cost that something like an i7-4960X would cost.

In the Fire Strike benchmark, it is also important to know that this is not the overall score; this is the physics score so the large gap between some of the CPUs isn’t as obvious. With that said the A10-7850K did perform better than the Richland based APU but in most cases there is still a fairly large performance gap between it and Intel’s leading CPU in game, specifically in Hitman. If you plan to use the A10-7850K in a gaming build you will still get a good gaming experience, but CPU reliant games could still use a little more performance. Depending on what you play this might not be an issue, but keep it in mind.  

cpugraph6

cpugraph7

cpugraph8

cpugraph9

cpugraph10

 

Overall CPU benchmarks

In PCMark 7 I ran through the entire test but to keep the results easy to read I am using the overall score to compare the performance of the 7850K to the other APUs and CPUs. In this benchmark AMD made large improvements from the 6700 and 6800, putting the 7805K over that extremely powerful 980X CPU.

cpugraph4

Cinebench has to be my favorite benchmark when doing CPU testing simply because it benchmarks overall CPU performance as well as single core performance. This can be substantially different sometimes when a 6+ core CPU might be fast but at a per core level slower than other CPUs. This benchmark was a little interesting when compared to the results for the other APUs that I have tested in the past. The overall results were an improvement over the previous APUs but interestingly enough the 6800 and 6700 both performed better in the single core mode. The reason for this is because of their higher base clock speed in combination with an even higher turbo clock speed. The 7850K has a clock speed of 3700/4000 where the 6800 had a clock speed of 4100/4400. The increased cache helped the 7850K keep up, but it couldn’t overcome the extra clock speed in this case.

cpugraph2

Our Passmark results shows that the improvements in L1 and L2 cache but drops in clock speed aren’t going to give a performance increase in every test we run. It is very depended on the benchmark’s focus.

cpugraph3

For those of you who spend a lot of time encoding low performance can add up over time. X264 HD shows us the encoding performance of the A10-7850K was slightly faster than the A10-6800 but still not up to the level of any of Intel’s quad core processors. This is more than enough performance for lite encoding but if you intend on doing encoding often the 7850K may not be the best choice.

cpugraph1

wPrime is a benchmark that a lot of overclockers put to use to compare performance and I completely understand why. You end up with simple-and-easy-to-compare results where the lower the score the better. The A10-7850K’s performance was a major improvement over the A10-6700 and A10-6800 but is still slightly behind Intel’s 4 core CPU’s from a few years back, namely the highly popular i7-2600.

cpugraph5

 

Power usage

One of our newest benchmarks is the power usage benchmark. Much like on our video card reviews I ran each testbench’s power through our Kill-A-Watt to monitor their wattage usage. Idle results are in windows with nothing running. To get the load results I put the CPU under load using wPrime and recorded the peak wattage. Not surprisingly, the 3970X and 4960X both pull the highest idle and load wattage. What did surprise me was that the i7-4770K managed to outperform the A10-7850K slightly under load and by a large margin at idle. The load numbers for the A10-7850K are still very respectful but it obvious that AMD still has a little more room to improve in the future.

cpugraph11

 


Onboard GPU Performance

AMD’s main focus with the A10-7850K was really on the GPU side of things. The GPU side of things saw a bump from 384 GPU Cores to 512. This increase was accompanied by a lower clock speed, much like on the compute side of things. To put the 7850K’s onboard performance to the test I ran through our new onboard benchmark suite that includes some of the same in game benchmarks that you may have seen on the compute tests, only I have turned the settings down to medium settings to get a better real world test. Much like previous AMD APUs, the 7850K can also crossfire to increase its performance as well. They finally bumped things up slightly and allow crossfire with the R7-240 and R7-250. To see how much of a performance increase you should expect from doing this I have done all of the tests a second time with the 7850K paired up with an MSI R7-250. You can spot those results In the graphs below by looking for the ugly green bars.

To start things off I ran through X264HD again to see how much of a difference running the onboard video would make for encoding. There was a one point increase over running a dedicated GPU, its also important to note that running the 250 in crossfire didn’t help here as well. The 7850K did improve slightly over the previous APUs but still has a long way to go before caching up to what the Intel CPUs were able to do.

onboardgraph1

In Cinebench the 6800 and 6700 performed well last year but the 7850K improved on that by a considerable margin this time around. Even more impressive were the numbers from the Crossfired R7-250 with the 7850K.

onboardgraph2

3DMark Fire Strike was my first real taste of what the 7850K could do in a 3D environment. Surprisingly It performed MUCH better than the 6700 before it as well as Intel’s i7-4770K. Adding in the Crossfired GPU improved on those numbers even more showing that their might be a little potential in the 7850K for gaming.

onboardgraph3

In Heaven Benchmark 4.0 the 7850K performed well once again compared to the 4770K but as you can see none of the numbers were all that impressive at the ultra settings that I ran the test. Adding in the second GPU helped, but still wasn’t powerful enough to push the benchmark as such high settings.

onboardgraph4

Anyone who says that an onboard GPU can’t game will put their foot in their mouth after seeing our real in game benchmark tests with the settings set to medium (except F1 2013 that was set to ultra). Most of the results are almost spot on with 30 FPS, what is considered playable by most. A little more tweaking on the setting or running at a slightly lower resolution and you would be good to go right out of the box. Of course, adding in the 250 in Crossfire pushed the results up MUCH higher into frame rates that hardly anyone should have issues with. These numbers are even more impressive once you take a look at what the I7-4770K was able to do in the same games. AMD has really stepped things up on the GPU side of things with the 7850K.

onboardgraph5

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onboardgraph7

onboardgraph8

onboardgraph9

 


Overall and Final Verdict

Now that we have put the A10-7850K through all of our benchmarks we finally have an idea of where it stands. AMD has done a great job of improving on the already good performance of their APUs when it comes to the integrated graphics. Even better, they are selling them for a lot less than Intel’s i5’s. Don’t get me wrong, running on the 7850K isn’t going to be better than running a dedicated graphics card, but if you were putting together a budget build you could get away with holding off on your dedicated card until you had more money. Another great use for the 7850K would be a budget Steambox or a high powered HTPC. There are a few downsides of course. They still have a lot of room to improve on their compute performance, especially when compared to what Intel is doing right now. I also think it’s a little disappointing that FM2 motherboard owners won’t be able to pick one up as an upgrade to their old APU, you have to go with an FM2+ motherboard. But the price is right and the performance is right there with it. You can’t get a better performing APU/CPU when it comes to the graphics performance making the A10-7850K a well-rounded APU.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #34650 18 Apr 2014 13:24
After redoing our CPU test suite and doing a lot of retesting it took a lot longer than normal to get our Kaveri review out for everyone. Was it worth the wait? Well it won't be for everyone, but if you want the fastest integrated graphics you can possibly get, this might just be for you.

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