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AMD Launches "Kaveri" A-Series APUs

By - Source: AMD | B 36 comments

AMD has launched three new A-Series APUs.

On Tuesday, AMD formally introduced its 2014 lineup of A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) with AMD Radeon R7 graphics, codenamed "Kaveri." These three new chips support Ultra HD (4K) resolutions and new video post processing enhancements, FM2+ socket compatibility, and AMD TrueAudio technology for 32-channel surround audio.

"AMD maintains our technology leadership with the 2014 AMD A-Series APUs, a revolutionary next generation APU that marks a new era of computing," said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Business Unit, AMD. "With world-class graphics and compute technology on a single chip, the AMD A-Series APU is an effective and efficient solution for our customers and enable industry-leading computing experiences."

For starters, we have the AMD A10-7850K costing $173 USD. This chip has a total of 12 compute cores: eight GPU cores and four CPU cores. The max turbo core clock is 4.0 GHz, the default clock is 3.7 GHz, and the GPU frequency is 720 MHz. Other features include 4 MB of L2 cache and a 95W TDP.

Next we have the AMD A10-7700K costing $152 USD. This chip has 10 compute cores: six GPU cores and four CPU cores. The max turbo core frequency is 3.8 GHz, the default CPU frequency is 3.4 GHz, and the GPU frequency is 720 MHz. The chip also has 4 MB of L2 Cache and a TDP of 95W.

Finally, we have the AMD A8-7600 costing $119 USD. This chip offers 10 compute cores: six GPU cores and four CPU cores. Using a TDP of 65W, the chip has a max turbo core frequency of 3.8 GHz and a default CPU frequency of 3.3 GHz. However, with a TDP of 45W, the chip has a max turbo speed of 3.3 GHz and a default core clock of 3.1 GHz. In both cases, the GPU frequency is 720 MHz and the L2 cache size is 4 MB.

All three new APUs have Radeon R7 graphics cores and are based on the company's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture that supports AMD's new Mantle "metal level" API and DirectX 11.2. The chips are also based on the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), which enables the CPU and GPU to work in harmony by "seamlessly streamlining right tasks to the most suitable processing element, resulting in performance and efficiency for both consumers and developers."

"The AMD Radeon R9 2400 Gamer Series memory is tested and certified for AMD A10 APUs, unleashing their full potential with AMD Memory Profile technology (AMP) offering speeds up to 2400 MHz," the company's announcement reads.

The AMD A-Series APU processor-in-a-box (PIBs) for the AMD A10-7850K and AMD A10-7700K started shipping in Q4 2013 and are available starting today. These chips are bundled with EA's Battlefield 4. The AMD A8-7600 will be shipping in Q1 2014.

Check out our technical look at AMD Kaveri here.

Add your comment Display 36 Comments.
  • 9 Hide
    toddybody , January 14, 2014 2:19 PM
    I want AMD to win so badly...but they've been nothing but a disappointment on the Desktop Class CPU front for years now. Lets hope they break the trend soon :/ 
  • 9 Hide
    Intervenator , January 14, 2014 2:23 PM
    No review?
  • 7 Hide
    loops , January 14, 2014 2:32 PM
    Bf4 + APU - Mantel = wtf!

    Dice/EA needs to get some real work done. I'd hate to log into BF4 with these APUs w/o Mantel's "up to 45%" help at 1080p.
  • 8 Hide
    shafe88 , January 14, 2014 2:37 PM
    I hope AMD does good with these apu's, but why no L3 cache. Wouldn't adding L3 cache boost performance in certin apps. Maybe lower clock speed slightly, to leave thermal head room for L3 cache.
  • 2 Hide
    Nolonar , January 14, 2014 2:52 PM
    Quote:
    I hope AMD does good with these apu's, but why no L3 cache. Wouldn't adding L3 cache boost performance in certin apps. Maybe lower clock speed slightly, to leave thermal head room for L3 cache.

    Not if the L2 cache is large enough.

    I don't know if 4MB of L2 cache is enough, but as long as it's large enough, there's no need for L3.
    Similarly; if your cache is large enough, you wouldn't need RAM either. Unfortunately, a CPU with such a large cache would probably cost more than an entire nation could afford, and that's assuming you somehow manage to fit this much cache onto such little space to begin with.
  • -4 Hide
    RazberyBandit , January 14, 2014 3:19 PM
    So much for the AMD-quoted prices... Even MicroCenter, which sells CPUs cheaper than anywhere else (in-store only), is selling them for more than AMD's price. MicroCenter's prices are: A10-7700K = $160 & A10-7850K = $180. Newegg's selling 'em for $170 and $190, respectively.I definitely would have liked to have seen some details regarding the iGPU silicon of each model, such as number the of shaders and clock-speed.
  • -2 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , January 14, 2014 3:33 PM
    So do the consoles have HSA or not? because if not they are probably kicking themselves that they missed it by a couple of months and will now have to wait about 7 years before they can try again.
  • 1 Hide
    tolham , January 14, 2014 3:46 PM
    "A10-7850K costing $173 USD. This chip has a total of 12 compute cores: eight GPU cores and four CPU cores."how does that compare to the traditional video card + cpu set up?
  • 5 Hide
    anonymous_user , January 14, 2014 4:08 PM
    How does the CPU performance of these APUs compare to the FX-6350/8320?
  • 2 Hide
    Mathos , January 14, 2014 4:10 PM
    @Indignantskeptic,Considering they're pretty much the same architectures other than the cpu cores themselves being jaguar based, I'm going to say yes. Since both current gen consoles have access to the same memory that their cpu cores do. DDR5 in the case of the ps4. Something people need to think about, roadmaps say that the gpu's coming from amd this year are suppose to be hsa compatible as well. If you're in a position like they are, were moving to a higher bandwidth ram would be an advantage. But, you don't have the market share to cause a new memory standard to be adopted main stream. Then your next best bet, is to design an HSA system where the GPU equipped with GDDR5, can share that memory with the CPU.
  • 1 Hide
    sp00 , January 14, 2014 4:11 PM
    Quote:
    So do the consoles have HSA or not? because if not they are probably kicking themselves that they missed it by a couple of months and will now have to wait about 7 years before they can try again.
    I think so, since both ps4 and xbox one refer to only 1 set of ram instead of distinguishing the system ram and graphic ram.
  • 1 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , January 14, 2014 4:31 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    So do the consoles have HSA or not? because if not they are probably kicking themselves that they missed it by a couple of months and will now have to wait about 7 years before they can try again.
    I think so, since both ps4 and xbox one refer to only 1 set of ram instead of distinguishing the system ram and graphic ram.


    But XBox 360 had only 1 set of RAM, didn't it?
  • 1 Hide
    sp00 , January 14, 2014 4:32 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    So do the consoles have HSA or not? because if not they are probably kicking themselves that they missed it by a couple of months and will now have to wait about 7 years before they can try again.
    I think so, since both ps4 and xbox one refer to only 1 set of ram instead of distinguishing the system ram and graphic ram.


    But XBox 360 had only 1 set of RAM, didn't it?


    Yup, it also used unified ram.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , January 14, 2014 4:53 PM
    At least they are getting the TDP down, but that's basically at the cost of clock speed. I'm still not sure what the market for these things are. At those prices, a very budget gaming rig is going to still be better off with something like an Athlon x4 and discrete graphics. HTPCs don't need that much graphical horsepower. I don't think there are that many people looking for a very small form factor machine that can play games at low settings. How Kaveri works on the mobile market is going to be what's important.
  • 4 Hide
    sp00 , January 14, 2014 4:59 PM
    Quote:
    At least they are getting the TDP down, but that's basically at the cost of clock speed. I'm still not sure what the market for these things are. At those prices, a very budget gaming rig is going to still be better off with something like an Athlon x4 and discrete graphics. HTPCs don't need that much graphical horsepower. I don't think there are that many people looking for a very small form factor machine that can play games at low settings. How Kaveri works on the mobile market is going to be what's important.


    My take is that the Kaveri launch was spoiled because bf4 and mantle was delayed. If mantle and bf4 came out today with a 45% increase in performance, it would be a different story. Getting a cheap mantle enabled chip with true audio and hsa would be a good selling point.
  • 1 Hide
    rolandzhang3 , January 14, 2014 5:09 PM
    These are launch prices, so you'd expect price drops eventually down the line, especially since they might lower the prices on older APUs to clear them out. In regards to the price, a 750k and a 7770 should also cost around the same as the 7850k
  • 5 Hide
    cd000 , January 14, 2014 5:30 PM
    Quote:
    At those prices, a very budget gaming rig is going to still be better off with something like an Athlon x4 and discrete graphics.
    Well I suppose that would depend on what gpu you use. The top dog AMD A10-7850K is going for $190. The AMD 760K Athlon X4 is $90, leaving $100. For that you can get a GT 640, 7750, or R7 250. Not sure if I'd trade the A10 for those choices, especially if Mantle pans out.
  • 4 Hide
    alextheblue , January 14, 2014 5:51 PM
    Quote:
    But XBox 360 had only 1 set of RAM, didn't it?
    Yes, sort of. It used UMA (unified memory architecture) but it still split the memory into distinct pools (as desired by the developer). So a dev could split it however they wanted, but it was still split. Also note that the GPU acted as the "northbridge" and the CPU accessed the memory through the GPU - although since the CPU didn't need as much bandwidth, this was never an issue. Interestingly enough, the GPU could access the CPU cache. The Xbox 360 design was actually quite clever for its time.

    Anyway, it was UMA but it wasn't hUMA. The newer consoles are both hUMA, IIRC. CPU and GPU have access to all system memory, and in the case of the Xbox One the eSRAM as well (although they'll probably rarely need to touch it on the CPU side). As part of the GPU block, the Xbox One Move engines also have direct access to RAM and eSRAM, to perform different memory operations without taxing the CPU or GPU.
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , January 14, 2014 6:33 PM
    far too expensive, no one will buy it at that price.
  • 5 Hide
    rdc85 , January 14, 2014 8:48 PM
    From what i read it seems AMD ditch the FX lines and bet on APU lines..I think they believe the the HUMA and mantle is the key to fight intel that have better cpu..... since it's intention is to offload the work from the cpu to gpu....is what i'm thinking is wrong/right?
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