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AMD APUs Get Better Proformance in Windows 8.1

By - Source: AMD | B 37 comments

AMD worked with Microsoft to get a performance boost on in Windows 8.1.

On Friday during Windows 8.1's general availability, Clarice Simmons, a Senior Marketing Manager at AMD, updated the company blog with a report that customers with AMD hardware should see up to 9.5 percent better performance on the same hardware after upgrading to the latest Windows release. That's due to a dedicated group of AMD techs that worked alongside "critical" developers and product groups at Microsoft.

"Our work with Microsoft includes development on the essential operating system 'plumbing' that enables Windows to directly leverage AMD technology in order to run more efficiently," Simmons writes. "The two companies also cooperate on the development and tuning of the latest AMD video drivers."

According to the company, the A10-6800K sees a 106 percent increase in Windows 8 vanilla when updating from video driver 13.101.00-03-JUN-2013 to 13.200.11.0-03-SEP-2013. The same chip sees a 109.5 percent increase using the same drivers after updating to Windows 8.1. These numbers stem from the PCMark 8 Home Test.

"Of course AMD's fast CPU and GPU cores contribute to high performance, but having software that is optimized to take advantage of the AMD hardware architecture is a significant advantage," she continues. "Tuning our device drivers to simultaneously suit AMD hardware, software applications, and Windows 8.1 makes systems more streamlined."

The company compares the A10-6800K APU with Intel's Core i5-4670K in one diagram, showing a 113 percent performance increase in Windows 8.1 over Intel's chip in Basemark CL 1.0.1, and a 146 percent increase in the FireStrikeX benchmark in 3DMark for Windows 8. The APU also sees a 138 percent performance increase in the FireStrike benchmark, and a 139 percent increase in the Extreme benchmark in 3DMark 11.

"Note that in addition to delivering great overall performance on AMD-based PCs, Windows 8.1 also includes Internet Explorer 11 with support for WebGL to enable additional experiences accelerated by AMD APUs and GPUs," the blog reads. "With the emerging WebGL web standard, web developers can create new kinds of 2D and 3D experiences by programming the GPU directly to quickly render complex 3D objects and scenes. AMD collaborates with Microsoft in this area to deliver optimized WebGL performance."

She goes on in the blog to talk about AMD's collaboration with Microsoft on native Miracast support, which focused on three key elements: architectural definition and implementation, ecosystem support, and low latency solution enablement. For the latter, Simmons reports that AMD worked with Microsoft to enable Miracast to leverage the built-in low latency display encode paths that are part of AMD Radeon and AMD APU products that support the AMD Advanced Video Converter (Video Codec Engine or VCE).

To read the full blog and see more performance comparisons, head here. For the record, I've noticed a definite performance increase on my AMD A8-based laptop in Windows 8.1 despite all the moaning and groaning I did during the super-long update process. The update was definitely worth the wait. (And too bad I didn't benchmark prior to updating to back my claim. Sorry.)

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  • 29 Hide
    edwd2 , October 21, 2013 4:18 PM
    "a 113 percent performance increase"

    you mean 13% increase right?
  • 23 Hide
    flyflinger , October 21, 2013 3:56 PM
    Title as of right now reads "AMD APUs Get Better Proformance...." Kevin!!! Are you in Starbucks typing this up on your iPhone?
  • 15 Hide
    cklaubur , October 21, 2013 4:02 PM
    I think the graph comparing the APU to the Core i5-4670K may have been interpreted wrong in this article. If I understand the graph correctly, the APU has a 13% increase over the i5 on Basemark, a 46% increase in FireStrikeX, a 38% increase in FireStrike, and a 39% increase in the Extreme benchmark.

    The numbers listed in the article implies that the APU used in the test has doubled performance over the i5 just with a driver update.

    Casey
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , October 21, 2013 3:44 PM
    Good news for those with AMD APU's. I might just get a computer with an APU at some point in the future, so this news makes me happy.
  • 23 Hide
    flyflinger , October 21, 2013 3:56 PM
    Title as of right now reads "AMD APUs Get Better Proformance...." Kevin!!! Are you in Starbucks typing this up on your iPhone?
  • 15 Hide
    cklaubur , October 21, 2013 4:02 PM
    I think the graph comparing the APU to the Core i5-4670K may have been interpreted wrong in this article. If I understand the graph correctly, the APU has a 13% increase over the i5 on Basemark, a 46% increase in FireStrikeX, a 38% increase in FireStrike, and a 39% increase in the Extreme benchmark.

    The numbers listed in the article implies that the APU used in the test has doubled performance over the i5 just with a driver update.

    Casey
  • 29 Hide
    edwd2 , October 21, 2013 4:18 PM
    "a 113 percent performance increase"

    you mean 13% increase right?
  • 1 Hide
    unksol , October 21, 2013 4:21 PM
    Quote:
    I think the graph comparing the APU to the Core i5-4670K may have been interpreted wrong in this article. If I understand the graph correctly, the APU has a 13% increase over the i5 on Basemark, a 46% increase in FireStrikeX, a 38% increase in FireStrike, and a 39% increase in the Extreme benchmark.

    The numbers listed in the article implies that the APU used in the test has doubled performance over the i5 just with a driver update.

    Casey


    The articles wrong anyway. They are simple performance comparisons against the i5, not new increases from the drivers/changes. Those are mostly graphics tests and the APU's graphics were always superior to the i5.
  • 8 Hide
    s3anister , October 21, 2013 4:31 PM
    I'd say this news warrants a new review of the AMD A10-6800K, Tom's.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , October 21, 2013 4:34 PM
    For the last 10 years or so I have been a pretty big fan of Nvidia products, but all of this work with the CB1, and the Mantle project, and articles like this are really making me think that my next GPU will be an AMD one. Nvidia still has the hardware advantage, but they have been so self-absorbed developing their portable device and screen streaming technology that they are falling behind in the way of software support.

    But then again I am still a solid year away from an upgrade, so maybe Nvidia will get it all figured out by then?
  • 11 Hide
    ferico87 , October 21, 2013 4:41 PM
    Wow! I can get 139% proformance increase with a driver update. Time to go buy an APU.
  • 0 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , October 21, 2013 4:50 PM
    APUs keep looking more an more attractive. I imagine I may get one by the time Kaveri 2.0 or Carrizo roll out.
  • 11 Hide
    bak0n , October 21, 2013 5:28 PM
    Proformance. My new phavorite wurd.
  • 3 Hide
    doron , October 21, 2013 5:48 PM
    Quote:
    Wow! I can get 139% proformance increase with a driver update. Time to go buy an APU.


    I also heard that those who buy a 6800k and Win 8.1 today will get a driver update that will reduce electricity bill by over 9000%, finally beating Intel in proformance / watt !! Buy now today !!
  • 4 Hide
    singemagique , October 21, 2013 5:52 PM
    I've been running a Llano A6-3670K in my HTPC for about a year and a half. It has been a great CPU with enough GPU power to do some lite gaming. I'm not sure I'll switch my desktop CPU to AMD any time soon but for an HTPC, sever, or general computing box the APUs are a steal.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 21, 2013 5:56 PM
    Lovely. My laptop should gain from it I suppose.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , October 21, 2013 6:16 PM
    Is this just the APU, or do the FX processors benefit as well? I would think so, but I guess we'll see.
  • 4 Hide
    none12345 , October 21, 2013 6:47 PM
    All those 100%+ increase numbers seen more then a little hard to believe. I guess they are possible...

    More likely the person who wrote this article doesn't know the difference between saying something like "operates at 109% of the previous performance level" and "increases performance by 109%". Those are two drastically different statements.
  • 3 Hide
    friikazoid , October 21, 2013 7:15 PM
    I don't want to be negative, but Mr. Parish, you need to learn basics of percentages. There is NO 113% or 139% increase mentioned in any of the graphs or writing in the company blog. It's 113% or 139% benchmark score compared to a baseline 100% which is either the 6800 APU prior to windows optimization or the Core i5 for the graphics intensive tests. So these increases are in the range of single to double digit percentage increases. This article is written horribly.
  • 1 Hide
    DRosencraft , October 21, 2013 7:21 PM
    Regardless, this shows that with proper cooperation between hardware and software you can achieve very, very good performance. It is a fact that AMD has not received as much attention when it comes to optimization as compared to Intel, mainly because Intel is a much bigger chip maker and so commands more attention. AMD could probably compete much better if it spent as much on optimization as Intel does.
  • 0 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , October 21, 2013 7:22 PM
    they are comparing a core i5 4xxx gpu that equaled around the same performance as the Llano's gpu to a Richland GPU, which was already much faster in most cases anyways. So this isn't a big surprise, But when it comes to cpu performance no amount of driver update is Richland going to match the Core i5 4xxx series.
  • 0 Hide
    adimeister , October 21, 2013 9:50 PM
    How about the increase in performance of a10 5800k? The same or none?
  • -1 Hide
    Truckinupga , October 21, 2013 10:43 PM
    But wait there's more, If you buy now.....
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