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AMD Kaveri: Next-Gen APUs A10-7850K and A10-7700K

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 48 comments
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AMD reveals more on Kaveri, its next generation APU

Chip manufacturer AMD today presented information about its next-generation APU, codenamed Kaveri, at CES 2014.

The majority of the presentation re-iterates what was already announced at the AMD Developer Conference in November of last year:

  • Kaveri will be available at retail on January 14th
  • It is the first APU with heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) features
  • The first with AMD's new Steamroller CPU cores
  • The first to leverage the company's GCN graphics architecture instead of the VLIW design utilized previously

On the graphics side, GCN matches the functionality of what's already available from the company's newest discrete GPUs, with features such as TrueAudio, PCIe Gen 3, and Mantle API support. As for the new Steamroller CPU core design, the company claims up to a 20% IPC performance increase over the previous generation A10-6800K, based on Piledriver.

Up to 12 "Compute Cores"

The company's claim of "up to 12 compute cores" in its APU line is a little confusing, as it refers to four CPU cores and eight GCN compute units linked via HSA. This is a noteworthy shift from the nomenclature AMD used at their least developer conference, where CPU and GPU resources were both referred to as "compute units". This is definitely a strategic way to suggest that the integrated graphics hardware will help out in day-to-day processing tasks like a traditional CPU core, but it remains to be seen just how realistic this will turn out to be. We understand that developers will have to invest effort into optimizing applications for HSA, and there's no guarantee that the technology will gain the widespread support of software publishers.

Nevertheless, AMD published some benchmarks for us to consider showing how the new A10-7850K leverages its GCN compute cores to perform better in PCMark, 3DMark, Basemark CL, and Libre Office.

A10-7850K: Respectable Gaming Performance?

The first two APU models that the company has officially announced are the A10-7850K and A10-7700K. The press deck mentions that the 856 theoretical GFLOPS performance citation is based on the A10-7850K with four CPU cores (two Steamroller modules) at 3.7 GHz (CPU-world lists this part as having a 4.0 GHz turbo clock), plus a graphics processor comprised of eight GCN Compute Units at 720 MHz. Each of those compute units contains 64 shader cores for a total of 512, making the flagship Kaveri home to GPU silicon that is functionally very close to a Radeon HD 7750. This is a desktop graphics card capable of some very respectable gaming performance.

A10-7700K

As for the A10-7700K, the deck doesn't mention specifics but CPU-world suggests it also has a four-core CPU side, albeit with lower 3.5/3.8 GHz core/turbo clocks. It also claims that the graphics processor is cut down to six GCN compute units for a total of 384 shader cores at 720 MHz, comparable to the recently released Radeon R7 250. While not as impressive as the A10-7850K, the A10-7700K looks like a respectable part in its own right and, based on specifications alone, is probably faster than the Trinity-based A10-6800K.

Check out all of our CES 2014 coverage!

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    CaptainTom , January 6, 2014 5:25 PM
    With this someone could probably build a $300 steambox with 8GB ram. Sure it wouldn't be as strong as an Xbox One, but it would be mostly as strong, and cost almost half as much. Can't wait to see if they can make even bigger gains + DDR4 in the next iteration...
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    Pyree , January 6, 2014 5:15 PM
    Very interesting. I hope to see the price and some benchmark soon.
  • 10 Hide
    CaptainTom , January 6, 2014 5:25 PM
    With this someone could probably build a $300 steambox with 8GB ram. Sure it wouldn't be as strong as an Xbox One, but it would be mostly as strong, and cost almost half as much. Can't wait to see if they can make even bigger gains + DDR4 in the next iteration...
  • Display all 48 comments.
  • -3 Hide
    stingstang , January 6, 2014 5:30 PM
    How is 300 dollars half as much as the xbone?

    Relating to the article, its great that amd finally got a few of these things out. I hope they run well, and don't destroy themselves under heavy load like the previous apu units.
  • -2 Hide
    grndzro , January 6, 2014 5:43 PM
    HSA helps eliminate the bandwidth bottleneck. Slap on some DDR3 2400 and a serious heatsink and OC it with a 100$ 7850 from ebay.
  • 4 Hide
    David Dewis , January 6, 2014 5:44 PM
    I see these as a great way to upgrade an old PC. Just a new mobo and chip without the need for a GPU if your on a budget
  • 9 Hide
    eklipz330 , January 6, 2014 6:02 PM
    say what you want, but cpu+gpu+audio on 1 chip is VERY IMPRESSIVE. only two things left: ram+ssd. GAME.OVER.
  • 3 Hide
    David Dewis , January 6, 2014 6:10 PM
    Quote:
    say what you want, but cpu+gpu+audio on 1 chip is VERY IMPRESSIVE. only two things left: ram+ssd. GAME.OVER.


    Intergrated RAM would be great! Not sure if thats what you meant. Would need an update to architecture but would make building simpler for first time builders. Would always want to keep Storage separate though.
  • -3 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , January 6, 2014 6:12 PM
    Quote:
    I see these as a great way to upgrade an old PC. Just a new mobo and chip without the need for a GPU if your on a budget


    kind of, but generally you can get a motherboard + equivalent cpu + gpu for the same price.
  • 7 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , January 6, 2014 6:20 PM
    you can see clearly where amd has shifted its focus in recent years from raw cpu horsepower to apu's and it just shows you that despite people saying that amd is no longer a cpu performance competitor when it comes to raw cpu power, they are however a heavy competitor in the apu market and that's where the market is now and intel is finally realizing that, because cpu performance alone isn't what it used to be. Now the market has shifted to a all in one type of market where you have good performance from a cpu and gpu at the same time keeping power consumption at a reasonable level.
  • 0 Hide
    David Dewis , January 6, 2014 6:25 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I see these as a great way to upgrade an old PC. Just a new mobo and chip without the need for a GPU if your on a budget


    kind of, but generally you can get a motherboard + equivalent cpu + gpu for the same price.


    True, but maybe simpler for first time builders. Also seeing as FM2 is only option on AMD size for ITX, this would be good if no room for a gpu
  • -2 Hide
    grndzro , January 6, 2014 6:29 PM
    HSA helps eliminate the bandwidth bottleneck. Slap on some DDR3 2400 and a serious heatsink and OC it with a 100$ 7850 from ebay.
  • 0 Hide
    Kewlx25 , January 6, 2014 6:49 PM
    Quote:
    HSA helps eliminate the bandwidth bottleneck. Slap on some DDR3 2400 and a serious heatsink and OC it with a 100$ 7850 from ebay.


    It helps latency a lot more than bandwidth, slightly better bandwidth, but also higher efficiency, meaning less bandwidth required.
  • 1 Hide
    spp85 , January 6, 2014 7:18 PM
    What about an 8 Core APU AMD ?
  • -1 Hide
    jacobian , January 6, 2014 8:18 PM
    As expected, AMD is mostly showing benchmarks that leverage the GPU cores. I am going to believe the hype once we see benchmarks employing real world apps.
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , January 6, 2014 8:27 PM
    next is API and partners... ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    anbello262 , January 6, 2014 8:33 PM
    I really like APU's concept. Of course I would prefer a nice CPU with an add-on graphics cards, but an APU is a lot cheaper and still a viable solution.
    I own an A10-6800k with no discrete graphics, and when I have more money I'm going to get an add-on graphics card.
    My only complaint is that the "CPU" part of the APU is a bit lacking, the best one so far was similar to a FX-4300, and that doesn't leave much room for upgrading the graphics subsystem without bottleneck problems..
    I would love to see an APU that paired average graphics (like the ones presented here) with a better cpu, like the FX-6300...

    On a side note:"based on specifications alone, is probably faster than the Trinity-based A10-6800K." The A10-6800k is actually Richland based, not Trinity.
  • 2 Hide
    vaughn2k , January 6, 2014 8:51 PM
    ... and benchmark with HD7750 hybrid crossfire... ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    Novuake , January 6, 2014 8:54 PM
    This is gonna be good! Can not wait to see the Steamroller potential and also what GCN can do in APU format.
    GCN was made with APUs in mind, so my hopes are high for a low cost, low power, portable gaming system!
  • 2 Hide
    sanilmahambre , January 6, 2014 9:18 PM
    Boy oh boy i am curious to see the pricing
  • 0 Hide
    jacobian , January 6, 2014 10:00 PM
    I am curious though if Intel is going to see this as a threat, and if they do, how long is it going to take them to respond. If AMD's APU sales take off, my guess is: not very long. Every Intel Core CPU on the market is effectively an APU. While Intel is still behind AMD in iGPU technology, it proved with Haswell iGPUs that they have a good in-house potential for developing competent integrated graphics.
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