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AMD A10-6700 And A10-6800K Review: Richland Hits The Desktop

AMD A10-6700 And A10-6800K Review: Richland Hits The Desktop
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Richland, code name for AMD's highest-end APUs, finds its way into our lab in the form of A10-6700 and A10-6800K. Based on the Piledriver architecture and VLIW4 graphics, these chips are slight improvements to Trinity. Can they outshine Core i3, though?

AMD's Kabini: Jaguar And GCN Come Together In A 15 W APU showed us what the company's Jaguar and GCN architectures could accomplish between 4 and 25 W TDPs. But, on the desktop, AMD isn't quite ready to make the leap to a next-gen design. It just introduced its desktop-oriented Richland APUs, which aren't really new at all. Rather, you can think of them as power-optimized Trinity parts, sporting the same Piledriver-based x86 cores and VLIW4 graphics configuration. Moreover, Richland-based APUs have been available to mobile device makers for months. The only real revelation is that we're getting this update in the desktop and low-voltage mobile spaces now.

Model
Radeon
Package
TDP
CPU Cores
Base/Max CPU Clock
L2 Cache
Radeon Cores
Base GPU Clock
A-Series Low-Voltage and Ultra Low-Voltage APUs
A10-5745MHD 8610G
FP2
25 W
4
2.1/2.9 GHz
4 MB
384
533 MHz
A8-5545MHD 8510G
FP219 W
4
1.7/2.7 GHz
4 MB
384
450 MHz
A6-5345MHD 8410G
FP217 W
2
2.2/2.8 GHz
1 MB
192
450 MHz
A4-5145M
HD 8310G
FP217 W
2
2.0/2.6 GHz
1 MB
128
424 MHz

In the table above, we see the new mobile-oriented options spanning 17 to 25 W TDPs. Richland isn’t much different from Trinity, but it's more efficient thanks to specific Turbo Core optimizations that include a greater number of P-states to facilitate more granular power and performance levels.

Model
Radeon
TDP
CPU Cores
Base/Max CPU ClockTotal Cache
Radeon Cores
GPU Clock
Unlock
Price
A10-6800K
HD 8670D
100 W
4
4.1/4.4 GHz
4 MB
384
844 MHz
Yes
$149
A10-6700
HD 8670D
65 W
4
3.7/4.3 GHz
4 MB
384
844 MHzNo
$149
A8-6600K
HD 8570D
100 W
4
3.9/4.2 GHz
4 MB
256
844 MHzYes$119
A8-6500
HD 8570D
65 W
4
3.5/4.1 GHz
4 MB
256
800 MHz
No
$119
A6-6400K
HD 8470D
65 W
2
3.9/4.1 GHz
1 MB
192
800 MHz
Yes$77

And then we have the desktop-specific Richland parts. The very fastest model enjoys a 300 MHz base clock rate bump compared to the A10-5800K, along with official support for 2133 MT/s DDR3 memory (the other SKUs top out at 1866 MT/s memory). Also, its GPU is 44 MHz faster than the prior-gen version. And yet it fits within the same 100 W TDP.

On the other hand, the A10-6700 looks a lot like the -5800K, aside from a 100 MHz-lower base clock, a 100 MHz-higher Turbo Core ceiling, and a slightly quicker GPU. That one drops to a 65 W thermal limit.

Like the Trinity-based APUs before them, these Richland designs plug into a Socket FM2 interface. A BIOS update should be all that you need for compatibility with existing A55, A75, and A85 platforms.

And what about those shiny new Radeon model numbers? That's marketing being bad. We were already dealing with Radeon HD 7000-series naming on APUs, which was confusing because AMD's desktop 7000-series GPUs are commonly associated with the GCN architecture. Now we have 8000-series nomenclature. And yet, we're still working with the VLIW4 configuration that was around back when AMD was shipping Radeon HD 6900-series cards. Architecturally, the only difference between Richland's Radeon HD 8000 graphics and Trinity's Radeon HD 7000 graphics is the name.

Again, the top-end A10-6800K gets 2133 MT/s memory support, which is particularly meaningful for its on-die graphics engine given a lack of shared L3 cache. The theoretical 34 GB/s of DDR3 bandwidth should go a long way to improve frame rates in the games we'll be testing. With that said, let's move on to why we aren't able to test Richland's Dual Graphics feature today...

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  • 0 Hide
    Novuake , June 5, 2013 4:39 PM
    VLIW4... Are you kidding me??? WHen is that gonna be scrapped...
  • 1 Hide
    esrever , June 5, 2013 4:49 PM
    Numbering has never been for the architecture inside the chips. They have always been marketing for the current line of products. Normal people buy a laptop, they see the number, they get the performance associated with said number and they don't care about the inside of the chip. Richland is just a trinity refresh with better power management and higher clocks.
  • 3 Hide
    griptwister , June 5, 2013 4:58 PM
    AMD, Good show! Now, release Kaveri Already! I need a new SteamRoller CPU!
  • 0 Hide
    tului , June 5, 2013 5:15 PM
    They say it's VLIW4 then say it's GCN. They can't be both can they?
  • 2 Hide
    songorocosongo , June 5, 2013 5:28 PM
    The 6800k is good, but I expected it to be a little more powerful.
  • 2 Hide
    Yuka , June 5, 2013 6:18 PM
    No temps with power metrics page? 8(
    I guess Richland is still very hot going by the power figures alone. Still, it's a good step up (and stop gap) for AMD.
    Nice review still. Are you guys planning on a follow up for Dual Graphics? 8)
    Cheers!
  • -1 Hide
    kfronda26 , June 5, 2013 6:25 PM
    This is dumb. Still 6670 max card for dual graphics. Disappointing.
  • 5 Hide
    Wes Young , June 5, 2013 7:02 PM
    Quote:
    This is dumb. Still 6670 max card for dual graphics. Disappointing.


    No, since driver 13.1 even the 5800k was able to run dual graphics with a HD 7750. I am typing on a system with that exact setup right now. I am not sure if the 6800k will allow anything above the 7750 though. When I tried a 7770 with the 5800k I wasn't given the option to enable dual graphics.
  • 5 Hide
    slomo4sho , June 5, 2013 7:07 PM
    Couple days late but thanks for the review.

    Richland does appear to be just a refinement of Trinity. This review does explain why Kaveri desktop APUs are due to release at the end of the year.
    Quote:
    The A10-6700 offers similar performance as a stock A10-5800K, but offers greater efficiency. Unfortunately, it's also multiplier-locked. I have to believe that if you're willing to spend $150 on a 65 W A10 that can't be overclocked easily, then you're probably better off with a 55 W Core i3 that's also stuck in place for $10 less.

    I don't see why this argument is even made since both the 6700 and 6800K have the same MSRP considering that the only real difference in power consumption observed between the two chips was in gaming...

    Quote:
    The Intel chip's performance in single-threaded apps is exceptional. It holds its own in more parallelized workloads.

    Your final graph suggests that the overall performance of the i3 is within margin of error of the A8-6800K(for which you didn't even bother to provide overclock benchmarks)

    Lastly, can you confirm the MSRP? Your values seem to differ, other sources suggest $142 instead of your stated $149 (in fact, the pricing on all of the models seems to be off)
  • 1 Hide
    opmopadop , June 5, 2013 7:20 PM
    Can someone review this chip with the APU turned off and CPU cranked with liquid cooling (or crazy air). That higher RAM timing has to do something positive... I hope.
  • 7 Hide
    ingtar33 , June 5, 2013 7:46 PM
    so... you tested a chip that supports ddr3 2400 ram with ddr3 2133 ram... and no overclocking data? the A10-5800k already supported 2133 (maybe not officially, but it worked), the a10-6800k supports and works with ddr3 2400 ram, as other reviewers have noted elsewhere.

    Isn't this a tech enthusiast site? The few reviews I've seen out there claim Richland overclocks better, cooler and higher then Trinity. Furthermore, they claim the overclocked igpu performs at the level of a 6670... which is a huge jump in performance... as the 5800k, even overclocked and with fast ram, was only about 70% a HD 6670.

    where is the beef? Seriously i expected more from this site.
  • 1 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , June 5, 2013 8:41 PM
    Two things. First, I really think you should have thrown in a lower-end quad Intel CPU as well. From reading older reviews it seems that an i5-2300 is actually a second SLOWER than the A10-6800k in the TotalCode Studio test.
    Secondly, the comment that Kaveri will require a new socket is largely unknown at this point - all that's been revealed is that it uses an "FM2+" socket - who knows what that'll mean in terms of mobo socket compatibility.
  • 2 Hide
    envy14tpe , June 5, 2013 8:43 PM
    I still feel like the A10-x800 line is designed for only adding RAM, not a GPU. If you add a GPU then performance parallels (or falls behind in games) a i3.
  • -1 Hide
    tourist , June 5, 2013 9:18 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    This is dumb. Still 6670 max card for dual graphics. Disappointing.


    No, since driver 13.1 even the 5800k was able to run dual graphics with a HD 7750. I am typing on a system with that exact setup right now. I am not sure if the 6800k will allow anything above the 7750 though. When I tried a 7770 with the 5800k I wasn't given the option to enable dual graphics.


    Hurry call amd tech support and tell them you have managed to accomplished what there high paid engineers have been unable to do.
    I have no doubt that ccc is saying dual graphics option enabled but when you run benchmarks with it enable and disabled they are the same.
  • 1 Hide
    aibenq , June 5, 2013 9:23 PM
    why you not tested with HD7750... (/゚Д゚)/
  • 5 Hide
    ohyouknow , June 5, 2013 9:56 PM
    So this power consumption chart. Does that include the i3 with a 6670? or is that straight cpu vs apu? The gaming power consumption chart feels a bit wrong if it is running the i3 HD in metro w/o the gpu as that is misleading. Clarification?
  • 8 Hide
    rmpumper , June 5, 2013 9:59 PM
    Why not include G2020+HD6670 benchmarks? It would be ~the same cost as 6800K and I bet that everyone would want to know which setup is better.
  • 1 Hide
    abitoms , June 5, 2013 10:48 PM
    @ingtar33, does Richland chips officially support official DDR3-2400 RAM? If so, Toms should have tested with that RAM. However I think Richland supports 'just' 2133 MHz so that's what Toms has tested with.
    @Don, I have 3 queries for you.
    Does Richland crossfire with 7750 (officially or unofficially)? If it does, that is sure an interesting thing to explore.
    Also Don, yes even I've seen the figure of $142 floating around in other tech sites. Why do you quote it otherwise?
    Lastly, you 'could' have added the Core i3 with Radeon 6670 in the power consumption charts just to show the increased performance in games and other applications comes with the added power consumption of the 6670 if it is present.
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