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

Richland APUs Make Their Way To The Desktop

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.

ModelRadeonPackageTDPCPU CoresBase/Max CPU ClockL2 CacheRadeon CoresBase GPU Clock
A-Series Low-Voltage and Ultra Low-Voltage APUs
A10-5745MHD 8610GFP225 W42.1/2.9 GHz4 MB384533 MHz
A8-5545MHD 8510GFP219 W41.7/2.7 GHz4 MB384450 MHz
A6-5345MHD 8410GFP217 W22.2/2.8 GHz1 MB192450 MHz
A4-5145MHD 8310GFP217 W22.0/2.6 GHz1 MB128424 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.

ModelRadeonTDPCPU CoresBase/Max CPU ClockTotal CacheRadeon CoresGPU ClockUnlockPrice
A10-6800KHD 8670D100 W44.1/4.4 GHz4 MB384844 MHzYes$149
A10-6700HD 8670D65 W43.7/4.3 GHz4 MB384844 MHzNo$149
A8-6600KHD 8570D100 W43.9/4.2 GHz4 MB256844 MHzYes$119
A8-6500HD 8570D65 W43.5/4.1 GHz4 MB256800 MHzNo$119
A6-6400KHD 8470D65 W23.9/4.1 GHz1 MB192800 MHzYes$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...

  • Novuake
    VLIW4... Are you kidding me??? WHen is that gonna be scrapped...
    Reply
  • esrever
    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.
    Reply
  • griptwister
    AMD, Good show! Now, release Kaveri Already! I need a new SteamRoller CPU!
    Reply
  • tului
    They say it's VLIW4 then say it's GCN. They can't be both can they?
    Reply
  • songorocosongo
    The 6800k is good, but I expected it to be a little more powerful.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    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!
    Reply
  • kfronda26
    This is dumb. Still 6670 max card for dual graphics. Disappointing.
    Reply
  • Wes Young
    10920935 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • unknown9122
    AMD swings and misses once again.
    Reply
  • unknown9122
    AMD swings and misses once again.
    Reply