Detailed Gaming Performance Results
For comparison, we're including an AMD Athlon X4 760K overclocked to 4.1GHz backed by a simple Radeon R7 250. The point is to see how well the APU could have performed if it wasn't held back by the Power Control.
Games like CS:GO are a great fit for AMD’s APU, so long as you turn anti-aliasing off. Even at high detail settings, the APU benefits from its FreeSync support, which works exactly as it's supposed to.
AMD’s APU should be just as fast as the Athlon X4 760K and Radeon R7 250. However, it falls behind because the CPU clock rate is throttled back.
The A10-7890K falls back even further in the Dota 2 benchmark. This game relies heavily on the CPU, so its loss of clock rate has a larger impact on overall performance.
The results of our GTA V benchmark make the same point a third time. The reduction in CPU processing power due to Power Control holds the game back to the point that it becomes unplayable. An average of 35 FPS is technically alright, but a minimum frame rate under 20 FPS isn't fast enough for an enjoyable experience.
Fortunately, there are games the APU handles more adeptly. Grid, for example, is limited by graphics performance, not the CPU. In this title, the A10-7890K falls behind due memory performance, rather than host processing. Its DDR3 is shared by multiple subsystems, whereas the discrete Radeon R7 250’s GPU has an entire gigabyte of GDDR5 memory to itself.
Bioshock Infinite is playable as well, so long as taxing detail settings and anti-aliasing are turned off. The APU’s Steamroller-based cores rarely hold the rest of the system back, though the discrete card again benefits from its faster GDDR5 memory.
Subjectively, FreeSync makes a noticeable difference. With frame rates fluctuating between 41 and almost 100 FPS, activating FreeSync smooths the action out quite a bit.
AMD’s A10-7890K is definitely suitable for gaming, even though you won't be able to play the latest titles with their quality presets turned up. Online games like Counter Strike, Dota 2 and a little bit of StarCraft 2 are all you can expect to run at decent frame rates. Then there the few titles that scale down well, such as Grid and Bioshock Infinite. Older games typically run smoothly enough too, though they're often bottlenecked by CPU performance, rather than on-die graphics.