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System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $350 Bonus Entry-Level PC

Performance Summary

For general computing, AMD’s A10-5800K APU is fast enough to deliver solid performance in pretty much any task. To put it bluntly, Trinity’s dual-module, four-core design manhandles Intel’s dual-core Pentium in our threaded workloads.

However, the real selling point of an APU is the strength of its on-die graphics. Sadly, these ever-improving integrated solutions just can’t seem to keep up with the latest PC games. That’s not to say they aren't good for gaming at all, but for more demanding titles, you're definitely better off with a cheap CPU and an add-in graphics card.

Factoring in all of our normal gaming tests, the $350 PC delivered less than half the performance of the Pentium and Radeon HD 7750 paired up. Overclocking helped, but this chart is really too kind to the $350 PC. If we were using pass/fail at specific settings, you would see that the machine fell way too short far too often. I’m not even going to post the native resolution gaming charts at high details, which I normally do for my gaming PCs. The point is that, even fully tweaked, the $350 machine never comes close to playable framerates using Ultra quality settings, or any combination with anti-aliasing enabled.