AMD A10-6800K Review – Richland-Based Desktop APU (Part 1)

8/25/2013 11:11:55 AM

AMD decided to renew their FM2 socket platform and released a new generation of mixture processor for it based on Richland design. This is exactly a version that wins the “Elite Performance APU Platform” title in the mobile segment.

The recent release of Intel’s CPU Haswell family provoked some sensation and AMD, still wants to be seen as a worthy competitor to Intel, it does not want to be left on the bench. Hope to have its own minutes of glory AMD schedules an announcement for itself in just behind the fourth generation of Core version. This is confirmed by the mixture processor for the desktops that are known under the name of Richland. Although the Richland samples hardly make the sensational news as Haswell. First, Richland APU platform is marketed mobile phones, so there is nothing particularly innovative about them. And the second, Richland represents most of the same design as AMD CPU is used to promote under the Trinity brand.

AMD A10-6800K

AMD A10-6800K

However, AMD wants us to believe that the product is new and good. To understand why it is so important for the company, we have to consider that Richland is not only a desktop APU design but also a part of the solutions for the update mobile phones of AMD that include Temash, Kabini and Richland. The first and the second are really creative, include an entirely new microarchitecture, code-named Jaguar. The Richland samples, for their parts, are a supplement to the product range that allows AMD processor creating mobile computer integrators high-performance CPU, besides the energy-saving features. Consider that AMD is not really very good in developing the high-performance microarchitecture CPU, the Richland samples have not been reset the brand name. The company wants to mark its old solution under the new name and does it quite successfully. The Richland samples and their cousin try to promote the interest of the users for the AMD that processes solutions in all segments of the mobile market. So, now, besides tablet, transformer and cheap laptop base on Temash and Kabini, we are expecting a large number of Richland platform gaming laptops will replace the previous generation Trinity platform products.

Meanwhile, AMD processor is set to make a brand change again, except on the desktop market. Its APU model that is installed in the desktop by Llano and Trinity CPU, needs to be upgraded over time, so the CPU Socket FM2 family is represented by the A10, A8, A6 and A4 samples that are added with the new product with the products in the 6,000ths. The manufacturers offer it as the next step in the development of APU desktop, focus on the implementation of Richland design.

We try to get a sample of A10-6800K AMD processor, the high-end model of the new generation, and we will check it and see why the desktop Richland CPU adds 1,000 to their sample to compare with their Trinity rivals.

Richland: What’s new?

It's hard to say much about Richland design. There is enough reason to say that it is quite similar to the Trinity, but has clocked speed higher little. According to AMD's current plans, Richland is a minor upgrade on the Trinity that would help satisfy users until the company completes its creativity mixture processor to mix their creativity, code-named Kaveri. Then we'll see a lot of new features: Steamroller microarchitecture, GCN graphics, and support for heterogeneous computers with fully unified memory.

AMD 2013 Desktop Roadmap

AMD 2013 Desktop Roadmap

For Richland, it includes the same components as the Trinity: Piledriver modules and a VLIW4 graphics core. The integrated graphics has also been renamed. AMD calls it Radeon HD 8000, but it's almost like the Trinity, where it is used to belong to the products in the Radeon HD 7000 rank and has the same architecture as the discrete graphics card of Radeon HD 6900.

Richland CPU is manufactured on 32nm process technology, which is used for all other desktop CPUs from AMD, so their semiconductor is not different with Trinity if visual look. It is a large square 246 mm, combines 1.3 billion transistors. Approximately 42% of the transistor budget is allocated to the graphics core.

Compare with the platforms

Compare with the platforms

Semiconductors are the same we can’t expect that Richland gets faster by the x86 cores or shading processors. As before, the advanced APU models based on two Piledriver modules, so they have four execution cores. The maximum version of the graphics core only has 384 integrated processors.

So why did they change the brand name on Trinity line, especially the latter version was given within one year ago? On the mobile market AMD creates a lack of hardware innovation by the means of software tools. For APU mobile based Richland platform that includes system boot speed, gesture controls, facial recognition, wireless connection of the TV-set, and video processing with real-time driver. Increased battery life and the certain improvement performance (thanks to faster clock speed and amended Turbo Core technology) pushed it over the top.

It would be pointless to make these features with APU desktop based Richland platform, so AMD restricted it to a small increased in performance and more actively Turbo Core technology. By using more accurate APU monitoring and flexible voltage and frequency control, AMD promises that its APU based Richland platform will last longer 25% in turbo mode than its predecessors.

For the default clock speed, the top clock speed of the x86 cores is increased from 5-10% in Richland, compares with Trinity. The graphics core becomes faster than 6-11%. The slow progress is due to the fact that the new FM2 APU socket has the same TDP as its predecessor: 65 and 100 watts.

For the desktop APUs Richland is not too similar to its Trinity predecessor, AMD said about the improved memory controller. The desktop APU of this company is now officially to support DDR3-2133 SDRAM, although only with the high-end models.

Otherwise, Richland also likes Trinity. And it's not bad as it is fully compatible with existing FM2 socket. Richland is not named for the new mainboards it runs smoothly on older platforms with A85X, A75 and A55 chipset after updating the BIOS. Dual graphics configurations are supported to the integrated graphics core of the new APU can be combined in the CrossFireX subsystems together with the discrete graphics cards of AMD Radeon HD 6450, 6570 and 6670.

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