The A10 5800K APU as tested today is a product for entry-level towards mainstream PCs. The big caveat will remain its processor power. I had hoped that the Piledriver CPU cores would have made a substantial enough difference. However the benchmarks are all over the place -- overall the CPU cores are a hint faster opposed to the previous generation Llano products. Realistically though if you build a PC for everyday usage like browsing, a little work like perhaps Photoshop then it's all good really. That makes us leave Trinity with mixed feelings, but then again we could have expected this.
So processor wise, it's a relatively small speed-bump. On the IGP (graphics) side of things we are impressed, moving the GPU towards ATI's latest architecture shows the potential really well. I mean for an IGP the graphics performance kicks ass. Combined with a great video de and encode and all the multi-monitor output lovin this APU offers, AMD simply wins hands down.
TDP wise AMD tried to stick to the same power usage as the Llano APUs offers. It's a bit of a mixed bag really, in IDLE (no dedicated graphics card installed) you'd sit just under 40 Watts, however when we start to stress the CPU cores then power consumption quickly went upwards to an excess of almost 140 Watt (for the entire PC). That's steep really. Intel's Ivy Bridge at both levels simply offers lower numbers.
Any Trinity based platform will offer value for money though. A very strong selling point obviously is the embedded GPU. And combined with the A85X chipset, features like a native six fold of SATA-600 and USB 3.0 support is offered. Also a very powerful Catalyst based software suite surrounding Trinity definitely brings heaps of advantages to AMD opposed to the competition.
So if you purchase an A85 motherboard, PSU, HDD/SSD, memory and the APU -- and you are good to go really -- a fully functional PC is what you get, for very little money. Especially the A10 5800K APU offers decent enough CPU performance, excellent multi-media options, the Full HD experience and sure, even gaming, albeit very low level will work. But at 125 EUR for this APU, obviously it is a very entry-level to mainstream product.
Overclocking -- We tried and we failed. Whatever we tried, in combo with our ASUS motherboard overclocking would not work. Even increasing the multiplier towards 4400 MHz would results into anomalies. We are certain this is a BIOS issue we stumbled into. But as such, no overclock results in today's article.
Interesting fact though is that the graphics core can be tweaked, and if you give it the proper dedicated time and lovin' you can quite easily bump up performance by a third. At default the GPU will run at 800 MHz, we did get it towards 970 MHz. With its 384 GCN shader processors that graphics engine will deliver decent performance for low monitor resolutions. Performance wise the lower end games with lower quality settings however will run say 1600x800 quite reasonably, but that is really substantial for an integrated GPU. For those that do not have the money or need for a dedicated graphics card the result is simple... it's the fastest integrated GPU in an APU to date.
Heat levels -- the per-core temperatures are not reported properly with any software we tried. But the CPU base temperature could be measured and monitored. The temperatures of the APU are a non-issue; obviously we always recommend a proper cooler. But expect a thermal envelope of 45~50 Degrees C with a decent cooler and heavy APU stress.
The AMD A10 5800K processor as tested today offers what AMD always offers, an interesting alternative with every gadget available on-board. If you purchase an A10 APU with the combination of that A85 based motherboard, you'll have a processor, graphics subsystem, six SATA-600 ports, USB 3.0, heaps of USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HD audio and you simply get a very up-to-date PC.
For 125 EUR the A10 5800K processor is hard to beat in terms of features performance and well all the goodness you can expect from a great APU. These products offer great value and fun. Excellent for normal daily usage, great for HTPCs and even a game or two. AMD however will need to focus more on per core CPU performance as the competition is marching ahead, real fast.
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