Gigabyte F2A85XN-WIFI review -
The Embedded GPU
The GPU In The APU
Though we always felt that on the processor side, AMD might have forfeited a little bit too much. They compensate that with a very powerful graphics engine harbored inside the CPU. Let's realize one thing here, integrated GPUs (whether that is in the chipset or CPU) have always have been bad in terms of performance. Now we are not claiming that integrated solutions (especially in a CPU) will ever reach the level of a dedicated graphics card, but we do have to acknowledge that what AMD placed into Trinity & Richland is impressive.
We already spilled the beans a little but for the GPU part of the APU, things have changed quite a bit over time. Richland just like Trinity has a Radeon GPU with 384 shader cores. The distinct difference is that Llano had an architecture based on the Radeon 5000, Trinity makes use of Radeon 6000 architecture which you all know under the northern islands codenames. Also a tweaked video-encoder has been integrated, based on the latest Radeon 7000 and 8000 series. AMD calls the GPU embedded into the A10 6800 the HD 8670D and it runs at 844 MHz. Per chip series (A10 / A8 / A6) the GPU configuration will be a little different. We'll explain that later on. Also more system memory can be hogged, now 768MB.
So less shader cores but more performance, how is that possible you might wonder? Well AMD made the transition towards radeon 6000 architecure, and that's better known as the VLI4 architecture. Per core that means more efficiency, but also tesselation performance will have gone up a notch or two.
That 8670D GPUS makes the IGP in the Richland die a fully functional DirectX 11 GPU. To complement the multi-media experience, the UVD engine is harbored in Richland as well; it is actually UVD3, the latest revision used on the Radeon 8000 series and that means serious support for Full HD content playback with even 3D Blu-Ray capability. Quite important to know is that the new UVD engine also has an H.264 video encoder that you may compare with Intels Quick Sync.
The IGP will provide support for two monitors and all common connectors are supported including HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and DSUB (VGA).
Mind you that not all APUs will have 384 cores. Depending on the SKU these will differ:
- Trinity A4 has 128 cores
- Trinity A6 has 192 cores
- Trinity A8 has 256 cores
- Trinity A10 has 384 cores
Oh and being a Radeon 6000/7000/8000 based IGP, yes... one may even drive multiple monitors thanks to Eyefinity.
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