A little more performance with increased energy efficiency
Today we review the new A8-7650K APU from AMD in combo with a new A68H motherboard from ASUS. The kit is intended for system-integrators who want to offer a nice balance in-between performance and energy consumption. The 7600 series APU is based on AMD's Kaveri architecture bringing the CPU and the GPU even closer together. Kaveri aims at several segments in the processor business like notebooks, desktops, embedded and even server solutions. Armed with a good 2.41 Billion transistors and based on a 28nm fabrication process, let's have a look at what it can do.
With improved efficiency levels the APUs can be considered a low-end to mainstream product. With a CPU and integrated GPU combined, together they offer a nice amount of processor performance, especially with OpenCL and GPU assisted applications AMD is very strong opposed to Intel. The A8-7650K as reviewed today is based on the Kaveri design, these APUs offer up to 12 usable compute cores in total, the reality here is that AMD adds 4 x CPU cores with 8 x GPU cores to get to this figure.
I always add a few lines on the definition of an APU, as Intel simply sticks to processor, and AMD is very keen to call their processors APU these days. So here we go again. APUs are able to combine the potential of the processor and GPU together to enable a new class of compute performance in today’s PCs. Back in 2012 AMD introduced a series of AMD A10 "Trinity" APUs as mobile and notebook solutions. Trinity APUs where the successors of the AMD A4, A6 and A8 Llano-processors. AMD then marched onwards with Richland, basically a re-spin of Trinity. And as such we now have arrived at Kaveri with a Steamroller CPU core architecture and Radeon 7000 GCN series graphics. Make no mistake though, A10 and A8 APU processors remain entry level to mid-range targeted processors, please do understand that very clearly. So with the CPU and the GPU now pretty much being merged together we now understand why this architecture was called Kaveri, Kaveri is a large Indian river in which multiple streams of water flow together and is emptying into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths. Kaveri is the euphemism here with both the CPU and GPU merging together.
We'll be testing the A8-7650K APU and new A68H chipset parts here, 65 Watt TDP APU. Btw, all current mentioned APUs are quad-core CPUs. The A8-7650K has six activated Radeon cores totaling towards a nice 384 shader processors. The APU memory controller these days supports up to DDR3-2133 MHz memory speeds. As a K-series processor it is unlocked as well so you may tweak a little more out of it.
Next page please, where we'll go a little more in-depth.