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AMD Trinity A10-5800K Review

13
Posted October 2, 2012 by James Baranski (Drdeath) in CPU & Motherboards

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Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Release Date: October 2. 2012
 
Price at time of Review: $122
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Great priced mainstream processor. On-die GPU, good graphics/video and processing performance. Decent gaming performance for the price.
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Although Piledriver has a much better instruction set, vanilla processing performance is only slightly better than Llano.
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Great entry level APU featuring great graphics and video playback.
Discuss in the Forum
by James Baranski (Drdeath)
Full Article
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Trinity: The Next AMD APU Evolution

The concept of AMD’s Fusion Technology does not change with Trinity. Just as AMD engineered the GPU on-die with Zacate and Llano, Trinity follows with the same concept. AMD’s APU’s (Accelerated processing Units) cannot be compared on an apple to apple level (no pun intended) with Intel. This is because IvyBridge CPU’s simply dominate AMD on the processing side but AMD’s 7660D graphics dominate Intel’s 4000 graphics. This is the conundrum for the consumer. At lower price points, consumers want the best bang for the buck. With video encoding, movies and YouTube popularity at an all time high, AMD is betting that their graphics will be the ultimate winner. Better still, AMD’s lower pricing will also attract many. Let’s take a look at the Llano to Trinity change.

Here is Llano. One area where AMD separate themselves from Intel with both Llano and Trinity is they dedicate more die space for the GPU. As we see, Llano uses four 32nm x86 “Stars” cores. This was not far off AMD’s retired Phenom II processors in CPU performance. The x86 cores each have 1MB of L3 cache.

With Trinity, AMD still dedicates a large amount of the die to the on-die GPU, but the cores change to AMD’s new Piledriver cores, which come with 2MB L2 cache (Llano had 1MB L2 cache). AMD also carries on their 32nm fabrication and each module has two integer cores & a floating point. A four core Trinity APU has 2 modules (4 integer cores and 2 floating points per core).

 

Piledriver

Earlier this year, AMD released Bulldozer and they hoped it would put them back on the performance map. The release had mixed reviews and the performance did not live up to most expectations. However, it was new architecture designed from the ground up and included some remarkable innovations. AMD used x86 technology in a unique way by putting 2 cores on one module and all the cores are connected through pipe lines. Some speculate that Bulldozer did not live up to all the hype because AMD did not have the instruction sets all figured out.

AMD’s main focus with Piledriver was to improve the instruction sets and frequencies giving better performance and a more efficient APU. By no means is anyone expecting Intel IvyBridge performance here but increased performance over Bulldozer cores would certainly be welcome. Another change with Trinity is the GPU. The GPU cores are based on AMD’s Northern Islands and they are 7650/7550D plus have up to 384 cores. Just as Llano had crossfire abilities, so does Trinity with the same discrete Radeon 6660 or 6670 for some serious graphic performance. Here we see Piledrivers improvements:

With AMD’s transition to the APU (Accellerated Processing Unit), Intel still uses what they call a CPU. Intel has also migrated to an on die GPU and the immediate difference is the size each dedicates to the on die GPU. AMD uses more die space and Intel’s is rather small. From an outside perspective, AMD’s total package looks much more balanced than Intel’s. We all know Intel dominates on the CPU side but AMD offers very good performance and much better graphics as mentioned earlier. In the mainstream arena, consumers look for the best value, and a more balanced package fits that bill in our opinion. This keeps the AMD train rolling.

With YouTube, movies and encoding ever more popular, the graphics part of computing has become at least as important to regular computing nowadays. The UVD (Unified Video Decoder) that AMD uses is based on an ATI video processor. This is incorporated into the same die of the GPU for hardware decoding videos, along with the Advanced Video Processor (AVP). UVD handles decoding of video codecs entirely in hardware. Moving back in time, we saw UVD+ in the Radeon 3000 days, UVD 2 in the Radeon 4000 days and UVD 2.2 in RV770 and RV730 series of GPUs. Today, AMD uses UVD 3. UVD3  (Universal Video Decoder 3) is a new version of the graphics for smoother and better video.

Let’s take a look at the new A85X chipset and socket FM2 next.

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13 Comments


  1.  
    Erik

    This is awesome that you did some benches with Dual Graphics, thank you. It’s been kind of hit and miss finding this info. I do have to ask though, was that 1920×1080 on BF3? Also, why not 1920×1080 for MW3 for consistency’s sake?




  2.  
    scalman

    so..ok why new AMD APU pairs with old 6670 and not with 7770 in crossfire..its no point put old 6670 with new 5800k. if u can afford just 6670 then take cheap intel G630 and have similar results.




    •  
      soulwalk

      The reason is very simple scaleman

      the apu + 6670 amd is enough to play games on medium settings without a hiccup

      this is designed with budget consumers in mind and a g630 intel with same set up would do poorer then that

      reasons 1 its 4 core

      2 the apu is designed to pic up the slack of the 6670 amd ddr5 kind of like a booster in gaming were it lags the apu will speed up etc




  3.  
    ex

    I’m not sure why you weren’t able to overclock your 7660D. I’m able to on mine without changing anything.. I was actually searching of safe speeds to overclock my 7660D. So far, at I tried 1000mhz and was at 58C on average. Is that safe?




  4.  
    Josh

    Why not test the Intel with the 6670 and the 7770 looks like you are trying to make Intel look bad lol #biased fanboys




    •  

      Test conditions have to stay the EXACT same, or else the results are worthless. Would you compare different cars at different speeds and then draw conclusions at how fast they are on the quarter mile, when only one car ran that track? Testing must be consistent, regardless of which components are used, otherwise people could claim differences are due to the graphics card rather than the CPU. Surely you must see that, right?

      On a side note, this isn’t Twitter, so the hashtag doesn’t really do much in the comment section. Might wanna check that before you post next time. Otherwise looks like you’re trying to make yourself look bad #wrongsite fanboy 😉




  5.  
    Sandy Bruce

    I dont think anyone would have to try to make Intel look bad when it comes to Integrated graphics. They do that well enough on their own. They do great in clock for clock cpu performance but lag behind in the gpu department. History shows this.




  6.  
    Roy

    Why was 1333 MHz RAM used? I’ve heard that using at least 1866 MHz provides substantial improvements in performance, but all of the reviews I’ve seen with a CrossFire setup have used nothing faster than 1600 MHz. Since (according to my research) the APU uses the RAM for graphics, wouldn’t the RAM speed significantly impact graphics performance?




  7.  
    Simon

    lol you really don’t need a dedicated graphics card with an A10.

    Just get a decent A85X chipset MB, at least 8 gig DDR3 ram – 1600 Mhz should be MINIMUM for decent performance. CL 8 should be the MAX you go for. Lower CL is better ie 8-8-8 24. CAS latency (has a fairly big performance hit). Well picked RAM and MB, along with a half decent cooler open up your overclocking options a lot.

    You really don’t need to push this thing hard though. It’s a good performer. If you need more graphics, a 7850 is ridiculous value for it’s price and can be heavily O/Cd. At the extreme end I’ve seen 3dMark 11 tests with just one card achieving over 10k.

    Just wait it out if you don’t need it and grab an A12. Long live AMD 🙂




  8.  
    JAY

    MY A10 5800K IS ROCKING 4.7GHZ with room AND on the gpu i overclocked it to just a little bit over 1ghz my fps is near 70 on high settings, all bios overclock this lil thing rocks

    amd a10 5800k apu, asrock fm2 pro 4 wd 1 tb hd, corsair xms 2 1333 (also overclocked to 1600)




    •  
      JAY

      it wouldnt let me edit but a corsair h100 for my cooler




    •  
      Christopher

      Would u mind sharing your overclock settings in your bios? i am trying very hard to get to 4.8 – 5.0 and i would like to bump up the ram as well like u got . i have same ram and cpu.





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