The run up to Computex has been insane. Kabini, Haswell and Iris hit us back to back to back, not to mention all of the travel before receiving those products to get briefed on everything. Needless to say, we're in major catchup mode. There's a lot more that I wanted to do with Haswell desktop that got cut out due to Iris, and much more I wanted to do with Iris that I had to scrap in order to fly out to Computex. I will be picking up where I left off later this month, but with WWDC, Samsung and a couple of NDA'd events later this month, it's not going to be as quick as I'd like.

One part that arrived while I was in the middle of launch central was AMD's Richland for desktop. Effectively a refresh of Trinity with slightly higher clocks, a software bundle and more sophisticated/aggressive turbo. Richland maintains socket compatibility with Trinity (FM2), so all you should need is a BIOS update to enable support for the chip. AMD sent over two Richland parts just before I left for Computex: the 100W flagship A10-6800K and the 65W A10-6700. I didn't have time to do Richland justice before I left, however I did make sure to test the 6800K in tandem with Haswell's GPU just so I had an idea of how things would stack up going forward as I was writing my Iris Pro conclusion.

For all intents and purposes, Iris Pro doesn't exist in the desktop space, making Haswell GT2 (HD 4600) the fastest socketed part with discrete graphics that Intel ships today. In our Haswell desktop review I didn't get a chance to really analyze HD 4600 performance, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to refresh the current state of desktop integrated processor graphics. Unlike the staggered CPU/GPU launch of Trinity on the desktop, the situation with Richland is purely a time limitation on my end. This was all I could put together before I left for Computex.

Although Richland comes with a generational increase in model numbers, the underlying architecture is the same as Trinity. We're still talking about Piledriver modules and a Cayman derived GPU. It won't be until Kaveri that we see GCN based processor graphics from AMD at this price segment (Kabini is already there).

As Jarred outlined in his launch post on Richland, the 6800K features 4 - 8% higher CPU clocks and a 5% increase in GPU clocks compared to its predecessor. With improved Turbo Core management, AMD expects longer residency at max turbo frequencies but you shouldn't expect substantial differences in performance on the GPU side. The A10-6800K also includes official support for DDR3-2133. AMD is proud of its valiation on the A10-6800K, any parts that won't pass at DDR3-2133 are demoted to lower end SKUs. I never spent a ton of time testing memory overclocking with Trinity, but my A10-5800K sample had no issues running at DDR3-2133 either. I couldn't get DDR3-2400 working reliably however.

AMD Elite A-Series Desktop APUs, aka Richland
Model A10-6800K A10-6700 A8-6600K A8-6500 A6-6400K A4-4000
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Base Freq 4.1 3.7 3.9 3.5 3.9 3.0
Max Turbo 4.4 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 3.2
TDP 100W 65W 100W 65W 65W 65W
Graphics HD 8670D HD 8670D HD 8570D HD 8570D HD 8470D ?
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 128
GPU Clock 844 844 844 800 800 724
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 2133 1866 1866 1866    
Price (MSRP) $150 ($142) $149 ($142) $120 ($112) $119 ($112) $80 $46

Just to put things in perspective, here are the previous generation Trinity desktop APUs:

AMD Trinity Desktop APUs
Model A10-5800K A10-5700 A8-5600K A8-5500 A6-5400K A4-5300
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Base Freq 3.8 3.4 3.6 3.2 3.6 3.4
Max Turbo 4.2 4.0 3.9 3.7 3.8 3.6
TDP 100W 65W 100W 65W 65W 65W
Graphics HD 7660D HD 7660D HD 7560D HD 7560D HD 7540D HD 7480D
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 128
GPU Clock 800 760 760 760 760 723
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 2133 1866 1866 1866    
Current Price $130 $129 $110 $105 $70 $55

For my Richland test platform I used the same Gigabyte UD4 Socket-FM2 motherboard I used for our desktop Trinity review, simply updated to the latest firmware release. I ran both AMD platforms using the same Catalyst 13.6 driver with the same DDR3-2133 memory frequency. AMD was quick to point out that only the A10-6800K ships with official DDR3-2133 support, so the gap in performance between it and Trinity may be even larger if the latter tops out at DDR3-1866. The HD 4000/4600 numbers are borrowed from my Iris Pro review using DDR3-2400, however I didn't notice scaling on Haswell GT2 beyond DDR3-1866.

I'll be following up with a more thorough look at Richland once I'm back from my current bout of traveling.

Gaming Performance
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  • FriendlyUser - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    Indeed, there is a $468 part. You can still fit a decent dGPU and a decent CPU on that budget for, once again, vastly superior performance. And you don't need crossfire but you do lose on power consumption, which is the only point the Iris has for it. Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    I wonder how much discount do OEM generally gets from Intel. 30% off Tray $440 @ $308/chip ? If the CPU used to cost them $200 and $100 for the GPU, i guess the space saving of 2in1 solution, less power usage, while giving similar performance is going to be attractive enough. Reply
  • testbug00 - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    My desktop costed less than that... Mine probably is a little slower even with 1.1Ghz GPU and 4.4 CPU (my A10-5800K w/ 1866 OCed to 2133) Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    Yah, for me, the only consideration for a system with on-die CPU graphics is if I buy a low-end notebook that I want to do a little gaming on, and the chips with Iris price themselves out of that market. I've recommended AMD for that kind of product to my friends before, and I don't see any reason to change that. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    What does Crossfire have to do with it? Using on-die graphics with an added discrete card doesn't have anything to do with Crossfire. Reply
  • max1001 - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    Because AMD like to call APU+GPU combo Hybird Crossfire. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    Who said anything about Crossfire?! Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    No, Crystalwell also makes sense on any high-performance part. Be it the topmost dekstop K-series or the Xeons. That cache can add ~10% performance in quite a few applications, which equals 300 - 500 MHz more CPU clock. And at 300$ there'd easily be enough margin left for Intel. But no need to push such chips... Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    There isn't a single K-series part with Crystalwell. Reply
  • mdular - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    As others have already pointed out it's not the "most important information" at all. Crystalwell isn't available on a regular desktop socket.

    Most importantly though, that is also for a good reason: Who would buy it? At the price point of the Crystalwell equipped CPUs you would get hugely better gaming performance with an i3/i5/FX and a dedicated GPU. You can build an entire system from scratch for the same amount and game away with decent quality settings, often high - in full HD.

    There is a point to make for HTPCs, gaming laptops/laplets, but i would assume that they don't sell a lot of them at the Crystalwell performance target.

    Since the article is about Desktops however, and considering all of the above, Crystalwell is pretty irrelevant in this comparison. If you seek the info on Crystalwell performance i guess you will know where to find it.
    Reply

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