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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  • jrs77 - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Sorry to say, but if you wanna play games, then grab a dedicated GPU. Noone plays modern games with integrated GPUs. iGPUs are only good for some casual gaming that don't demand any powerful GPU.

    The only thing I'm interested in is the CPU-part and intel wins this comparison by a mile. AMD needs better CPU-performance or they'll never win me back as a customer for desktop-parts.
    Reply
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Exactly. I'm mystified by Richland's existence. Exactly where does it make sense for desktop users?

    If you're gaming on a desktop and you're on a budget, it's more expensive than the outgoing A10 5800K and not much faster. Nor does it make any games playable that were unplayable before on the older APU.

    If you're gaming on the desktop and budget is not the biggest factor, why even bother looking at AMD parts right now?

    If you're planning on a HTPC build the 100W TDP is too high. Get a Haswell or an older (and lesser model number) Trinity APU.

    If you plan to build your own all-in-one, again the TDP is too high.

    So why would anyone buy Richland on the desktop? It's $20 (15%) more expensive than the A10 5800K but only ~5% faster. Is there +1000 model number simply there to justify the price hike?
    Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    It's slightly better silicon released to make AMD look a little better. There's also the much touted software bundle they've been mentioning - AMD seems to be more about the "experience" nowadays.

    As an upgrade to my old PII X3 710, it'd be significant... but the GPU wouldn't be better than my 4830. Kaveri, on the other hand, would likely improve on the latter as well as providing more than double my current CPU speed. In 2009, the CPU and GPU cost me approx. £180 (about $250?), but in 2013, I'd be surprised if I had to pay more than two thirds of that for something much better. :)
    Reply
  • Calinou__ - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    There are games that don't require a powerful GPU and are hard to play. Reply
  • kgh00007 - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    For **** sake please increase the size of the text on your site, it's too small and I'm getting eye strain reading all the articles on Computex, do you not listen to your readers, the text is too small!!!

    Sent from my nexus 7 with eye strain!
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    It's too big for me, so I just use the zoom setting on my browser. I suggest you try the same, or stop using a 7" tablet. Reply
  • kgh00007 - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    I suggest you stop giving useless advice, I'm not going to stop using my tablet. Even with text at 120% the text is too small and the text on other websites is huge @ 120%.
    The text on every other website I have ever visited on my nexus 7 is fine, so why can't anandtech be the same? There is an issue here that needs to be resolved.
    Reply
  • bji - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    Regardless of your feelings, posting about your issue in this discussion is off topic and pointless as Anand is not going to read and act on your post.

    I'd say to write to Anand directly but I've tried that and it seems the emails go ignored anyway. I think you either just have to live with the site as it is or stop visiting the site. But whatever you do, don't introduce more off topic posts please.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    by not running the trinity on supported max mem you effected the whole review, Richland ends up in that case being a very minor update....

    On top of that not a single word on the improved power.

    But then again as you mention with all the things around with Intel and all the nice motherboards linup for hasswell etc why even bother its just AMD. pls continue the efforts like this, a few years from know you regret that you will need to pay double for the same cpu, dominiated predefined designs by marketing geeks etc... way to go
    Reply
  • DeviousOrange - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    Its pointless doing a iGPU review if you don't have frame metering factored in. Tomshardware, Techreport, PCPer all did frame transition ratings and this is where HD4600 took a massive beating, in most titles showed up Intel's iGPU to hit 60+ms frame lags while the APU is very low latencies for many titles at lower resolutions (sub HD) is under 1ms where Intel spikes will result in noticeable lags and stutters despite looking close on FPS which are basically not worth what they were.

    BF3 @ 1080 on low settings with DDR3 2400 on my 5800K manages about 30FPS but its almost lag free, tested on HD4000 was completely undesireable to even persist, basically playing a slideshow, since HD4600 doesn't fix this much it still puts AMD top in the iGPU stakes by a healthy margin irrespective of frames per second. Since we are comparing top vs top there is no ambiguity. THG showdown between a i3 and 6800K was interesting, a 6800K can beat a i3 + 6670 in a few titles so that is another testiment to the improvement of APU technology.
    Reply

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