The staggered birth of Kaveri has been an interesting story to cover but it has been difficult to keep all the pieces right in the forefront of memory. The initial launch in January 2014 saw a small number of SKUs such as the A10-7850K and the A8-7600 at first and since then we have had a small trickle at a rate of one or two new models a quarter hitting the shelves. We've seen 65W SKUs, such as in the form of the A10-7800, which offer 45W modes as well. Today we're reviewing the most recent Kaveri processor to hit the market, the A8-7650K rated at 95W and officially priced at $105/$95.

AMDs APU Strategy

Integrated graphics is one of the cornerstones of both the mobile and the desktop space. Despite the love we might harbor for a fully discrete graphics solution, the truth of the matter is that most people and most places still have that integrated platform in both consumer and business. Whenever I meet with AMD, the question from them is always simple - when you build a system, what would you get from AMD/Intel at a similar price point? The APU series tackles the sub-$200 price bracket from head to toe:

CPU/APU Comparion
AMD Kaveri Amazon Price on 5/12
 
Intel Haswell
    $236
 
i5-4690K
(4C/4T, 88W)
3.5-3.9 GHz
HD 4600
    $199 i5-4590
(4C/4T, 84W)
3.3-3.7 GHz
HD 4600
    $189 i5-4460
(4C/4T, 84W)
3.2-3.4 GHz
HD 4600
3.7-4.0 GHz
512 SPs
A10-7850K
(2M/4T, 95W)
$140 i3-4330
(2C/4T, 54W)
3.5 GHz
HD 4600
3.5-3.9 GHz
512 SPs
A10-7800
(2M/4T, 65W)
$135    
3.4-3.8 GHz
384 SPs
A10-7700K
(2M/4T, 95W)
$120 i3-4130
(2C/4T, 54W)
3.4 GHz
HD 4400
3.3-3.8 GHz
384 SPs
A8-7650K
(2M/4T, 95W)
$104    
3.1-3.8 GHz
384 SPs
A8-7600
(2M/4T, 65W)
$96 Pentium G3430
(2C/2T, 53W)
3.3 GHz
HD (Haswell)
3.7-4.0 GHz
No IGP
X4 860K
(2M/4T, 95W)
$83    
    $70 Pentium G3258
(2C/2T, 53W)
3.2 GHz
HD (Haswell)
3.5-3.9 GHz
256 SPs
A6-7400K
(1M/2T, 65W)
$64 Celeron G1830
(2C/2T, 53W)
2.8 GHz
HD (Haswell)

I first created this table with launch pricing, and it had some of the APUs/CPUs moved around. But since the release dates of these processors varies on both sides, the prices of individual SKUs has been adjusted to compete.  Perhaps appropriately, we get a number of direct matchups including the A10-7700K and the Core i3-4130 at $120 right now. This table is by no means complete, due to Intel’s 20+ other SKUs that fight around same price points but vary slightly in frequency, but that tells a lot about each sides attack on the market. Some of AMD's recently announced price cuts are here, but for consistency our results tables will list the launch pricing as we have no mechanism for dynamic pricing.

Testing AMDs APUs over the years has provided results that these are not necessarily targeted to the high end when it comes to multi-GPU systems that total $2000+, although AMD wouldn't mind if you built a high end system with one. The key element to the APU has always been the integrated graphics, and the ability to offer more performance or percentage of transistors to graphics than the competition does at various price points (irrespective of TDP). Ultimately AMD likes to promote that for a similarly priced Intel+NVIDIA solution, a user can enable dual graphics with an APU+R7 discrete card for better performance. That being said, the high-end APUs have also historically been considered when it comes to single discrete GPU gaming when the most expensive thing in the system is the GPU as we showed in our last gaming CPU roundup, although we need to test for a new one of those soon.

Part of the new set of tests for this review is to highlight the usefulness of dual graphics, as well as comparing both AMD and NVIDIA graphics for low, mild-mannered and high end gaming arrangements.

The A8-7650K

The new APU fits in the stack between the 65W A8-7600 and before we get into the A10 models with the A10-7700K. It offers a slightly reduced clock speed than the A10, but it is built (in part) for overclocking with the K moniker. The integrated graphics under the hood provide 384 SPs at 720 MHz, being part of AMDs 4+6 compute core strategy. The A8-7650K is designed to fill out the processor stack to that end.

AMD Kaveri Lineup
  A10-
7850K
A10-
7800
A10-
7700K
A8-
7650K
A8-
7600
 X4
860K
A6-
7400K
Price $140 $135 $120 $104 $96 $83 $64
Modules 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
Threads 4 4 4 4 4 4 2
Core Freq. (GHz) 3.7-4.0 3.5-3.9 3.4-3.8 3.3-3.8 3.1-3.8 3.7-4.0 3.5-3.9
Compute Units 4+8 4+8 4+6 4+6 4+6 4+0 2+4
Streaming
Processors
512 512 384 384 384 N/A 256
IGP Freq. (MHz) 720 720 720 720 720 N/A 756
TDP 95W 65W 95W 95W 65W 95W 65W
DRAM
Frequency
2133 2133 2133 2133 2133 1866 1866
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB

At a list price of $105 (current $104), we were at a quandary with what to test against it from team blue. The Pentium G3258 sits at $72 with two cores at 3.2 GHz and HD (Haswell) GT1 graphics. The next one up the stack is the i3-4130, a dual core with hyperthreading and HD4400, but sits at $120. Ultimately there is no direct price competitor, but AMD assured us they were confident in the positing of the SKUs, particularly when gaming is concerned. Due to what I have in my testing lab, the nearest competitor to this is the i3-4330, a model with a larger L3 cache which has a list price of $138, or the i3-4130T which is a low power SKU.

New Testing Methodology
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  • akamateau - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Your comments assume that ANAND provided benchmarks using DX12 and they did not. ALL of the GRAPHIC benchmarks were with either synthetic benchmarks or game benchmarks using DX11.

    DX11 cripples the performance of ALL APU's, IGP and dGPU. Draw calls ARE a measure of CPU-to-GPU "bottleneck" or elimination thereof. You can not render a polygon until you draw it.

    DX12 enables CPU core scaling; basically increased draw calls are a function of the amount of multithreaded cpu cores. DX11 does not allow multithreeaded gaming.

    DX11 may be current but why should I base hardware purchases from testing based on obsolete software AND benchmarks?

    DX12 will be in widespread use by game developers by Christmas.

    Anand has psent quite a bit of time and money testing hardware on obsolete benchmarks TO WHAT END?

    Starswarm and 3dMArk API Overhead Test are available but ANAND ignore them.

    Why?

    AMD's APU was designed to FLY using Mantle and DX12. It is not AMD's fault that Intle IGP is so poorly designed. That is Intel's problem.

    Test Intel IGP using the latest API and you will see. Comaparatively test AMD and Intel using obsolete benchmarks with DX11 and ANAND is lying to the consumer and can not be trusted.

    AN unbiased and well balanced piece should use legacy benchmarks, they should also use the very latest available. ANAND di not do this.
    Reply
  • rp1367 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    "Starswarm and 3dMArk API Overhead Test are available but ANAND ignore them.

    Why?"

    Because they want to hide the truth. "It is hard for a person to wake if he is asleep because he pretends to be asleep but infact he is not. He just want to fool you because of his stupidity"

    The refusal to support the upcoming DX12 give as hint that the review is biased and something fishy going at the backdoor. I am not an IT guy and new on this site but i could easily detect what is the difference between biased and unbiased review.

    The reviewer and Anadtech guys for sure are all intellegent guys but they allowed themselves to be succumed by their own personal interest.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Or its just something as simple as DX12 not being released yet, the performance is likely to change, so is an invalid test for comparing hardware at this time. The benchmarks you refer to are only valid as a preview for potential gains. Reply
  • akamateau - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Windows 10 with DX12 will be released in less than 2 months. Mantle is final and DX12 is final. Anand has it but ignores it.

    By Christmas ALL new games released will be DX12.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    DX12 may not be final. API probably is, runtime is likely close, drivers likely won't be.

    And you're delusional if you think all new games released at the end of this year will be DX12. It takes years to develop a AAA game, so they would need to have started before DX12 was available. The market for DX12 will be tiny by Christmas as DX12 will be Windows 10 only. Not everyone will be willing or able to upgrade the OS. Not all hardware even supports DX12. You're completely ignoring the history of previous DirectX roll outs.
    Reply
  • akamateau - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Windows 10 with DX12 will be released in less than 2 months. Mantle is final and DX12 is final. Anand has it but ignores it.

    By Christmas ALL new games released will be DX12.
    Reply
  • V900 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Ah, so basically the choice is buy an AMD APU and get shoddy performance now, and great performance in a year, or buy an Intel/Intel-Nvidia solution and get great performance now and great performance in a year!

    So theres really no reason to get the AMD is what you're saying?
    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    I will bet you what ever you make in a year that not all games released between DX12 release and christmas of this year will be DX12 native. Reply
  • akamateau - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    @Ian Cutress

    "as well as having parallelizable code"

    ARE YOU NUTS?

    You really need to cut the crap.

    Mutlthreaded gaming will come as a result of DX12 and Asynchronous Shader Pipelines and Asynchronous Compute Engines.
    Reply
  • galta - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    I don't think he is nuts, but you seem a bit angry.
    From a CPU perspective, multithreaded games need not wait for DX12. They could have been written before.
    Anyway, we have a clear statement of you: DX12 will make AMD shine. We should talk again on Christmas.
    Just keep in mind that the same was said when DX11 was about to be released, with known results...
    Reply

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