OpenCL / PCMark8
Really though, the whole point of HSA and Kaveri is to stop throwing the same solution of “higher speed/IPC” at a changing problem. GPUs can render an image far faster than even the fastest CPU (that’s…kinda their thing, you know), so why not tap into that? The Cinebench and Blender benchmarks aren’t coded to take advantage of HSA yet, but Futuremark’s PCMark8 uses OpenCL extensions to give us a taste of what HSA can do. It isn’t a full implementation yet from what I understand (Kaveri APUs are the only HSA processors available right now, but OpenCL 1.2 code can run on both AMD and Intel integrated GPUs), although it’s a step in the right direction. Futuremark’s PCMark8 suite of benchmarks runs the system through a 30-minute-plus gauntlet of common Home, Office, or Creative tasks. Web browsing, video conferencing, photo editing, light/mainstream gaming and more are simulated. I’ve used the Home and Creative benchmarks (with the OpenCL Accelerated option) to obtain the following scores:
It definitely starts to narrow the gap. When you think about the tasks that you normally perform on a PC, HSA certainly makes sense. While the current implementation doesn’t magically rocket the A10-7800 APU to the top of the charts, it helps to showcase what the design could be capable of. Remember, more than half of those transistors on AMD’s Kaveri APUs are dedicated to graphics cores – Intel’s HD4600 integrated graphics, while improved, are still almost an afterthought on the Haswell die in comparison. It’s no surprise Intel still has an advantage in CPU performance when you see where they’ve “spent” their transistors, but the extent to which AMD has been able to leverage those GPU compute cores is growing. For the first time we see a clear lead of the Kaveri APUs over the previous non-HSA AMD processors.