Richland Final Thoughts
Unfortunately, AMD seems to always show up to the party a little bit late. Sure, the next generation of APUs made it out before the low-end of the Haswell spectrum, but the fanfare was minimal and actual performance increase was only slight over the previous generation of APUs. The nice part is, of course, that the new Richland APUs still use the FM2 platform, meaning that anyone with a Trinity system can start taking advantage of higher speed RAM, increased clock speeds, and better integrated GPUs without having to upgrade the motherboard.
I also have to credit AMD for maintaining the highest level of performance for the sub- $150 price point. The AMD A10-6800K, at an MSRP of $142 looks set to take on whatever Haswell can throw at that level, and certainly so in terms of graphics power. While I haven’t had hands on time with a Haswell CPU yet, AMD shared some of their benchmarks with me just before publishing this article. While the actual levels of performance don’t reach the newely released Haswell Core i5 numbers, the price to performance ratio certainly favors the Richland in lower end Home and Work productivity benchmarks. If Richland is competing with the more expensive i5 CPUs, then it has a strong chance against the upcoming i3 CPUs.
Of course, also of note on those tests that AMD revealed was the fact that the older A10-5800K topped their charts in price to performance ratio, solidly beating out even the newer A10-6800K. I have to admit that those numbers aren’t convincing me to buy a new Richland APU, but rather to take advantage of the dropping prices on the older Trinity APUs. After all, the new 8000 series onboard GPU can only pair with the same level of discrete GPU that last generations Trinity APUs could.
The one defining feature that might just convince me to run out and buy a Richland APU over a Trinity is its focus on working better with Miracast and Splashtop for using a wireless monitor or streaming games to my mobile devices. That just might make all the difference. If I wasn’t planning on doing either of those two things, however, it just fiscally makes more sense to buy a Trinity APU at this point. Ultimately, I think both Haswell and Richland are sort of a disappointment. It looks like both Intel and AMD are focusing more on mobile platforms and pushing development away from desktop advancements.