AMD A10-6800K Conclusion
The AMD A10-6800K APU is a good next-step in the world of AMD Accelerated Processing Units. It represents a slight increase in performance in both the CPU and GPU portions of the unit over the last generation of Trinity processors. I’m not sure that I think it should be named the A10-6800K, though. In all honesty, it seems more like an A10-5900K instead. That would make the A10-6700 something like the A10-5950 I suppose. The reason I say that is because it is not really a significant enough increase in any area for me to justify calling it a new series. I suppose I can’t complain too much, however. The A10-6800K still uses the same FM2 platform and only requires a BIOS update to use all of the increased functionality.
I actually find it quite humorous that David Ramsey, in his review of the new Haswell Core i7-4770K, refers to it as a veritable step backwards because the performance increase doesn’t justify the price increase. Little did he know that this type of behavior is apparently the new industry standard. (Editor’s note: did anyone notice the 2011 copyright marked on the processor?) AMD did the exact same thing with the A10-6800K. The new processor costs 10% more than the A10-5800K, but performs only 5 to 6% better on average. Just like David said with the Haswell CPU, if you were to get your hands on a late model 5800K, there is a high likelihood that you could overclock it to be faster than a new model 6800K.
Since the FM2 platform looks like it will be around and supported for at least the next 6 months to a year with a new stream of processors, there really isn’t any reason that I can see to upgrade at this point to a Richland APU. If you are in the market right now for a new entry to mid-level desktop computer, I have to recommend Trinity at its current price. I think I might still give the win to Richland if you are building an HTPC, but then again, that’s only if you plan on using a Wireless TV or monitor in the near future. Otherwise, Trinity still wins with its ability to pair with the same GPUs as Richland.
The overclockability of the A10-6800K really doesn’t do it much justice either, looking from a CPU perspective. While I was able to reach 500MHz faster than the stock clock speed, that really only translates into 200MHz higher than the maximum turbo clock speed available from the A10-6800K anyway. That did provide a slight boost in CPU performance, but I wouldn’t count on that as a selling point. The GPU, on the other hand, overclocked very well. I was able to bump it to 1000MHz which pulled around a 25% increase in performance of GPU tasks. A 25% increase actually gives the A10-6800K a chance at playing the latest games, albeit on the lowest settings.
In conclusion, I can’t fully get behind a recommendation at this point for the $149.99 (Newegg | Amazon) A10-6800K Richland APU. It just doesn’t provide the level of performance increase that would justify buying it over last generation’s processors. I think there is a good chance that the price of the Richland APUs will drop relatively quickly. When it does, I’ll get behind it. Until then, get a Trinity.
Final Score: 8.20 out of 10.
COMMENT QUESTION: How often do you upgrade your PC?