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AMD A10-6800K APU Richland Desktop Processor Review

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Wireless Capabilities of Richland APUs

There are a couple of new technologies that AMD has implemented with the Richland APUs, and more specifically with the Radeon HD 8000 on-die graphics, that I think are worth discussing here. The first is Miracast support. Miracast is also called AMD Wireless Display, and can be used with any compatible motherboard using Broadcomm or Atheros wireless adapters. This wireless display technology is controlled from the AMD VISION Engine Control Center (Catalyst). Obviously, your display, whether it is a monitor or a TV, would have to be compatible as well, containing a Broadcomm or Atheros adapter. Once connected through the Control Center, your computer is usable wirelessly on your display.

AMD_A10_6800K_Side.jpg

While this technology would be nice for just about anyone, I think it really has potential in the HTPC market. The on-die graphics on the Richland APUs are perfect for HTPC level graphics anyway, and the wireless display technology would allow you to hide away the box. Using a wireless keyboard and mouse, or an HTPC remote control, the only cord that would have to be plugged into the system would be the power cable. Considering the massive mess of cables smashed between my desk and the wall, this would actually be a great idea for an office computer as well. AMD A series processors are also great for office environments.

Another new, and similar, technology available with AMD APUs is Personal Cloud Gaming. AMD partnered with Splashtop, a remote desktop software manufacturer, to allow APU users to game remotely on a laptop or tablet. Basically, AMD’s accelerated Splashtop version can be loaded onto your mobile device and you would connect your main system (an APU based system) to the mobile device through Splashtop. You should then be able to play your games over the network on your mobile devices.

AMD notes that there may be latency issues depending on wireless connectivity. They also recommend, of course, AMD based tablets and laptops for use with the Personal Cloud Gaming technology. Another issue that you might run into is the need for a keyboard and mouse, or another controller, to play the games you want to play. Splashtop does offer a more expensive version of their software that supports a virtual controller and keypad so that you can use your tablet or phone and keep the controls on-screen.

Dual Graphics Configurations

Now is also a good point to discuss CrossfireX dual-graphics configurations using the built-in graphics on the A-Series APUs. As we know from the previous generations of APU, one of the features is the ability to pair another AMD discrete GPU with the on-die graphics and without having to use a third-party program or controller like Lucid Virtu. Of course, more and more motherboard manufacturers are starting to offer products with Lucid functionality built in. This offers a much more robust ability for graphical pairing than the dual-graphics configurations available natural with the AMD APUs.

In fact, AMD is a little unclear with what discrete GPUs can be paired with the A10-6800K and its on-die Radeon HD 8670D graphics. The recommendation is to pair it with a Radeon HD 6670 or a Radeon HD 6570. I don’t happen to have either of those GPUs on hand, especially considering that those are very outdated GPUs at this point. I haven’t had a chance to see if the necessary profiles are available to enable dual-graphics with a 7000 series Radeon HD GPU. From the benchmarks provided by AMD, it looks like pairing a 6670 with the AMD A10-6800K can significantly increase performance, at the very least making new games like Tomb Raider or BioShock Infinite actually playable.

I tried to pair the AMD A10-6800K with both a Radeon HD 7850 and a Radeon HD 7790, but I was unable to do so.

{mosjrfooter Intel Core i7-4770K|Intel Core Processor|}

{mospagebreak title=Features and Specifications}

{mosjrheader AMD A10-6800K|AMD Desktop Processor|}

AMD A10-6800K Features

The following information is provided courtesy of AMD

Turbo Charged x86 architecture featuring “Piledriver” cores

  • Supports up to 4 cores and support for the latest ISA instructions including FMA4/3, AVX, AES, XOP
  • Up to 2MB L2 cache per dual-core module (up to 4MB total)
  • Max Turbo Frequencies up to 4.4 GHz
  • Configurable via AMD OverDrive

AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series GPU Cores

  • Featuring VLIW 4 architecture
  • Up to 384 shaders
  • Up to 844MHz
  • Up to 8xAA and 16AF support
  • Controllable via AMD OverDrive
  • DirectX 11 Support

New DDR3-2133 support on A10 APUs

Enhanced AMD Turbo Core

  • More Frequency/Voltage levels for CPU and x86 cores
  • Temperature Smart Turbo Core
  • New bottleneck detect algorithms
  • Controllable via AMD OverDrive

UVD and VCE

  • Video Encode and Decode Hardware to offload CPU
  • AMD Picture Perfect support with HD Post Processing technologies

Support for latest display technologies

  • AMD Eyefinity
  • Display Port 1.2 support technology for 3+1 monitor support

FM2 Platform

  • AMD CrossFire support with AMD A85X motherboards
  • AMD Memory Profile support (auto select memory timings in select DIMMs)
  • AMD Dual Graphics cards support with AMD Radeon HD 6450, 6570, and 6670 graphics

AMD (SKU) Specifications

As of 5 June 2013, the AMD Richland series of APUs consists of five seperate processors; two from the A10 line, two from the A8 line, and one from the A6 line. Eventually, more processors will likely be released, specifically in the lower end A6 and even the A4 lines of processors. The TDP points of the third generation of APUs stays pretty much the same as the previous generation. This is not surprising, especially considering the new processors are built on mostly existing architecture.

Here are the current APU Richland models:

Processor A10-6800K A10-6700 A8-6600K A8-6500 A6-6400K
CPU Base clock (GHz) 4.1 3.9 3.7 3.4 3.4
CPU Turbo clock (GHz) 4.4 4.2 4.3 3.8 3.8
Cores 4 4 4 4 2
Cache 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 1M
Memory Support Dual-channel DDR3-2133 Dual-channel DDR3-1866 Dual-channel DDR3-1866 Dual-channel DDR3-1866 Dual-channel DDR3-1866
PCI-E lanes 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3
Graphics Radeon HD 8670D Radeon HD 8670D Radeon HD 8570D Radeon HD 8570D Radeon HD 8470D
AMD Radeon Cores
384 384 256 256 192
Graphics Core clock 844MHz 844MHz 844MHz 800MHz 80MHz
DirectX Version 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1
AMD Turbo Core Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TDP 100 watts 65 watts 100 watts 84 watts 84 watts
Unlocked Yes No Yes No Yes
MSRP $142 $142 $112 $112 $69


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