AMD Richland review
AMD took five years to get its first Fusion parts out of the door, but since they made their debut in 2011, the firm has been churning out APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) with impressive regularity. Its latest update, Richland, is the successor to last year’s Trinity chips.
The Richland chips offer “Enhanced” versions of the Piledriver core that was used in last year’s Trinity APUs, rather than an entirely new generation. In reality, little has changed: the cores are still built using a 32nm manufacturing process, and the enhancements deliver increased clock speeds rather than architectural improvements.
Richland’s base clock speeds are universally higher than those of the Trinity chips, and Turbo Core sees five of the six new APUs dynamically boost beyond 4GHz; only two of last year’s A-Series chips were capable of this.
Five of the new Richland APUs also have Radeon HD 8000 Series graphics, but despite the name, these aren’t new GPUs – they’re still based on the VLIW4 architecture from 2011’s Radeon HD 6000 Series. Tellingly, the A10-6800K includes the Radeon HD 8670D, which has 384 stream processors – exactly the same number as last year’s A10-5800K. Speed improvements are due to a modest clock speed bump, from 800MHz to 844MHz, and other Richland APUs lower down the range include cut-down cores with 256, 192 and 128 stream processors.
The four fastest Richland APUs utilise a quad-core architecture. The A10-6800K runs at 4.1GHz and boosts to 4.4GHz, while the 3.7GHz A10-6700 tops out at 4.2GHz. The A8-6600K runs at 3.8GHz, and it’s followed up by the A8-6500, which is clocked at 3.5GHz. Two dual-core parts bring up the rear: the A6-6400K runs at 3.9GHz, while the A4-4000 is clocked at 3GHz and makes do with a Radeon HD 7480D graphics core. As ever, only the unlocked K variants are overclockable.
The A10-6800K scored 0.81 in our application benchmarks. That’s a modest improvement on the 0.76 scored by last year’s A10-5800K, and comparable with the best Core i3 chips, but it doesn’t match the pace of Ivy Bridge– and Haswell-based Core i5 parts – most of these score more than 1 in our tests. The other Richland chip we were sent for testing, the A10-6700, scored 0.79.
|Cores (number of)||4|