- CPU Type: AMD Accelerated Processing Unit
- Processor Speed: 3.7GHz
- Graphics Processor: AMD R7
- CPU Socket: Socket FM2+
- Chipset: AMD Kaveri
- Comes with a lot of new features
- High TDP consumption
- Graphics performance not as good as it could be
- Benchmark Results
- PCMark 8 (Home): 2,801 points
- PCMark 8 (Creative): 2,344 points
- 3DMark (Cloud Gate): 3,869 points
- 3DMark (Fire Strike): 656 points
From Piledriver to Steamroller
It wasn’t too long ago that AMD launched their Richland Accelerated Processing Units (APU). Whilst that particular model offered both performance and low power consumption, it still had several niggling issues, such as performance issues when running software that do not have multithreading support, amongst others. Its successor, the AMD A10-7850K APU aims to fix some of these issues, and improve on others.
The A10-7850K APU is based on the Kaveri architecture, which uses the Steamroller CPU cores, as opposed to the Richland APUs that used an enhanced Piledriver CPU core. There are several new technical features introduced here within the APU, which include the Graphics Core Next GPU, which means that the A10-7850K taps into AMD’s new R7 series of GPUs as part of its graphics solutions.
AMD processors, be they CPUs or APUs have always had a high base clock, and the A10-7850K is no different. It is clocked at 3.7GHz, and comes with a Turbo Boost feature accessible via the BIOS. At base clock speed, The A10-7850K is already capable of playing 1080p videos and the like with no lag whatsoever.
As we mentioned earlier, the APU also comes incorporated with a GPU, which in this case is an R7 GPU. While the specific model is usually mentioned when we check the specs in the Properties window, in this case, it is not shown at all. That being said, the GPU portion is a bit underwhelming, as throughout our benchmarks, the scores were quite low all around. That being said, if you are to use the on-board GPU for gaming, you should still be able to play some of the latest games on medium settings with the resolution set to 720p.
Having said all that, the A10-7850K APU does come with a wide variety of new features seen both in the new Steamroller and R-series graphics cards, including support for DirectX 11.2, Mantle, AMD Memory Profile which supports up to 2300MHz speeds for DDR3 RAM, HSA Computing, which enables shared memory between both CPU and GPU to improve overall computing and graphical performance, AMD TrueAudio, a dedicated Digital Sound Processor (DSP) for better audio performance, as well as a dedicated video decoder to offload video encoding and decoding off the CPU.
CHIP CONCLUDE: If you’re looking to build a PC for home use, or even a HTPC for your media-playing needs, the A10-7850K is definitely one to consider. It’s affordable, yet powerful enough to do everything you need a home PC to do on a daily basis.
(previously published in issue March 2014)