AMD A10-7850K review
AMD’s new Kaveri processors are designed to allow software developers to make the most of the processors’ computing power. Not only do all three announced Kaveri processors have four processor cores, they also have at least six graphics cores.
Even better, the processors’ graphics cores and central processing unit (CPU) cores have equal access to system memory and equal flexibility to create and execute work. This means developers can potentially use all the computing cores of a Kaveri processor to make full use of the chip’s processing power. The promise is faster desktop processing and better performance in games, but how do the Kaveri chips perform right now in our real-world benchmarks?
The AMD A10-7850K is the top model in AMD’s Kaveri line-up, and it has four cores and no less than eight graphics cores. It runs at a typical clock speed of 3.7GHz but can boost to 4GHz. To use the A10-7850K you'll need to use an FM2+ motherboard, which means you can’t just use an existing FM2 board and swap out your Richland or Trinity processor for a Kaveri chip. The good news is that you can use a Trinity or Richland processor in an FM2+ motherboard, so if you don’t have funds for both a motherboard and CPU upgrade right now you can always upgrade your motherboard first and then your processor later.
The A10-7850K scored 73 overall in our multimedia benchmarks, so you’ll have no problems running all the common desktop applications, such as photo editors and word processors. However, the A10-7850K scored only two more points than the A10-6800K, which isn’t a significant increase considering the greater cost of the A10-7850K. The strength of the A10-7850K is its new architecture, but our multimedia benchmarks don’t make use of it. Hopefully developers will get behind the new architecture and produce applications that make the most of the A10-7850K’s power.
One immediate benefit the A10-7850K affords is great graphics processing thanks to its built-in 720MHz, eight-core graphics processor. The A10-7850K produced an average frame rate of 50fps in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1,280x720 and graphics quality set to High. We conducted this test with our reference RAM running at 1,600MHz. When we used AMD’s Gamer Series memory running at 2,133MHz the average frame rate increased to an impressive 57.6fps with a minimum frame rate of 45fps. If you want to use the A10-7850K’s on-die graphics processor for playing 3D games then it’s certainly beneficial to use a higher-frequency memory kit.
The A10-7850K’s performance in the Dirt Showdown benchmarks is excellent when you consider it’s delivered by an on-die graphics processor. However, it isn’t a big improvement on that of the A10-6800K, which produced an average frame rate of 49.9fps in the same test with our reference memory running at 1,600MHz.
Even so, it is possible to enjoy a spot of 1080p gaming with the A10-7850K. At a resolution of 1,920x,1080 and with graphics quality set to High, the A10-7850K produced an average frame rate of 34.3fps, with a minimum frame rate of 27.9fps.
Predictably, more graphically challenging games such as Crysis 3 will prove too much for the A10-7850K’s graphics processor. At a resolution of 1,280x720 with graphics quality set to Low the A10-7850K produced an average frame rate of 24fps, with a peak frame rate of 31fps and a low of 24fps. That isn’t an ideal frame rate and quality level, but it really isn’t bad for a processor’s built-in graphics processor.