AMD introduced their mainstream answer to Intel’s Haswell today in the form of their new ‘Richland’ Elite A-Series Desktop APUs. For some time, the company has been pushing the APU moniker to differentiate their offerings from competitors, who tend to stick with the traditional CPU. From AMD’s point of view, an APU is basically a CPU with extra die space reserved for more powerful integrated graphics.
|GPU||HD 8670D||HD 8670D||HD 8470D|
|GPU Clock||844 MHz||800 MHz|
|CPU Clock (Base)||4.1 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.9 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.9 GHz|
|CPU Clock (Turbo)||4.4 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.1 GHz|
|Max Supported DDR3||2133 MHz||1866 MHz|
In all, this is a relatively minor upgrade to the APUs we looked at last year. The CPUs and GPUs are both clocked higher than last year’s flagship APUs (not much – on the order of 5-10%, depending), which means that neglecting any other microarchitecture tweaks – and they will be minor tweaks, as this is another refresh of chips based on the Piledriver IP – you can expect a 5-10% increase in performance across the board.
As it turns out, some tasks score a bit less than that, and a few score a bit more. When it comes to Haswell, the new parts really can’t compete on raw performance. AMD comes up late to the party, with chips that are modestly competitive with Intel’s last year’s models. At least, until you look at the price, and what you get for the money. By that metric, AMD’s new APUs smash Haswell completely, with the most expensive A10 – the 6800K, at $149 – coming in $40 cheaper than the least expensive Haswell chip – the Core i5-4430, at $190, with prices going up from there.
The picture might get a little murkier once Intel releases lower-end CPUs, but for now, AMD is cleanly winning the price/performance battle.
Our review of the new Richland APUs will be going up shortly.