Introducing the AMD A10-5750M and Mobile Richland

As an incremental release, AMD's Richland is a little bit hard to build up enthusiasm for. Architecturally almost identical to its predecessor, Trinity, Richland's chief refinement is a substantial improvement on its implementation of AMD's Turbo Core technology. Richland is able to manage its power states with finer granularity, which allows AMD to in some cases substantially beef up the clocks that the CPU and GPU halves of the chip can hit.

On the flipside, despite the branding shenanigans going on at AMD, we're still fundamentally dealing with the same architecture as Trinity. That means one or two Piledriver CPU modules paired up with VLIW4 GPU clusters. It's a little bizarre that we saw Kabini and Temash first, since those chips marry AMD's updated Jaguar low-power CPU architecture with their current generation GCN GPU architecture; Richland is essentially old technology that's seen a healthy refinement. The market segments that Kabini and Temash serve are the fastest growing, so it's understandable, but AMD's "high end" APU architecture looks a little antiquated by comparison.

While desktop Richland has been a little underwhelming, the mobile version should have a lot more teeth. Here's a comparison, generation by generation:

AMD A-Series Mobile APUs (Mainstream TDP)
Model A10-5750M A10-4600M A8-5550M A8-4500M A6-5350M A4-4000
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Clock 2.5 2.3 2.1 1.9 2.9 2.7
CPU Turbo 3.5 3.2 3.1 2.8 3.5 3.2
Graphics HD 8650G HD 7660G HD 8550G HD 7640G HD 8450G HD 7520G
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 192
GPU Clock 533 496 515 496 533 496
GPU Turbo 720 685 720 685 720 685
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 1866 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600

With the new generation, everyone gets a 200MHz bump in CPU base frequency and a much more modest 20-40MHz jump in base GPU clocks. Turbo clocks jump 35MHz on GPUs across the board, nothing to write home about, while CPU turbo clocks jump 300MHz across the board. Since Trinity was chiefly CPU limited, virtually any improvement in core clocks can be a big help. What we really need is for Richland to hit and sustain turbo clocks for longer periods of time, though, and hopefully AMD's improved Turbo Core technology can make up the difference.

Unlike with Trinity, AMD didn't seed Richland reference notebooks to reviewers, so our reference unit is the updated MSI GX60. Part 2 of my review will cover the MSI GX60 specifically, but for now, here's the spec table:

MSI GX60 (2013) Specifications
Processor AMD A10-5750M
(4x2.5GHz, Turbo to 3.5GHz, 32nm, 4MB L2, 35W)
Chipset AMD Hudson-3
Memory 2x8GB A-Data DDR3-1600 (originally 1x8GB)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 8650G
(VLIW4; 384 cores; 533/720MHz base/turbo frequencies)

AMD Radeon HD 7970M 2GB GDDR5
(GCN; 1280 cores; 850MHz/4.8GHz core/memory; 256-bit memory bus)
Display 15.6" LED Matte 16:9 1080p
Hard Drive(s) Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB 7200-RPM SATA 3Gbps HDD
Optical Drive TSSTCorp SN-406AB BD-ROM/DVDRW
Networking Killer Networks e2200 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9485WB-EG 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Audio Realtek ALC892 HD audio (THX TruStudio Pro)
2.1 speakers
Mic, headphone, line-in, and line-out jacks
Battery 9-cell, 87Wh
Front Side -
Right Side Mic, headphone, line-in, and line-out jacks
1x USB 2.0
Optical drive
Left Side Vent
3x USB 3.0
SD card reader
Back Side Kensington lock
AC adapter
Operating System Windows 8 64-bit
Dimensions 14.97" x 10.24" x 1.77"
380mm x 260mm x 45mm
Weight 7.7 lbs
Extras Webcam
USB 3.0
Card reader
THX TruStudio Pro audio
Killer Networks wired networking
SteelSeries keyboard
Warranty 2-year parts and labor
Pricing $1,199

Without getting into the details, relevant to testing is that the GX60 actually ships with only one DIMM channel populated. While the CPU isn't heavily affected by operating in single-channel mode, the IGP takes a nearly 50% hit to performance virtually across the board. It also doesn't ship with any solid state storage, so PCMark7 is going to be heavily impacted by the mechanical hard disk. In the second part of this review, when I tackle the GX60 specifically, you'll be able to get a better idea of what the loss of that second DIMM means.

System and Futuremark Performance
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  • Khato - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Yes there is. Mobile is the primary market for GT3e - there are 3 mobile products with Iris Pro 5200 and only 1 desktop product.
  • kyuu - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Apologies. I actually missed that 47W Haswells were considered "mobile" when I read about it the first time. Still, given the price and TDP disparity, I don't think comparing Iris Pro to Richland is terribly interesting.
  • FwFred - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    I sure hope 'Part 2' had battery life... an essential part of any mobile CPU review.
  • Frenetic Pony - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    WE never needed Bulldozer to begin with. AMD shot itself in the face with Bulldozer, just after its former CEO hoodwinked the shareholders that stuck with AMD and the company itself by making off with the manufacturing arm in the way of Global Foundries just as he was simultaneously making the entire thing a viable, moneymaking business.

    WE need Bulldozer gone with, a long time ago. AMD, and thus us, needs a new much less power hungry architecture that can fit into a SOC like structure on the low end and makes Intel stop piddling around on the high TDP end. But unless both Kabini and the PS4/Xbone do very well this holiday season, AMD might not get a chance to produce that.

    Still, maybe Qualcomm will be up for it. I could see them even buying out the GPU division if AMD goes under. And their updates Krait this year are perfectly competitive with ARM's new Cortex a15 AND Apple's Swift. Maybe they can just keep getting better. Start to put pressure on Intel from the bottom of the power scale up.
  • torp - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    But where are the notebooks with *just* a Richland and no discrete graphics?
    If I get an A10 I'll get it for the 'good enough' performance at a low price using just the integrated GPU.
    Does anyone make such a notebook, preferably that's not a piece of crap, build quality wise?
  • Kalelovil - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    "In this reviewer's opinion, 35W isn't the target, it's the halo. 15W-17W is the target, and while AMD has offerings at those TDPs, they're woefully uncompetitive."

    True, their 17W offerings are disappointing, but AMD has the 19W A8-5545M and 25W A10-5745M which offer reasonable specifications (

    Any chance you will be having systems using either of those in for review?
  • Kalelovil - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Corrected link:
  • TerdFerguson - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    All the "we need AMD" shtick is getting very long in the tooth. Maybe it wouldn't be so offensive if authors were able to provide some scholarly references to back up the claims that consumers are going to really be hurt by AMDs failure to compete. There are certainly plenty of industries with many vendors where competition isn't a huge factor in pricing, even in the tech sector. I'm nowhere near convinced that AMD should somehow derive credit for Intel's progress, and the baseless whining in this article has done nothing to convince me otherwise.
  • kyuu - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    ... I generally dislike being so blunt, but: wow, that's clueless even for someone who's name is "Terd".
  • Pneumothorax - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Wow... Somebody forgets the 'good ol days' of the 90's when Intel basically completely owned the x86 market and routinely released their latest chips always around $900. For example the original Pentium in the 'cheaper' 60mhz variant was released in 1993 at $847. And no that was not an 'extreme edition' either. In today's dollars it's close to $1400. That is the x86 world without a viable competitor to greedy Intel.

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