We’ve all known for a while that AMD would be releasing desktop Richland SKUs, and there have been a few leaks—including the APUs going up for sale at Newegg yesterday, one day before the NDA. The details of the new AMD Elite A-Series Desktop APUs don’t muddy the waters too much. These are updated Trinity cores, built on the same manufacturing technology, with higher clock speeds and improved memory support thanks to a maturing process and the passage of time. We’ve already covered the mobile Richland APUs, which are starting to show up in laptops (though sadly we haven’t had any in for review yet). Here are the details of the desktop parts, six of which are now available.

AMD Elite A-Series Desktop APUs, aka Richland
Model A10-6800K A10-6700 A8-6600K A8-6500 A6-6400K A4-4000
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Base Freq 4.1 3.7 3.9 3.5 3.9 3.0
Max Turbo 4.4 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 3.2
TDP 100W 65W 100W 65W 65W 65W
Graphics HD 8670D HD 8670D HD 8570D HD 8570D HD 8470D ?
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 128
GPU Clock 844 844 844 800 800 724
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 2133 1866 1866 1866    
Price (MSRP) $150 ($142) $149 ($142) $120 ($112) $119 ($112) $80 $46

Just to put things in perspective, here are the previous generation Trinity desktop APUs:

AMD Trinity Desktop APUs
Model A10-5800K A10-5700 A8-5600K A8-5500 A6-5400K A4-5300
Modules/Cores 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/2 1/2
CPU Base Freq 3.8 3.4 3.6 3.2 3.6 3.4
Max Turbo 4.2 4.0 3.9 3.7 3.8 3.6
TDP 100W 65W 100W 65W 65W 65W
Graphics HD 7660D HD 7660D HD 7560D HD 7560D HD 7540D HD 7480D
GPU Cores 384 384 256 256 192 128
GPU Clock 800 760 760 760 760 723
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB 1MB
Max DDR3 2133 1866 1866 1866    
Current Price $130 $129 $110 $105 $70 $55

All of the CPU and GPU clocks are up (with the exception with the budget-minded A4-4000), as expected. Maximum Turbo Core speeds across the lineup range from 200MHz faster (A10-6800K) to as much as 400MHz faster (A8-6500); the base CPU clocks have also been increased 100-300MHz, with the 300MHz increase coming on the highest performance models. We’ve also been informed that the Richland APUs will be more likely to hit their maximum Turbo Core clocks, whereas Trinity was more likely to run at the base clock, so all told, we would expect performance to be up anywhere from 5% to as much as 25% in extreme cases, with the average being more likely in the 10% range.

On the GPU front, the Richland APUs are likewise clocked 5-11% higher (the only 11% gap being the A10-6700 vs. the A10-5700; the rest are 5%). At least for now street pricing is also up around 10-15%, so you’re basically paying a bit more to get a bit more performance. Also worth mention is that all of the Richland parts will work in existing socket FM2 motherboards, with support for the A85X, A75, and A55 platforms. There will be forward compatibility with FM2+ motherboards as well. It’s unlikely many people will be looking to upgrade from Trinity to Richland (just like we don’t expect many people to move from Ivy Bridge to Haswell), but the existing FM2 motherboards will help keep the price of adoption low.

While it may appear that Intel’s new Haswell chips could cause AMD some grief in the graphics department, there’s more to the story than just performance. With Trinity and Ivy Bridge, AMD clearly had a faster iGPU, but depending on what you’re looking at that’s no longer inherently true. It’s going to be a bit closer now when we compare Intel’s HD Graphics 4200/4400/4600 with the HD 8670D, but the GT3e Iris Pro 5200 should prove substantially more potent. That will likely be true of the GT3 HD Graphics 5000 when compared with mobile Trinity as well. However, Iris Pro 5200 also ends up adding to the cost of a Haswell chip, and U-series Haswell chips will be selling in substantially more expensive Ultrabooks. So we’re basically back to the same story as before: AMD will sell you “good enough” performance at a much lower price than Intel.

The fastest AMD A10-6800K costs $40 less than the least expensive Core i5 Haswell CPU, and in fact it’s still $30-$40 less than Core i5 Ivy Bridge. Intel competes against the A10-6800K with their Core i3 CPUs, which on the desktop remain Ivy Bridge for now. Unless you need absolutely top CPU performance, AMD’s A10 APUs have proven more than sufficient for most tasks—even high-end gaming rarely benefits from a faster CPU than an A10 until you start using two or more GPUs. That’s really the question you need to answer: what do you intend to do with your PC? For pure CPU performance, Intel wins easily, and Quick Sync is great for fast video transcoding; outside of those use cases, though, AMD’s APUs continue to provide a good experience that will keep all but the most demanding of users happy.

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  • AFQ - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    When we'll get to see a review?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure if Anand has all the numbers or not -- if not, he's at Computex so most likely we'd have to wait until he gets back.
  • medi02 - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Judging from your "trending topics":
    CPUs Haswell Intel GPUs Iris Mobile NVIDIA Kepler GeForce

    Where Intel has 2 spots, Nvidia has 3 spots and AMD has 0 spots, we sure have to wait...
  • JulioFranco - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    We got ours posted on TechSpot if you want to check out some benchmarks in the meantime: http://www.techspot.com/review/681-amd-a10-6800k-a...

    Other reviews and discussion here:
  • axien86 - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    For everyone, the TechSpot review neglects to account for AMD's A10-6700 (65w TDP) APU while Hardware.fr did and found it energy efficient while outperforming in graphics and games similar priced Intel offerings.

    The reviewer at TechSpot also neglects to utilize any OpenCL and BasemarkCL multiprocessing benchmarks even though apps like Adobe, Aviary and numbers of other apps utilize this acceleration.

    So, the TechSpot is pretty much a "hit and run" type of review and only waste time on it if you have time to waste.
  • BMNify - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    The A10-6700 is just an underclocked part, not sure how "interesting" is the metric of choice here. Also, they have tested Photoshop CS6, care to read the review before commenting?
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    he is taking about opencl in photoshop cs6.
  • testbug00 - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    I and others have suspected that on mobile Richland the extra clock speeds and such comes from less conservative voltage binnings, but on these desktop ones i am not sure.

    I can see two main scenarios:
    1. AMD binned desktop chips better (overclocking should be better than trinity)
    2. AMD just kept bins the same for desktop and just raised the clocks (because they had the voltage to do so)
  • K_Space - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    A Thai review managed to OC the top Richland APU to 5.0Ghz on air so it looks like your first scenario is right. If that's true, then Richland should not be underestimated as it'll cause serious concerns for the venerable HTPC i3-3225 (until haswell i3 hit stores) and at the same time gain some OC credit. Incidentally, Richland is pretty much same price as Trinity in the UK.
  • testbug00 - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    That is good, but i managed to get my A10-5800k to 4.4 without raising the voltages... what site did that get to 5Ghz on air on... thanks!

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