AMD A10-6800K Richland Review

Conclusion

AMD A10-6800K Richland Review  

Conclusion 

AMD came to us in 2011 with their APU lineup to fill a gap in the market that not many realised was there. Fast forward to present day and, on the performance front, they're still going reasonably strong. For the price that this chip is being released at the performance has been pleasantly surprising, beating the Ivy Bridge i3-3220 in most scenarios. Not too shabby at all for a product whose main focus is not on the CPU, but instead the integrated graphics solution.

In saying that, it does seem as though AMD have focused more on improving the CPU side of their new range, with a 300MHz boost to stock clocks, Piledriver cores, an improved memory controller, and a stronger focus on OpenCL. Both the Handbrake media encoding and the x264 benchmark have seen the benefits from the OpenCL support, which is great for those of you who transcode video files. AMD's Piledriver cores employ two modules containing two cores each, with each core sharing some resources with its module pair. Unlike Intel's i3, this makes the A10 a fully fledged quad-core processor. Many dismiss the architecture as being weak, but there's no denying that the 6800K does beat the other processors in the majority of our CPU oriented tests. 

On to the iGPU and we see that the 8670D on board the Richland APU beats both of its opponents throughout our tests, though we don't see as much as an improvement as we'd like over last generation's Trinity solution. Synthetic benchmarks seem to show more of an improvement than those sourced from actual games, with results from the relatively new Hitman Absolution game, an AMD title nonetheless, showing barely any improvement over Trinity's 5800K. This trend is found frequently throughout our results, with next to no increase in frame rates over last year's tech. It is possible, of course, that future updates will prove beneficial for Richland, but we must report on the results that we're getting at present. From the get go it was obvious that the i3's HD2500 offering was no where near the performance of the APUs, which is a great spot for AMD to find themselves. Intel simply have no real answer to this section of the market. 

Following on from this it must be said how impressive the gaming performance of both APUs are. Being able to play games at decent framerates on an integrated solution is remarkable, and it's often easy to forget that there's no dedicated card being used. For those that care less about graphical settings and more about the gameplay itself, the AMD chips may be the perfect match for you. This is such a far cry from how things were just a few years ago that it's not too far fetched to believe that the casual gamer has little need for a video card anymore.

Though the general performance of the 6800K is good, we think it's prime time for AMD to focus more on the power efficiency of their APUs. The difference in performance between Intel's i3 and the 6800K in terms of the CPU isn't all that much, and yet the i3 uses significantly less power. This is not great for a HTPC, as such systems are often left on for long periods of time, sometimes 24/7. With this kind of usage expected the extra power consumption is definitely a bad thing, though there will be many of you who won't care that much.

The power efficiency does lead into another issue, and that's the temperatures. The extra power used by the 6800K is creating heat - a lot of heat. When OCCT is used to stress the CPU AMD's stock cooling solution doesn't stand a chance, with the core reaching temperatures of 97°C. Though such stresses aren't going to be experienced to such a degree in real life,  applications such as Handbrake which transcode media files can certainly turn up the heat. We ran our stock cooler at a constant 12v to take any variations in motherboard fan profiles from effecting results. Even with the cooler manually set to run at maximum we still experienced temps up to nearly 100°C, showing that if you want your system for CPU intensive tasks OR low noise you will have to invest in a good aftermarket cooler to tame the heat that can be produced.

All in all we find that AMD's biggest competition for an on-die gaming solution with the 6800K is the 5800K. Tiny improvements in gaming scenarios lead us to recommend those already owning a Trinity APU to stay put. For those of you who are thinking about buying an APU for a low powered gaming system for the first time, it'd be worth checking the price differences between the two A10s in today's tests. If the 5800K undergoes a serious price drop then, to us, it still seems to be the best option.
For those who're not interested in gaming on the APU, but instead more interested in media playback, the two A10s may be a little more than you need. There are other less power hungry options which can play movies just as well, and these should also have less issues with heat.  

After much deliberation, we give this Richland processor the OC3D Value for Money award. For the price that it's being released the gaming performance is great, and the CPU performance is steadily improving, though not by much over last year. For the people who can still enjoy gaming at lower settings and resolutions this APU is a fantastic option.
 

    


Thanks to AMD for supplying the A10-6800K. Discuss your thoughts on the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

04-06-2013, 23:53:00

Josh Weston
AMD's APUs have always been something that we've loved, so now it's time to see how their newest release takes to our testing.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...232455518l.png
Continue Reading

05-06-2013, 01:36:13

NeverBackDown
I wonder how much the 2133mhz memory would improve scores? Apu's are known for loving fast speeds so running at 2133mhz vs 1333mhz should improve scores quite a bit I would assume. Nevertheless still a great chip.

Good job on this review Josh! I was actually surprised. In the first page(not trying to be picky) I felt there were way to many commas. I ain't no English major but seems too many were used
Keep up the good work

05-06-2013, 02:28:40

The Orange One
Good work with the review Josh!
That APU seems like a great little chip, for the money!

05-06-2013, 02:29:57

Zoot
I was expecting a bit of a bump when it came to GPU performance.

But I guess it makes more sense that this is just really a minor refresh, given that Kaveri is supposed to arrive towards the back half of the year.

05-06-2013, 05:15:11

lollyhayes
I don't really understand why you ran your 1600mhz hyper-x at 1333. You have deliberately nerfed performance of the GPU. If users look at other reviews where the correct memory frequency was used (2133) the performance gains of the gpu are noticeable over the 5800k and destroy the intel i-3.

Bottom line - this is not a fair "real world test" who uses 1600mhz ram at 1333 mhz... REALLY.
I mean who even buys 1333mhz ram these days - NOBODY.
My conclusion is that you are just a bunch of intel lackeys...
Rerun the test fairly please.

05-06-2013, 05:19:54

tinytomlogan
We ran at 1333 as we do ALL stock runs. Even the haswell review stock tests are at 1333 because thats what systems auto set themselves too.

Josh did not have time to run faster mem tests, all results in this review we ran while he was here the other week. Adding in extra mem speeds would have required a: them all to match to be comparable and b: taken twice as long which was just not possible.

I can say in our testing 2133 was not achievable with the Richland APU on test today.

05-06-2013, 05:33:42

SieB
Wow, AMD kicking Intel but

Congrats on your first official review Josh
Nice to see the graphs in ascending/descending order as well, they looks so much better like that.

05-06-2013, 05:47:30

SPS
Monster of a review there Josh.

Spotted a typo on the page title "Tomb Raider and Sleeping Sogs"

05-06-2013, 08:49:23

lollyhayes
Thanks Tom, I didn't mean to be angry, I just thought that maybe we were being sold a slightly biased story. I rate you guys so highly because of the balance you guys give to your reviews.
I agree with you on the standardisation (eg all at 1333, all at 1600). But I think that in this specific case it would be unfair to not run the A10 at max (2133) and then bump the intel to 2133mhz as well as certainy for the Trinity A series bumping the ram from 1600 to 1800 yielded some neat results.
It's interesting that you say that the A10 was a no go on 2133... Any reason? Unstable?

05-06-2013, 10:03:05

NeverBackDown
^^ Memory controller may be to weak.

05-06-2013, 10:12:43

grassman
You should make the move to Windows 8. My 4600m saw a massive boost from it. Fifa 13 in Windows 7 would just constantly drop in FPS pretty terrible latency problems, 60 down to 30 at random points. The move to windows 8 kept me at a steady 60 FPS.

05-06-2013, 11:32:23

MacLeod
Josh's first review. Our little boy all grown up.

Well done write up. I'm glad to see AMD seems to be finally righting the ship and even tho they'renot making huge strides in performance gains, they're steadily getting better and better. I totally agree tho that they really need to address their power consumption. I think that's more of an Achilles heel for them than IPC.

Can't see the benchmarks tho cause Android doesn't do Flash anymore.

05-06-2013, 11:40:10

tgrech
I know it was for comparative reasons, but I don't think I can take an APU test seriously when it's using 1333 Mhz memory, it's like test driving and reviewing a sports car with a 56Mph speed limiter. Bandwidth is everything to any APU, any chance that in the future tests will be redone?

05-06-2013, 11:57:12

grassman
Kaveri was confirmed today by years end. This looks like just minor changes to make the purchasers of FM2 happy.

05-06-2013, 14:29:24

chrismjurd
solid review Josh, and totally agree with VFM award.

Might we get a Hybrid Xfire bench at some point from it?
/edit understand you do not have quite the magic cupboard yet.. but worth asking at least edit/

small typo four paragraphs from bottom of conclusion,
Quote:
Intel's i3 and the 6870K in terms

06-06-2013, 03:17:07

Zoot
Quote:
Originally Posted by grassman View Post
Kaveri was confirmed today by years end. This looks like just minor changes to make the purchasers of FM2 happy.
It actually looks like Kaveri might arrive a bit earlier than we might think. AMD's corporate VP of communications John Taylor says they'll be sampling Kaveri to customers quite soon.

It means we might be getting a taste of what Steamroller will really be like sooner rather than later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHPnDvubjfo

06-06-2013, 09:59:46

grassman
Would be immense if you could use the IGP to process(physics?) while still using a dedicated GPU.

06-06-2013, 17:54:04

luongo27
Think I'll stick with my 5800k for now, unless it's on a silly offer.

25-06-2013, 05:18:26

flyboyovyick
Personal opinion, you should have really tested at 2133MHz...

They really do benefit from it!

25-06-2013, 06:10:32

vorticalbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboyovyick View Post
Personal opinion, you should have really tested at 2133MHz...

They really do benefit from it!
1333 MHz will be supported across all the chips, what if they get a chip that can't run memory at 2133mhz for whatever reason? running at 1333 makes all results comparable and thus fair testing.
Reply
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