The run up to Computex has been insane. Kabini, Haswell and Iris hit us back to back to back, not to mention all of the travel before receiving those products to get briefed on everything. Needless to say, we're in major catchup mode. There's a lot more that I wanted to do with Haswell desktop that got cut out due to Iris, and much more I wanted to do with Iris that I had to scrap in order to fly out to Computex. I will be picking up where I left off later this month, but with WWDC, Samsung and a couple of NDA'd events later this month, it's not going to be as quick as I'd like.

One part that arrived while I was in the middle of launch central was AMD's Richland for desktop. Effectively a refresh of Trinity with slightly higher clocks, a software bundle and more sophisticated/aggressive turbo. Richland maintains socket compatibility with Trinity (FM2), so all you should need is a BIOS update to enable support for the chip. AMD sent over two Richland parts just before I left for Computex: the 100W flagship A10-6800K and the 65W A10-6700. I didn't have time to do Richland justice before I left, however I did make sure to test the 6800K in tandem with Haswell's GPU just so I had an idea of how things would stack up going forward as I was writing my Iris Pro conclusion.

For all intents and purposes, Iris Pro doesn't exist in the desktop space, making Haswell GT2 (HD 4600) the fastest socketed part with discrete graphics that Intel ships today. In our Haswell desktop review I didn't get a chance to really analyze HD 4600 performance, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to refresh the current state of desktop integrated processor graphics. Unlike the staggered CPU/GPU launch of Trinity on the desktop, the situation with Richland is purely a time limitation on my end. This was all I could put together before I left for Computex.

Although Richland comes with a generational increase in model numbers, the underlying architecture is the same as Trinity. We're still talking about Piledriver modules and a Cayman derived GPU. It won't be until Kaveri that we see GCN based processor graphics from AMD at this price segment (Kabini is already there).

As Jarred outlined in his launch post on Richland, the 6800K features 4 - 8% higher CPU clocks and a 5% increase in GPU clocks compared to its predecessor. With improved Turbo Core management, AMD expects longer residency at max turbo frequencies but you shouldn't expect substantial differences in performance on the GPU side. The A10-6800K also includes official support for DDR3-2133. AMD is proud of its valiation on the A10-6800K, any parts that won't pass at DDR3-2133 are demoted to lower end SKUs. I never spent a ton of time testing memory overclocking with Trinity, but my A10-5800K sample had no issues running at DDR3-2133 either. I couldn't get DDR3-2400 working reliably however.

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

For my Richland test platform I used the same Gigabyte UD4 Socket-FM2 motherboard I used for our desktop Trinity review, simply updated to the latest firmware release. I ran both AMD platforms using the same Catalyst 13.6 driver with the same DDR3-2133 memory frequency. AMD was quick to point out that only the A10-6800K ships with official DDR3-2133 support, so the gap in performance between it and Trinity may be even larger if the latter tops out at DDR3-1866. The HD 4000/4600 numbers are borrowed from my Iris Pro review using DDR3-2400, however I didn't notice scaling on Haswell GT2 beyond DDR3-1866.

I'll be following up with a more thorough look at Richland once I'm back from my current bout of traveling.

Gaming Performance
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  • Death666Angel - Sunday, June 9, 2013 - link

    "Who would buy it?" If it was just the added cost of the eDRAM put on top of the -K SKU (so 50€ or something on top of the i5-4670K and i7-4770K) I'd buy it in a heartbeat. First of all, it offers better QS functionality and second of all, the 128MB L4 cache is not exclusive to the iGPU, but can be used for the CPU as well, which offers some serious performance gains in programs that can make use of it.
  • shinkueagle - Sunday, June 9, 2013 - link

    Because it stupid to make such a comparison... And even more stupid of you to bring up such NONSENSE....
  • gfluet - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Mostly because there are no Desktop Crystalwells yet, and the comparios is between socketed CPUs.

    But yeah, I look forward to when AnandTech gets a review model of the I7-4770R. I want to put one of those in a supercompact system.
  • Ewram - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Excuse me, but what is the MSRP of the A10-6800k versus the i7-4770k? Also, wouldn't benchmarks also be affected by CPU performance to at least some extent?
  • 3DoubleD - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Given how GPU and memory bandwidth limited these systems are, I'm sure the difference in CPU performance plays only a small if not negligible role in the final score.

    Even if we were talking a single 7970, the difference between AMD and Intel was pretty insignificant
  • CannedTurkey - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    The i7-4770 is roughly double the price of the A10-6800.
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    MSRP really isn't a valid comparison here as they are entirely different price points/target audiences. The point is to test the iGPU capability.

    AMD and Intel have very different approaches to iGPU and processor SKU's, today. AMD and it's Fusion are specifically targeting low price points where AMD believes the value of an iGPU is most attractive. The CPU cores are similar to its FX line, but it's an entirely different die than its flagship desktop parts which have NO iGPU whatsoever.

    Intel on the desktop for the mostpart has a single die for all its mainstream Core i7's down to budget Core i3, Pentiums. The Core i7's iGPU isn't really focused on giving a budget gaming experience. And this is where Anand's criticism is aimed. They could make an amazing APU with a very balanced iGPU and CPU on the high end desktop parts but have chosen not to. It would seem the powers that be have decided there is no market for Iris Pro and its high end desktop parts.

    MSRP would be a valid comparison in the Mobile Core i7 with Iris Pro vs the Richland Mobile parts.
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Perhaps. In that case, the price of the CPU would be partially obscured by the total BOM. If Iris Pro is that good, and you got double performance for twice the price, it wouldn't be too bad.
  • Concillian - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    "Intel on the desktop for the mostpart has a single die for all its mainstream Core i7's down to budget Core i3, Pentiums. "

    Not true. Dual core and quad core have had different silicon since they started the i3 / i5 / i7 naming convention. I'm no mobile expert, but I know that on the desktop i3 has never had the same die as i7.
  • eanazag - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    A10-6800K is sitting around $150 on Newegg, while the 4770K is pushing $349 daisies. The comparison is still sensible and useful. Spend less money on Intel CPU and the clocks go down. So in an iGP setting for gaming AMD makes more sense, but if you throw a discrete card in the mix you'll have to rethink what your goals are. After staring at those prices, for a gaming only rig I might rather spend the price difference on a discrete card and call it a day if the monitor resolution is 1080p or less.

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