AMD A10-5800K Trinity APU Review - Where to Buy

By on October 14, 2012

Trinity is crowned the king of integrated graphics.

AMD A10-5800K Trinity APU Review


When AMD launched the Llano platform last year, the promise of onboard graphics on the CPU itself was somewhat lukewarmly satisfied with performance that was limited to 720p at best. Intel promised more with Ivy Bridge and Intel HD 4000, but that has been limited to their high-end CPUs, while the budget CPUs like Core i3s are stuck with Intel HD 2500; (Core i3-3225 being an exception).



If you’re on a strict budget, then you’d want decent onboard graphics on the CPU itself, so limiting HD 4000 to high-end CPUs that will most likely be used with discreet graphics card(s) doesn’t make much sense. Of course, you can always get a cheap Core i3 with a low-end graphics card, but what if you get both a decent performing processor plus graphics good enough for a 1080p monitor? And so today I’ll be looking at the AMD A10-5800K ‘Trinity’ APU to see what the new generation of Radeon HD 7000 onboard graphics can do.

The new quad-core A10-5800K APU runs at 3.8GHz on base clock, going up to 4.2GHz in Turbo mode. Along with the 4MB L2 cache, there’s also the 384 cores Radeon HD 7660D integrated GPU which runs at 800MHz. The total rated TDP of the entire processor is 100W.



Thing is that unlike the FM1 platform that last year’s Llano APUs were released on, the new Trinity APUs will come on a new FM2 platform. Early adopters are, however, reassured by AMD that that FM2 will carry on for at least one more generation of processors before changing the platform again. Along with the new socket we’re also introduced to the AMD A85X chipset that supports up to 8x SATA III (6Gbps) ports and up to 2x AMD graphics cards for a CrossFire setup. Not that you’d need two discreet cards if you’re getting an APU, although it’s entirely possible to hook up an AMD HD 6670 with the integrated HD 7660D on the A10-5800K for a CrossFire setup.



For testing the AMD A10-5800K the below setup was used.


CPU Benchmarks


Starting the benchmarks are the two most popular data compression software: WinRAR and 7-zip. For both of these programs I have used the built-in benchmarking software. A higher score is better.



The next test is Cinebench R11.5 wherein a 3D image is rendered using the CPU. This test stresses all the CPU cores, maximizing the threads. Results are given in points, the higher the better. The second test x264 HD 4.0 is a video encoding test in which a small HD video file is encoded in x264 format. The results are measured in frames per second, in that the faster a processor, the higher the fps.



PCMark, Performance Test  and Geekbench stress tests all the resources of a system. Since almost all the components in our testbed are one of the best in the market right now, the entirety of the performance will depend on how good our test motherboard is. As usual, the higher the score, the better.



3DMark 11 is an industry standard graphical benchmark, and while it mostly stresses the graphics card, the CPU is also highly stressed for specific tests. The higher the score, the better.


Overclock


With a slight tweak of just 1.5v I managed to bump up the A10-5800K from its base frequency of 3.8GHz to 4.4GHz, which is actually just 200MHz higher than the default Turbo speed of 4.2GHz. The GPU clock speeds, however, got a decent bump from 800MHz to 1075MHz. This is the best I could manage on our test unit, your mileage may vary.



As you can see there's hardly a performance difference with the overclock since the default Turbo speeds kick in instantly and do quiet a good job of maintaining performance in multi-threaded applications.


Gaming Benchmarks


Since this is an integrated GPU pretty much all the settings have been set to low, with built-in benchmarks and FRAPS used to benchmark various games.



While Unigine Heaven is an extremely demanding DX11 benchmark, it's good to know that the A10-5800K can at least run it on 720p above 24fps which maintains the illusuion of smoothness in moving videos. Similarly highly demanding DX11 games like Metro 2033 and Battlefield shouldn't be played at 1080p since the framerate is choppy at best. DX9 based gmaes with DX11 effects such as Tesselation, will indeed run smoothly on the A10 Trinity APUs. Indeed one can bump up a lot of graphical settings as is evident by Dirt 3 and Batman Arkham City.

Conclusion




The AMD A10-5800K 'Trinity' APU has undoubtedly one of the most powerful integrated graphics chip onboard. Playing any game out on the market is a piece of cake at 720p, with many DX9 based games easily playable at 1080p. And let's face it, with the current development cycle of games where almost all publishers have the lead platforms as the home consoles, all new games up till this time next year should easily be playable on A10 Trinity boards. And once the going gets tough on the graphical front, there's always the next generation of APUs to look forward to around exactly the same time next year.
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