Tuesday, January 14th 2014

AMD Announces 4th Generation A-Series "Kaveri" Desktop APUs

AMD announced its 2014 A-Series APU for the desktop platform, code-named "Kaveri," after the southern-Indian river. Built in the new FM2+ package, the APUs run only on socket FM2+ motherboards based on the AMD A88X, A78, and A55 chipsets; while the socket itself can seat older FM2 APU families, "Trinity" and "Richland." In many ways, the socket transition is similar to that of socket AM3+. "Kaveri" sees AMD integrate two of its newest CPU and GPU micro-architectures, "Steamroller" for CPU, and Graphics CoreNext 2.0 for the GPU. "Kaveri" is also built on newer generation 28 nm silicon fab process.

"Steamroller" is an evolution of the same modular CPU core design as its predecessors, "Piledriver" and "Bulldozer." AMD promises a 10 percent improvement in performance clock-by-clock, per core, which falls in line with AMD's normal scheme of annual incremental performance updates on its CPU micro-architectures. A "Steamroller" module is a combination of two 64-bit x86 cores, which feature dedicated and shared components. "Kaveri" has two such modules, and so physically, it features a quad-core CPU.
The GPU inside A-Series "Kaveri" APUs is the fastest AMD ever crammed into a PC APU, although it doesn't come close to the APUs that drive Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Based on the Graphics CoreNext 2.0 micro-architecture, "Kaveri" features eight GCN compute units (CUs), which make up 512 stream processors, and 32 TMUs. The GPU supports DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle. The GPU component also accelerates AMD's TrueAudio technology, which debuted with the Radeon R9 290 series. The GPU's display I/O lets you drive Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) displays with 60 Hz refresh rates, over DisplayPort 1.2. It supports up to four display outputs.

Moving on to the uncore portion of "Kaveri," AMD deployed a new-generation integrated memory controller (IMC). It supports up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 MHz memory. Its biggest feature id hUMA (heterogeneous unified memory access), which not only chucks out fixed memory partitions between the system and shared graphics memory area, but also makes the CPU and GPU access the same memory simultaneously. This should translate to greater system memory available to the OS (as "hardware reserved" GPU memory is eliminated), and better GPGPU performance. The second big highlight in the uncore department is the PCI-Express root complex, which now gives out up to 24 lanes of PCI-Express gen 3.0. This should translate into better CrossFire performance, in which a pair of graphics cards are given an 8-lane PCI-Express link, each.

AMD launched its 2014 A-Series APU family with three models, the A10-7850K, the A10-7700K, and the A8-7600. Specifications of the three parts are tabled below. The A10-7850K and A10-7700K will include Origin keys to Battlefield 4, and the two chips apparently meet the minimum system requirements of the game.
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50 Comments on AMD Announces 4th Generation A-Series "Kaveri" Desktop APUs

#29
BiggieShady
I don't get why they add together CPU cores and GPU GCN cores to come up with number 12, just to point out later how much different x86 and GCN cores really are. That number is not even a good measure for parallelism of the APU because GCN is architecture made for parallel tasks and x86 is not. Adding apples and oranges here.
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#30
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
I've got to say, I'm a little disappointed that the TPU review for these isn't up yet. Kinda expected them to be on the same timeline as Anandtech at least.
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#31
Ikaruga
I respect and appreciate what AMD is doing with their APUs (because APUs are the future indeed), but they still going really bad with the pricing imho. You can get a dedicated GPU (let's say a R7 240 GDDR5) and an i3 for this kind of money, a config which will ask for less power and do more on most of the tasks the average user might use. They should drop it below $150 asap I think, that would be a different and also a much happier story.
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#32
BiggieShady
Kaveri seems great for steam machine without discrete GPU.
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#33
ZetZet
BiggieShady, post: 3049097, member: 102776"
Kaveri seems great for steam machine without discrete GPU.
I think x4 750k + 7770 is still better for steam machine.
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#34
Dent1
Ikaruga, post: 3049093, member: 92975"
I respect and appreciate what AMD is doing with their APUs (because APUs are the future indeed), but they still going really bad with the pricing imho. You can get a dedicated GPU (let's say a R7 240 GDDR5) and an i3 for this kind of money, a config which will ask for less power and do more on most of the tasks the average user might use. They should drop it below $150 asap I think, that would be a different and also a much happier story.
The pricing is fine. The Hawell i3 alone starts from $130 ish

You may be able to get a sandy or ivy bridge i3 CPU for sub $70, but its going to get neutralised in non-gaming tasks due to being a dual core.

Even if you slap a dedicated R7 240 on the i3 its still going to get spanked in gaming because the integrated GPU on the Kaveri is faster (512 stream cores vs 320 stream cores, no slow PCI bus).

So yes you can spend a get an outdated i3 and a dedicated R7 240, but the overall experience will still be a slower rig.

P.S. The pricing will settle in a few weeks. On launch days prices always balloon.
Posted on Reply
#35
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Ikaruga, post: 3049093, member: 92975"
I respect and appreciate what AMD is doing with their APUs (because APUs are the future indeed), but they still going really bad with the pricing imho. You can get a dedicated GPU (let's say a R7 240 GDDR5) and an i3 for this kind of money, a config which will ask for less power and do more on most of the tasks the average user might use. They should drop it below $150 asap I think, that would be a different and also a much happier story.
They were released like just now. The pricing will stabilize. The only place that has them here lists the A10 7850K at €170, which is... Sort of expensive. The cheapest Haswell i3 is less than €110. But that is from the only store that has them listed. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks, but I have the feeling they won't drop that much...



That's something that hints on the potential of HSA.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/174632-amd-kaveri-a10-7850k-and-a8-7600-review-was-it-worth-the-wait-for-the-first-true-heterogeneous-chip/5
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#36
etayorius
Kaveri is Bulldozer 2.0 "Reloaded", same crap AMD pulled with Zambezi, better MultiCore but worst SingleCore compared to previous gen, this is Bulldozer all over again.

On the GPU side and energy consumption is looking Great though.
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#37
WhiteLotus
Frick, post: 3049163, member: 23907"
They were released like just now. The pricing will stabilize. The only place that has them here lists the A10 7850K at €170, which is... Sort of expensive. The cheapest Haswell i3 is less than €110. But that is from the only store that has them listed. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks, but I have the feeling they won't drop that much...



That's something that hints on the potential of HSA.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/174632-amd-kaveri-a10-7850k-and-a8-7600-review-was-it-worth-the-wait-for-the-first-true-heterogeneous-chip/5
HSA?
Posted on Reply
#38
Crap Daddy
Same story, this time more expensive. They keep pointing at advantages of things that exist only in labs as mantle and hsa. The only true selling point is laptop grade gaming on desktop if anyone is interested. Otherwise for a little more there are far better alternatives.
Posted on Reply
#39
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
WhiteLotus, post: 3049198, member: 41435"
HSA?
Formerly known as AMD Fusion. Have a read, I'm still wrapping my head around it. It boils down, I think more or less, to the CPU and GPU sharing resources. Intimately.

Crap Daddy, post: 3049208, member: 89540"
Same story, this time more expensive. They keep pointing at advantages of things that exist only in labs as mantle and hsa. The only true selling point is laptop grade gaming on desktop if anyone is interested. Otherwise for a little more there are far better alternatives.
The problem is, as others have pointed out, execution. Both Mantle and HSA probably have great potential. They just have to be used. "Just".
Posted on Reply
#40
WhiteLotus
Cheers for that. I think an APU are great for small light gaming here and there, and that is where I am going so I have kept an interest in Kaveri for some time now.
Now its out I'll wait for a month or two for the price to settle down and maybe for some new mother boards to arrive that have some better chipsets/layouts. Then I can have a PS4 for gaming and a PC for general stuff for games the PS4 won't have (mostly strategy games, that let's be honest aren't the most graphically demanding games on the planet).
Posted on Reply
#41
Crap Daddy
Then I can have a PS4 for gaming and a PC for general stuff for games the PS4 won't have (mostly strategy games, that let's be honest aren't the most graphically demanding games on the planet).
For DOTA sure, for Rome 2 Total War nope. But I see you have a 6850, why not reuse it with a Haswell i3 or even an FX 8320. Much much better deal than this Kaveri.
Posted on Reply
#42
Dent1
etayorius, post: 3049181, member: 93395"
Kaveri is Bulldozer 2.0 "Reloaded", same crap AMD pulled with Zambezi, better MultiCore but worst SingleCore compared to previous gen, this is Bulldozer all over again.

On the GPU side and energy consumption is looking Great though.
Actually, if you bothered reading any of the literature, Kaveri actually improves single threading performance whilst hindering improvement to multi core performance to almost the same degree.



------------------


Edit: Off topic:

For anyone interested in battlefield 4 and games in general performance on Kaveri, they perform like a beast!!!! Keep in mind this is only the A8-7600, I'm sure the A10-7850k performs even better in games!

Higher is better:

Lower is better:


Lower is better:


Higher is better:

Lower is better:


Lower is better




Higher is better:


Lower is better:



Lower is better:



More reviews:
http://techreport.com/review/25908/amd-a8-7600-kaveri-processor-reviewed
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2014/01/14/amd-a8-7600-kaveri-review/1
Posted on Reply
#43
xorbe
The 7600 at 45/65w looks really interesting for mini itx systems.

Seems like oc'ing was off limits for every 7850k launch day review.

And when are these actually going on sale? They are nowhere.
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#44
HalfAHertz
For some reason nobody did any temp and wattage measurements in their reviews other than bit tech...and it looks bad. The 7600 is way off the 45/65W mark compared to the intel systems.
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#45
bencrutz
HalfAHertz, post: 3049451, member: 70190"
For some reason nobody did any temp and wattage measurements in their reviews other than bit tech...and it looks bad. The 7600 is way off the 45/65W mark compared to the intel systems.
45W 7600 maxed out at 90Watts (CPU + GPU loaded) compared to a 54W 4330 that took 84Watts

i'd say it's an impressive improvement over richland. while it's 6 Watts more compared to intel's i3 4330 higer tdp, you do realize that intel always have an advantage on the lithography process over amd and the a8 have a beefier iGPU....
Posted on Reply
#46
Melvis
HalfAHertz, post: 3049451, member: 70190"
For some reason nobody did any temp and wattage measurements in their reviews other than bit tech...and it looks bad. The 7600 is way off the 45/65W mark compared to the intel systems.
I dont think another 6 watts is that bad compared to the intel i3 really. Also considering the GPU on the APU is twice as powerful makes it look really good I think.\

LOL what he said^

Got Ninjaed
Posted on Reply
#47
HalfAHertz
bencrutz, post: 3049486, member: 96369"
45W 7600 maxed out at 90Watts (CPU + GPU loaded) compared to a 54W 4330 that took 84Watts

i'd say it's an impressive improvement over richland. while it's 6 Watts more compared to intel's i3 4330 higer tdp, you do realize that intel always have an advantage on the lithography process over amd and the a8 have a beefier iGPU....
So if we have to equalize it compared to the i3, the 7600's power usage in "45W mode" is closer to 60W.
Posted on Reply
#48
Fourstaff
bencrutz, post: 3049486, member: 96369"
45W 7600 maxed out at 90Watts (CPU + GPU loaded) compared to a 54W 4330 that took 84Watts

i'd say it's an impressive improvement over richland. while it's 6 Watts more compared to intel's i3 4330 higer tdp, you do realize that intel always have an advantage on the lithography process over amd and the a8 have a beefier iGPU....
Definitely impressive, but I think they shouldn't have such a conservative estimate since people who build using a pico ITX with 90w PSU will suffer greatly when a big load comes in and fries the PSU.
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#49
Fairlady-z
What is the fastest GPU that you could crossfire with the A10-7850? Is it a 7850gpu? I am thinking of maybe playing around with building a steam box system or a smaller gaming rig.
Posted on Reply
#50
bencrutz
HalfAHertz, post: 3049566, member: 70190"
So if we have to equalize it compared to the i3, the 7600's power usage in "45W mode" is closer to 60W.
i guess so, if you are referring to consumed power.
TDP is thermal design power, mind you, the amount of heat generated that should be handled by the cooling system ;)

Fourstaff, post: 3049571, member: 78700"
Definitely impressive, but I think they shouldn't have such a conservative estimate since people who build using a pico ITX with 90w PSU will suffer greatly when a big load comes in and fries the PSU.
well, again, it's the TDP, but yeah i see your point.
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