AMD A10-5800K and A8-5600K APUs for Socket FM2 116

AMD A10-5800K and A8-5600K APUs for Socket FM2

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Value & Conclusion

  • The AMD FM2 APUs will be available soon along with supporting board products. Retail pricing is unknown at this time, but should see the AMD A10-5800K at around $125 with other the A-Series FM2 APUs costing less.
  • Excellent and affordable entry 3D rendering power.
  • Decent expected iGPU clocking with all three of my chips managing a 25% or greater frequency increase.
  • Low platform price.
  • NEW Piledriver CPU core design
  • Support for up to two VGAs in CrossfireX with supported board products
  • Updated with VLIW4 GPU shader core design
  • Support for 3+1 Eyefinity display connectivity
  • Turbo CORE 3.0 for both CPU and GPU
  • Same maximum TDP as FM1 products.
  • Perhaps a bit late to the market with laptop-grade parts already for sale.
  • No compatibility with previous FM1 products, be it boards or chips.
  • "Low" but adequate CPU Performance will not appeal to some.
I poured out my thoughts about these APUs out on the front page. I like them a lot. Intel simply doesn't offer anything remotely close for the same budget when it comes to 3D performance. They aren't really meant to compete with Intel anyway, so you are left with two choices when it comes to low power and entry-level stuff, and that is a choice between CPU horsepower or GPU horsepower. Clearly, there is a large divide when those two are considered.
The fact that CPU performance isn't quite up to Intel levels is going to upset some, but I see that as a non-issue. You have got to make certain concession in order to squeeze so much 3D powers into such a small space on such a power budget, and what AMD ultimately offers suits me just fine. I cannot help but think of how many office PC users would love to get their hands on something like this considering the fact that multi-monitor support is easy to deal. What they have available now is greatly underpowered in comparison. Those boxes could use this upgrade, and the introduction of Windows8 might just be enough to push many offices in the direction of AMD's A-series APUs.
I think performance is, once cost is considered, more than acceptable. I know that many are not going to agree with me, but I really hope that most would. Unfortunately, AMD has mentioned time and time again as of late that they are short on chip supply. There might not be many of these chips to go around, and that too is perfectly fine by me. What excites me is the potential these chips show for the future.
Power consumption numbers here are a bit high, especially compared to Intel's offerings. Of course, Intel is using a much smaller process and direct compares aren't quite accurate, but I chose to ignore that small detail since these products are what you can get right now. Personally, I'd like to see about 25 watts less power consumption out of these chips before giving them a 10 out of 10. These aren't meant to be high-performance products. They aren't meant to be used for multiple high-end GPUs, and they aren't meant to send Intel fans running over to AMD. What they are meant to do is bring a decent level of 3D performance to entry markets, and they would do that well at a cheaper price than anything else you can come up with. For that, I'm going to give the AMD A10-5800K and A8-5600K a "Recommended" award. IF you are in the market for a HTPC box with a bit of GPU grunt, and you don't want to spend more than $500, then these APUs are for you. If you want to replace your high-end gaming PC, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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