AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Review

formerstaff - 2013-05-20 18:03:10 in CPU's
Category: CPU's
Reviewed by: formerstaff   
Reviewed on: June 5, 2013
Price: $142.00 (both)

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Introduction:

It seemed like forever that anything AMD was promoting, sold, or advertised was accompanied somewhere on the screen with the slogan "The future is Fusion." We wondered when this thing called "Fusion" was going to see the light of day or if it would at all. Now it seems to be moving at breakneck speed, as a couple weeks ago Kabini and Temash, two variants of the Jaguar architecture, were released for the mobile market ranging from an energy sipping 3.9W to the top end of 25W. AMD has also sewn up the deals that put an eight core Jaguar-based APU at the heart of all Sony PlayStation 4s and Microsoft Xbox Ones. Today, however, marks the unveiling of the third incarnation of AMD's APU or Accelerated Processing Unit for the desktop.

Right from the beginning AMD has said that the APU was to be a balanced approach to the computing experience with an SoC that was, and I quote "greater than the sum of its parts." The first incarnation of this ideal was Llano in 2011 that was the industries first meaningful product to combine the CPU and a GPU that was more than enough graphics horsepower to get the machine to display websites while you went shopping for a discrete graphics card to replace it. Llano was well received but was more for the budget end of the segment and needed more graphics power to catch the attention of the mainstream segment.

AMD broke its tradition of socket longevity with the introduction of Trinity last year and the new FM2 socket to go with it. The Trinity series of APUs, however, was more revolutionary than evolutionary with a completely new computing core in the form of the revised and re-stepped Bulldozer modules called Piledriver paired with the graphics of the VLIW4 architecture. The performance leap between it and the first generation was very significant, especially when paired with the plethora of new features and capabilities. 








AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Closer Look:

Today we have on the table two parts from the latest APU efforts from AMD, code named Richland, in the form of the flagship A10-6800K, an unlocked 100W part that is the successor of the Trinity A10-5800K, and the A10-6700, which is a locked multiplier 65W part. Both are two module, four core Piledriver-based parts with higher performing enhancements and features.



Unlike the last introduction and transition from Llano to Trinity, massive changes cannot be discerned merely by a look at the die shots. Whereas the Llano was an Athlon-based part to the Trinity's Piledriver-based architecture, the Richland is an enhanced Piledriver and VLIW4 architecture-based product as well. The die size remains the same at 246mm² and both are built on the 32nm HKMG fabrication process.



Having a look at the module itself we find 1.3 billion transistors feeding four CPU cores with 128KB of L1 cache (64KB instruction and 64KB data) and 4MB of shared L2 cache with 128-bit FPUs. Turbo Core 3.0 has taken the boost frequency from 4.2GHz from the last generation to 4.4GHz with Richland. As with the last generation, the Richland is also an L3 cache-less module with support for the latest ISA instructions including FMA4/3, AVX, AES, XOP. All of this combining for computing power of up 779 GFLOPS.


Turning to the GPU side of the die, it shows a further illustration of AMD's commitment ot making the computing experience with the APU platform a balanced experience, not only with the percentage of the die dedicated to graphics but the technology to take advantage of the CPU and GPU working in tandem. The GPU side features VLIW4 architecture and HD 8000 series GPU cores with up to 384 shaders working at a stock frequency of 844MHz. There is also support for 8x AA and 16x AF with DirectX 11 support. New to the 2013 A10 APUs is support for DDR3-2133 memory. The Turbo Core for the Richland series has also been enhanced with more frequency and voltage levels for the x86 cores, Temperature Smart Turbo Core, and new bottleneck algorithms to identify and speed up switching frequencies for resource shifting between GPU and CPU workloads, and applying the most efficient use of both as the workloads demand.


The Platform:

Platform updates include AMD Crossfire support with A85X motherboards, AMD memory profile support that will auto detect memory timings in select DIMMs, and AMD Dual Graphics enhancements including easier installation steps and DirectX 9, 10, and 11 support for more titles. All in all an exciting platform shaping up with improved CPU and memory support, enhancements to GPU architecture, a full featured accelerated video converter, unified Northbridge, Eyefinity/DP 1.2 support, and more discrete pairing options and improvements. Below is a look at how the platform all fits together. There are three different chipsets of varying features and price points available for the Richland 2013 A-Series: the A55, A75, and the one we will be plugging our A10-6800K and A10-6700 into today, the flagship A85X.  Turn the page for a look at the A85X motherboard before we heat this APU up.



All together there are currently five different variations of the Richland chips being released from the A10 to the A6 models of both unlocked and locked multipliers and varying graphics capabilities from the HD 8670D to the HD 8470. Below is a look at the Richland lineup of APUs and the different chipsets available. As before you can take advantage of AMD Crossfire by adding a discrete graphics card or one of the compatible dual graphics cards as your graphics needs grow. The HD 8000 onboard graphics are still compatible with the same series of discrete cards as the last generation.



AMD is showing us on paper a whole lot of new features and performances. Let's have a look at the motherboard and the A85X FCH featurset and see what comes of it.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Closer Look:

The motherboard we were sent to test the A10-6800K and A10-6700 is the top of the line A85X chipset in the form of the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4. It is rare that a company stays on top and does not rest on its laurels at some point, but Gigabyte keeps on bringing it and always surprises me with new innovations for the performance user.

The Gigabyte A85X arrives in a typical Gigabyte-looking, basic white background box sporting some "Best Of" awards from Computex and an Electronic Award of the Year 2011 credentials. Among the most prominent Gigabyte trademarks are the lower right corner with a lifted up image to reveal and illustrate the 2X copper PCB design for better conductivity and cooling by using two ounces of copper in the tracers. The 'Ultra Durable 5' design philosophy occupies the entire upper left quadrant of the box along with something that was a bit of a surprise to see on a motherboard built for an APU. These were "High Current Capability" and "designed for overclocking AMD A-Series APUs and for use in water cooled systems." Interesting. There is also a new feature in the Power IR Stage 60A power delivery, which is 4+2 on this board, but with significant differences. I will have a more in depth look at the A85X chipset and this board in an upcoming review, but for now we will just have a quick look around.













Popping open the box you get a look at the bundle, which is rather basic with the A85X. You get an I/O backplate, a manual, driver software install disc, three SATA cables, and that's about it. Underneath the accessories you get the first look of the A85X inside its anti-static bag.



Out of the box we have a look at at our first FM2 motherboard that looks a lot like the FM1 motherboards. The UP4 is done in that great looking Gigabyte black (real black) on black color scheme. The first things I notice are the cooler compatibility has not changed and it is a standard ATX form factor measuring in at 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm. The board has a clean layout and looks to have zero interference problems even if you decide to load it up with its full capability. Nothing to report on the back other than a steel support bracket.



Starting with the rear I/O panel we have the usual connectivity with the unique exception of the DisplayPort that makes Eyefinity possible from the motherboard with this platform. You get the following connections: one PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, one D-Sub port, one DVI-D port, one optical S/PDIF out connector, one HDMI port, one DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA 6Gb/s connector, one RJ-45 port, and six audio jacks. In the next image we can see the expansion capabilities of the UP4 with three PCIe x1 slots and three full length PCIe x16 slots. You get full 16 lanes with a single discrete card and x8/x8 in Crossfire. The bottom PCIe slot runs at x4.



Along the bottom of the board we have the usual line of connectivity with the USB headers including the red USB header that is three times the power cabable for faster charging with devices that support it. You also have a TPM header, front audio, and a system fan header. We also spot a cluster of the Gigabyte high quality 50,000 hour Japanese capacitors. On the lower right of the A85X we see the front panel header alongside a vertically placed SATA 6Gb/s header. Atop the SATA header is the digital debug readout for diagnosing problems during bootup




Drive connectivity on the UP4 is in the form of eight SATA 6Gb/s ports controlled by the A85X chipset, which offers support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, and JBOD. Six are positioned in typical fashion along the right edge of the board while one is mounted vertically below the others and one eSATA is on the rear I/O panel. Note the dual BIOS modules to the left of the SATA ports. In the case of a bad flash or BIOS failure, the second BIOS will activate and take over so you can re-flash the first successfully. Towards the top right of the board is the 24-pin power connector along side a 20-pin USB header. In the right corner we have an onboard power button and a clear CMOS button



Memory support for the UP4 is up to 64GB of 1.5V dual channel DDR3, with speeds of 1866/1600/1333/1066. I installed 2133MHz memory and it recognized and applied the correct multiplier and timings with AMD memory profiles. Two phases of the board's 4+2+1 phase layout are dedicated to the memory power delivery and HyperTransport. As we will see in the proceeding benchmarks, the FM2 platform is very memory performance sensitive and scales very well with the speed of the RAM used.


Around the socket area we can see the 60 amp Power IR Stage IR3550 ICs from International Rectifier and 60 amp rated ferrite chokes. Basically it is a single package MOSFET design that runs much cooler than traditional MOSFETs and lower RDs MOSFETs. The Ultra Durable 5 motherboards implement a digital PWM controller array that uses digital power controllers to send precise voltage to the different components around the board. This is particularly critical with the AMD APUs where the CPU and GPU work in tandem constantly throttling back and forth as the workload dictates. We will cover this interesting new digital power delivery in the UP4 dedicated review. You can also see the small finned aluminum heat sink that sits atop the MOSFETs that are made for serious overclocking and at no time was heat an issue. In the second image you can see the board uses a standard 8-pin CPU power connector placed just behind the rear I/O panel.



We have the top locked and unlocked models of the new Richland APU locked and loaded in the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 and ready to go.


A welcome addition to Gigabyte AMD motherboards has arrived, as a comprehensive UEFI BIOS is now included. The 3D BIOS Dual UEFI BIOS has been a pleasure to work with and here are a few screenshots of 3D BIOS.



That's a brief look at the Gigabyte motherboard we will be using for the introduction of the Richland A-Series. As I said we will take a much more in-depth look at this motherboard in a separate upcoming review.

Check out the detailed specifications for the A85X-UP4 on the next page and then we will strap the A10-6800K and A10-6700 in and see what they are made of.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Specifications:

AMD A-Series APU
32nm, FM2 socket
TDP Configs
65W and 100W configurations
Processor Core
“Piledriver” 32nm HKMG process core (up to 4 cores), up to 128 KB L1 Cache (64 KB Instruction, 64 KB Data) Up to 4 MB L2, 2 x 128-bit FPUs / compute module
Up to DDR3 2133 @ 1.5V
Graphics Core
Up to 384 Radeon™ Cores 2.0, DirectX® 11 capable, UVD3, VCE
-Digital Display I/F DP0: Display Port, HDMI, DVI -Digital Display I/F DP1: Display Port, HDMI, DVI -Digital Display I/F DP2: Display Port, HDMI, DVI Additional digital display supported using DP 1.2 daisy-chain connection -VGA on FCH
Power Management
Multiple low-power states • 32-nm process for decreased power consumption • System Management Mode (SMM) •ACPI-compliant, including support for processor performance states (P-states), processor power states (C-states), and sleep states including S0, S3, S4, and S5 • Per compute module power gating (CC6) • PCIe® core power gating • PCIe® speed power policy • GPU power gating of Radeon™ Cores and video decode (UVD3) • Enhanced AMD Turbo Core technology featuring Temperature Smart Turbo Core
Integrated DAC supporting VGA.
65nm / FC BGA, 605-Ball, 23x23mm, .8mm pitch
TDP Configs
2.7W to 4.7W for typical configurations
x4 Gen 2 + DP
8 Ports, 6 Gbps
0, 1, 5, 10
A85X: 4 USB 3.0 Ports, 10 USB 2.0 Ports, 2 USB 1.1 Internal Ports
4x1 Gen2
Incorporates Fan Control, Voltage Level Sensing
Consumer IR
IR Reciever


AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Features:


All information and specifications courtesy of

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

Testing this latest A85X board from Gigabyte will involve running the GA-F2A85X-UP4 through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual game-play, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catalyst drivers. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies – unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost is disabled to make a fair comparison without skewing results.

Testing Setup: AMD Richland

Testing Setup: AMD Trinity


Testing Setup: Intel


Comparison CPU's



AMD and Gigabyte have an array of tools through the utility lineup and features in 3D Dual BIOS that will remove all the sport of overclocking if you want them to. Utilizing the best methods of overclocking each processor, I went with raising the multiplier on the 6800K while using bus speed adjustments on the 6700 due to its locked multiplier. Each method has its pros and cons yet gives us the best possible speeds with each of these AMD APUs. Using the BIOS I raised the multiplier/bclock until stress failure and incrementally raised the voltage to achieve the maximum frequency that would pass stress testing with Prime 95 testing. AMD states that the voltage applied to the CPU for overclocking also works for GPU frequency. In doing this I was able to achieve the overclocking results below for both the CPU and GPU frequencies.

Two side notes on this: 1) I was not able to spend the time I would have liked on the overclocking of these new A-Series APUs so given more time to experiment there may be a bit more to be achieved in the overclocking of these models, and 2) It is possible that CPUID may need an update to properly read some information regarding the new A-Series as I noticed that the voltage readout was showing 1.50V when it was set lower, something I found to be the case with the Trinity review. The results I achieved with the A10-6800K and A10-6700 for both the CPU and GPU are listed below.




Maximum Overclock

Each CPU and motherboard has been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an over-clocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will show the performance increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.



Scientific and Data:


AMD AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

The first part of our testing will involve system-specific benchmarks.


Let's get started with Apophysis. This program is primarily used to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:



The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to completion.











Lower is Better


WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. Here, we will test the time needed to compress files of 1000 MB and 500 MB. Time will be measured in seconds.




Lower is Better





Lower is Better



Geekbench 2.1 is a benchmark that tests CPU and memory performance in an easy-to-use tool. The measure used for comparison is the total suite average score.


Higher is Better


Bibble 5:

This test consists of converting one hundred 8.2 MP RAW images to jpeg format. The file size is 837 MB. The measure used for comparison is time needed to convert the file in seconds.


Lower is Better



So far improvement all the way around for the new Richland APUs.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

Office 2007 Excel Big Number Crunch: This test takes a 6.2 MB Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and performs about 28,000 sets of calculations that represent many of the most commonly used calculations in Excel. The measure of this test is the amount of time it takes to refresh the sheet.

















Lower Is Better


POV-Ray 3.7: This program features a built-in benchmark that renders an image using Ray Tracing. The latest versions offer support for SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing), enabling the workload to be spread across several cores for quicker completion.


Higher Is Better


ProShow Gold: This program is used to take a collection of images and stitch them together in a slide show, using a variety of transitions and effects, to make a compelling show you can share with friends and family. The workload consists of 29 high-resolution images that are stitched into a 3 minute video file.


Lower Is Better


HandBrake 9.5: is an open source application used to trans-code multiple video formats to an h.264 output format. The test file size is 128 MB in size and 43 seconds in length.


Lower Is Better



The trend continues with a 10-15% improvement on the CPU half of the APU die.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the CPUs.
















Processor Arithmetic


Memory Bandwidth


Multi-Core Efficiency




Cache and Memory



AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the CPU Queen test that looks for the solution for the "Queens" problem on a 10x10 chessboard. This tests the branch-prediction capabilities of the processor. The FPU Mandel test measures double precision floating point performance through computation of several frames of the "Mandelbrot" fractal.


Higher is Better


Intel CPUs known for their massive bandwidth usually dominate the Sandra round of testing.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing

Cinebench 10 is useful for testing your system, CPU, and OpenGL capabilities using the software program, CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.























Higher is Better

Cinebench 11.5



Higher is Better


HD Tune measures disk performance to easily make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.





Higher is Better





Lower is Better


PCMark 7 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular PCMark system performance tool. This latest version is designed for use on Windows 7 PCs and features a combination of 25 different workloads to accurately measure the performance of all PCs, from laptops to desktops.


Higher is Better


The AMD APUs do very well in this test, besting the Intel i5 in the HD Tune tests but have a ways to go in the Cinebech and PCMark tests.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

Part first-person shooter, part survival horror, Metro 2033 is based on the novel of the same name, written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where you'll spend most of your time traversing the metro system, with occasional trips to the surface. Despite the dark atmosphere and bleak future for mankind, the visuals are anything but bleak. Powered by the 4A Engine, with support for DirectX 11, NVIDIA PhysX, and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the tunnels are extremely varied – in your travels, you'll come across human outposts, bandit settlements, and even half-eaten corpses. Ensuring you feel all the tension, there is no map and no health meter. Get lost without enough gas mask filters and adrenaline shots and you may soon wind up as one of those half-eaten corpses, chewed up by some horrifying manner of irradiated beast that hides in the shadows just waiting for some hapless soul to wander by.













Comparing the discrete card gaming results, only a small margin seperate the Intel i5 from the Richland APUs.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

DiRT 3 is the third iteration of this series. Published and developed by Codemasters, this game uses the EGO 2.0 game engine and was released in the US on PC in May of 2011.
















DiRT 3 is a bit more CPU dependent and the Intel CPU keeps a 5-7% advantage here.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Testing:

3DMark 11 is the next installment in Futuremark’s 3DMark series, with Vantage as its predecessor. The name implies that this benchmark is for Microsoft DirectX 11 and with an unintended coincidence, the name matches the year proceeding its release (which was the naming scheme to some prior versions of 3DMark nonetheless). 3DMark 11 is designed solely for DirectX 11, so Windows Vista or 7 are required along with a DirectX 11 graphics card in order to run this test. The Basic Edition has unlimited free tests on performance mode, whereas Vantage is only allowed for a single test run. The advanced edition costs $19.95 and unlocks nearly all of the features of the benchmark, while the professional edition runs $995.00 and is mainly suited for corporate use. The new benchmark contains six tests, four of which are aimed only at graphical testing; one to test for physics handling and one to combine graphics and physics testing together. The open source Bullet Physics library is used for physics simulation and although not as mainstream as Havok or PhysX, it still seems to be a popular choice.

With the new benchmark, comes two new demos that can be watched, both based on the tests. Unlike the tests, however, these contain basic audio. The first demo is titled "Deep Sea" and involves a few vessels exploring what looks to be a sunken U-Boat. The second demo is titled "High Temple" and presents a location similar to South American tribal ruins with statues and the occasional vehicle around. The demos are simple in that they have no story – they are really just a demonstration of what the testing will be like. The vehicles have the logos of the sponsors MSI and Antec on their sides – the sponsorships helping to make the basic edition free. The four graphics tests are slight variants of the demos. I will use the three benchmark test preset levels to test the performance of each card. The presets are used as they are comparable to what can be run with the free version, so that results can be compared across more than just a custom set of test parameters.













In this test the Richland APUs are pretty much dead even with the Trinity APUs, with both falling short of the Intel 2500K.


IGP results:

AMD's APUs feature a very strong IGP, which is evident in the 3DMark 11 tests below. The improvements made with the Richland line pay off, as there's a sizeable improvement across all the tests, just moreso in the Entry level.


I ran an IGP bench with the very GPU dependent Metro 2033 at medium settings for a comparison of of how the new generation Richland APUs compared to their Trinity forerunners.



AMD, continuing with the VLIW4 architecture, has made good strides in delivering even greater GPU power to the latest generation of APUs.

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Conclusion:

When I first got my hands on AMD's Second Generation Trinity APU, I was was mightily impressed at what it was able to accomplish. By placing a CPU and a very usable GPU, it made the lower end discrete graphics cards obsolete.

The Third Generation of Fusion has continued that trend while going back to an AMD tradition of going in the same socket as its predecessor, and a great socket it is. Placing a $140 A10-6800K in a $120 A85X motherboard affords you the most versatile and powerful computing platform for the dollar again this year. The A-Series platform can be an entertainment hub, a multitasking workstation, and provide a competent gaming center as well. The A85X FCH is equally impressive with about every option and upgradeable capability you could want. For a meager $50-$80 you can make use of AMD Dual Graphics and take advantage of the ability to run three monitors directly from the motherboard or an add-in discrete card.

While the Richland APUs still use the Piledriver cores, it appears that the increase in the CPU half of the die is the result of more than just the increase in frequency and that work on the IPC has been done as well. Or at least the workload switching and resource communication is improved. The CPU capabilities of the A10-6800K are now in league with the Intel i3-3220 and i5-3470, depending on the testing.

When I say "the CPU half" that is not far off, as the portion dedicated to the GPU is now a full 42% of the die, and the improvements from the last generation have been made on a die that is exactly the same size. Also new to the Richland A-Series are max turbo frequencies up to 4.4GHz and HD 8000 series GPU cores of the VLIW4 architecture. While still possessing the same 384 shader cores as the previous generation, it seems to out perform them by some 20%.

When I reviewed the Trinity series I made a comment about how amazing it was to see the CPU and GPU ability to read the workload at hand and throttle them back and forth as was needed. The Richland generation has added a new set of what AMD is calling "bottleneck algorithms" that ostensibly can read the workloads need for either resource and perform faster switching to the appropriate resource even faster.

Overclocking capability seems to be on par with the last generation. I am convinced that had I a bit more time I could have gotten a bit more out of them, however the GPU side of things was as easily overclockable as ever. Reaching an easy 1.1GHz on either chip, it easily bumped the graphics capability up at least to the next discrete level for an easy 20% more performance.

Adding more performance over the previous generation is the native support for 2133MHz memory. In my own tests I found that you can expect a 10-15% increase in overall performance with the use of 2133MHz ram over 1600MHz memory. With the introduction of Haswell, Intel has got a bit closer in the IGP department this week going up against the Trinity. AMD, it seems, has just moved the bar higher again.

AMD has said from the inception that the idea behind the APU was to be "more than the sum of its parts." While that can be used as a meme for the lowering of expectations, AMD has has once again demonstrated that the "more than the sum of its parts" translates to just that. Power, versatility, and value in a single package.