AMD 2nd Generation A10 5800 & A8 5600 Desktop APU Reviewformerstaff -
Price: A10 5800K $122- A8 5600K $101
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If "will it play Crysis?" has been the number one (and most annoying) Internet meme and inquiry in tech forums of the last several years, second place has to go to "can I play (insert game title) with my integrated graphics?" The answer was a resounding "No!" until Advanced Micro Devices finally replaced all of those familiar and ubiquitous "The future is Fusion" logos with a chip called the APU or Accelerated Processing Unit. The Ultra Low Wattage incarnations of this was the Zacate and Ontario meant for the netbook market, while Llano was meant to provide the CPU and GPU power to break into the desktop market.
AMD has openly stated that it has approached Fusion as much an ideal as it does process and function in what AMD thinks customers want in a computing experience. Whereas Intel has relied on raw processing power to carry the day, AMD has given equal weight to CPU and GPU function on the same die as well as engineering to very quickly shift those resources back and forth depending on what the task at hand demands. While Llano won much acclaim for doing just that, it left some wishing that there was a bit more horsepower under the hood before it would catch the attention of the mid to upper stream users.
Today we have a look at the flagship of the new FM2-based A-series in the A10-5800K, a two Piledriver module quad-core part, and the next unlocked part in the food chain, the A8-5600K, also a two module quad core part.
From first glance they look the same as the previous generation Llano, but much has changed. The new 'Trinity' A-series is not backwards compatible with the Llano's FM1 socket. For starters the Trinity is missing a pin from the FM1 setup, which had 905 pins. Trinity is based on the new and improved Piledriver cores as opposed to the Athlon-based Llano. The die size is a bit larger than the previous generation coming in at 246mm² as opposed to Llano's 228mm². The Trinity parts are manufactured with the 32nm process like their predecessors, and that is pretty much where the similarities end.
There will be six new parts released in the Trinity lineup. The two we have here are both 100W unlocked parts in the A10-5800K and A8-5600K. The A10-5800K runs at a stock frequency of 3.8GHz and turbos up to 4.2GHz, while the A8-5600K operates at 3.6GHz and turbos to 3.9GHz. The parts with locked multipliers and the lower end A6 and A4 parts run at 65W. Here is a look at the entire upcoming lineup for the new AMD A-series.
AMD has implemented changes at every corner of the die. Let's have a look under the hood and see what it has done to improve performance.