AMD Trinity: A10-5800K & A8-5600K 2nd Gen APUs

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A10-5800K & A8-5600K: AMD Trinity APUs

October 11, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Product
AMD A10-5800K FM2 Processor
AMD A8-5600K
FM2 Processor
Manufacturer
Street Price
US$130
US$110

When AMD released Llano APUs for the desktop on the new FM1 socket last summer we were concerned about its future upgradeability. As the integrated graphics took up substantial amount of space on the processor package, we felt the physical restrictions would allow for only incremental updates. It was also notable that their long-awaited Bulldozer processor architecture was right around the corner and Llano was equipped with aging K10 processing cores, similar to those found in their Athlon II line. We are sad to report that we were right. Not only were there no appreciable APU upgrades, the short-lived FM1 socket has now been completely superseded with FM2.

The bright side of this development is new hardware to play with. Trinity, the codename for their new series of APUs, skips over the first incarnation of their Bulldozer CPUs which disappointed just about everyone in the hardware community. The flagship FX-8150 excelled only in heavily multithreaded workloads and didn't provide any improvements to AMD's dismal energy efficiency compared to Intel's offerings. Instead, Trinity is loaded with new Piledriver CPU cores, the next evolution of the Bulldozer architecture. The integrated GPU has also been updated of course, moving to the less complicated architecture found in the HD 6900 series and beefing up clock speeds.


Trinity die layout.

Trinity is manufactured using the same 32 nm fabrication process as Llano and is physically very similar in terms of layout. Besides the updated hardware under the hood, the biggest change is the arrangement of the CPU cores. Like Bulldozer, Piledriver cores are incorporated using modules with two cores each with 2MB of L2 cache being shared within rather than individual cores. The GPU portion now supports Eyefinity for three displays (or a 3+1 configuration if you daisy-chain through the DisplayPort). PCI Express 3.0 is nowhere to be seen but this is understandable given that Trinity is a budget platform.

Desktop Trinity Lineup
Model
Clock
(Max Turbo)
L2
Cache
GPU
GPU
Clock
Radeon
Cores
TDP
SSBP
A10-5800K
3.8 GHz
(4.2 GHz)
4MB
HD 7660D
800 MHz
384
100W
$122
A10-5700
3.4 GHz
(4.0 GHz)
760 MHz
65W
A8-5600K
3.6 GHz
(3.9 GHz)
4MB
HD 7560D
760 MHz
256
100W
$101
A8-5500
3.2 GHz
(3.7 GHz)
65W
A6-5400K
(dual core)
3.6 GHz
(4.2 GHz)
2MB
HD 7540D
760 MHz
192
65W
$67
A4-5300*
(dual core)
3.4 GHz
(3.6 GHz)
HD 7480D
724 MHz
128
$53
Athlon X4 750K
3.4 GHz
(4.0 GHz)
4MB
N/A
100W
$81
Athlon X4 740
3.2 GHz
(3.7 GHz)
65W
$71
*A4-5300 limited to DDR3-1600 and lacks dual graphics support.

The chips we're testing today, the A10-5800K and A8-5600K, are the fastest quad core models available at release with base speeds of 3.8 GHz and 3.6 GHz respectively. Unlike Llano, all members of the Trinity family are equipped with the latest version of Turbo Core, AMD's dynamic overclocking feature, so a few hundred extra MHz are also on the table for single-threaded applications. The 5800K and 5600K have TDPs of 100W and unlocked multipliers for easier overclocking. Their vanilla counterparts, the 5700 and 5600 have lower clock speeds and a less advanced GPU allowing them to operate within a 65W power envelope. It's also notable that Dual Graphics, the ability to pair the integrated GPU with an HD 6570 or 6670 in a kind of pseudo-CrossFire, is available on all the new APUs except for the entry-level A4-5300.


The AMD A10-5800K and A8-5600K.

The SSBP (suggested system builder prices) is US$122 for the 5800K and US$101 for the 5600K, though they're currently going for US$130 and US$110 respectively on Newegg. For those on a stricter budget, dual core options are available in the sub US$100 range. For purists, there are even a pair of Athlons which lack integrated graphics altogether.



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