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

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Our first set of tests focuses on the graphics portion of the APU against other integrated graphics platforms as well as discrete graphics. All of the processors included in these comparisons were paired with DDR3-1600 memory while the A10-5800K was also tested with DDR3-1333 to see what effect slower RAM would have on the platform. Memory speed is particularly important in gaming performance.

Energy Efficiency

With Llano, AMD brought their idle power consumption down to Intel's level and Trinity continues this trend. The A10-5800K's energy draw was in line with the older A8-3850 and at idle and beat out Intel's Ivy Bridge i7-3770K by 3W. The A8-5600K was the most efficient of all, being noticeably more thrifty than the faster A10-5800K when playing video.

On more demanding loads, the efficiency of the Intel combination drew clearly ahead, while the new APUs left the A8-3850 in the dust, particularly with a synthetic CPU load. The addition of a synthetic GPU load resulted in a 24W and 20W increase respectively the A10-5800K and A8-5600K, compared to 26W for the old A8-3850.

3D Performance

According to 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark11, the 7660D is substantially faster than the 7560D, which in turn is marginally better than the 6550. When equipped with slower DDR3-1333 memory, the 7660D's performance dropped off to the midway point between the 7660D and 7560D running DDR3-1600. Memory frequency is definitely an important factor to consider for a Trinity based PC if gaming is on the agenda.

When it comes to actual frame rates, it's really hit or miss depending on the game. With a challenging title like Aliens vs. Predator, none of the compared platforms could get to 30 fps even at 1366x768 with all details set to low. Lost Planet 2 is an easier test, with all of AMD's APUs passing the 40 fps mark, even at 1440x900. The 7660D naturally led the pack but interestingly, slower memory really hindered its capability, lowering its average framerate below that of the 7560D.

GPU Performance vs. Discrete Graphics

Performing well against older integrated graphics chips isn't exactly a great challenging task, so now we pit the new APUs against discrete graphics cards using a more extensive battery of tests. We also tried out the dual graphics mode featuring, pairing up the 5800K's 7660D with an HD 6570.

Note: Discrete GPUs were tested on our GPU testing platform which uses a Core i3-2100. CPU scaling shouldn't be an issue; we tried out the HD 6570 with both the i3-2100 and A10-5800K and the difference was less than one frame per second in almost all of our gaming benchmarks.

In our synthetic tests, the HD 7560D traded blows with the HD 5570, while the HD 7660D trailed the HD 6570 (equipped with fast GDDR5 memory) somewhat. The 7660D + 6570 combination produced a nice 26~43% improvement over the 6570 on its own.

Both APUs performed decently with Lost Planet 2 and Crysis at modest resolutions with medium detail with the HD 7560D and HD 7660D edging out the HD 5550 and HD 5570D respectively. The Dual Graphics configuration gave a substantial leap in framerate in both games but didn't offer any advantage to running the HD 6570 on its own.

Dual Graphics gave us a much bigger improvement in Sniper Elite V2 and Aliens vs. Predator, about 50%, giving it the edge over a GTS 450 with GDDR5 (an approximately US$100 value). On their own, the HD 7660D and HD 7560D, once again were neck and neck with the HD 5570 and HD 5550 respectively.

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