AMD A10-5700 APU: Trinity at 65W

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The A10-5700 is positioned as a more energy efficient choice among the upper rungs of AMD's Trinity APU lineup. As its GPU is identical to that of the flagship A10-5800K except for a negligible reduction in clock speed, you get the same world-class integrated graphics though you do take a hefty hit in CPU frequency. The 5700 runs 400 MHz slower than the 5800K, though in Turbo mode, this difference is halved, so the performance difference isn't as noticeable under light use.

Dropping from a 100W to 65W chip sounds like a lot but keep in mind TDP is a maximum rating, so under light load, the power consumption of the A10-5700, A10-5800K, and A8-5600K is basically the same. As the level of work increases, so does the difference; on a balanced workload, the 5700 was thriftier than the 5800K by about 8W while holding only a tiny 2W advantage over the 5600K. Of the various tests we ran, the 5700 opened up a sizable lead only during video encoding and running synthetic stress utilities. And of course, these savings weren't free — the A10-5700 is a slower part, lagging a step behind the A8-5600K, though the difference between the three chips in absolute terms is relatively minor.

The A10-5700's street price puts it in a tight spot; it can currently be found for US$125, a mere $5 below the A10-5800K. The 5700 doesn't appear to be a binned part, that is, it's not cherry-picked off the assembly line for its lower thermal envelope, so it's likely that the 5800K can deliver similar results through underclocking and undervolting. The "K" series has the added advantage of an unlocked multiplier which makes overclocking an easier adventure. It's a nice card to have up your sleeve if your needs change down the road. If you'd rather not tinker with clock speeds and multipliers, the A10-5700 certainly delivers a nice boost in energy efficiency and the CPU performance isn't far off from the top Trinity parts.

Our thanks to AMD for the A10-5700 sample used in this review.

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