AMD A10-7890K 95W Flagship APU

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Energy Efficiency

Running on integrated graphics, the A10-7860K's light load energy efficiency is similar to that of previous 7000/6000 series APUs. It's close to Intel's offerings at idle but is significantly more power intensive when playing video. Earlier APUs draw considerably more during HTML5 playback in particular, and the A10-7890K is worse still, gobbling up an additional 13W compared to the A10-7860K.

With its higher CPU clock speeds, the A10-7890K also eclipses the A10-7860K under heavy load, though its power consumption in the real world tests stays under the older 100W A10-6800K's level. Unhampered by the low 65W TDP limit imposed on low-end APUs, the A10-7890K draws a considerably more power than current and last generation Core i5/i7 processors. It should be noted that the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 and Z97MX-Gaming 5 boards are unusually energy efficient Skylake and Haswell boards respectively but under these conditions, the advantage is only about 5~7W compared to average, certainly not enough to account for such a sizable difference.

The Prime95 stress test apparently takes the A10-7860K right to its power limit, and in fact, adding FurMark to the mix actually causes the power draw to 27W. There seems to be a quirk with this chip's power management as the CPU clock speed throttles far more than is necessary to stay within its thermal envelope. Downclocking the CPU frequency manually to the minimum level (1.7 GHz) results in a difference of 41W which works out to about 38W after AC to DC conversion, a considerable chunk of the 95W TDP limit.

Gaming Performance

Note: Integrated graphics from Intel and AMD are depicted in blue and red respectively while discrete graphics has been assigned purple.

The A10-7890K's integrated graphics chip boasts a 15% higher clock speed than the A10-7860K which translates to a slight framerate increase in games like Lost Planet 2 and Just Cause 2. Performance improves significantly more in our other tests though, especially Crysis, where there's a massive 47% bump.

We arrived at our overall gaming performance rating by giving each GPU a proportional score in each gaming benchmark with each test having an equal weighting. The scale has been adjusted so that the A10-7890K's R7 graphics is the reference point with a score of 100.

Overall, there's a nice 10% boost over the A10-7860K, making it the fastest APU we've tested. As far as integrated solutions go, its gaming capabilities are only surpassed by Intel's Iris Pro, which on the desktop, is only available on expensive specialty parts.

System RAM speed is considered a performance bottleneck for integrated graphics without dedicated VRAM, and that's somewhat true for the A10-7890K. Boosting the memory frequency from 1600 MHz to the maximum allowed 2133 MHz results in a hefty 12% boost. The difference in price between a 8GB kit of DDR3-1600 vs. DDR3-2166 is a mere US$5, so it's certainly worth investment if gaming is on the menu.

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