Although AMD’s Kaveri family has been available to the public for some time now, that’s only been in the form of the A10-7850K and the A10-7700K, two unlocked quad-core chips that pack a lot of processing power, but locally don’t have the kind of price-competitiveness that is required to make any inroads against Intel. Internationally it’s a different story, as AMD’s APUs with or without discrete graphics do very well in the budget markets, with the FX CPU lineup doing particularly well as budget workhorses and tweakable rigs. Today AMD finally announced the launch of the A10-7800, A8-7600 and the A6-7400K. Hit the jump to see what the fuss is about.
The APUs on the table today are a bit different to the launch products introduced earlier this year. The A10-7800, A8-7600 and A6-7400K are all what AMD calls “configurable APUs.” What this means, really, is that you can plop these into any socket FM2+ motherboard and enable whichever thermal profile best suits your use-case. If you’re using a thin ITX chassis, switching to 45W mode for any of these processors will limit power draw to accommodate for extra heat into the chassis, while 65W mode is better for larger chassis and better coolers as well as power supplies which are rated for 150W and higher power draws.
The most impressive of the lot, arguably, is the A8-7600. It consumes half the power of the older A10-5800K but pushes out marginally better performance. In the 45W mode it’s also faster than the older A10-6700T, but pushes out more performance for the same power draw. AMD still has to work around thermal limits and this is why stock A10-7850K chips aren’t much faster than the outgoing A10-6800K. But there is the potential for better performance with lower power consumption when overclocked and that, together with the HSA-compliant hardware and GCN graphics, makes it a worthwhile consideration for a budget rig. It even can be a reliable workhorse if need be.
The A6-7400K is also interesting because it launches in the US and Canada today at just $77, very close to Intel’s new Pentium G3258 which is at $75. Both chips are fully unlocked, both can be overclocked to extreme levels and both can do this on boards that most people would consider “budget.” The A6-7400K scores because it’s not just limited to expensive Z87 or Z97 motherboards and it can deliver playable game performance at 720p.
Although it’s good news that AMD’s finally releasing these chips, I’m not sure what kind of price point they’ll reach when they reach our shores. With the A10-7700K already hitting the R2200 mark, the A8-7600 needs to be priced around R1400 if AMD needs it to be properly effective. pricing it at the same level as some of the more expensive Core i3 Haswell processors, or even at the same level as a Core i5 processor would be a foolish move.