The staggered birth of Kaveri has been an interesting story to cover but it has been difficult to keep all the pieces right in the forefront of memory. The initial launch in January 2014 saw a small number of SKUs such as the A10-7850K and the A8-7600 at first and since then we have had a small trickle at a rate of one or two new models a quarter hitting the shelves. We've seen 65W SKUs, such as in the form of the A10-7800, which offer 45W modes as well. Today we're reviewing the most recent Kaveri processor to hit the market, the A8-7650K rated at 95W and officially priced at $105/$95.

AMDs APU Strategy

Integrated graphics is one of the cornerstones of both the mobile and the desktop space. Despite the love we might harbor for a fully discrete graphics solution, the truth of the matter is that most people and most places still have that integrated platform in both consumer and business. Whenever I meet with AMD, the question from them is always simple - when you build a system, what would you get from AMD/Intel at a similar price point? The APU series tackles the sub-$200 price bracket from head to toe:

CPU/APU Comparion
AMD Kaveri Amazon Price on 5/12
Intel Haswell
(4C/4T, 88W)
3.5-3.9 GHz
HD 4600
    $199 i5-4590
(4C/4T, 84W)
3.3-3.7 GHz
HD 4600
    $189 i5-4460
(4C/4T, 84W)
3.2-3.4 GHz
HD 4600
3.7-4.0 GHz
512 SPs
(2M/4T, 95W)
$140 i3-4330
(2C/4T, 54W)
3.5 GHz
HD 4600
3.5-3.9 GHz
512 SPs
(2M/4T, 65W)
3.4-3.8 GHz
384 SPs
(2M/4T, 95W)
$120 i3-4130
(2C/4T, 54W)
3.4 GHz
HD 4400
3.3-3.8 GHz
384 SPs
(2M/4T, 95W)
3.1-3.8 GHz
384 SPs
(2M/4T, 65W)
$96 Pentium G3430
(2C/2T, 53W)
3.3 GHz
HD (Haswell)
3.7-4.0 GHz
X4 860K
(2M/4T, 95W)
    $70 Pentium G3258
(2C/2T, 53W)
3.2 GHz
HD (Haswell)
3.5-3.9 GHz
256 SPs
(1M/2T, 65W)
$64 Celeron G1830
(2C/2T, 53W)
2.8 GHz
HD (Haswell)

I first created this table with launch pricing, and it had some of the APUs/CPUs moved around. But since the release dates of these processors varies on both sides, the prices of individual SKUs has been adjusted to compete.  Perhaps appropriately, we get a number of direct matchups including the A10-7700K and the Core i3-4130 at $120 right now. This table is by no means complete, due to Intel’s 20+ other SKUs that fight around same price points but vary slightly in frequency, but that tells a lot about each sides attack on the market. Some of AMD's recently announced price cuts are here, but for consistency our results tables will list the launch pricing as we have no mechanism for dynamic pricing.

Testing AMDs APUs over the years has provided results that these are not necessarily targeted to the high end when it comes to multi-GPU systems that total $2000+, although AMD wouldn't mind if you built a high end system with one. The key element to the APU has always been the integrated graphics, and the ability to offer more performance or percentage of transistors to graphics than the competition does at various price points (irrespective of TDP). Ultimately AMD likes to promote that for a similarly priced Intel+NVIDIA solution, a user can enable dual graphics with an APU+R7 discrete card for better performance. That being said, the high-end APUs have also historically been considered when it comes to single discrete GPU gaming when the most expensive thing in the system is the GPU as we showed in our last gaming CPU roundup, although we need to test for a new one of those soon.

Part of the new set of tests for this review is to highlight the usefulness of dual graphics, as well as comparing both AMD and NVIDIA graphics for low, mild-mannered and high end gaming arrangements.

The A8-7650K

The new APU fits in the stack between the 65W A8-7600 and before we get into the A10 models with the A10-7700K. It offers a slightly reduced clock speed than the A10, but it is built (in part) for overclocking with the K moniker. The integrated graphics under the hood provide 384 SPs at 720 MHz, being part of AMDs 4+6 compute core strategy. The A8-7650K is designed to fill out the processor stack to that end.

AMD Kaveri Lineup
Price $140 $135 $120 $104 $96 $83 $64
Modules 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
Threads 4 4 4 4 4 4 2
Core Freq. (GHz) 3.7-4.0 3.5-3.9 3.4-3.8 3.3-3.8 3.1-3.8 3.7-4.0 3.5-3.9
Compute Units 4+8 4+8 4+6 4+6 4+6 4+0 2+4
512 512 384 384 384 N/A 256
IGP Freq. (MHz) 720 720 720 720 720 N/A 756
TDP 95W 65W 95W 95W 65W 95W 65W
2133 2133 2133 2133 2133 1866 1866
L2 Cache 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 2x2MB 1MB

At a list price of $105 (current $104), we were at a quandary with what to test against it from team blue. The Pentium G3258 sits at $72 with two cores at 3.2 GHz and HD (Haswell) GT1 graphics. The next one up the stack is the i3-4130, a dual core with hyperthreading and HD4400, but sits at $120. Ultimately there is no direct price competitor, but AMD assured us they were confident in the positing of the SKUs, particularly when gaming is concerned. Due to what I have in my testing lab, the nearest competitor to this is the i3-4330, a model with a larger L3 cache which has a list price of $138, or the i3-4130T which is a low power SKU.

New Testing Methodology
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  • TheJian - Friday, May 15, 2015 - link

    I don't think it's sheer luck when you're doing one of two things: 1. you write the compiler they're using. 2. you're the chip/platform etc they are DOING the coding on and thus optimizing for best perf on the platform they're using. Granted, these two things might not help in ALL cases, but it's a pretty sure bet if EVERYONE decided to code their app/game ON Intel/Nvidia, if you're AMD you're not likely to win many things. You may code how you know how to code, but you OPTIMIZE for whatever is in your hands, and get to others if financing allows (or someone pays you, like Dice/B4F netting 8mil for frostbite running on mantle).

    If you don't have access for platform X, and it runs well on it vs. platform Y that you program on, THEN that was luck. But when it runs well on what you're programming/compiling on, that probably has much less to do with luck. It's just common sense to get that. I'm not saying that's the case here, but you're making a general statement that would seem to go against simple logic in what I'd guess was MOST cases. IE, how many ports of console games do you see that are BETTER on a PC. In most cases we get "another crappy port" comments all over the place. Consoles are admittedly (generally) a worst case scenario, but you get the point. Usually the 2nd platform etc is an afterthought to milk the original cow, not coded with the care of the main platform. Large firms with bigger teams (EA, Blizzard etc) may depend on the skill of the teams doing said work (but even then it's quite rare), but for smaller firms where financing is a big issue, other platform optimization may never happen at all.

    Why do you think Nvidia bought a company like PGI? To make sure they were on even footing with Intel compilers for HPC. Being the vid card that ~75% of workstations and 76% of gamers (according to peddie) use doesn't hurt either, but compilers/tools are a big help too.
  • shadowjk - Friday, May 15, 2015 - link

    Linux has adapted to some AMD specialities rather quickly, like the module/core division, and further back in time, discovered you could have iommu on amd cpus before they even were released.

    Unfortunately, I don't think AMD participates as actively in compiler development..
  • LarsBars - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Glad to see the IGP benchmarks updated, they are so much more relevant now! No more 1280x1024 ;) Great work!
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - link

    I agree, the new IGP benchmarks are a much-needed realignment to make them more current.
  • darkfalz - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    I love AMD's naming scheme, mimicking Intel's but using higher numbers. I wonder how many would fall for that? Surely a 7850K is much faster than a 4560K? And an A8 or A10 clearly a better CPU than an i5 or i7? Awesome chutzpah.
  • akamateau - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Another piece of JUNK SCIENCE and yellow journalism from the journalistically bankrupt Anand Tech.

    What happened to the API Overhead Tests?

    What HAPPENED to the DX12 benchmarks?


    There is nothing that you use for benchmarking that is relevant.

    ALL gaming is now written to DX11 MAXSPEC. DX12 MINSPEC is 12x broader and allows for far more performance.

    When you FAIL to use relevant benchmarks the you are LYING to the consumer.

    ANAND TECH is nothing more than a garbage website.
  • extide - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    This isnt a GPU benchmark article, it is a CPU benchmark article
  • Crunchy005 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Why are you even here reading the articles or commenting on them if you think they are garbage?
  • Michael Bay - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Your post lacks capitalization.
  • NeatOman - Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - link

    this is the only time I've liked what Michael Bay has said or done lol

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