Intel’s recent release of the Haswell CPU family has provoked some sensation and AMD, which still wants to be viewed as a worthy competitor to Intel, doesn’t want to be left in the sidelines. Hoping to get its own minute of glory, AMD scheduled an announcement of its own to follow right behind the fourth-generation Core series. It is the announcement of hybrid processors for desktops known under the name of Richland. The Richland can hardly be as sensational as the Haswell, though. First of all, Richland-based APUs have already been available on the mobile market, so there is nothing particularly innovative about them. And secondly, the Richland represents almost the same CPU design as AMD used to promote under the Trinity brand.
Still, AMD wants us to believe that the product is new and fresh. To understand why that’s so important for the company, we must take into account that the Richland is not just a desktop APU design but part of AMD's updated mobile solutions portfolio which includes Temash, Kabini and Richland series. The first two are truly innovative, featuring a completely new microarchitecture codenamed Jaguar. The Richland, on its part, was an addition to the model range which enabled AMD to offer mobile computer integrators high-performance CPUs besides energy-efficient ones. Considering that AMD isn’t very good at developing high-performance CPU microarchitectures, the Richland is yet another rebranding. The company wants to market its older solutions under a new name and does that quite successfully. The Richland and its cousins have managed to promote users’ interest towards AMD solutions in every segment of the mobile market. So now, besides tablets, transformers and inexpensive notebooks based on the Temash and Kabini, we’re expecting a large number of Richland-based gaming notebooks which are going to replace Trinity-based products of the previous generation.
Meanwhile, AMD is set to make the rebranding trick once again, but on the desktop market. Its APU concept, implemented in desktop PCs by means of Llano and later Trinity CPUs, needs to be upgraded from time to time, so the Socket FM2 CPU family represented by the A10, A8, A6 and A4 series is complemented with new products with model numbers in the 6000ths. The manufacturer touts this as the next step in the development of desktop APUs, putting an emphasis on the implementation of the Richland design.
We’ve managed to get a sample of the AMD A10-6800K, the senior model of the new generation, and we are going to test it and see why the desktop Richland CPUs have added 1000 to their model numbers compared to their Trinity counterparts.