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Model Lineup

A model range update like the Richland announcement would have gone unnoticed in the past. The increased clock rates would have only led to a quiet appearance of new products on price lists with slightly higher model numbers. But AMD wants to make some noise and play with its product names. There is a new codename, the old graphics core has got a new series number, and the new APUs belong to the new 6000 series.

The only problem is that the Richland-based APUs are not progressive enough to replace the Trinity series. They only add to it. The older products get mixed up with the new ones, so any correlation between performance and model number gets lost. Some 5000 series Trinity APUs may be faster and more functional than 6000 series Richland APUs, and the potential buyer can get utterly confused.

With the newly announced models, the full line-up of Socket FM2 APUs now looks like follows:

The model numbers and graphics core indexes do not reflect any technological improvements, so you can disregard them altogether. The only difference between the older and newer APUs is about their clock rates, and even this difference isn’t dramatic. The quad-core A10-6800K and A10-6700 are faster than the A10-5800K and A10-5700 by 5-7% (in terms of both x86 and graphics cores). The quad-core A8-6600K and A8-6500 are up to 10% faster than the A8-5600K and A8-5500. And the new dual-core A6-6400K is about 6-8% faster than the A6-5400 in terms of clock rates.

As before, the Richland APUs include a number of K series models which have an unlocked frequency multiplier. Take note that the senior overclocker-friendly APUs with four x86 cores, the A10-6800K and A8-6600K, have a TDP of 100 watts whereas the other Socket FM2 APUs are 35 watts more economical. On the other hand, the K series are 200 MHz faster. Considering that graphics performance is highly important for APUs, the A10-6700 looks an interesting model. It is quite economical. Its computing performance is comparable to the A10-5800K and its graphics core delivers the highest performance among all Socket FM2 products.

We’ve got the top-end 100-watt Richmond for our tests, though. The AMD A10-6800K is used by AMD to showcase the benefits of this CPU design, so it has as many x86 cores and shader processors as possible and all of its clock rates are at their maximums. Moreover, it is the only Socket FM2 processor to officially support DDR3-2133 SDRAM.

The specified frequency range of 4.1 to 4.4 GHz doesn’t give us any clue as to how the A10-6800K uses Turbo Core technology. The latter has actually become more aggressive than before, so the CPU spends most of its time working at 4.2-4.3 GHz. If not all of its cores are in use, the CPU can even be clocked at the maximum 4.4 GHz.

The Trinity used to drop its clock rate under continuous and high multithreaded load. The Richland does the same, its Turbo Core technology being able to lower the clock rate to 3.8 GHz in this case. It doesn’t do that often, though. The previous-generation APUs would do so with much higher probability.

The integrated graphics core has no automatic overclocking or power-saving features. It is always clocked at the specified 844 MHz.

 
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