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Overclocking

The Trinity series wasn’t much into overclocking. Of course, like the new Richmond series, it included special K-indexed models with unlocked frequency multipliers, but the Piledriver cores don’t have much untapped frequency potential because Piledriver-based APUs are clocked at frequencies higher than 4 GHz even at their default settings. And the Richland APUs have even higher clock rate without any changes in manufacturing process or semiconductor design. That’s why the A10-6800K didn’t overclock much. The peak frequency for our sample was 4.8 MHz, i.e. a mere 400 MHz higher than its Turbo frequency. The voltage had been increased to 1.5 volts and we cooled the APU with an air cooler NZXT Havik 140.

The result shouldn’t be underestimated, though. In fact, the Richmond series, as represented by the A10-6800K, is friendlier towards overclockers than its predecessor. We couldn’t reach such clock rates in our tests of the A10-5800K with the same cooling.

Besides, the screenshot shows that the manufacturer has finally managed to make the internal thermal sensor work more or less correctly. It now reports a true-to-life value for the APU die temperature. By the way, the peak permissible temperature for the A10-6800K is 120°C, so our overclocking was limited by the cooler's performance. As opposed to the Haswell, the temperature of the A10-6800K correlates directly with its heat dissipation, so replacing the cooler with a higher-performance one would have helped us reach higher clock rates.

The remaining 42% of the APU can be overclocked, too. We mean the graphics core. After setting its voltage at 1.425 volts, we made the integrated Radeon HD 8670D work at 1169 MHz, or 325 MHz higher than the default clock rate. We lowered the frequency of the APU’s x86 part to 4.7 GHz in this case to guarantee stability under mixed loads.

As the last step in overclocking our hybrid platform we selected the highest system memory frequency. The Richland's controller supports DDR3-2400 and we had no problems enabling that clock rate. As a result, we had a well-overclocked platform whose graphics performance was much higher than at the default settings.

The overall score of the overclocked A10-6800K is almost 25% higher, its x86 part having accelerated by 10% according to the gaming physics test. The integrated Radeon HD 8670D is comparable to Radeon HD 6670 graphics cards when overclocked.

 
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