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Testbed Configuration and Testing Methodology

Having the full range of Richland-based APUs at our disposal, we will of course compare them with Trinity-based APUs in the first place. It's not so simple with finding appropriate opponents from Intel, though. AMD positions its APUs in the following way:

However, as we know from our earlier tests of the Socket FM2 platform, even top-end A10 series APUs are inferior to the Core i5 in computing performance. The official prices are indicative of this fact, too.

That’s why Intel will be represented by most of the Core i3 series models plus a Pentium and a junior Core i5. Since the Haswell microarchitecture has been announced recently, the Core i5 is the most up-to-date LGA1150 variant.

We don’t examine the 3D performance of integrated graphics cores in this review, so we also include a Socket AM3+ AMD FX-4350 processor. It lacks any integrated graphics and is tested together with a discrete graphics card Radeon HD 6670.

The other configurations are tested with their integrated graphics with one exception only: we install a discrete card Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 into them to check out the processor’s capabilities in today’s 3D games.

Fast DDR3 memory becoming more and more popular, we’ve decided to switch to DDR3-2133 SDRAM in our test configurations. Such modules are not promoted as overclocker-friendly anymore, so they come at no extra cost while most of today’s platforms can work with such memory without any limitations. As we see, the CPU developers begin to officially support such memory as well. We mean the A10-6800K which is specified to support DDR3-2133. As for the other processors in this review, the AMD A10-6700 and AMD A8-6500 are the only ones to be incompatible with DDR3-2133 SDRAM. We lower the memory frequency to DDR3-1866 for them.

As a result, our testbeds were built with the following hardware and software components:

  • Processors:
    • AMD A10-6800K (Richland, 4 cores, 4.1-4.4 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 8670D);
    • AMD A10-6700 (Richland, 4 cores, 3.7-4.3 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 8670D);
    • AMD A8-6600K (Richland, 4 cores, 3.9-4.2 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 8570D);
    • AMD A8-6500 (Richland, 4 cores, 3.5-4.1 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 8570D);
    • AMD A6-6400K (Richland, 2 cores, 3.9-4.1 GHz, 1 MB L2, Radeon HD 8470D);
    • AMD A10-5800K (Trinity, 4 cores, 3.8-4.2 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 7660D);
    • AMD A8-5600K (Trinity, 4 cores, 3.6-3.9 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 7560D);
    • AMD A6-5400K (Trinity, 2 cores, 3.6-3.8 GHz, 1 MB L2, Radeon HD 7540D);
    • AMD FX-4350 (Vishera, 4 cores, 4.2-4.3 GHz, 4 MB L2 + 8 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-4430 (Haswell, 4 cores, 3.0-3.2 GHz, 6 MB L3, HD Graphics 4600);
    • Intel Core i3-3240 (Ivy Bridge, 2 cores + HT, 3.4 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics 2500);
    • Intel Core i3-3225 (Ivy Bridge, 2 cores + HT, 3.3 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics 4000);
    • Intel Core i3-3210 (Ivy Bridge, 2 cores + HT, 3.2 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics 2500);
    • Intel Pentium G2130 (Ivy Bridge, 2 cores, 3.2 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics).
  • Processor cooler: NZXT Havik 140.
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS Crosshair V Formula (Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX + SB950);
    • ASUS F2A85-V Pro (Socket FM2, AMD A85);
    • ASUS P8Z77-V LX (LGA1155, Intel Z77 Express);
    • Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H (LGA 1150, Intel Z87 Express).
  • Graphics cards:
    • AMD Radeon HD 6670 (1 GB/128-bit GDDR5, 800/4000 MHz);
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (2 GB/256-bit GDDR5, 1006/6008 MHz).
  • Memory: 2 x 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM (G.Skill [TridentX] F3-2133C9D-16GTX):
    • DDR3-2133 SDRAM 9-11-11-31 with AMD A10-6800K, AMD A8-6600K, AMD A6-6400K, AMD A10-5800K, AMD A8-5600K, AMD A6-5400K, AMD FX-4350, Intel Core i5-4430, Intel Core i3-3240, Intel Core i3-3225, Intel Core i3-3210 and Intel Pentium G2130 processors.
    • DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27 with AMD A10-6700 and AMD A8-6500 processors.
  • Storage subsystem: Crucial m4 256 GB (CT256M4SSD2).
  • Power supply unit: Corsair AX760i (80 Plus Platinum, 760 W).
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise x64.
  • Drivers:
    • AMD Catalyst 13.6 Beta Driver;
    • AMD Chipset Driver 13.4;
    • Intel Chipset Driver 9.4.0.1017;
    • Intel HD Graphics Driver 15.31.3.64.3071;
    • Intel Management Engine Driver 9.5.0.1345;
    • Intel Rapid Storage Technology 12.5.0.1066;
    • NVIDIA GeForce 320.18 Driver.
 
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