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Gaming Performance with Discrete Graphics

We’re going to discuss the 3D performance of the integrated graphics cores in our next review, so today we focus on computing performance. That’s why we want to benchmark the Richland-based APUs together with a top-end discrete graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 680.

First we run the synthetic benchmark 3DMark Fire Strike.

The diagram doesn’t show anything good for the Socket FM2 platform. According to 3DMark Fire Strike, the Richland-based APUs, including the top-end A10 and A8 models, are slower than the junior Core i3 model. The transition to the new APU design only provides a 3% increase in performance in this benchmark.

As you know, it is the graphics subsystem that determines the performance of the entire platform equipped with pretty high-speed processors in the majority of contemporary games. Therefore, we select the most CPU-dependent games and take the fps readings twice. The first test run is performed without antialiasing and in far not the highest screen resolutions. These settings allow us to determine how well the processors can cope with the gaming loads in general and how the tested CPUs will behave in the nearest future, when new faster graphics card models will be widely available. The second pass is performed with more real-life settings – in FullHD resolution and maximum FSAA settings. In our opinion, these results are less interesting, but they demonstrate clearly the level of performance we can expect from contemporary processors today.

We can see the same picture in every game. The Socket FM2 configurations with discrete graphics card are generally slower in games than any Core i3 configurations. This also refers to the Athlon X4 760K, which is based on the Richland design. AMD’s new APU generation is a mere 5% faster than their predecessors, which is not enough for a real breakthrough. The A6-6400K is especially poor in these tests: its single Piledriver module can’t cope with modern games at all.

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