AMD Officially Releases Desktop A-Series “Richland” APUs

AMD Formally Unveils New APUs for Desktop PCs

by Anton Shilov
06/05/2013 | 10:37 PM

At the Computex Taipei 2013 trade-show Advanced Micro Devices officially introduced its long-known A-series “Richland” accelerated processing units aimed at desktop personal computers. The new chips feature higher-clock speeds compared to their predecessors, Trinity, and do not have any micro-architectural improvements. Some of the new APUs will be sold in retail with bundled video games.

 

AMD’s A-series “Richland” APUs for desktops feature up to four Piledriver x86 cores as well as AMD Radeon HD graphics with VLIW4 architecture (with up to 384 stream processors). Although AMD decided to assign a new model family for the APU family as well as new model numbers for integrated graphics, the new AMD A-series 6000-family APUs with Radeon HD 8000 graphics cores are only slightly better compared to their predecessors. The only difference between the older and newer APUs is about their clock rates, and even this difference is not 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).

A good thing about the new AMD A-series 6000-family chips is that when top models are bought in retail, end-users will also get a copy of a free game, such as Sid Meyer’s Sim City 2013.

Thanks to slightly improved graphics core clock-speed and some other optimizations, when it comes to pure graphics performance the new AMD A10-6800K is clearly faster than much more expensive Intel Core i7-4770K “Haswell” microprocessor. Unfortunately, Piledriver x86 micro-architecture is not efficient enough to beat the competitor in general-purpose applications. As a result, the destiny of Richland will be sitting inside inexpensive desktops that rely on integrated graphics.

“The new AMD A-series APU is ideal for desktop PC builders and mainstream gamers wanting outstanding performance for their money, and today AMD delivers an excellent new follow-on to the recently announced mobile lineup. The combination of high-performance, third-generation desktop APUs with our existing portfolio of low-power, mobile APUs gives us our strongest-ever lineup of products for our customers and our technology partners,” said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager of client products division at AMD.

The new A-series “Richland” are compatible with existing FM2 platforms as well as with future FM2+ sockets. The new chips are made using 32nm SOI process technology by GlobalFoundries.