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Old 26th January, 2014, 07:46 AM
TrevorS TrevorS is offline
Join Date: November 2002
Posts: 964

The first Kaveri APUs were released Jan 14 and there are a number of reviews out. I found this one to be especially informative, both in the introductory discussion and the well considered Intel comparisons.

AMD A10-7850K And A8-7600 Kaveri Review - APU - Tom's Hardware

The performance findings are reasonably consistent, though it's clear the Intel i7 processors do not belong in the comparisons (except maybe some situations with 'Mantle' substituted for MS DirectX, but that requires cooperation from the software provider as in the case of "Battle Field 4").

Appears AMD is positioning Kaveri primarily as an entry to mid-level gaming processor. At least three reasons for that are the strength of the integrated graphics, the paucity of available HSA/hUMA applications, and the fact that in moving from Global Foundries SOI 32nm to SHP 28nm processes, it was necessary to compromise between iGPU density and CPU clock speed. Unfortunately, the consequent clock reduction partially offsets the more efficient Steamroller architecture, though integer performance is less impacted due to no longer sharing one instruction decoder between two cores.

A current APU iGPU limitation is being limited to DDR3 Vs GDDR5 memory speeds. This could be ameliorated by including a fast L3 cache (currently there's none), but that will probably require moving to a 22nm process (the 28nm Kaveri chip is already larger than Richmond in die and especially transistor count). A major Kaveri advantage is its reduced TDP, however, there are indications of throttling when both iGPU and CPU are loaded -- another argument for a 22nm process.

So, it's clear there's more work to be done to achieve an optimal combination of process and architecture, but all-in-all, seems like AMD accomplished a lot with this double iteration, both adapting a new process and implementing a genuine HSA architecture -- a large bite! Meanwhile, Kaveri really does appear a respectable low to mid gamer and is perfectly capable of handling typical home and office chores with aplomb! The A8-7600 is expected to release later this quarter.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 26th January, 2014 at 09:47 AM.
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