AMD A10 Kaveri Rumored To Ship With BF4, Faster Than Haswell Core i5 In Gaming

Rumors continue to spill out into the Internet ahead of AMD's next-generation Kaveri launch regarding the CPU's overall performance, capabilities, and architecture. It appears AMD is upping the ante with this CPU in several ways, including a gaming bundle that will include Battlefield 4 with the highest-end A10 APUs. This deal, however, may come with a higher price tag.

The new leaked prices on AMD's A10-7850K and A10-7700K point to a $189 - $167 debut price. The current top-end core from AMD is the A10-6800K, which runs $139 retail. AMD is comparing its new APUs against Intel's Core i5-4670K, which currently retails for $239. The 4670K is a quad-core chip without Hyper-Threading, and its integrated GPU packs 20 Execution Units (EUs) with a maximum clock speed of 1.2GHz. The A10-7850K, in contrast, packs 512 GCN cores and a 720MHz clock speed.

According to AMD, the 7850K beats the 4670K by up to 40% in 3DMark Fire Strike and by 8% in PCMark 8. This implies that the 7850K's efficiency has improved a fair degree, at least in certain tests. The price tag, even with BF4, could be a sticking point (assuming it's accurate). At $189, AMD would be going head-to-head with its own eight-core FX-8350, which currently sells for $199. On the Intel side of things, it would price against the Intel Core i5-4430, a 2.8GHz (3.2GHz Turbo) processor with four cores, no HT, and a max graphics clock of just 1.1GHz.  

This will be a tricky slot to maintain without cutting the FX-8350's price. AMD is apparently betting that Mantle + Kaveri's GPU is strong enough to be worth equivalent pricing against more CPU cores. If Steamroller can hang with the slower Core i5-4430 on the CPU side of things, then AMD will come out ahead in the combined test. Much will depend on just how good the CPU core's improvements are -- with a top frequency of 4GHz, AMD can make up some ground against a 3.2GHz Intel chip.

I haven't hit the gaming argument much, because I think AMD's superior performance in this area is nearly a given. When Intel built Haswell, it opted to make the 40 EU GT3 graphics configuration a mobile-only part. That gives AMD room to capture additional performance even before Mantle is factored into the picture, and I think the company's chances of doing so are quite good.

Mantle's performance
, for those of you keeping track, remains a closely guarded secret. Battlefield 4 is supposed to offer support for the new standard this month, but there's no word on when that patch will drop. Assuming a modest 15-20% uplift for GCN APUs would almost certainly put AMD firmly in the lead over Intel in any supported title.