AMD Kaveri Arrives: A8-7600 APU Review
Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The AMD A8-7600 APU’s performance is somewhat of a mixed bag. Please keep in mind, however, that this APU is actually the low-end model in AMD’s initial Kaveri-based APU line-up. The A8-7600’s CPU cores are clocked lower than other models and its GPU is not outfitted with the full complement of stream processors (384 vs. 512) that will be available in the highest-end model, the A10-7850K.
With that said, the A8-7600 is a decent performer overall. Its Steamroller-based CPU cores do not do much to make up ground versus Intel’s processors, so in the more CPU-bound workloads, Intel’s dual-core Core i3-4330 is competes favorably to AMD’s quad-cores. And in terms of IPS and single-thread performance Intel maintains its huge lead. Factor graphics into the equation, however, and the tides turn completely. The GCN-based graphics engine in Kaveri is a major step-up over the previous-gen, and much more powerful than Intel’s mainstream offerings. The A8-7600’s power consumption characteristics are also more desirable versus the Richland-based A10-6800K.
AMD will initially be bringing three Kaveri-based desktop APUs to the market, A8-7600 we’ve shown you here (which can be configured for 45w or 65w TDPs), an A10-7700K, and a flagship A10-7850K. We hope to be able to show you the performance of the higher-end offerings soon enough, but for now the A8-7600 does enough to paint a decent picture. In the short term, Kaveri doesn't change the desktop landscape all that much. AMD has vastly improved its on-processor graphics performance and given the CPU cores a marginal bump in performance as well. In the future, applications written to leverage Kaveri's HSA and heterogeneous compute capabilities may alter performance proposition somewhat, but that remains to be seen.
The AMD A8-7600 will arrive at a price point of $119, sometime this quarter. The A10-7700K and A10-7850K should be available right away, however, at $152 and $173 price points, respectively. Though we can't speak definitively on the performance of the higher-end models yet, the A8-7600 seems to be priced aggressively. It is significantly less expensive than the Core i3-4330, despite offering competitive CPU performance in multi-threaded workloads and much better graphics performance.
Kaveri doesn't change the game for AMD today, but it is a major step forward for the company and lays the foundation for a number of future advances. If software developers get on board and leverage Kaveri's heterogeneous compute capabilities to their fullest potential though, then the future could be bright.