AMD have not had the greatest success with their line of processors. Once considered Intel’s somewhat faster yet cheaper rival, AMD have never been able to get the better of Intel’s Core series or the Core Duo series before it. However, AMD have been able to keep their processors competitive by pricing them cheaper than their rival and embedding more powerful GPUs in them. Today we take a look at one such processor in AMD’s latest line, codenamed Kaveri.
AMD’s A8-7600 is a 28nm processor that has four cores running at 3.3GHz, maximum Turbo clock speed of 3.8GHz with a TDP of 65W and 2x2MB of L2 cache. The 7600 can also be configured to run at a lower TDP of 45W with the clock speeds lowered to 3.1 and 3.3GHz respectively. The GPU is designated R7 with a similar architecture to AMD’s Hawaii line of graphics cards and runs at 720MHz with 384 shaders. AMD consider the 7600 a 10 Compute Core unit which essentially means they have added the 4 CPU and 6 GPU cores to come up with a total of 10. The Kaveri line is compatible with current AMD motherboards using the FM2+ socket and all that should be required is a simple BIOS update if you already have one.
AMD sent us a complete system running their new Kaveri A8-7600. It came in a Xigmatek Nebula mini-ITX case, with a Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI motherboard, a 256GB Samsung 840 SSD and 16GB DDR3 RAM running at 2133MHz. For something to compare the Kaveri to, we have an Intel Core i7-4770k with an MSI Xpower motherboard, 16GB DDR3 Gskill Ripjaws running at 1600MHz and a 256GB Kingston Hyper X SSD. We ran a few CPU benchmarks to compare the two processors and ran a few games on medium and low at 720p and 1080p respectively to compare their graphics capabilities. Both systems were running the latest drivers with AMD’s running the 13.30 beta.
Total War Shogun 2
As the benchmarks have shown, AMD are still way off when it comes to CPU specific tasks. However, Kaveri was never really meant to compete with Intel’s i5 or i7 processors and was aimed more at the casual gamer. In terms of gaming performance, Kaveri shows that AMD can get playable frame rates at medium and low settings and makes a case for people who want a decent performing all-rounder. At an RRP of about $120, AMD are able to offer an APU that blows Intel’s HD4600 GPU out of the water and you do have to wonder whether they will soon provide us with an APU capable of playing at 1080p with the highest settings.