We seen first APU Llano two and half years ago. This APU was AMD 12h family, very similar to 10h AMD family as all Phenoms II/Athlons II stars CPUs. Performance of Llano APUs was not bad, specially iGPU was great, but Phenoms II were better alternative. The FM1 socket had one year longevity.
After this AMD presents 15h family do desktop. New Bulldozer chips with good multithread performance, but not good single thread performance and high power comsumption. Zambezi BD was full of bugs, so AMD worked at new Piledriver cores and edhanced Zambezi in same time. At October 2012 coming new APU, to FM2 socket, AMD Trinity. This APU has similar performance as Llano, but with better iGPU part and with better power consumption with good overclocking ability. Next 10 months and to FM2 coming light refresh with better P-state and higher clocks - AMD Richland. I must to say, I liked A10 Richlands. Awesome OC, good scaling with voltage, still low power consumption after OC. These two 15h APUs are FM2 chips, but working also in FM2+.
Today is the D day from AMD, second generation of 15h APU is here, AMD Kaveri with Steamroller B. Chips are manufactured at 4Q 2013 and today are ready for sale and for reviews of
course . Whats new here? Kaveri is AMD most advanced APU ever, with very good IPC (instruction per clock). We can talking about new GCN iGPU architecture inside, about new 28nm SHP process, HUMA controller, HSA support, AMD Trueadio, PCIe 3.0 and configurable TDP.
APU die size is 245mm, almost the same as in Richland/Trinity. But there is 2.41 bilion tranzisotrs! This is almost double more than before! This is because SHP process, higher
density at die size. SHP is "mixed" bulk and SOI. So good for iGPU, good for CPU tranzistors, but worse for the highest clock. Thats why Kaveri clocks are -400 MHz lower than with Richland.
Configurable TDP is one interesting part for notebooks segment. But working very well in desktop (we can know it from Haswell). There is slide from 65W and 45W part and performance in 3D Mark Firestrike with iGPU. Richland 65w is A8-6500, 45W is A8-6700T. The drop in score is around 250 points. But what Kaveri? Kaveri 65W is A8-7600. We can change TDP of CPU in BIOS for 45W at the same model. And performance? Wow, only few points lower than before!
Diagram of Steamroller B Kaveri. CPU cores with shared L2, IO part, iGPU part with up to 8 units and HUMA controller at left.
New chipset A88X is almost the same as A85X for FM2. One difference is PCIe 3.0, if we using Kaveri chip, and AHCI update. I have only A85x screenshot for representation...A78 and A55 are next chipsets of FM2+.
Kaveri including up to 12 compute cores. Why? There is (in 7850K) 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU compute cores of GCN. So programmable for parallel compute. Simply pure CPU performance clock to clock is up to 20% better than Piledriver core! Wow. How about improving seems AMD! But of course, the clocks of Kaveri are -400 MHz lower and after all is Kaveri slighty better than Richland A10-6800K (around 5% average at CPU part).
GPU part is very good. The gain is similar as from Llano to Trinity. But there is GCN, DX11.2+Mantle and new TrueAudio. The top R7 iGPU has 8 gpu units with 512 stream processors, 32 texture units and 16 ROPs.
The main stone of Kaveri is again one module. This module has two cores with shared L2 cache 2MB, few pipelines and some specialized units (128 FMAC and MMX). L1D cache is now higher - 96KB and 3-way. Dont forget about Kaveri isntruction set - FMA4/3, AVX, AES, XOP.
iGPU part is 47% of all die size. Again GCN concept as Hawai example working with DDR3 2133 MHz native (but it working with 2666 MHz OK at kaveri). iGPU part support Mantle, DX11.2, AMD Trueaudio, Eyfinity or acceleration UVD and working VCE. GPU part and CPU part can working together for compute - heterogeneous. So GPU and CPU have equal flexibility to create work. HSA compute are writing in opencl or C++ or few next language. This languages named as HSAL. HSAL is supporting now by few programs, example Photoshop, Libre
Office, Gimp etc. HSA are there great for saved time here. There is few examples of HSA.
Now we are back to pure iGPU performance in gaming. Finally some modern games at FullHD without lagging!
Or popular LOL game
Kaveri seems strong with dedicated card too, Im sure, better than Piledriver.
iGPU features as Mantle and TrueAudio are next benifits.
Whats Mantle exactly? Its new alternative to DX. But with benefits from GCN architecture for higher FPS (up to 40% boost!). Simply we can play games with worse cards than before. Next good idea is, you dont need Windows 8 for latest gaming effects! This will be working in theory with Windows XP too! At least with Windows 7 at 100%.AMD Trueaudio is less stress for CPU and better sound quality in games. Sound was limit of modern games. Now not must be. In iGPU parts are few audio coprocessors. And again programeable .
Today AMD launched 3 models of Kaveri. The top model A10-7850K, the A10-7700K and great TDP model A8-7600. All specs are in tab. So :
*CPU contains a new core Steamroller B on 28nm SHP process with clocks to 3.7 / 4 GHz
*CPU cores are now more than 4, support the new ISA instructions, FMA4 / 3, AVX, AES, XOP
*shared L2 cache has a capacity of 2MB for one module (dual-core)
*the processor has a integrated PCIe 3.0 controller
*GPU part of the GCN architecture, core up to 720 MHz and up to 512 stream processors
*rendering effects up to 8x AF AA/16x
*Support Displayport 1.2, AMD Eyefinity, support for 4K video, support for UVD and VCE
*CPU and GPU together and communicate with each other, native support for DDR3 memory is 2400 MHz with AMP profile
*TDP APU is configurable in the range of 45, 65 and 95 W
*Support A88X chipset, A78 and A55, belonging socket FM2 +
*support the calculation of HSA, AMD TrueAudio a so-called API (DirectX 11.2/Mantle)
*support the involvement of dual graphics accelerators
TDP for change please?
Now going to test system . I used AMD Gamer memory 2133 MHz, Asus A88X PRO with the last BIOS, big Corsair AX 1200 PSU, SSD Kingston HyperX 120GB and A10-7850K CPU. For comparison few others - A10-6800K, A8-3870K, FX-4300+FX-6300 and mostrum Haswell i7-4770K ( I have not core i3).
The gold, the new, the A88X PRO.
something is inside....
So, ready for preview tests? I am
Superpi is old benchamrk, this is pure x87 without help instruciton set. This programs are dead todays, but it is good for comparison simillar architecture.
*kaveri is impressive here. With the lower clocks beat all AMD CPUs.
AIDA memory tests
*In AIDA is little improvement with Kaveri, specially in read
*With -400 Mhz clocks slightly win for Kaveri, not bad again.
Fritzchess benchmark - multithread with hard load of chess simulation
*almost +400 points for Kaveri with lower frequency is very nice, specially here.
*wow, simply wow....There is crazy performance gain, more than 100s quicker and this 2CU/4C APU won with FX-6300!
x264FHD benchmark, 1080P
* more than 0.5 FPS in 1080P is not nothing, this benchmark is very hard for every FPS up in CPU encoding
3D Mark vantage Performance test
* Kaveri can fly here. Huge improvement.
3D Mark 11 Performance
*After this score, I cant believe. Over 2400 points at stock. This score had my Richland after CPU/iGPU and memory OC (46xx Mhz CPU, 11xxMHz iGPU and over 2500 MHz memory!) !
3D Mark Fire Strike
*there is more than 100 points, not bad, but I think with new drivers could be better
Aliens vs Predator DX11 1920x1080, high details, 0x AA, 16x AF.
*its is hardly playable, but without comfort. For 30FPS I must set 0x AF and low/medium details without teselation ON.
Far Cry 2, DX10 1920x1080, very high details, high physic, 0x AA
* +4 FPS at FHD is not really bad. Believe, at 1280x1024 will be higher FPS gain!
For review I had not much time. So only this preview. I believe, you will like review and in future bring some more tests, OC and more photos of board for you. And you know what?
Do you heard about Asus 4-way optimization? If not, its simply way for auto OC with set of power state/idle mode, save some energy and VRM controll, intelligent regulation of fans without noise. Look at this nice auto overl:banana::banana::banana::banana:ing!
AMD FX-8350, FX-8320, FX-8150, FX-8120, FX-8120 95W, FX-6300, FX-4300, PII x4 1100T BE, PII x6 1090T BE, PII x4 980 BE, PII x4 975 BE, PII x4 970 BE, PII x4 965BE C3, PII x4 965 BE C2, A10-5800K, A10-5600K, A8-3870K, A8-3850, P x4 9850, P x3 8650, etc