The AMD A10-7870K was strangely sent to us between the launch of the Intel Core i7-5775C Broadwell and Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processors and the ‘Kaveri Refresh’ processor proved to be nothing more than a Kaveri processor with higher clock speeds. It’s no wonder that AMD stopped calling these ‘Godavari’ and started calling it the Kaveri Refresh just days ahead of the processors launch as that is really what it is. AMD wanted to freshen up the Kaveri line with a speed bump just ahead of Windows 10 being released with DirectX 12 support. Since the AMD A10-7870K is a Kaveri APU with a speed bump we found very similar performance to that of the AMD A10-7800 APU that we reviewed in July of 2014. We found about an 8-10% performance improvement over the original AMD A10-7800 Kaveri APU. Nothing too earth shattering, but we’ll take the performance gain!
AMD is focusing this processor to the aimed at the home office/family PC where both the CPU and GPU will be used for general tasks as well as online gaming. Gamers will be happy to know that this GPU does support AMD FreeSync displays and you can run dual graphics (R7 250 and R7 240). Gamers and enthusiasts will also like the fact that this processor is unlocked as it will allow them to the ability to overclock the processor easier if that is something they wanted to try out for better performance.
We didn’t get a chance to spend as much time on overclocking as we would have liked to due to having so much on the test bench right now, but we just played around with overclocking a bit and got it up to 4.62 GHz with stock CPU voltage of 1.45V. We could get 4.7 GHz to boot to the desktop, but the system would lock up when the APU was put to 100% load in benchmarks. We are happy with this 700MHz overclock over the base clock of this processor as who doesn’t want a free performance boost?
The best part about the Kaveri lineup today is that the prices have greatly dropped over the past year. The AMD A10-7800 ran $155 in July 2014 and now it’s just $125 shipped, which is about a 20% reduction in price. The AMD A10-7870K is available for $150 from online retailers like Amazon, so you can get more performance for the AMD FM2+ platform. The direct competition for the AMD A10-7870K APU is the Intel Core i3-4370 CPU at $146.79, but we unfortunately don’t have one of those processors to benchmark.
AMD Kaveri APU Pricing:
The AMD A10-7870K ‘Kaveri Refresh’ APU helps boost the performance that one can expect from the AMD FM2+ platform, but doesn’t really raise the bar as the core architecture is the same as the original Kaveri APUs that were released in 2014. Those building a mainstream system might find the AMD A10-7870K processor to be a good value as you can get a AMD A68 chipset board like the Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H for $46.99 shipped and have a board and processor for under $200. You’ll be ready for Windows 10 and DX12 plus you’ll have USB 3.0 ports and HDMI video out if those are something you have been wanting to upgrade to.
At the end of the day the AMD A10-7870K is a solid chip for what it costs for those looking for a mainstream system. Hopefullu AMD will roll out their next architecture soon to help stay competitive with Intel on the CPU side of things, but the GPU performance was solid and the Radeon R7 graphics are very capable for many online game titles. It is also overclocking friendly, which is a plus for those in the DIY market that want something they can play around with!
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD A10-7870K APU might not have have the performance gains one was expecting from ‘Godavari’, but now we know why AMD changed that to the ‘Kaveri Refresh’. Too bad AMD isn’t enforcing that naming change though as consumers that don’t know any better think that the A10-7870K APU uses the Godavari architecture as many retailers are using that term instead of Kaveri Refresh.