AMD Introduces The A10-7870K Kaveri APU

Back on May 28th, 2015 AMD introduced the new A10-7870K  Accelerated Processing Units (APU) as part of the Kaveri refresh. Legit Reviews just got our hands on the AMD A10-7870K APU and it's our first 'new' APU that we've been able to test since our Kaveri launch article in July 2014 that featured the A10-7800 and A8-7600 APU's. When it comes to the architecture there really aren't any changes as it's using the same Kaveri CPU core with Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) and Radeon R7 graphics with the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. AMD is releasing this new processor to help booster is aimed at the home office family PC market that just in time for system builders and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) PC market to hopefully build a new PC for the upcoming Microsoft Windows 10 launch. AMD A10-7870K Slide Kaveri APUs feature up to 12 Compute Cores (4 CPU + 8 GPU) and the number of CPUs and GPUs will vary depending on which A-Series APU you are looking at getting. The four CPU cores use the AMD Steamroller microarchitecture and the 8 GPU cores feature Graphics Core Next (GNC) technology with Mantle and TruseAudio functionality.   Being designed with HSA from the get go allows the CPU and GPU to work together in harmony by quickly dividing and directing tasks to the appropriate cores for new levels of performance and efficiency for desktop and notebook PCs, enabling a new era of compute capabilities with compute cores So, you have the latest latest technology features that AMD has to offer inside a desktop processor for AMD FM2+ platforms (AMD A88X, A78 and A58 Chipset based motherboards).AMD APU Lineup 2015 The AMD A10-7870K APU features 12 compute cores (4 CPU + 8 GPU), with the CPUs running at a 3.9 GHz base clock and a 4.1 GHz Turbo clock and and GPU cores running at 866MHz. The Despite the higher clock speeds than the AMD A10-7850K, the AMD A10-7870K has the same 95W TDP rating. On top of the new higher clock speeds we also find that the AMD Kaveri APUs have all been reduced in price. The new AMD 10-7870K APU has a suggested retail price of $137 although street pricing has it at $149.99 right now. AMD Kaveri APU Pricing:  AMD A10-7870K APU Here is a look at the AMD A10-7870K Kaveri Refresh (aka Godavari) APU. On the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS) you'll find the model model number, manufacturer date, batch number and where it was made. This particular AMD A10-7870K APU was made on week 13 of 2015 in Malaysia. AMD 7870K CPU-Z The AMD A10-7870K APU has four CPU cores and eight active GPU cores (512 stream processors since each GPU has 64 shaders), which make this a fully enabled processor and it has unlocked multipliers. The A10-7870K APU has a base CPU frequency of 3.9 GHz and max Turbo Core frequency of 4.1 GHz. When the processor is an idle it runs at 1.7 GHz as the multiplier drops down to 17 and the core voltage lowers to help save power when the system is not being actively used. The CPU-Z screenshots above show the AMD A10-7870K in both an idle and single thread load state to show the low and high clocks of this processor. AMD A10-7800 APU FM2+ Pins Flipping the processors over you can see that the pins that make up this FM2+ socketed processor. There are 904 pins on a FM2+ socket for those that are curious. ASRock FM2A88x-ITX+ Motherboard Let's take a look at how the AMD A10-7870K APU performs in our AMD A88X test platform!

The AMD A88X Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. These platforms are aimed at mainstream users and all feature integrated graphics, so it will be interesting to see how the systems compare. We will use an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti reference card for discrete gaming performance tests. The AMD A88X platform that we used to test the AMD FM2+ processors was running the ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ motherboard with BIOS version L3.00 that was released on 05/19/2015. The latest AMD Catalyst drivers were used which were 15.7 Beta. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB 2133MHz memory kit was set to XMP 1.3 memory profile settings, which is 1.65v with 10-11-11-30 2T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M311 firmware. amd-fm2-platform Here is a quick look at the AMD test system CPU-Z screenshots: test-system And finally the components and pricing:
AMD FM2+ Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

AMD A10-7870K

Motherboard

ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ Click Here

Memory

8GB Dominator 2133MHz Click Here

Video Card

N/A Click Here

Hard Drive

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Click Here

Cooling

Noctua NH-L9a Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K95 Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M95 Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Operating System

Windows 8.1 64-Bit Click Here
  Intel Z97 Test System The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 2401 that came out on 04/24/2015. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB 2133MHz memory kit was set to XMP 1.3 memory profile settings, which is 1.65v with 9-11-11-31 1T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M311 firmware.
system-settings
Here is a quick look at the CPU-Z information for our main test system that we'll be doing the testing on.
Intel LGA1150 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Pentium G3258

Motherboard

ASUS Z97-A Click Here

Memory

8GB Dominator 2133MHz Click Here

Video Card

N/A Click Here

Hard Drive

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H105 Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K95 Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M95 Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Operating System

Windows 8.1 64-Bit Click Here

SiSoftware Sandra 2015 SP2

Sisoftware Sandra 2011 SP5

The Sisoft Sandra 2015 SP2 benchmark utility measures pretty much all of your system components, but we'll be using it to focus on memory and CPU performance!

sandra-memory

Results: As you can see from our memory testing chart above all the processors with dual channel memory kits perform roughly the same since we are using the same Corsair 2133MHz DDR3 memory kit. The AMD A10-7870K APU was found to have 14.44 GB/s of memory bandwidth at default clock speeds, which is slightly higher than the 14.00 GB/s we saw on the AMD A10-7800 Kaveri APU last year.

sandra-multimedia

Results: The AMD A10-7870K APU came in with a score of 81.62 MPixels/s, which is a 6.5% improvement over the 76.62 MPixels/s score on the AMD A10-7800 APU. sandra-crypto Results: The AMD A10-7870K APU scored 2.13GB/s for this AES benchmark test, which is a 2.9% performance improvement over the AMD A10-7800 65W part from 2014.

sandra-processor

Results: In the Sandra 2015 SP2 CPU Arithmetic Benchmark the AMD A10-7870K processor scored 53.00 GOPS. This is an improvement of 8.2% over the AMD A10-7800. 

x264 HD Encoding

x264
Simply put, the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It's nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test.
x264 HD Encoding Benchmark
This application scales across many threads and is ideal for processors with Intel Hyper-Threading or a bunch of cores. x264 Benchmark Results: The x264 HD v5.0.1 benchmark showed the AMD A10-7870K APU was able to average 30.86 FPS on pass 1 and 9.42 FPS on pass 2. This is a 10.3% improvement on the second pass performance over the AMD A10-7800 and just shy of the performance of an Intel Core i7-920 quad-core processor that was released at the end of 2008.

Euler3d CFD Benchmark

Next up is the STARS Euler3d CFD benchmark. The benchmark is intended to provide information about the relative speed of different processor, operating system, and compiler combinations for a multi-threaded, floating point, computationally intensive CFD code. The benchmark test case is the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing. The wing uses a NACA 65A004 airfoil section and has a panel aspect ratio of 1.65, a taper ratio of 0.66, and a 45 degree quarter-chord sweep angle. This AGARD wing was tested at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 16-foot Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and is a standard aeroelastic test case used for validation of unsteady, compressible CFD codes.
euler3d-benchmark
The benchmark CFD grid contains 1.23 million tetrahedral elements and 223 thousand nodes. The benchmark executable advances the Mach 0.50 AGARD flow solution. The Intel Fortran compiler (ifort 10.0) is used and all floating point variables are Fortran's double precision (8 bytes). Parallelization is through OpenMP. The benchmark score is reported as a CFD cycle frequency in Hertz and that is what we used to make out chart.
euler3d
Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-7870K was slightly faster than the AMD A10-7800 APU, but was still slower than all the Intel processors that we have recently tested.

Handbrake

handbrake-gui HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded.
Big_buck_bunny
We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. The 1080P clip was used in the MP4 format and the workload is encoded into h.264 output format using the preset - high profile. This benchmark test was setup to give you an idea of how these processors can take a 1080p BD rip and turn it into a 1080p H.264. HandBrake version 0.9.9 was used for benchmarking and we highly encourage you to download this MP4 clip and compare your system to ours with Handbrake!

handbrake

Benchmark Results: HandBrake version 0.9.9 showed that the AMD A10-7870K APU was about 9% faster at transcoding versus the AMD A10-7800 APU, but again still slower than a Core i7-920 processor. The Core i7-920 processor can be found on eBay for around $45 all day, every day, so the AMD A10-7870K at $149 might be a tough sell to those looking to do video encoding!

PCMark 8

pcmark8 We ran the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, which includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system. PCMark 8 Home Accelerated Test Results:
G3285 A8-7600 A10-7800 A10-7870K 4770K 4790K 5775C
Overall Score 2555 3181 3322 3429 3449 3597 4462
Web Browsing - JunglePin 0.315s 0.353s 0.351s 0.347s 0.310s 0.310s 0.305s
Web Browsing - Amazonia 0.134s 0.139s 0.139s 0.138s 0.134s 0.134s 0.133s
Writing 3.95s 4.79s 4.72s 4.46s 3.46s 3.14s 4.40s
Photo Editing V2  0.704s 0.331s 0.304s 0.330s 0.350s .321s 0.128s
Video Chat Playback 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Video Chat Encoding 133.3ms 49.7ms 37.7ms 33.3ms 48.0ms 43.0ms 37.0ms
Casual Gaming 23.0 fps 34.8 fps 35.1 fps 40.3 fps 35.9 fps 36.4 fps 67.1 fps
Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-7879K completed the Futuremark PCMark 8 Home Accelerated benchmark test with an overall score of 3,429. If you look closely at the seven work traces used in that are tested you'll see that the main performance boost came from the casual gaming benchmark and the video chat encoding test had strong results on this particular processor.

POV-Ray 3.7

Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7: The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own. The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which, in a nutshell, allows the renderer to run on as many CPU's as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend on purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 RC5. The benchmark used all available cores to their fullest extent to complete the render.

Pov-Ray 3.7 RC3

Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the elapsed time from the dialog box, which indicates the exact time it took for the benchmark to finish the benchmark and a score in PPS. We are using the final CPU score for our benchmarks and a higher value indicates faster system performance.

povray

Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-7870K APU scores 856.2 PPS in the POV-Ray multi-CPU benchmark, which is behind that of the 862.9 PPS score we got on the Intel Core i7-920 processor. The good news is that it was 10% faster than the AMD A10-7800 APU.

Cinebench R15

MAXON; CINEBENCH R15:

MAXON CINEBENCH Release 15 is an advanced hardware testing suite that assesses a computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on the same powerful technology as MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. The new version of CINEBENCH includes the ability to more accurately test the industry’s latest hardware, including systems with up to 64 processor threads, and the testing environment better reflects the expectations of today’s production demands. A more streamlined interface makes testing systems and reading results incredibly straightforward. Again, higher Frames/Second and point score equal better performance.

cinebench benchmark

Cinebench R15 was able to put a 100% load across all the cores on all of the processors, which makes this a great benchmark to look at multi-core platforms.

cinebench-opengl

Benchmark Results: When it comes to OpenGL graphics performance the Intel Core i7-5775C Broadwell processor with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 was too much for the AMD A10-7870K in the OpenGL Benchmark, but the 7870K's score of 50.68 is an impressive result.  For those that are wondering why we don't have Intel Core i7 2700K results, it is because the Intel HD 3000 graphics on that processor do not support OpenGL. cinebench Benchmark Results: On the CPU benchmark test we found the AMD A10-7870K APU scored 324 points when using all of the available cores and had a score of 95 on just one.

TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is sort of discontinued, but it was once a widely available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or (under Microsoft Windows except Windows 8 with GPT) the entire storage device (pre-boot authentication). On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternate solutions. Since that announcement was made Thomas Bruderer and Joseph Doekbrijder have stepped forward with plans to revive the project through the truecrypt.ch site, which is offering downloads of TrueCrypt 7.1a – which can encrypt and decrypt data, and was the latest version prior to 7.2. truecrypt-71 We are using the benchmark built-in TrueCrypt 7.1a with default settings to figure out the mean AES speed for each of the processors being tested with a 50MB buffer size. truecrypt Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-7870K APU does well on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) benchmark test and scored 2.3 GB/s.

3DMark 2013 w/ Integrated Graphics

Futuremark 3DMark Tests

Futuremark 3DMark has three primary benchmark tests that you can run and which test you should be running depends on the system that you are benchmarking on.

Since all of the benchmarks can be run on desktop PCs, we will run each of them on our Intel and AMD processors to see how they stack up. Intel Core i7 5775C w/ Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200: 3dmark Let's take a closer look at 3DMark Cloud Gate as that is a best representative of the integrated graphics performance on these processors: 3dmark-scores The Intel Core i7-5775C with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 and 128MB of eDRAM had the highest overall score in 3DMark Cloud Gate that we have ever gotten from a processor with integrated graphics. The AMD A10-7870K came in with a score if 7,012, but that is due to how the CPU and GPU scores are weighted in this benchmark as we all know the AMD A10-7870K's Radeon R7 graphics should perform better in game titles than the Intel HD graphics on the Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell processor. cloudgate Benchmark Results: If you look at the game tests you'll see that the AMD A10-7870K APU averaged 48.96 FPS on game test 2 versus just 37.91 FPS on the Intel Core i7-4770K Processor, but like we suspected the AMD processor didn't have the horse power to do well on the Physics test and that brought the overall score down.

Metro Last Light w/ Integrated Graphics

 

MetroLL-SS

Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013. metroll Metro: Last Light was benchmarked with low image quality settings with the SSAA set to off, Tesselation disabled and and 4x AF. We used the game titles built-in benchmark (seen above) and ran it 3 times at each screen resolution to ensure accurate results. metro-integrated Benchmark Results: We Metro: Last Light at Metro Last Light at 1920x1080 with low image quality settings and the AMD A10-7870K APU averaged 17 FPS on the benchmark, which is slightly faster than the Intel Core i7-4790K processor, but much slower than the brand new Intel Core i7-5775C Broadwell processor.

Metro Last Light w/ GeForce GTX 780 Ti

 

MetroLL-SS

Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013. metro-settings Metro: Last Light was benchmarked with very high image quality settings with the SSAA set to off, Tesselation on normal and 4x AF. We used the game titles built-in benchmark (seen above) and ran it 3 times at each screen resolution to ensure accurate results. metro Benchmark Results: With the GeForce GTX 780 Ti in the system and the screen resolution set to 1920x1080 we found that the average FPS was 56.5 FPS on the AMD A10-7870K APU. It was just barely faster on then the Intel Pentium G3258 Dual-Core processor with regards to the average and maximum frame rate, but was still a tad slower on the ever important low frame rate measurement.

Power Consumption

amd-fm2-platform Power efficiency remains important to PC users and Intel and AMD have both made great strides to improve power efficiency. There are nearly a dozen processors in our power chart, but keep in mind some of the TDP's of the processors: power Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-7870K APU is a 95W TDP processor, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that is uses more power than most recently reviewed processors. Our system was hitting 35.7W at idle and 139W at load with the 7870K APU at stock speeds.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

AMD A10-7870K APU 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. 7870k-overclock 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 Reviews Value Award

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.

newegg-godavari