AMD A10-5800K Trinity APU

AMD Socket FM2

Last week AMD gave us the go ahead to show off their latest APU (Accelerated Processong Unit) which combines the AMD 'Trinity' Core with discrete level graphics. The preview of the new Trinity desktop APU was limited to gaming benchmarks as well as a much more subjective user experience. Overall the results of the preview were very promising and Trinity was able to dominate the gaming benchmarks that we ran. Last week we were also unable to discuss the retail price of the new AMD A10-5800K. Now that the launch is upon us, every thing is fair game!

AMD Trinity Pricing and Specs

The AMD A-Series desktop APU's are at great price point. The highest retail price APU is the AMD A10-5800K that we have on our bench today and it has a suggest retail price of $122! A quick look online shows that this processor has a street price of $143 shipped. The A4-5300 is the lowest cost A-Series APU and retails for only $53.00. With four other AMD FM2 APU's coming out today between those price points, there is sure to be one right for you. Last week we saw the AMD A10-5800K bringing the Intel Core i7 3770K to it's knees when comparing the on board graphics. The Intel Core i7 3770K is currently retailing for $324.98, so for a little more than a third of the price you can have the A10-5800K that crushes the competition when using the onboard graphics.

AMD A-Series APU

AMD’s new 'Trinity' APU are still manufactured by GlobalFoundries' on the 32 nm SOI process process, but is based on the newer Piledriver x86 architecture. This is the same architecture that is used on high-end Bulldozer processors, so we finally see this technology becoming available in more affordable processors. The Trinity APU has roughly 1.3 billion transistors and is 246mm2.

AMD also improved the graphics architecture in Trinity and rather than using the VLIW5 arrangement found in Llano, AMD went when the VLIW4 design. AMD used VLIW5 in Radeon HD 6800 and older GPUs and used VLIW4 in the Radeon HD 6900 series cards. All of the newer Radeon HD 7000 series cards use Graphics Core Next (GCN) designs, so expect to see VLIW4 being short lived in APUs as well.

AMD A-Series Trinity APU Lineup

The AMD A10-5800K will be AMD’s flagship processor and that will be the one we will be using today for testing. This processor has a 3.8Ghz base clock and can go up to 4.2GHz thanks to AMD TurboCore 3.0 technology. Don't expect it to be at 4.2GHz for long though as it has many intermediate P-states and is bouncing all over the place for power savings. The AMD A10-5800K also has 4MB of L2 cache and is a 'K' part, which means it is unlocked for easier overclocking. On the graphics side of things, it has the AMD Radeon HD 7660D GPU with 384 cores running up to 800MHz. 

New AMD Desktop Processors:

AMD A-Series Trinity APU Lineup

The one bad thing about the new APUs is that they can only be used on motherboards with the new FM2 processor Socket. AMD had to change the pin count from Llano to Trinity and that royally screws all the early APU adopters. AMD didn't originally expect this change and understands that it is a bad situation. The AMD A75 chipset is compatible with the new Trinity APU's, so you will see 'new' AMD A75 based boards coming out alongside the new AMD A85 chipset.  The AMD A85 chipset adds two more SATA III 6Gbps ports, improved overclocking features and enhanced AMD CrossFireX support. AMD said that the next generation APU will work with FM2 sockets, so if you buy a board for Trinity then you'll have an upgrade path next year. 

The A10-5800K & Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 Motherboard

The AMD A10-5800K is flagship AMD APU based on the Trinity core and it just happens to be the APU that we will be using for testing today in this preview. It's a quad-core CPU with integrated graphics called Radeon HD 7660D. The CPU core is clocked at 3.8GHz and can go up to 4.2GHz using Turbo Boost. The GPU is clocked at 800 MHz and has 384 Shader Processing Units. The fastest memory that is officially supported is DDR3-1866, but many motherboards have multiplier options for up to DDR3-2400. 

AMD Socket FM2

The AMD A10-5800K can only be used on socket FM2 motherboards due to the 904-pin arrangement. Our processor has part number AD580KW0A44HJ and looks like it was made in the 21st week of 2012, which was the final week of May.

AMD Socket FM2

We'll be testing this processor out in the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 motherboard.  This is a standard ATX mainboard that uses the new AMD A85 chipset and the FM2 processor socket. It has an MSRP of $139.99 and should be available in the retail market soon. The GA-F2A85X-UP4 features Gigabyte's new power delivery system, which promises much cooler VRM temps thanks to some interesting IP from International Rectifer and 60A per phase. Mainboards using this technology will use the 'UP' naming system rather than the 'UD' that Gigabyte has been using over the past several years. As you can see from the image above, the GA-F2A85X-UP4 clearly has three full length x16 PCI Express slots for graphics cards, but the third slot is only electrically x4. This board has all four display outputs (DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA), six SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports (4 rear & 2 front), eight SATA III 6Gbps ports, DualBIOS and tons of other goodies. We'll have a full review of this board in the weeks to come, so stay tuned!

AMD Socket FM2

Here is a closer look at the processor socket area on the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 motherboard. The CPU Cooler or HSF mounts remain unchanged, but the socket now has 904 pins. Socket FM1 was used for AMD A-series mainstream Fusion (Llano) processors and had 905 pins. The difference is more than just a pin though as the arrangement has changes as well.

AMD Socket FM2

Here is a quick shot of the AMD A10-5800K APU seated in the new FM2 socket! 

AMD A10-5800K APU HSF

The AMD A10-5800K is a 100W TDP processor, but the CPU cooler remains unchanged and is identical to the one released in 2011 for Llano APUs. Let's take a look at the test system and see take a look at the performance numbers!

CPU-Z, GPU-Z and Windows Index Score

AMD A10-5800 Processor Idle

Here is a look at the AMD A10-5800K processor sitting at an idle state on the desktop of our Windows 7 64-bit test system. Notice that the processor is only running at 1.4 GHz thanks AMD's low power state technologies.  This is key as it will have lower idle power consumption and generate less heat. The base clock of the processor is 100MHz and our Gigabyte A85 motherboard is running the base clock at 99.8MHz. Notice that the AMD A10-5800K has 4MB of L2 cache.

AMD A10-5800K Processor Load State

The AMD A10-5800K supports AMD Turbo Core 3.0 technology, which means the core speed of the processor is dynamically changing and adopting to what you are doing.  When you need power it goes faster and when you aren't needing as much the clock speed lowers. Depending on the application and number of threads being used the AMD A8-5800K processor is able to run up to 4.2GHz (as shown above). Not bad considering that the A10-5800K is a 100W TDP processor!

AMD A10-5800K Processor GPU-Z

The GPU identification utility GPU-Z appears to be reading the processor correctly and shows that we are running an AMD Radeon HD 7660D processor with Catalyst 12.9 beta drivers. This GPU has 384 Radeon Cores and has a GPU Core clock speed of 800MHz and a memory clock of 933MHz. The GPU core speed also dynamically change for power efficiency. As you can see this graphics solution has a memory bandwidth rating of 29.9 GB/s and a pixel fillrate of 2.7 GPixel/s.

AMD A10-5800K Processor Windows Index Score

We get people asking about the Windows Experience Index Score all the time, so we thought we'd include it. According to Windows 7 the lowest performing component on the system was the graphics, which would be the AMD Radeon HD 7660D, as it had a subscore of 6.9 and that is the base score for the entire system.  Not a bad rating by any means for a budget friendly mainstream system.

The Legit Reviews Test System

The 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 7 Ultimate 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.


AMD A85 Test Platform:

AMD A85 Test System

The AMD Socket FM2 platform that we used to test the AMD A10-5800K processor was the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 motherboard with BIOS F3b that came out on 9/19/2012. The Corsair Vengenance 8GB 1866Mhz memory kit was run at 1.50V with 9-10-9-27 1T timings. 

You can see CPU-Z version 1.61.3 and screen shots below for additional platform information.

AMD A85 Test Settings

AMD A10-5800K Processor GPU-Z


Let's get on to the testing!

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark Settings

We ran 3DMark11 with both the performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

3DMark11 Performance Benchmark Results:

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-5800K was able to score more than 400 points higher than the AMD A8-3870K. With an average 3DMark 11 Performance score of P1521,  the A10-5800K was 36.4% faster than the A8-3870K and 88.9% faster than the Intel Core i7 3770K!

Aliens Vs. Predator

Aliens Vs. Predator

Aliens vs Predator is an entirely new title for PC and high-definition consoles from acclaimed British developer Rebellion, the team behind the 1999 original PC gaming classic. Bringing the most intense war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters FPS fans, AvP delivers three outstanding single player campaigns and provides untold hours of unique 3-way multiplayer gaming. Experience distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect. Aliens vs Predator D3D11 Benchmark v1.03 is a standalone benchmark test based upon Rebellion's 2010 inter-species shooter Aliens vs. Predator. The test shows xenomorph-tastic scenes using heavy tessellation among other DX11 features. The benchmarks independent GUI was used for testing shown below.

Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark Settings

Running the benchmark on the XFX Radeon HD 6950 we cranked up all the image quality settings in the benchmark to the highest level possible, so we were running 4x AA and 16x AF with SSAO enabled at both 1920x1080 and 1280x1024.

AMD A10-5800K Trinity Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-5800K was significantly faster than the first generation of AMD APU's. At a resolution of 1280x1024 the A10-5800K was able to average 19.85 frames per second, at 1920x1080 the A10-5800K was able to average 14.1 frames per second. The AMD A8-3870K was only able to average 15.7 frames per second at 1280x1024 which is ~21% slower. At 1920x1080 the A8-3870K averaged only 11.7 frames per second which is 17% slower than the A10-5800K APU.

DiRT 3

Dirt 3 PC Game

Dirt 3 (stylized DiRT 3) is a rallying video game and the third in the Dirt series of the Colin McRae Rally series, developed and published by Codemasters. However, the "Colin McRae" tag has been completely removed from this iteration. The game was released in Europe and North America on the 24 May 2011.

Dirt 3 Game Settings

Dirt 3 Game Settings

Dirt3 uses Ego 2.0 Game Technology Engine (more commonly referred to as Ego Engine or EGO, stylised ego), which is a video game engine developed by Codemasters. Ego is a modified version of the Neon game engine that was used in Colin McRae: Dirt and was developed by Codemasters and Sony Computer Entertainment using Sony Computer Entertainment's PhyreEngine cross-platform graphics engine. The Ego engine was developed to render more detailed damage and physics as well as render large-scale environments.

Dirt 3 PC Game Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: In Dirt 3 the AMD A10-5800K was more than 10 frames per second faster than the previous generation A8-3870K at 1280x1024, a difference of 33.2%! At the same resolution the A10-5800K was more than 20 frames per second faster than the Intel Core i7 3770K, which is nearly 89% faster. Running the DiRT 3 benchmark at 1920x1080 the AMD A10-5800K was 7.95 frames per second or 32.3% faster than the A8-3870K and 16.02 frames per second or 96.9% faster than the Intel Core i7 3770K!

Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in the Ukraine. The game is played from the perspective of a character named Artyom. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic Moscow, mostly inside the metro station where the player's character was raised (he was born before the war, in an unharmed city), but occasionally the player has to go above ground on certain missions and scavenge for valuables.

Metro 2033 Settings

This is another extremely demanding game. Image quality settings were set to Medium quality with AAA and 4x AF. We turned off PhysX and DOF (Depth of Field) for benchmarking.

Metro 2033

Benchmark Results:The AMD A10-5800K was able to out perform both the previous generation AMD A8-3850 and the Intel Core i7 3770K in Metro 2033. Running the benchmark at 1280x1024 the A10-5800K averaged an impressive 31.21 frames per second which is 6.63 frames per second faster than the AMD A8-3870K. Increasing the resolution to 1920x1024 the AMD A10-5800K was 5.33 frames per second or 31.2% faster than the previous generation APU.

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs PC game

Sleeping Dogs is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix. The game was released on August 14, 2012, for Microsoft Windows. The game uses the Havok physics engine.

Sleeping Dogs Settings

We used the Adrenaline Sleeping Dogs Benchmark tool to benchmark this game title to make sure the benchmarking was consistent. We tested with 'Medium' quality setting at 1280x1024 and 1920x1024 resolutions.

Sleeping Dogs benchmark results

Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-5800K clearly dominated the field in Sleeping Dogs. At our lowest resolution of 1280x1024 the A10-5800K was able to average 28.13 frames per second. That is 5.53 frames per second or 24.5% faster than the A8-3870K. If we were to compare it to the much pricier Intel Core i7 3770K we can see a difference of 68.44% with the A10-5800K in the lead. Once we fired up Sleeping Dogs at 1920x1080 the A10-5800K increased the gap over the AMD 3870K APU to 30% leading by 4.47 frames per second!

SiSoftware Sandra 2012 SP6 Memory Bandwidth

Sisoftware Sandra 2011 SP5

The Sisoftware Sandra 2012 SP3 benchmark utility just came out a few weeks ago and we have started to include it in our benchmarking. Sandra 2012 comes with support for Virtualisation (Virtual PC/Server, Hyper-V, VMware) and GPGPU (OpenCL, DirectX 11 DirectCompute), but today we will be using the program to look at memory and CPU performance!

ASRock Z77E-ITX mITX Intel Z77 Sandra 2012 SP4c Memory Benchmark Scores

Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-5800K was the slowest of the three contenders in the SiSoftware Sandra 2012 memory bandwidth test. The A10-5800K had an aggregate memory bandwidth of ~14.3GB/s, the first generation APU A8-3870K was ~.8GB/s faster on average.

POV-Ray 3.7 RC6

Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7 RC5:

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, which is the most recent version available.  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. A lower time indicates faster system performance. This benchmark used all 12 threaded and loaded each one up at 100% load!

Pov-Ray 3.7 RC6

Benchmark Results: In the multi core benchmark in POV-Ray 3.7 RC6, the AMD A10-5800K was 3 seconds slower than the AMD A8-3870K. The single core performance of the A10-5800K was 346 seconds faster than the A8-3870K which is nearly a 25% difference.

x264 HD Video Encoding

x264 HD Encoding Benchmark

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 did fairly well when run on 12 threads, as you can see from the screen shot above. The first pass was not using all of the processing power available on the cores, but on the second pass all 12 threads were at ~95% load.

x264 HD Encoding Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The AMD A10-5800K was able to complete the x264 HD Video benchmark with much better rendering speeds. The first pass of the benchmark was done with an average frame rate of 33.47 frames rendered per second, compared to the AMD A8-3870K average of 28.658 fps that's an improvement of 16.8%! The second pass which is much more difficult and CPU intensive showed a difference of .282 frames per second in favor of the AMD A10-5800K average of 7.42 fps.

WinRar


WinRar Benchmark

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format. You can try WinRAR before buy, its trial version is available in downloads. In order to get an accurate reading, we ran the included benchmark for 12 minutes before we took the results.

Winrar Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: In the latest version of WinRAR, the AMD A10-5800K was able to outperform the AMD A8-3870K by 471 KB/s.

HyperPi & SuperPi

Super Pi Mod 1.5

Super Pi is used by many overclockers to test the performance and stability of their computers. In the overclocking community, the standard program provides a benchmark for enthusiasts to compare "world record" pi calculation times and demonstrate their overclocking abilities. The program can also be used to test the stability of a certain overclock speed. If a computer is able to calculate PI to the 32 millionth place after the decimal without mistake, it is considered to be moderately stable in terms of RAM and CPU. However, longer tests with other CPU/RAM intensive calculation programs will run for hours instead of minutes and may better stress system stability. While Super Pi is not the fastest program for calculating Pi, it remains very popular in the hardware and overclocking communities. You can find the latest version of Super Pi here

Super Pi Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Running Super Pi on a single core gave the AMD A10-5800K a 1.698 faster time to complete the 1M benchmark. Firing up the 32M benchmark the results were a bit different, the AMD A10-5800K was 49.29 slower than the previous generation A8-3870K APU.

Hyper Pi Benchmark

Hyper Pi is a front end mod for Super Pi. Hyper Pi allows you to run multiple instances of Super Pi automatically without manually setting processor affinity. Super Pi is a utility that allows you to calculate between 16 thousand and 32 million decimal places of Pi. Pi was originally calculated to 33.5 million places using a Pentium 90MHz processor, 40MB of main memory, and 340MB of available storage. This system was able to calculate the 33.5 million digits within 3 days! Fortunately we are able to do it a little bit quicker today.

Hyper Pi 1 Million Benchmark results

Benchmark Results: We were hoping to see a significant improvement in our Hyper Pi results. Unfortunately the opposite occured. The AMD A8-3870K was able to beat the AMD A10-5800K in both of the tests. The 1m test showed that the AMD A8-3870K was 9.3% faster than the AMD A10-5800K. Running the 32M benchmark on all of the cores the A8-3870K was once again faster, though this time it had a 15.6% faster completion time.

Cinebench R11.5

MAXON; CINEBENCH R11.5:

MAXON recently released CINEBENCH Release 11.5, 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. 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 R11.5

Cinebench R11.5 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 R11.5 Results

Benchmark Results: Cinebench R11.5 gives us some intriguing results. The single core performance of the AMD A10-5800K gave us a score of 1.06 while the single core performance of the A8-3870K had a score of .9. We would think that this would translate to similar results in the SMP benchmark in Cinebench. To our disappointment it didn't. The AMD A8-3870K was able to score 3.6, while the AMD A10-5800K was slower with a score of 3.28.

Temperature Testing

It's tough to do temperature testing without a thermo chamber, but the least we can do is show you the temperature numbers we saw on the AMD A10-5800K APU as we tested it. 

AMD A10-5800K APU

AMD told us that they are not changing the CPU coolers on their A-Series APU's, so all the Trinity based processors come with the same low-cost cooler that came with all the Llano APU's.  This CPU cooler is all aluminum with a small and quiet fan on them.

AMD A10-5800K APU HSF

When it comes to performance it is so-so, but that is to be expected as has no copper base plate or heat pipes. For testing we used this 4-pin fan with all the settings at 'AUTO' in the BIOS.

AMD A10-5800K APU Idle Temp

The ambient air temperature in the room was 75F or 24C. The Gigabyte EasyTune6 software showed that our CPU had a temperature of 17C at idle with the fan spinning at ~1750 RPM. This is odd as it was below the room temperature, but remember CPU voltage is derived from the voltages inside the processor, so things are always a bit funky with temperatures.

AMD A10-5800K APU Load Temp

To get load temperatures we fired up Prime 95 and ran the torture test for half an hour. We used the "In-place large FFTs" test, which we feel is the best test to run for heating up processors. The CPU quickly topped out at 61C at ~3200 RPM. The CPU temperature fluctuated around 58-61C for the hour that we ran Prime95 64-bit.  No errors were encountered. It appears that the factor HSF is good enough, but an aftermarket cooler would help lower temps and reduce the noise. 

Noise Testing & Power Consumption

To measure the noise from the CPU cooler we used an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 37dB. We measure the sound level six inches above the bottom edge of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

AMD A10-5800K Noise Testing

At an idle the retail boxed AMD CPU cooler for the A10-5800K processor was observed at 40.7dB when at idle and it hit 47.7dB when under 100% CPU load. Not bad, but under full load you can most certainly hear the CPU cooler over anything else in the room.  This cooler certainly appears to be good enough, but you can easily reduce the noise and temperatures by using an aftermarket enthusiast cooler.

Power Consumption:

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with identical power supplies, Solid-Sate Drives, Memory kits and motherboards from the same company. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95's in-place large FFT's were run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. Curious about other test  scenarios, we decided to Battlefield 3 and took the maximum power consumption during a benchmark session.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro System Power Consumption

Benchmark Results: We weren't expecting a huge power difference between the AMD A10-5800K 'Trinity' APU and the AMD A8-3850 'Llano' APU, but we were pleasantly surprised when we saw a very nice decrease in power. The Trinity system used 23% less power at idle and 24% less power in Prime 95 than the Llano system!  In games the AMD A10-5800K did use a tad bit more power than the A8-3870K processor though.

AMD A10-5800K Trinity Overclocking

AMD A10-5800K APU HSF

To overclock the AMD A10-5800K APU we decided to how far we could push the processor with the factory AMD retail boxed cooler. This is a budget processor and we figured that many will try to overclock with stock cooler.

AMD A10-5800K APU HSF

We were able to get up to 4.2GHz by raising the multiplier from 38x to 42x without any voltage increase. To raise the multiplier past 42x we needed to increase the voltage from 1.425V to 1.475 to get full stability. At stock speed on the AMD A10-5800K APU we scored 3.28 pts on the Cinebench R11.5 CPU multi-threaded test. With the AMD A10-5800K APU overclocked to 4.4GHz we scored 3.41 pts. This is a nice increase, but we couldn't get it consistently and in other benchmarks like POV-Ray we found the score to be lower than stock.

AMD A10-5800K APU Overheating

We opened up CPU-Z and noticed that the processor was seldom running at 4400MHz and at times it was dropping down to 500-800MHz. It was clear to us at this point that the stock cooler was unable to handle the heat from the overclocked AMD A-Series APU. AMD OverDrive showed the AMD A10-5800K was hitting around 80C in various benchmarks, but we aren't sure if this was correct.

AMD A10-5800K APU Overheating

We tried Gigabyte EasyTune6, Coretemp and AMD OverDrive and none of them were reading the AMD A10-5800K processor correctly. AMD OverDrive build 626 was showing the processor at 0.0C at idle, so something isn't right.

AMD A10-5800K APU Overheating

We pulled the CPU cooler to make sure the HSF was making proper contact with the lid of the APU and it was found to be perfect.

AMD A10-5800K APU Heatpipe Cooler

We grabbed a socket AM3+ CPU coolers that we have from a retailed boxed Bulldozer processor that has a copper base plate and four heatpipes to see if it would help in the benchmarks. It ended up making a world of difference as the all the benchmark numbers at 4.4GHz improved due to the lower CPU temperatures as the processor was no longer throttling.  This made it crystal clear to us that the stock APU cooler is only good for very mild overclocks.

AMD A10-5800K APU Heatpipe Cooler

With the larger CPU cooler we were able to raise the multiplier up two more increments, which means we were able to run 4600MHz with full stability. We did need to increase the CPU voltage to 1.500V to get total stability though.  The better CPU cooler meant that we were able to squeeze an extra 200MHz out of the processor as well as run an extra 0.025V to it.

AMD A10-5800K APU Heatpipe Cooler

With the AMD A10-5800K APU running at 4.6GHz (46x multiplier) we were able to run Cinebench 11.5 at 3.67 pts. Not a bad improvement over the 3.28 pts scored at stock speeds.

AMD A10-5800K APU Heatpipe Cooler

One thing we noticed when running Cinebench is that CPU-Z reported that the processor went up to 5240MHz a couple times. It was only there for a second at a time, but it was! This multiplier was 46x, but the bus speed jumped up to 114MHz and that is where the extra clock frequency was coming from. 

UPDATE: We told AMD about our overclocking results and they told us to disable Turbo mode in the BIOS. AMD believes that turbo core is throttling our overclock.

AMD A10-5800K APU Heatpipe Cooler

AMD A10-5800K APU Heatpipe Cooler

Here are the BIOS settings on the Gigabyte A85 motherboard that we were using. As you can see we just raised the CPU Clock Ratio to 46 and also bumped up the CPU Vcore to 1.50000V.

At the end of the day overclocking the AMD A10-5800K A-Series Trinity APU was interesting. The AMD A10-5800K boosts up to 4200MHz right out of the box, so we were expecting to get well over that on air. With the stock CPU cooler that comes with this processor we were able to get 4300MHz with full stability and 4400MHz with a bit of throttling if the room temperature was hot and the processor was at full load. To get an extra 100-200 MHz out of processor is far from exciting, but we were being limited by the CPU cooler. With the CPU switched out to a larger and better design we were able to reach 4600MHz with full stability. This is a much nicer overclock. With a high-quality aftermarket air cooler or a water cooling solution you should be able to easily hit right around 5GHz with ease. We used a Corsair H100 water cooler and was able to hit 5GHz with stability on this processor. Putting a $100 CPU cooler on a $120 processor isn't something many will do, so we focused on air cooling today with factory CPU cooling solutions.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

AMD A-Series APU

The AMD A10-5800K is the flagship for the 2012 AMD A-Series APU's. That doesn't mean that it is the king of the hill in all things computer related. Quite the opposite in fact. In the majority of our x86 benchmarks, the A10-5800K wasn't much faster, if at all than the previous generation A8-3870K. The prowess of the AMD A10-5800K doesn't rear it's head until we start testing the graphics capabilities of the second generation APU. The AMD A10-5800K takes advantage of the AMD Radeon HD 7660D, which considering the fact that it's onboard the APU, turned out to be a very capable graphics card.

The internal testing from AMD that we can see above shows a 37% increase in the 3DMark 11 score between the first generation A-Series Llano and this generation of A-Series Trinity. While our numbers don't match their numbers exactly, our Llano system scored 1115 3Dmarks while the AMD internal testing showed 1150 3DMarks. Our AMD A10-5800K scored 1521 3DMarks while they scored 1570. The overall difference was remarkably similar, AMD is boasting an increase of 37% and we saw a difference of 36.4%!

You probably noticed that the AMD AMD A8-3870K Llano system was running faster in several of the multi-threaded tests than the new Trinity A10-5800K was, you aren't the only ones. Considering that the AMD A10-5800K has a base clock of 3.8GHz and a maximum clock speed of 4.2GHz, and the AMD A8-3870K has a base clock of 3.0GHz we found our results rather peculiar. In order to try and solve this conundrum we reached out to AMD, this is what they had to say.

As far as the results, in some instances, the single-threaded to multi-threaded performance of Trinity will sometimes scale less than Llano due to some resource sharing in the x86 modules. You should find that multi-threaded performance should be close to Llano in the instances where it is not better.

Hyper Pi 1 Million Benchmark results

Our testing with Hyper Pi is a prime example of the issue that we are running into. The AMD A8-3870K completed the 32M test in 1362.959 seconds while the AMD A10-5800K took 1575.899 seconds. That's a difference of 15.6%! From AMD's explanation above it seems that the x86 resource's that are shared in the Piledriver modules may be the culprit.

When it comes to overclocking the AMD A10-5800K APU has a little overclocking headroom available, but the bottleneck is the retail boxed CPU cooler. We were able to get it up to 4.4GHz on the stock CPU cooler and that was about all she had room for before the APU started to be throttled. With a larger CPU cooler we were able to get to 4.6GHz with ease. We were able to get some significant performance gains from overclocking, so if you have the desire to overclock an APU then you will be rewarded!

The AMD A10-5800K is in a unique position in the market. The x86 performance wasn't stellar, but the gaming performance was exceptional considering we weren't using a discrete graphics card. Ultimately, it's all going to come down to what you are looking to do with your computer. If you are looking to build a system on a budget to run your daily applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and other common programs I don't think you can go wrong with a set-up like we were using today. For many of those application you'll notice a bigger difference with a SSD over a traditional hard drive than you will a faster processor. A SSD will speed up your load time considerably over a HDD and add a whole different level of responsiveness. The suggested retail price of the GIGABYTE GA-F2A85X-UP4 is $139.99, this may be a little on the higher end of the price spectrum for AMD FM2 motherboard but only time will tell. Pair the GIGABYTE GA-F2A85X-UP4 with the AMD A10-5800K and you're right around the $260 mark, $70 less than the cost of the Intel Core i7 3770K alone. That would be enough to pick up a 16GB kit of memory, or a 120GB-128GB SSD on sale!

Legit Bottom Line: The AMD A10-5800K will easily run your day to day applications without an issue and if you're looking to do some light gaming you're golden. The AMD A10-5800K featuring the AMD Radeon HD 7660D you will be able to run the latest DirectX 11 games with some of the eye candy turned on.