During the CES 2014, AMD has officially released the next generation APU, the A10-7000 Series APU codenamed “Kaveri”. We have already know quite a lot about the Kaveri and cannot wait to get our hand at one so we can test it out.
The Streamroller CPU core is an improved version of the Piledriver CPU core found in the Richland. Architecturally, there is not much difference between the two cores except that the Streamroller has a better performance and lower power consumption. The GPU, on the other hand, has a much bigger improvement as it features AMD Graphic Core Next (GCN) architecture that is the same as those found in the current generation of the AMD R7 series Radeon GPU. The GPU shares many of the same technology as the desktop GPU, including TrueAudio, DirectX 11.2, Mantle, PCI Express 3.0 support, and others.
Two key innovations with the latest generation of APU are the hUMA and hQ. If you have been following AMD news last year, you should be familiar with these two new technologies. To recap, hUMA (heterogenous uniformed memory access) allows the system memory to be shared among the CPU and the GPU cores. The hQ (heterogenous queuing) defines how the processors interact with each other where the CPU and GPU have equal flexibility to create and dispatch work. In essentially these two new technologies allow all of the processors (CPU, GPU, and others) inside the APU to be treated equally where a workload can be done on whatever is best suited for.
Two models will be launched initially that are available on January 14, 2014: the A10-7700K and the A10-7850K. AMD has not yet released detailed information on these two APUs. We should expect thte A10-7850K to be unlocked for the overclockers as usual. The A10-7850K is reported to have a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, a little lower than the outgoing A10-6800K’s 4.1GHz and will support DDR3-2133. It will be a two module with four cores design that will also have 512 GPU cores clocked at 720 MHz.
We should expect the APU to have higher performance per watt ration given to the fact it has lower clcokspeed and at the same time the maximum TDP has been reduced from 100W to 95W. AMD’s own testing shows that the APU is able to deliver a 20% improvement in instructions per clock over the previous generation. It also can deliver 24%~87% performance over teh Intel Core i5-4670K based on AMD’s own testing.
Expect these chips to show up in system builders soon and AMD has already gotten a list of builders that have PCs pre-configured with these APUs. The APUs are compatible with the FM2+ socket motherboard that are already available at various retailers online. AMD has not released any pricing information for the retail box but we expect that information to be released soon for those who are looking to build their own. In the coming months, AMD will have more models based on the same architecture target at other segments of the market such as mobile, servers, and tablets.