Mainstream desktop computing has taken a big shift from a few years ago. Back in the day, onboard devices were considered the bare minimum for a running system. Onboard sound was buggy and onboard graphics weren't even powerful enough to run high definition videos. Anyone else remember the days of game crashes because of onboard sound conflicts? You were better off going out and buying an old SB16 card than using onboard sound. Ever tried gaming on older onboard graphics? You were lucky to get flash games running without lag.
We now live in the times of the APU. The chip that can do it all and keep costs low. It is now easy to build a mainstream system that can both game and perform media tasks for under $500. AMD has found that the APU is the way to the mainstream user's heart. The advantage of the AMD APU is a superior iGPU for overall media performance. When buying an AMD APU, there is the benefit of Radeon graphics on the die. We are nearing the holidays and that means the next launch from AMD. This time, it's not just a speed bump, rather a generational change. We are moving into the age of Trinity.
AMD's new flagship Trinity APU is the A10-5800K. The A10-5800K features some notable improvements over the previous generation. The key improvement is the architectural change to the "Piledriver" core. Piledriver contains a shared fetcher, decoder, floating point unit, and L2 within a compute module. There is an upgrade to 2MB L2 cache per compute module. Instructional advancements have been made, adding AVX, AVX 1.1, FMA3, AES, and F16C. There have also been changes over "Bulldozer", adding IPC improvement, leakage reduction, CAC reduction, and frequency uplift. The newest A10-5800K has been clocked at 3.8GHz with a max turbo frequency of 4.2GHz. The new chip uses a new FM2 socket. The iGPU has also received an upgrade to the Radeon 7660D. The 7660D contains 384 stream processors. The core has been redesigned with VLIW4 thread process for better performance. The iGPU can also now support Eyefinity, up to 4 displays, new MSAA modes, and compute enhancements.
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