Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a boy who didn’t have his own computer. It is quite possible that his family either could not afford it, or they were just uncomfortable with the fact that a boy would be responsible for a fairly expensive piece of technology. Yes, most families may take that for granted, since technology has become a very big part of everyday life. Less than ten years ago, most households comprised of one PC that was shared by the entire family until the technology boom erupted. With the eruption of innovations came falling prices and affordability and today most households can afford a PC for every member of the family.
The biggest innovation came when processor manufacturers, such as AMD and Intel, figured a way to integrate a CPU and GPU on the same die. By doing this, it allowed motherboard (chipsets) manufacturers to remove physical onboard graphics from their architecture, freeing up pathways which not only reduced data congestion but increased the ability of the motherboard to interact with both the CPU and GPU simultaneously. The first true CPU/GPU combo came in January of 2011 with the launch of the Intel “Sandybridge”. Shortly after, AMD launched their first APU (CPU/GPU combo) “Llano”. With “Llano", AMD brought an economical, affordable, all around platform for the masses. With its innovations, Llano proved to be a perfect platform for those who craved a PC that encompassed their desire for multimedia, social networking, light office and general purpose use. With its low power consumption, it was quite possibly the perfect HTPC. That was then and this is now, AMD has launched their fourth generation of APU, codenamed “Kaveri”. Kaveri boasts increased processor power coupled with advanced Radeon graphics but there are other technologies, such as HSA, that balance memory loads via “compute” to both the CPU and GPU.
The AMD “Kaveri” APUs have been released, in particular the top of the line A10-7850K APU. The “Kaveri” line is based on a 28nm process and is powered by “Streamroller”. The 7850K has four CPU compute cores, and a total of eight GPU compute cores. The A10-7850K has a configurable TDP that can be set to 65W or 95W (high performance mode). The CPU core clock speed is set to 3.7GHz with a turbo speed that can crank up to 4.0GHz and an L2 cache of 4MB. The eight GPU compute cores have a frequency of 720MHz with a total of 512 Radeon cores and is based on the “Hawaii” GPU. There is also support for DDR3 memory up to 2400MHz speeds. Plus, “Kaveri” is enabled for Eyefinity, Mantle, HSA computing, and AMD TrueAudio.