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AMD A8 7650K APU Review – The Little APU That Could!

Oftentimes we will get people asking us about building a gaming PC on a budget, with the ability to upgrade in the future. Well today we will be bringing you our AMD A8 7650K review, which is priced aggressively and certainly packs a punch.

This APU can be used in a variety of ways, like a low budget gaming PC with room for upgrades, a HTPC, heck even cheap work stations aren’t out of the realm of possibility, but before we make any bold claims lets take a look at its performance.

AMD KAVERI REFRESH SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICING

AMD’s previous APUs were a part of the Trinity and Richland architecture, the 2nd and 3rd generation APUs, making Kaveri the 4th generation. Trinity and Richland were based on a 32nm fabrication. Kaveri is a smaller 28nm SHP package fabbed at Global Foundries. This APU comes with Steamroller CPU cores, the APUs all have four of these and compared to the last generation that alone will bring in 10% extra performance on the processor. The Kaveri is focused on enhancing the IPC (Instruction-Per-Cycle) by up-to 10%.AMD APU DESKTOP LINE UP KAVERI

We can note that the AMD line up has changed quite a bit, with the pricing on their Kaveri APUs taking a serious drop. We had a hard time recommending the Kaveri APUs last year because of the price they commanded. Now with the A10 7870K coming in at $150 USD and the A8 7650K at $105 on Amazon, a bit above AMD’s suggested E-tail price of $139 and $97 respectively

Looking at the design the integrated graphics under the hood, it will provide 384 SPs at 720 MHz, having 4+6 compute cores to work with AMD’s overall strategy for HSA. The processor is very similar to the slightly more expensive A10 7700K, except clocked 100 MHz lower on the CPU.

MARKET AND COMPETITION

Many of us enthusiasts may not care much about how well the integrated performance on this chip is, but AMD has a solid argument here pointing out that many people still use integrated graphics in home and business uses. We can see some markets for this chip in low end gaming builds, since the APU only costs around $100, getting a motherboard APU and RAM for around $200 makes building a system ready for most games at low settings for $400 a strong possibility.

We can see this being a fantastic option for HTPCs with AMD Fluid motion a technology that does frame interpolation and solid 4k video playback. We have even built a few systems around the office for professional use with previous APUs. In one good instance, we built a system for a carpenter where his most intense task was looking over 3D models in Autocad of projects he would be working on. While these APUs won’t be replacing professional rendering machines anytime soon, they can hold up in blender or other 3D modeling programs if you don’t try to push them too hard.

OVERCLOCKING

Overclocking on Kaveri with the iGPU (integrated-GPU) is a bit tricky, since there is a power limiter that clocks the CPU down when the iGPU is under full load. The clock speed that our chip was dropped to was 2.8 GHz after tweaking which we will get into in our Kaveri overclocking guide. We got the CPU to clock up to 3.5GHz while using the iGPU.

We were also able to get the CPU to clock to 4.1Ghz stable at 1.30V, anything over that caused too much thermal throttling in prolonged workloads for our Hyper 212 to handle, for a more through overclock on better cooling and a guide be sure to check back to our site soon!

AMD FLUID MOTION VIDEO

As you may have seen in most higher end TVs, frame interpolation can reduce motion blur and increase the framerate of video content by interpolating new frames between existing ones. AMD has added this same technology to computers with Fluid Motion Video, and the results are strikingly similar to what you get on your HDTV. Judder is minimized while focus is maintained during sweeping shots.

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Some may not like the excessive “soap opera effect”, although most feel that it improves the experience. Even at its lowest of the features three values, motion is exceedingly smooth. This we feel cements the A8 7650K its position as a great option for HTPC use.

This feature is available in all 7×00 A-series APUs or R7 260, R7 260X, R9 285, R9 290, R9 290X, or R9 295X2 graphics card. It is said that a Blu-ray drive, Blu-ray disc, and Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 14 software are required for AMD Fluid Motion Video, but we’ve seen it work in VLC and Windows Media Player. For best results try using SVP  or using the fix that bluesky has come up with HERE and how to enable it here which we used and enjoyed great results on existing 24 frame content raised to 48, and 30 frame content raised to 60.

Oftentimes we will get people asking us about building a gaming PC on a budget, with the ability to upgrade in the future. Well today we will be bringing you our AMD A8 7650K review, which is priced aggressively and certainly packs a punch. This APU can be used in a variety of ways, like a low budget gaming PC with room for upgrades, a HTPC, heck even cheap work stations aren't out of the realm of possibility, but before we make any bold claims lets take a look at its performance. AMD KAVERI REFRESH SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICING AMD's previous APUs were…

Review Overview

Performance
Overclocking
Price
Warranty

Very Strong Value CPU

When it is all said and done, the A8 7650K from AMD is a swiss army knife of a CPU at a great value! It seriously surprised us and was well deserving of our Top Value Award!

User Rating: 4.28 ( 14 votes)
  • bulldurham

    I have been using the A6 4400 for two years and have been able to play everything from crisis 2 to dayz to battlefield 3 at normal settings and never had an issue till it started overheating recently. I am planning to replace the thermal paste and have been debating an upgrade to an A8 or an A10. These processors are amazing.

    • Alex Stevens

      I remember the old trinity’s were great in laptops back a few years ago.

      I was really happy with the performance on this processor. If you plan on buying a Processor from amazon be sure to use our link to support us!

    • Dave Wu

      if it overheats on you, how is that amazing? once thermal paste is applied you should never have to reapply. it should be a permanent install..

      • bulldurham

        Factory thermal paste has a lifespan of 2 years. I am adding mx4 which has a lifespan of 6 years. It’s in an HP laptop which is famous for running hot. Currently to prevent overheating I dialed down the CPU.

      • Alex Stevens

        Thermal paste dries out. If you’ve ever owned a laptop you would notice after about 2 years they tend to get much hotter. That is one of the main contributing factors.

  • Bernhard Främbs

    If AMD wishes to have any chance to capture market share, they better start looking outside the US in terms of what importers and distributers are doing to their prices. When I have to pay an equivalent of around 200USD for the A10-7850K, then there are more sensible Intel buys. But AMD doesn’t seem to care that their distribution channels are killing their sales in non US markets.

    • Donny Stanley

      Sorry to hear that, it is rather unfortunate that pricing is so high in your country.

    • Alex Stevens

      I’ll bring this up next time I speak to someone at AMD. I am very sorry to hear that 🙁

    • randomDOUCHE

      a little late to the party but its the same in my country. they even jacked up the prices a month ago when the aots benchmark came out and then they made promos on intel / NVidia. amd also rarely gets promo. there are bundled offers but it sucks like an a10-7850k with an apotop 2gb 1333 ram. bunch of idiots go buy it without researching the importance of ram to the apu then they flood the forum saying it sucked and that they would never buy amd again.

  • 3v07v3

    well written! would have been nice to see 4 more compute cores in action. could use another 1080p budget gamer. it would be more compelling to buy fm2+ if there was a road map or to know there was at least 1 more upgrade coming that will be more competitive in aaa games. i could realistically see a road map for a small form factor with hbm for the apu and maybe integrated on the board. they could make ones the size of game systems and release a few new chips every year or the top end one anyway. i mean why not if memory wont hold you back.

    • Alex Stevens

      As far as we can tell the next CPUs will be on the upcoming Zen stuff on a different platform.

      It is still a solid deal.

      • 3v07v3

        yeah actually seen a road map in a article not long after i wrote that.

  • agello24

    im curious to know what temps did you guys run into while testing this chip? on mine, im using a zalman 9700 and its running temps around 60c. i had to clock it down and also run it in 65w mode to get it to cool down. however it locks up when the temp peaks over the 65 w mode. i do want to use a hyper 212 evo to see if the temps drop.

    • Alex Stevens

      I’d check out some of the other coolers we’ve reviewed here. I used the hyper 212 evo simply because it was there and very popular. The temps I ran into were about 30/40C below the throttle point so about 50C.

      If you dont mind the extra $20 a Phanteks cooler we reviewed here http://www.technologyx.com/featured/phanteks-ph-tc14s-cpu-cooler-review/

      Beat the snot out of a hyper 212.

      • agello24

        Thanks very much for the feedback!