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%.
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 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.
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.