FINAL WORD AND ANALYSIS
What can we say that we haven’t already said in this article already? This has got to be one of the strongest offerings at the $100 mark. We can say that this APU is tailored for a living room PC, weither it be a HTPC type use, or perhaps as a Steambox, it can handle productivity pretty well given its price, and keeps up with CPUs twice its price.
We also feel that this thing is far and away the best option for those on a budget of $400 or below and makes a solid point slightly above that. The ability to play games like StarCraft 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, League of Legends and other popular E-sports titles with integrated graphics is astonishing. It also keeps up with a very popular “Budget” CPU the i5 4430 in most tests which costs 80% more.
The fact that it handled a GPU as high end as the 290 was pretty impressive to us, what this APU gives us is a $100 solution to play most popular titles out the box, save your money and pop in a nice dedicated GPU and be able to play most games pretty well. This renders the Pentium G3258 obsolete in most cases, and as we see the A8 isn’t too far behind the i5 we see recommended on /r/buildapc on reddit. From what we’ve seen here for a real performance improvement you would need to spend much more, and frankly for most users, the difference in the other CPUs we’ve tested isn’t worth the extra money.
The part where this gets tricky is when someone is building a custom PC with a bit more room in their budget and planning on buying a $110 to $260 GPU at that point we are losing on a key point that makes this APU so strong. The Athlon 860K may be a solid alternative or the AMD FX 6300 the latter being a bit long in the tooth, but having two extra cores. While the i5 4430 did well, and beat the a8 7650K in a lot of tests we couldn’t get over the fact that it cost another $80 we would sooner see that money being spent on a better GPU, case, PSU or an SSD.
When it is all said and done, the A8 7650K from AMD is a swiss army knife of a CPU, everything we could throw at it, within reason and it handled without missing a beat, from streaming CS:GO with barely any performance drop, to productivity in LibreOffice, and Handbrake, it seriously surprised us! So with that we give it our coveted Top Value Award!