Video Perspective: Gaming on an Overclocked AMD A10-7850K APU

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | February 26, 2014 - 07:18 PM |
Tagged:

Overclocking the memory and GPU clock speeds on an AMD APU can greatly improve gaming performance - it is known.  With the new AMD A10-7850K in hand I decided to do a quick test and see how much we could improve average frame rates for mainstream gamers with only some minor tweaking of the motherboard BIOS.  

Using some high-end G.Skill RipJaws DDR3-2400 memory, we were able to push memory speeds on the Kaveri APU up to 2400 MHz, a 50% increase over the stock 1600 MHz rate.  We also increased the clock speed on the GPU portion of the A10-7850K from 720 MHz to 1028 MHz, a 42% boost.  Interestingly, as you'll see in the video below, the memory speed had a MUCH more dramatic impact on our average frame rates in-game.  

In the three games we tested for this video, GRID 2, Bioshock Infinite and Battlefield 4, total performance gain ranged from 26% to 38%.  Clearly that can make the AMD Kaveri APU an even more potent gaming platform if you are willing to shell out for the high speed memory.

  Stock GPU OC Memory OC Total OC Avg FPS Change
Battlefield 4
1920x1080
Medium
22.4 FPS 23.7 FPS 28.2 FPS 29.1 FPS +29%
GRID 2
1920x1080
High + 2xAA
33.5 FPS 36.3 FPS 41.1 FPS 42.3 FPS +26%
Bioshock Infinite
1920x1080
Low
30.1 FPS 30.9 FPS 40.2 FPS 41.8 FPS +38%
February 26, 2014 | 08:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You just called the Kaveri APU a potent gaming platform.

February 27, 2014 | 01:33 AM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

I'd still rather have a cheap FX-8320 and a dedicated video card like say a R7-250 if I were on a budget for a few reasons.

-Faster 8 core processor for use when you're not gaming
-Ability to upgrade the video graphics with dedicated card
-Onboard gpu's take away from your usable ram size almost necessitating having to buy 16gb versus 8gb of ram
-Price is only $35 more for an 8320 and an R7-250 than it is for the A10-7850 alone going by Micro Center prices.
-Not imperative to have to buy the fastest/more expensive ram to get the best performance with a graphics card

Honestly, I don't know who the A10-7850k makes sense for with the possible exception of an HTPC gamer.

February 27, 2014 | 02:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

well bill, it's not just 35$ more but you also add the difference of the graphic card about 150$, unless you can run your games with fx 8320 alone...
if you dont, then dual graphic doubles the fps, bioshock at 80fps, and bf4 at 60 is pretty decent imo.
but you are still missing the point, apu is not just about the price saved on graphic cards, but also space, some ppl like to have a 20cm cube pc they can hold with 1 hand, apu+mb+ram+psu+ssd 500-600$, i think these kind of small cubes with these apu setups would be the best selling steam machine in the future.
i am not interested in apu either, but there is a market for it

February 27, 2014 | 02:14 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Bill said it's only $35 more for both the CPU+Dedicated GPU, not just for the CPU vs CPU.

February 27, 2014 | 02:39 AM - Posted by JohnGR

AMD should stop trying to promote 7850K though you guys, making you look like an AMD site when you are NOT :P, and bring A8-7600 faster to the market.
On the other hand I do understand that these videos are not for people who check regularly the hardware news, but for those who will choose their CPU/APU after 10 minutes googling.

February 27, 2014 | 07:02 AM - Posted by ET3D (not verified)

Clearly AMD's APU are memory bandwidth starved. AMD needs to address this.

February 27, 2014 | 04:53 PM - Posted by arbiter

Only part of the APU that is, is the GPU. Since it based off the Radeon gpu's its no surprise.

February 27, 2014 | 08:33 AM - Posted by James (not verified)

I am still not all that impressed with AMD's desktop APUs. Maybe if there was a design with some SRAM on chip that would help offset the low bandwidth system memory and dramatically improve performance. As I understand DirectX 11.2 has some sort of clever texture tiling technology that could work wonders with a small amount of SRAM.

This is the approach Microsoft has taken with the Xbox One, I don't think they were telling a lie when they said they made a "balanced system". The intention is to combine Xbox One's SRAM with DirectX 11.2 software to make up for the lesser amount of GPU cores and memory bandwidth. The PS4 is using GDDR5 for both CPU and GPU which is not ideal on the CPU side of things but good for bandwidth on the graphics side. The Xbox One however has lower latency DDR3 which is more suited to the CPU side, this goes along with the design ethos of a snappy/instant system with multi-tasking apps e.t.c. But still has great graphical performance due to the SRAM and texture tiling with DirectX 11.2.

Maybe a similar design of chip could work on a desktop platform and produce graphics more on par with a mid-range graphics card. And without the need for expensive DDR3 2400 memory which negates any savings made buying an APU in the first place.

February 27, 2014 | 04:56 PM - Posted by arbiter

But i remember reading dev's have had their issues coding for the SRAM in the xb1. Since PS4 doesn't have it, more then likely most dev's won't even bother trying to code for it if the game is on both, also SRAM on xb1 is only 32mb which doesn't really do much in less it was like cache for cpu, for gpu it doesn't help much.

February 27, 2014 | 02:10 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

"It is known" - did you pull that from Game of Thrones? :)

March 13, 2014 | 12:52 AM - Posted by benchmarks_of_truth (not verified)

Hi Sir,

Can you repeat the benchmarks using Catalyst 14.2 ?

http://benchmarkreviews.com/13238/amd-a10-7850k-performance-optimized-ca...

Based on the article from the link posted above, there is ~30% performance improvement when going from Catalyst 13.12 to Catalyst 14.2

Thanks

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