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AMD A10-7860K and A8-7670K Review: The Godavari Refresh

Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Lower Power, Same Performance

AMD is in a strange position in that there is a lot of excitement about their upcoming Zen architecture, but we are still many months away from that introduction.  AMD obviously needs to keep the dollars flowing in, and part of that means that we get refreshes now and then of current products.  The “Kaveri” products that have been powering the latest APUs from AMD have received one of those refreshes.  AMD has done some redesigning of the chip and tweaked the process technology used to manufacture them.  The resulting product is the “Godavari” refresh that offers slightly higher clockspeeds as well as better overall power efficiency as compared to the previous “Kaveri” products.

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One of the first refreshes was the A8-7670K that hit the ground in November of 2015.  This is a slightly cut down part that features 6 GPU compute units vs. the 8 that a fully enabled Godavari chip has.  This continues to be a FM2+ based chip with a 95 watt TDP.  The clockspeed of this part goes from 3.6 GHz to 3.9 GHz.  The GPU portion runs at the same 757 MHz that the original A10-7850K ran at.  It is interesting to note that it is still a 95 watt TDP part with essentially the same clockspeeds as the 7850K, but with two fewer GPU compute units.

The other product being covered here is a bit more interesting.  The A10-7860K looks to be a larger improvement from the previous 7850K in terms of power and performance.  It shares the same CPU clockspeed range as the 7850K (3.6 GHz to 3.9 GHz), but improves upon the GPU clockspeed by hitting around 800 MHz.  At first this seems underwhelming until we realize that AMD has lowered the TDP from 95 watts down to 65 watts.  Less power consumed and less heat produced for the same performance from the CPU side and improved performance from the GPU seems like a nice advance.

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AMD continues to utilize GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28 nm Bulk/HKMG process for their latest APUs and will continue to do so until Zen is released late this year.  This is not the same 28 nm process that we were introduced to over four years ago.  Over that time improvements have been made to improve yields and bins, as well as optimize power and clockspeed.  GF also can adjust the process on a per batch basis to improve certain aspects of a design (higher speed, more leakage, lower power, etc.).  They cannot produce miracles though.  Do not expect 22 nm FinFET performance or density with these latest AMD products.  Those kinds of improvements will show up with Samsung/GF’s 14nm LPP and TSMC’s 16nm FF+ lines.  While AMD will be introducing GPUs on 14nm LPP this summer, the Zen launch in late 2016 will be the first AMD CPU to utilize that advanced process.

Click here to read the entire AMD A10-7860K and A10-7670K Review!

Godavari is otherwise unchanged from Kaveri in terms of advanced feature support.  It is only when it comes to power and speed that Godavari looks to improve upon what we previously had with Kaveri.  These are still two module/four core units with the shared FPU/MMX/SSE/AVX functionality.  Each module features 2 MB of L2 cache (total of 4 MB on die) and 256 KB of L1 cache.  The memory controller officially supports DDR-3 speeds up to 2133 MHz effective with unofficial support for DDR-3 2400 modules (depending on the motherboard).

These chips still utilize the FM2+ socket architecture.  AM4 may be the socket of the future for AMD, but until those get released later this summer the FM2+ stable of motherboards will have to do.  This is not a bad thing as they are typically feature complete and relatively inexpensive as compared to some of the midrange and top end Intel products.  In this case a decent AMD FM2+ board will go between $70 and $149.  A Z170 will go from $90 to above $200.

These chips feature the latest PCI-E 3.0 technology and allow a maximum of 2 x 8x PCI-E 3.0 connections.  So far most motherboard manufacturers have included CrossFire support with FM2+ products, but none that I am aware of are licensed for SLI.  The amount of people buying FM2+ parts to power multi-GPU systems is likely quite small.

New Coolers

AMD identified a weakness in their lineup as well as an area that Intel has overlooked or ignored.  Quiet and cool computing is an advantage and AMD is spending a few extra dollars here as compared to their competition to provide a better overall solution.

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The "Wraith" cooler without shroud is still a lot bigger than the 95 watt unit on the right.

The AMD Wraith cooler is a large, shrouded cooler with LED lighting and is rated at 125 watts dissipation.  The constant speed fan keeps things cool under all loads without ramping up speed and causing annoyance.  This cooler has an expanded range of CPUs that it is bundled with, but neither of the APUs present today feature it.  There is a cut down version of Wraith that removes the shroud and LED lighting, but it is the same overall hardware.  This is also a 125 watt dissipation unit that stays very cool and quiet.  This is included with some models like the Athlon X4 880K.

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The Wraith is then looking quite smaller against what I used to overclock these chips.

The last updated cooler does not have a fancy name, but it is a 95 watt dissipation unit that is bundled with these two new APUs.  It does not have the elaborate shroud or LED lighting, but it is larger and more complex than the previous bundled APU heatsinks.  It provides more than enough cooling for both the 7670K and 7860K.  It is not going to turn heads with its looks, but the red fan assembly catches the eye a bit.  Of course, the best part is that it keeps these products cool without creating a lot of extra noise.

Video News

May 4, 2016 | 01:42 PM - Posted by Vyom Mestri (not verified)

Can we see some dx12 & dx11 APU benchmarks

May 4, 2016 | 03:42 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

DX12 titles still not in a state to be adequately benchmarked from what we have tested.  DiRT Rally and 3DMarks use DX11.

May 4, 2016 | 03:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

“The i3-6100 is not far behind at $125, but while the CPU is far stronger, the integrated graphics cannot compete well with what AMD provides at a lower price point.”

And there is the great AMD advantage in that Graphics for the dollar spent! With DX12/Vulkan able to do more on the GPU(Ace Units) and take more of the non graphics gaming workloads, as well as graphics(always have been good at that) workloads off of the CPU and move it onto the GPU, while also reducing the latency issues for VR gaming from not having to do as much any gaming work on the CPU.

Intel's graphics is just an afterthought compared to AMD's or Nvidia's graphics, and Intel is only just barely able to use its graphics for gaming compared to AMD's or Nvidia's graphics standards that are more affordable compared to Intel's. If you are laptop user, that AMD graphics is an even better deal, so maybe if AMD's Zen SKUs can get the IPC/CPU core metric up to please the Numpty headed laptop OEM's who do not see the value in the Graphics from AMD, or the Need for MORE than CPU IPC only comparisons!

The newer graphics APIs(Dx12/Vulkan) are doing much better multicore CPU wise, as well as doing more non graphics gaming compute on the GPU in addition to the gaming graphics, so Intel will have do do better on its graphics inside of its lower cost SKUs, and not skimp on offering it's better graphics options and forget those high margins.

I wonder what Contra revenue/other "marketing" programs that Intel will use to keep its hold on the laptop market, the PC market and the do it yourself systems builders have always had a better deal and better options.

May 4, 2016 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Klyde (not verified)

95W TDP, same singlethreaded performances as Intels 4.5W TDP Core M.

May 4, 2016 | 04:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


May 4, 2016 | 06:08 PM - Posted by Daniel Meier (not verified)

What amazing insight, that totally added so much to this article and the product. Im so happy that each day i can go on the internet, read a well written and informative article, scroll down a bit and then read dumpster fire comments like this one. The net really is the last bastion of human decency.

May 4, 2016 | 07:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The net has become a lot like the non-gentrified parts of South Boston!

May 4, 2016 | 04:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Literally the WORST, most issue/failure prone chipset in the last 10 years, fuuuuuck that shit.

May 4, 2016 | 05:29 PM - Posted by JohnGR

AMD's APUs are the best for people that don't have enough money. Of course arrogant people with money in their pockets, or their dad's pockets, will enjoy laughing at those chips.

May 4, 2016 | 07:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No a lot of very poor people buy Nvidia and they do not have the slightest idea of how the Price/performance metric calculation is done, or any simple math relationship that involves more than the fingers/toes. They buy Green like people by Green Bay/other Starter jackets, they only want that perceived association with some easily chosen winner! Some poor Gits will get Nvidia cards at the expense of food for their own kids.

May 4, 2016 | 06:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"AMD is in a strange position in that there is a lot of excitement about their upcoming Zen architecture"

Isn't this true for every single AMD product.... hype the vaporware product?

AMD discontinues support on APU's after 4 years

Why don't you go code us some drivers JohnGR? fking tool

What does this mean... In windows 10 AMD will notify that you need a new driver then go and install the new driver and then it tells you that it's not compatible... repeat forever... Love the pointless Pop Ups

May 4, 2016 | 06:27 PM - Posted by JohnGR

I am only quoting you so that you think that your life is not completely meaningless. Someone didn't ignored your insults, so that's a proof that you exist.

May 4, 2016 | 09:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Microsoft might force you to migrate to Windows 10 but instead of complaining against AMD which promises you nothing more than the specifications issued the day you bought your piece of hardware, you should downgrade to your previous operating system.

For long term hardware support you should avoid Windows and look at Linux or BSD systems.

May 5, 2016 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That APU uses rebranded graphics based on radeon hd 4000 series, no wddm 2.0 support in windows 10 = no driver even though the branding is hd 6000 series.

So that sucks but it's kind of expected.. you have problems.

May 4, 2016 | 06:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intels graphics are a joke and will never compete with AMD .
I would never buy Intel .And when Zen comes out there will be no need for people to ever buy Intel again.
Intel is a dead man walking and that's a fact . Cutting their workforce globally by 10% .They know karma is coming to bite .

May 4, 2016 | 09:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel graphics may be a joke for gamers but sufficient for office workers though rather expensive.

If you get only the facts, AMD is near from bankruptcy (5 % workforce cut in 2015) that's why arab shareholders from Qatar sold stocks to China.

I wouldn't gamble on Zen since Jim Keller have left the project before its success... or failure. He probably have left AMD before completing the design and let AMD incompetent engineers finish it with pee.

May 5, 2016 | 12:30 AM - Posted by LodeSterre (not verified)

You're joking, right?

I'm only going to address the last part. Jim Keller, he worked on K7 and was lead architect of K8. K7 launched in 1999 right before he left to SiByte. K8 was released in 2003, 4 YEARS AFTER he left, and was the crowning achievement of AMD to date.

Seeing as how AMD already had samples coming when Keller left, I'm sure their engineering team can handle the final back end tweaks for the last year from Keller leaving to launch. They somehow managed to fully develop Keller's masterpiece architecture 4 years after he left last time...

In other words, you're a total tool.

May 5, 2016 | 05:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm not joking. Altough the Athlon 64 was a relative commercial success, AMD chose the lower design made by Jim Keller (aka K8-1) and cancelled the more polished design (aka K8-2).

You know what? Since the Athlon 64 design left by Jim Keller, incompetent engineers lead AMD to nearly bankrupt once and saved by arab investors as nobody in the world would pay for its debt. For the same reason, unskilled engineers (mostly low paid women) made the K10 architecture which led AMD near from bankrupcty once again and the business isn't completely saved by China even if chinese give some fresh air by buying stocks.

From my POV, AMD investors saved their bucks on engineers skills but failed to see the future to save the business. My forecast is that AMD will be 100 % owned by China with unskilled chinese engineers and will die silently in indifference.

May 5, 2016 | 08:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As opposed to the male engineers from your part of the world, the Chinese have the longest running civilization in to world and Communism came from the west, so do not go there again. Communism came from the results of unchecked capitalism, and the engineers in China/other parts of the world are good and can be paid much less! That said, no white collar/professional workers were complaining when the blue collar jobs were being outsourced, so now there is very little sympathy all around! Most of the Communist Tools, as well as Capitalist Tools are just Numpty headed hicks from around the world so do us a favor go back to the farm.

Both capitalism and Communism have nothing to do with Democracy, so put that in your Floyd R. Turbo pipe and smoke it! You Numpy headed hick. There is always the farm for those without the marketable skill sets to survive in the cities and towns, the farm is an insurance policy of sorts! So engineers will have to take a pay cut, too bad they printed so much money in the US/Other post industrial countries and made the cost of living untenable for you post industrial engineers, and blue collar workers, and a good economic depression would have sorted things out for all that inflationary money flowing around and driving the costs of housing/rental housing through the roof, along with food/other first world costs and such. That Post-industrial "Post" is a bitch isn’t it!

May 5, 2016 | 09:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Chinese engineers are as bad as there's no tech company in China producing original design without receiving orders from the western companies.

Why China bought AMD stocks if chinese engineers are as good as the western ones?

Get the facts, China is a country with over a billion of peasants and a bunch of robbers gravitating around the communist party!

May 5, 2016 | 10:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There are very few CPU/SOC designs that are made by American engineers, including some of the Intel designs(Israel). America makes good cannon fodder(those folks that like to pummel NERDS), but not scientists and engineers for the most part. So remember this Floyd R. Turbo(American) most of the inventions that saved your bacon during world war two came from immigrant engineers and scientists, and most of those scientists, as lots of inventions came from overseas. RADAR, the British, Jet engine(after WW2) The British, and Atom Bomb, mostly European/Jewish/Italian/other scientists, Norden bombsight, Carl Norden, a Dutch engineer educated in Switzerland who emigrated to the U.S. in 1904! etc.

The Chinese have some good very good engineers/scientists if you have over a billion people chances are very good that your counts of very very smart people will be higher, same for India(they invented the number 0, handy if you need to count or do any math) with its very smart people among the many billion+ or so people. So no Floyd R. Turbo it's not how you say! Add to that Iran and the middle east, some very good scientists and engineers.

America has a buttloads of Peasants relative to its population size, Of the Communist Tool variety, and the Capitalist Tool variety(YOU)! Poor Old Democracy in America is in constant stress from you tools, even of the Fascist/Nazi variety(You are leaning that way)! Don't forget the religious nuts(from the many religious fanatics perverting religious beliefs around with their own twisted peasant logic)! Those peasants also are always ready to blow things up!

The world is under threat from the Peasants/Hicks/Joe Six-packs/ other numpty heads who will always be a threat to Democracy and civilization.

May 5, 2016 | 02:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just came to chime in that the US is not a democratic government and never has been, it is a Republic.
Also democracy is shit and has proven time and time again to be a shit form of government.

May 5, 2016 | 08:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Democratic Republic with a Bill of rights, and such. It's a nation of laws, you'll get your day in court and your inalienable rights. You won't be guaranteed a job or happiness, just the right to seek happiness, but there are some social safety nets enacted by congress for the public good!

There definitely needs to be an agricultural safty net for some without the necessary marketable skill sets to survive in the cities and towns! so let's tie some of the safty net into returning some who can't make it in the post-industral world's urban envionment back to the land to prosper there as yeoman farmers! Let's help them return to an agrarian existence. If the plan is to go post-industral then there should have been a plan to bring some back to an agrarian existence and a productive life there.

The printing of excess money has made everybody poorer and a good old economic depression can clean the markets up to begin anew without all that printed money's(electronically printed digital money Now) bad influnce on the Democratic Republic's democratic processes!

Democracy is ugly, and it is not shit, but is is constantly under threat from the uneducated masses! Those that do not know their own rights can not respect yours! Your rights end where other people's rights begin, with provisions to protect the individual's inalienable rights included of course!

May 6, 2016 | 02:29 AM - Posted by Hal (not verified)

Just a quick fix, the Arabs sold their shares in AMD due to regional and political issues, primarily stemming from the drop in price of oil.

Which is interesting in and of itself as most of those stock ventures were done in an attempt to promote manufacturing and development moving to the middle east to ease their reliance on oil money, yet the first pinch that comes they dump it and double down on holding cash for oil.

Between war, oil fluctuations, and wanting to keep Iran from profiting from lifted sanctions, the Arab mindset was never much concerned with the longevity of AMD, they may have preferred it fail so they could pick through the parts and move pieces into the region.

May 6, 2016 | 03:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Without western engineers and slaves from Asia, arabs from the middle east couldn't maintain any industrial production starting with oil.

Actually AMD is the toy of spoiled kids of oil monarchies.

You missed the fact that even with a $100.00 oil barrel, AMD products wouldn't sell well since it is a technological industry not a commodity market that even a peasant with camels in the desert could manage.

May 5, 2016 | 10:56 PM - Posted by V.M (not verified)

The funny thing is if you bench a AMD A10 APU, typically it will come up close to the original Intel Core i7 Processors like the i7 820. Given how much those cost on day one and what these cost now, i paid 2000 USD for that i7 machine, and a A10 machine will cost 500.

A current gen i7 only doubles performance from the original Core i7 series. So essentially, the cost of that level of performance has decreased by a factor of four, but current generation performance has only doubled.

In terms of dollars for performance, Intel has only double performance at the high end, but AMD has reduced the cost of said older technology at a faster rate than Intel has improved.

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