AMD has officially launched its latest generation accelerated processing units (APUs) for desktops, codenamed Kaveri, opening up pre-orders for selected customers ahead of general availability.
The first of AMD's desktop APU designs to include tweaks defined by the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) for better interoperability between the CPU and GPU portions, the first to include Graphics Core Next (GCN) technology and promising significant boosts in instructions per cycle (IPC) thanks to the new Steamroller core, it's fair to say Kaveri is a big deal for AMD.
The flagship of the Kaveri desktop line-up is the A10-7850K, designed to take over from the A10-6800K and compete with Intel's Core i5-4670K. The 28nm chip's 95W thermal design profile (TDP) gives it the headroom required for a base clock of 3.7GHz across all four cores with Turbo Mode reaching 4GHz - both a drop from the last-generation A10-6800K clock speeds, which hit 4.1GHz stock and 4.4GHz Turbo. Compared to its predecessor, however, the A10-7850K claims a 20 per cent boost in IPC - which should translate to improved performance despite the loss of clock speed.
The GPU portion of the chip, too, has seen a down-clock from 844MHz to 720MHz - but, as with the move to Steamroller on the CPU side, AMD is pointing to the shift to GCN and an increase to 512 shaders as more than making up for that in true performance. Indeed, figures released by the company show the A10-7850K running the PCMark benchmark some 24 per cent faster than an Intel Core i5-4670K and the 3DMark suite 87 per cent faster, compared to boosts of 15 per cent and 37 per cent for the last-generation A10-6800K.
As before, the chip supports four threads but this time offers improved cache memory: in addition to a boost from two 64KB L1 instruction caches to two 96KB caches, both L1 and L2 caches now benefit from associative sharing - designed to help the CPU and GPU cooperate on tasks, and a major part of the promise of HSA.
The company has confirmed that OEMs are able to pre-order the part now, alongside a lower-end A10-7700K part, with the first products to appear in the coming weeks. AMD has not, however, provided a date for retail availability.