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AMD A10-5800K / A8-5600K review part one: Trinity for desktops

A first impression of AMD's latest APUs for desktop PCs

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Introduction

In May AMD introduced its latest generation APUs codenamed Trinity for laptops, and on Tuesday, October 2nd the desktop versions will arrive. The full review has to wait until then, following AMD's non-disclosure agreement, but today we are allowed to write about the hardware behind the new CPUs, the model numbers and - most importantly - the gaming benchmarks.

APU stands for Accelerated Processing Units, AMDs own term for processors with an integrated graphics card. The new Trinity chips are the successors to the existing AMD A4, A6 and A8 Llano processors with the Socket FM1 processor socket. Because the performance has increased significantly, the high-end version in the series will be receive the A10 designation. The fastest version that AMD will introduce on Tuesday will be the A10-5800K.

Compared to the previous generation, both the CPU and GPU performance has improved with the Trinity chips, while the energy consumption is lower. AMD is emphasising the power of the integrated GPU. AMD already is ahead of Intel in the integrated GPU department, even if the difference became less with Ivy Bridge's HD Graphics 4000. AMD would like to keep this edge, so Trinity contains a new integrated graphics engine based on the recent Northern Islands GPU family

The CPU part has been overhauled even more, as Trinity is based on the so-called Piledriver cores. These are a new and second version of AMD's Bulldozer technology, known from the AMD FX processors. Bulldozer was not very impressive in terms of performance, and while the laptop versions of Trinity proved that the Piledriver cores are faster, it's still not great. What is supposed to make Trinity interesting is the balance between a reasonably fast CPU and a powerful GPU combined with an affordable price. AMD is positioning the A10 processor against the Core i3 2120 from the Sandy Bridge generation, so that should give you an idea of how it will be priced. It will likely be around £80 for the A10, and of course less for the new A8s, A6s and A4s.

You can read about the benchmarks later on in the article, first let's go over the hardware again.


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