AMD A10-7850K 'Kaveri' review: AMD's new APU

CPU and GPU working side by side

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Extras: TrueAudio and new UVD

In addition to CPU and GPU cores, Kaveri has a few dedicated areas on the chip for certain functions, called accellerators in AMD lingo. There is the AMD TrueAudio DSPs we've seen already on the recent AMD Radeon R9 290(X) and AMD Radeon R7 260(X) video cards. TrueAudio is Cadence Tensilica-based DSP that provides efficient hardware support for various audio-related calculations such as 3D audio and environmental effects. By having the DSP take care of these processes, the CPU is freed up for other things. You can read more about that feature here. The upcoming game Thief will be one of the first games to support TrueAudio.


TrueAudio is now also part of AMD's APUs.

AMD has improved the integrated UVD video decoder. There is hardware-based support for H.264 and MPEG2 video and there is advanced post-processing such as pixel-adaptive deinterlacing and noise cancellation. A new feature is the improved frame interpolation where the GPU calculates intermediate frames when you watch 24 Hz material on a 50 Hz or 60 Hz screen. AMD has made the H.264 decoder less sensitive to errors so even poorly-coded video files can be displayed.  


AMD's UVD video decoder is improved...

The VCE video encoder has also been improved. The new VCE 2.0 version supports I, P and now also B frames in H.264. That means new frames can also be based on upcoming ones, not just past ones. There is support for YUV444 I frames, which is required for having the best possible quality 60 Hz Wireless Display.


... and the VCE video encoder has also been updated.

Hardware-based support for the brand new H.265 / HEVC codec that will be used for 4K content is not yet a part of UVD, but there's good news in this department. Together with Telestream, AMD has developed HEVC codec that uses HSA that's able to play 4K HEVC content on Kaveri with a very low load on the CPU. It's unclear how and when that codec will become available to consumers, but the fact that the chip is specifically suitable for 4K HEVC is great news if you want to build an HTPC. AMD also wants HSA to be used for Open Source projects, so it wouldn't surprise us if they release an HSA-compatible OpenCL open source H.265 codec. 


Compare

three products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

AMD A8-7600 Boxed

Socket FM2+, 3.1 GHz, 4 cores, 65 W, 28 nm, Integrated graphics

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

£59.99

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1 shop, no stock

AMD A10-7700K Boxed

Socket FM2+, 3.4 GHz, 4 cores, 95 W, 28 nm, Integrated graphics

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£82.99

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2 shops, no stock

AMD A10-7850K Boxed

Socket FM2+, 3.7 GHz, 4 cores, 95 W, 28 nm, Integrated graphics

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

£95.99

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