AMD A10 5800K Launch Review



Product: AMD A10 5800K / ASUS F2 A85-M Pro
Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: October 1st, 2012

Power

We measured power for the whole system using a Kill-a-Watt P3 meter, recording desktop idle, media playback, gaming load and office load. Our gaming load is of 3DMark Vantage GPU test 2, run at extreme settings. The highest value seen is recorded. Idle is display active no applications desktop. Media playback is Blu-Ray disc playback with and without H/W accelerated enhancements (controlled by application) using CyberLink PowerDVD 12. Office load is running a web browser plus excel spread sheet, 40Mb photoshop project, and Adobe Reader PDF with embedded images, switching between all applications.

Power

The APU does a nice job of clocking down to match the Intel systems with their wall draw at idle. Similarly impressive is the gaming load draw, a 13W higher (17% more) than the Core i3 system, and 10W more (13% higher) than the Core i7 system. Will this be the gaming performance increase we see for the APU vs. the second generation core i-Series processors?

The media playback reading is taken with software enhancements and hardware accelerated enhancements. Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 uses hardware accelerated decoding where possible, if enabled, and uses Cyberlinks true theater and lighting post processing to enhance the image. As you can see the AMD system is using 30W more power to play the video ... is it doing something more, as well? Partially, yes - AMD's Picture Perfect HD and Brilliant HD default processing options in the Catalyst driver's Vision Engine Control Center do a lot of image processing. We will go into more details about this in our media playback testing.

When you do the math, if you assume you watch 30 2-hour movies a month and you live in an area where electricity is expensive (e.g. San Diega, $0.35KWh), it will cost you an extra 60 cents a month running the AMD A10 vs. the Core i3 for watching 2 hour Blu-ray's every night.

The Dual Graphics results underscore AMD's decision to implement ZeroCore Power in their AMD Radeon HD 7700, 7800 and 7900 series graphics boards. It's a shame they weren't able to deliver a top to bottom product stack of new GCN architecture GPUs, a small GCN die in Dual Graphics with the second generation A-series APUs would give extra power saving features as well as API upgrades - DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.2; plus the improved Anisotropic filtering hardware, too.