AMD Richland Review; A10-6800K & A10-6700 Benchmarked

Author: SKYMTL
Date: June 3, 2013
Product Name: A10 6800K & A10 6700
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Richland; Created Through Hybrid Boost

Richland may only represent a slight refresh to the original Trinity design, but AMD claims it delivers between 10% and 20% more performance than its predecessor for CPU and GPU related tasks respectively. Whether or not that’s performance per watt or raw benchmark data will be up for debate, but it is nonetheless promising to see what can be achieved through a few modifications.

Much of Richland’s potential performance improvements are derived through the optimized clock speed responsiveness of AMD’s new Hybrid Boost technology. Much like Trinity, it uses a 32-bit microcontroller within the APU which dynamically tracks the temperature of every on-die component. The major difference in this implementation is its ability to effectively parallelize its calculations in order to balance clock speeds in relation to temperatures within different regions of the APU, power needs, regional loads and other factors.

The entire point of this exercise was to add some granularity to Turbo speeds. As it stood, Trinity could accomplish many of these same tasks but relied on a strictly limited number of P-states, limiting effectiveness when it tried to find an optimal frequency point. Hybrid Boost meanwhile provides additional “sub-states” which lead to more fine grain control over the operating points for frequencies and power consumption. Compare this real-time responsiveness to Intel’s Turbo Boost which estimates many of these factors and you can begin to comprehend the amount of engineering which goes into AMD’s new solution.

This approach also allows Richland’s architecture to find a balanced operating frequency between GPU and CPU performance when both are loaded. Basically, AMD has determined “happy medium” points to ensure that neither component is starved for data at any given time. As a result, workload aware power management coupled with temperature aware TDP balancing can properly manage operating cycles of both functional architectural blocks in a concurrent, on-the-fly manner.

Richland’s use of Hybrid Boost Higher leads to more consistently high clock speeds and better overall efficiency than previous architectures without any large scale changes to the silicon. In plain English, this allows Richland to run faster more often while maintaining a TDP of 65W to 100W.

Another important addition to this architectural refresh is a set of scalable TDP points. These can be configured by the OEMs based on the needs of a given platform, opening up the possibility of using higher end quad core APUs within ultra-thin systems. Since AMD’s Hybrid Boost calculation is also based upon temperature status, we could also see potentially higher performance if OEMs or end users utilize more efficient cooling assemblies.

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