AMD Details A10-7890K & Athlon X4 880K
As AMD moves forward with revising their processor lineup, it seems like every other week we have another announcement from them. Last time there were plenty of updates including the discontinuation of some APUs and CPUs, the addition of some enticing new motherboards and the launch of new coolers. Now we have even more newcomers in the form of two flagships for their APU and Athlon product stacks: the A10-7890K APU and X4 880K. Neither will be a chart topper make no mistake about it, these are two key additions for AMD since in the medium term theyíll hold down the fort until top-level desktop Zen processors arrive.
The A10-7890K shows just how far AMDís Kaveri processors have come since they were first launched more than a year ago. With Godavari APUs like the 7890K and previous flagship 7870K implementing a slightly revised 28nm manufacturing process, frequencies have been pushed to suitably high levels without negatively impacting the APUsí respective TDPs. This new addition really takes things to the next level with Base and Turbo frequencies sitting at 4.1GHz and 4.3GHz respectively. Thatís 200MHz faster than the A10-7870K which likely wonít translate into huge performance benefits but as they say: something is better than nothing.
On the GPU side of things, nothing has changed with the A10-7890K boasting an R7 class integrated graphics core with 512 cores and a constant operating frequency of 866MHz.
Pricing on this APU is particularly interesting since it looks like AMD is moving it into slightly more premium territory. At $165 it comes within spitting distance (about $20 less for those keeping track at home) of Intelís very capable i5-6400 and well above the i3-series processors other members of AMDís A10 lineup compete against. With that in mind, the A10-7890K may find itself as the odd man out considering how well we found the i5-6400 to perform relative to AMDís A10-7870K.
I feel the Athlon X4 880K is perhaps the most enticing processor in AMDís current lineup. It is priced at just $95 it competes in Intelís Pentium territory yet boasts frequencies that match top-tier APUs. This looks like a perfect processor for folks who want to use a dedicated GPU and thus donít need the premium attached to the integrated graphics processor within APUs. The 4.0GHz / 4.2GHz speeds will likely put x86 and gaming performance somewhere between the A10-7870K and A10-7890K while costing a whopping $70 less than AMDís top-flight APU. Making matters even better is the fact that unlike Intelís Pentium CPUs, this thing is unlocked so overclocking should be quite easy.
Alongside these updates, AMD has also announced their new coolers will be carried over into APU territory with the Wraith headlining within the A10-7890Kís box. Meanwhile, the A10-7870K and Athlon X4 880K receive a new heatpipe-equipped thermal solution thatís rated for 125W which should grant plenty of overclocking headroom. There will also be slightly more simplified solutions rolled out for lower end processors.
With AMD announcing their next generation Summit Ridge and Bristol Ridge AM4 platforms wonít be backwards compatible with AM3 or FM2+, many potential buyers have been wondering whether or not itís a good idea to buy into a potentially dead-end solution. I have the same concerns but there are also reasons to take the plunge right now; from all indications desktop AM4-compatible CPUs wonít be launched anytime soon, with the new updates AMDís FM2+ platform is extremely capable and from an affordability standpoint, the X4 880K looks like a surefire hit.
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