Kaveri Overclocked – IGP Gaming & OpenCL Performance
Earlier this week, we looked at how overclocking Kaveri’s CPU to 4.7 GHz affected performance in various CPU-only (or mostly) tests as well as gaming with a dedicated graphics card. The goal of that type of overclock was to find out exactly how the CPU portion of Kaveri scales as clock speed is increased, and was not necessarily intended to be buying decision guide. After all, if you want pure CPU performance and don’t care about the IGP, we found that you are probably better off spending your money on something other than an APU. Rather than assume “everyone knows” this as a fact, we were able to get actual performance figures to back up these opinions.
We also noted in our original Kaveri review that we could easily overclock the IGP to 1020 MHz with a NB voltage of 1.2v. This is a pretty substantial increase from the stock speed of 720 MHz, and combined with the CPU overclock, led to a big boost in 3dmark Fire Strike:
This gives us an indication that people who are buying an A10 7850K for use as a standalone APU will probably want to look into overclocking it. However as mentioned in our original review, we only had a very short amount of time to get the review ready for launch, so this was the only benchmark that showed what a full APU overclock was capable of. I thought if we were only going to include one benchmark, this is a good one since it shows CPU, GPU, and Combined performance results all at once.
Today we’re going to overclock our Kaveri A10 7850K to the maximum settings that were 100% stable in a week of testing, and see exactly how it runs as an overclocked APU. This means overclocking the CPU to 4.7 GHz, and overclocking the IGP to 1020 MHz. If that 3dmark result is any indication, we should see some nice gains. In our first overclocking article, we wrote a quick guide on how to overclock Kaveri.
We’ll be testing it against Haswell based Core i3 4340 and Core i4 4670 processors, which surround 7850K’s current $180 price nicely (Core i3 at around $160 and Core i5 at $220). Neither of these can be overclocked other than a slight BCLK boost which might net 100 Mhz, and we’ll be leaving them at stock. We’ll also be including the stock Kaveri results.
To get an idea of just how far Kaveri can go, we are also using 2400 MHz DDR3 when overclocked, up from 1866 MHz at stock. We will be taking a closer look at DDR3 scaling later as well, so if you are interested in seeing how that works, check us out on Facebook or Twitter.
|A10-7850K||Core i3 4340|
Core i5 4670
AMD A88X Chipset
ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+
AMD A88X Chipset
Intel Z87 Chipset
|Memory||16GB (2x8GB) Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 1866 10-10-10-30|
8GB (2x4GB) Radeon Memory GAMER Series 2400 11-12-12-31
(on Overclocked system)
|Hard Drive||OCZ Vector 256GB|
|Video Card (IGP)||Radeon R7 Series|
Stock: 720 MHz
OC: 1020 MHz
|Intel HD Graphics 4600 |
Core i3: 1.15 GHz
Core i5: 1.2 GHz
|Motherboard Drivers||Catalyst 13.30 RC3 Chipset|
Catalyst 13.12 SB
|Video Drivers||Catalyst 13.30 RC3||Intel 10.18.10.3345|
|Operating System||Windows 8 Professional x64 RTM|
All updates as of Dec 1, 2013
How We Test Video Game Performance
Our gaming performance tests are probably a bit different from what you’re used to seeing on most sites. We test performance using real-world gameplay exclusively, and the results we look at are frame time measurements in addition to standard frames per second.
We have found that FPS doesn’t carry enough data to tell us truly how a given set of hardware actually feels when you play a game. A simple way to explain this is that any given 60 second segment of playthrough may have 2000-3000 individual frames shown to the user. What FPS does is take all 3000 of these data points, and combine them into one overall number. Although the use of “frame rate over time” is better than this, it still takes those 3000 data points and turns them into 60. Because the variation of speed that occurs frame-by-frame and not second-by-second is what can make a game feel ‘stuttery’, even though the “FPS” is high any given second or minute, it is important to look at game performance in terms of these individual timings. For further explanation, check out Scott Wasson’s Inside The Second article on the subject. He is the one who spearheaded the whole movement into this type of testing.
Each game is tested using a 60 second playthrough of a level with the intention of being repeatable and consistent. This is easier in some games than others, so our benchmarks are repeated 3-5 times to find the most consistent result. Once that result is found, we use that as a representation of performance. FPS is recorded, as well as individual frame times.
We have traditionally tested IGP performance at 720p with very low settings. However Kaveri has pushed performance to the point where many games (but not all) can be bumped up to 1080p, with some settings increased. The ‘easier’ games were tested at 1080p as well as our old 720p benchmark (for those who prefer 60 FPS with lower res over 30 FPS at high res). Games that already struggled at 720p were left there.
Here are the games we used, and the settings for each (we’ll also include a screenshot of each settings page as we go through the results).
|Assassin's Creed IV||3rd Person Action||1.06||AnvilNext|
|Battlefield 4||First Person Shooter||v89510_111213||FrostByte 3|
|Crysis 3||First Person Shooter||184.108.40.20600||CryEngine 3|
|Metro Last Light||First Person Shooter||Update 3||4A Engine|
|Tomb Raider||3rd Person Action||220.127.116.11||Modified Crystal Engine|
A video of each benchmark run will be included as well. So let’s get started with Assassin’s Creed IV!