AMD Trinity Lineup
This is a pretty big product launch, with eight new SKUs announced last week. Of those, four are available in stores today. Here’s a list of the models:
|Model||FPU Modules/Integer Cores||CPU Base||CPU Turbo||TDP||L2 Cache||IGP ALUs||IGP MHz||Price Oct 10, 2012
|A10-5800K||2/4||3.8 GHz||4.2 GHz||100W||4MB||384||800 MHz||$130
|A10-5700K||3.4 GHz||4.0 GHz||65W||760 MHz||($122)|
|A8-5600K||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||100W||256||$110
|A6-5500||3.2 GHz||3.7 GHz||65W||$115
|A6-5400K||1/2||3.6 GHz||3.8 GHz||1MB||192||($67)|
|A4-5300||3.4 GHz||3.6 GHz||128||724 MHz||$65
|Athlon X4 750K||2/4||3.4 GHz||4.0 GHz||100W||4MB||($81)|
|Athlon X4 740||3.2 GHz||3.7 GHz||65W||($71)|
There are a few interesting models listed here, mostly the A10-5700K. Although it carries the same list price as the 5800K we’re looking at today, it has a significantly reduced TDP – 65W from 100W. This comes at the expense of a slight CPU and GPU speed decrease, but hardware-wise they are identical. This may actually bode well for the prospect of an undervolted 5800K – we’ll certainly look at that later in the review.
Trinity will also be available with the GPU disabled, under the Athlon name. I have no idea why.
The A10-5800K is available in stores now, for around $130. Which Intel chip are they competing with at that price? There just happens to be a brand new Ivy Bridge based CPU that sells for exactly the same price – the Core i3 3220. This replaces the Sandy Bridge based Core i3 2120, which has dropped down to $125.
The Core i3 3220 is a dual core chip, but with Hyperthreading, it has support for 4 logical cores. The IGP on the 3220 is actually a cut-down version compared to what is found on higher end Ivy Bridge chips; the Intel HD 2500 IGP has just 6 EUs, compared to the full-featured HD 4000’s 16. Clock speeds are the same.
Moving up from there, the next Ivy Bridge powered Core i3 is the 3225, which is the same CPU-wise, but has the full version IGP. At $145, it is an 11% premium over the normal model. We will be sticking to the normal version for this review. After that, you are looking at $150-190 for higher clocked Core i3s and Core i5s, so the Core i3 3220 is as high as we’ll go.
For comparison purposes, we’ll be including the previous high-end Llano which this APU replaces – the A8-3870K. We also have a Sandy Bridge Core i3 2120, so we’ll include that too. Finally, we will replicate an AMD FX 6200 by taking our FX 8250 and disabling one of its modules and lowering the NB frequency. This CPU currently costs $140, so may be worth considering in this price range. Adding $15 to your budget to go from a Core i3 3220 to 3225 may not be worth it (since gaming performance would be your only benefit but would still be severely limited) but maybe the affordable FX 6200 has quietly brought the old Zambezi core back into the mix?
Here is our our test systems were set up:
|A10-5800K||A8 3570K||FX 6200||Core i3 3220
Core i3 2120
|Motherboard||MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 |
AMD A85X Chipset
AMD A75 Chipset
AMD 990FX Chipset
Intel Z77 Chipset
|Memory||8GB (2x4GB) G.Skill RipjawsX 1833 MHz 9-10-9-28
|Hard Drive||OCZ Vertex 4 256GB
|Video Card||MSI Hawk
ATI Radeon HD6870 1GB
(AMD HD6870 vs Nvidia 560 GTX)
|Motherboard Drivers||Catalyst 12.8 Chipset|
Catalyst 12.8 AHCI
|Video Drivers||GPU: Catalyst 12.8|
IGP: Catalyst 12.8
|GPU: Catalyst 12.8||GPU: Catalyst 12.8
IGP: Intel 188.8.131.5221
|Operating System||Windows 7 Professional x64 Edition SP1|
Replicated from FX8250
All tests were performed specifically for this review, so the latest drivers and versions were used when possible.
As always, we’ll start things off with SiSoft Sandra, to get a look at pure CPU performance. We usually post an aggregate of the Multimedia and Arithmetic tests, but this time we’ll split them up to see if the ‘quad core/dual FPU’ design of Trinity puts it at a disadvantage.
We’ll start with the classic Whetstone test. This is one of the first synthetic CPU benchmarks ever created (in 1972!). This is a floating point test, so the Bulldozer and Trinity cores will be less than optimized due to the shared FPU design of the modules:
Note that Sandra uses the best instruction sets available at the time, which can improve performance quite a bit. This doesn’t come into play here, but it will in some of the other tests. Right off the bat we can see the Trinity struggling a bit here, due to the shared FPU design. Llano is able to keep up, due to its Phenom II roots. The FX 6200 pulls ahead, since it has 3 FPU modules clocked at 4.1 GHz at full turbo, and a huge L3 cache to keep the data flowing.
Next up is the cleverly titled “Dhrystone” which is the Integer based benchmark made to compliment Whetstone.
This time Trinity pulls away from Llano, but is still not able to keep up with the Core i3 chips. This is a testament to Intel’s design, as these are merely dual core chips that can outperform a true quad core running a full 1GHz higher. We’ll have to wait and see how this translates to real world performance.
Next we’ll look at Sandra’s Multimedia tests. This is where having the most modern ISA instruction sets can really help propel performance, and is a bit more indicative of real world performance due to that fact.
In this test, the modern AMD chips are using FMA3/4, while the Intel chips use AVX. This is a really ugly result for AMD, as the Core i3s pull ahead again in this FPU test. This time, the Piledriver modules inside Trinity really are working in dual core mode.
That’s more like it! With all four (or six in the FX 6200) Integer cores running at full potential, they finally have enough power to beat Core i3. This of course comes at the cost of power and heat (especially with the FX 6200) but we’ll consider that later.
For now, after separating FPU and Int performance, it looks like AMD has what it takes to keep up with Intel in Integer performance, but as one would predict, lacks FPU power. This is a complete role reversal from the days when AMD kicked Intel’s ass in FPU performance, and was therefore the better gaming CPU…
Let’s find out if those roles have indeed been reversed: