In the last 2 weeks, we have published reviews of the AMD A10 6790K and the Core i3 4340. Both very good CPUs that fit different niches quite well. The A10 is particularly impressive as an all-in-one solution for low budget 720p gaming, and the Core i3 4340 is probably the cheapest CPU you can get that allows high end GPUs to run at full potential without overclocking.
However until recently, we didn’t realize that some of our results were flawed. In fact, all of our integrated graphics performance tests were flawed. This was caused by a bad BIOS on our MSI FM2-A85XA-G65. We had actually run into several problems since flashing BIOS version 2.4 (which is required for Richland APU support). This included overclocking options disappearing from the UEFI screens (they were there, but couldn’t be selected). More importantly though, was that memory bandwidth was severely hindered when using the integrated graphics processor. No matter what speed the memory was running at, SiSoft Sandra bandwidth tests resulted in about 9.5-10 GB/s. This is well below the expected result of 15 GB/s for 1866 MHz. However IGP performance seemed to be even more severely affected, as our results with the A10 6790K and A10 5800K were way below what they should have been. We didn’t realize this until some astute readers on /r/hardware pointed it out.
Since then, I have retested IGP performance on both A10 APUs, and both reviews reflect the new results. This changed our conclusions quite a bit (and even the subheading of our Core i3 4340 review had to be changed) as these APUs performed quite a bit better than the Core i3 4340. While Intel seems to be quickly catching up, and for once can deliver somewhat playable framerates in many games, they aren’t there quite yet. Also, AMD’s recent focus on frame pacing in their drivers has led to much more consistent frame times. If Intel are going to become a viable option for gaming in the future, they are definitely going to have to address this.
So if you were wondering why our results seemed somewhat off in terms of IGP gaming and OpenCL performance, this is why. Everything is up to date now though, and we can move on to reviewing more hardware.