AMD puts Excavator on the desktop with the Athlon X4 845

AMD had some announcements to make at CES regarding Socket AM4 and a new, quieter boxed cooler called the Wraith. While new CPUs and APUs for Socket AM4 remain under wraps, AMD is introducing three new processors for Socket FM2+ today, along with two new boxed heatsinks that are meant to bring Wraith-like performance to more processors.

The most powerful chip we're looking at today is called the A10-7860K, which slots in beneath the range-topping A10-7870K. This APU is part of the Godavari family of chips, and it boasts four Steamroller cores clocked at 3.6GHz base and 4.0GHz boost speeds. Those speeds are almost identical to the beefiest Kaveri APU, the A10-7850K. The 7860K's eight GCN graphics compute units get a 37MHz bump over the 7850K to 757MHz, though, and the 7860K also slips into a relatively frugal 65W TDP versus the older chip's 95W thermal envelope. This chip will carry a suggested price of $119.99.

At the entry-level range of the APU lineup, AMD is introducing a dual-core part called the A6-7470K. This chip comes with two Steamroller cores clocked at 3.7GHz base and 4.0GHz boost speeds, along with four GCN compute units clocked at 800MHz. It'll slot into a 65W TDP. AMD didn't reveal pricing for this chip.

The most intriguing part AMD revealed today is the Athlon X4 845. This CPU features four Excavator cores, as seen in the Carrizo APU lineup. Those cores are clocked at 3.5GHz base and 3.8GHz boost speeds. Like other Athlon chips, the X4 845 has no onboard graphics capabilities, but it's pretty affordable at a suggested price of around $70. One limitation of this chip is that it only offers eight PCIe 3.0 lanes direct from the processor, but that may not matter for the kinds of value-oriented system builds AMD is targeting with this part.

Along with the Wraith cooler, AMD is also updating its boxed cooling solution for a couple of its other processors. The A10-7860K and Athlon X4 845 will both come with what AMD is calling a "quiet 95W thermal solution." This cooler uses a Wraith-inspired fan and a couple heatpipes to deliver performance that AMD describes as "similar" to the Wraith. A less-fancy updated cooler with a similar fan will ship with the Athlon X4 870K and Athlon X4 860K CPUs, as well as the A8-7670K and A8-7650K APUs.

The Wraith cooler itself will begin shipping exclusively with the FX-8370 CPU for $199.99. A lower-priced version of the FX-8370 without the Wraith in the box will also be available for those who want to use their own thermal solutions.

Comments closed
    • Coran Fixx
    • 4 years ago

    As a budget game machine the A10-7700k worked out well, buying from Microcenter. If the new A10-7860 becomes the new $89-$99 mb combo I would buy it. Without the free or nearly free mb I would have no interest.

    • ultima_trev
    • 4 years ago

    What’s with the gimped L2 cache? Then again, it seems the “fully enabled” FX 8800 for the mobile platform also has the same amount of cache and a gimpy 15 watt TDP. Somehow Excavator doesn’t seem like an upgrade to Streamroller. I wonder how it would compared to an FX from the Zambezi/Vishera families.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      The Athlon 845 is literally a Carrizo chip in a socketed package with the GPU turned off and a higher TDP. The reduced L2 cache size, cut-down PCIe lane count, and other idiosyncrasies are all due to the fact that Carrizo was designed for Best Buy Special notebooks and not desktops.

    • BaronMatrix
    • 4 years ago

    This is a good staggered approach… The 845 is the release of the Carrizos that didn’t fit in the 65W envelope… Since Carrizo uses a HighDensity library it needs to be tweaked for the high frequencies… If it maintains the improvement over 15-25W Kaveri, DX12 will love it…

    If the current trend keeps up they may launch FP4\AM4 with DDR4 slots at Mobile World… Carrizo with DDR4 would make a helluva MiniPC…

    Zen needs a whole new chipset, a new interconnect that connects CPUs and GPUs and new compiler stuff…

    We can say that GF getting all of IBMs chip business means they won’t be late… Especially with Samsung tagging along…

    • ermo
    • 4 years ago

    My ideal IPC benchmark suite for AMD CPUs since the Ph II would look something like this:
    [list<] [*<] Phenom II X4 980 (3.7 GHz) Deneb 45nm (6MB L3 cache) [/*<][*<] FX-4130 (3.8 - 4.0 GHz) Bulldozer 32nm (4MB L3 cache) [/*<][*<] FX-4300 (3.8 - 4.0 GHz) Piledriver 32nm (4MB L3 cache) [/*<][*<] Athlon X4 760K (3.8 - 4.1 GHz) "Trinity" (Piledriver) 32nm [/*<][*<] Athlon X4 860K (3.7 - 4.0 GHz) "Kaveri" (Steamroller) 28nm [/*<][*<] Athlon X4 845 (3.5 - 3.8 GHz) "Carrizo" (Excavator) 28nm [/*<] [/list<] Testing notes: [list<] [*<] I include the FX CPUs to be able to measure the boost in IPC between similarly configured BD and Piledriver models. Any difference in performance between the FX-4300 and the X4 760K can then be expressed as a ratio relative to which we can reasonably compare the IPC of the X4 860K and the X4 845 with the original X4 980 and BD. [/*<][*<] Disable turbo boost and (over)clock all CPUs to 3.6 GHz and use the same HT (and where applicable, CPUNB ) speeds across CPUs to ensure that we isolate pure IPC. [/*<][*<] Measure power at the wall using the same PSU/GPU/HDD/RAM/CPU cooler settings (2x4 GiB DDR3-1600 RAM). [/*<][*<] Time a full stage 1 to 3 rebuild of (a stable set of) all packages on the OS for each CPU using the newest available compiler on Gentoo (and make sure to set up a local transparent reverse proxy such that packages are cached on the local network). Ensure that [url=https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc-5.3.0/gcc/x86-Options.html#x86-Options<]"-march=native"[/url<] is set in CFLAGS and CPPFLAGS. [/*<][*<] Measure the performance of a specific OpenBenchmarking.org benchmarking suite ensuring that each benchmark is rebuilt and optimized for the local CPU. [/*<][*<] Analyze the data. [/*<] [/list<] I would suggest using a budget-ish 250 GiB SSD and a used AMD 6870 GPU, because the latter is well supported and optimized for the OSS Mesa driver stack and can thus be used to measure any FPS and Frame Time differences for various Linux game tests.

    • Mr Bill
    • 4 years ago

    Is this Athlon X4 845 Excavator die a Carrizo APU that failed to bin a working GPU? Perhaps this CPU would run a little better in an FM2+ system with a discrete GPU card because without the GPU the Carrizo core can have a little more TDP headroom.

      • Concupiscence
      • 4 years ago

      Given the reduced cache size and 8 PCIe 3.0 lanes, I would bet on that.

    • Beahmont
    • 4 years ago

    So iirc, Zen is supposed to be a +35% IPC improvement to Excavator, but what that really means for actual performance has been rather iffy because there was no Excavator to compare to Steamroller or Haswell.

    Now that there is an Excavator desktop chip, can [i<] [b<]somebody[/b<][/i<] get one of these and put it through it's paces so we can get a better estimate on how much of Zen's performance is likely to be marketing BS and how much is likely to be 'The Real Deal' as far as IPC goes? I'm really curious about how well Excavator compares to Sandy Bridge and Haswell and if a 30+% IPC improvement puts Zen at Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, better than Haswell, or worse than Sandy Bridge? Because if Excavator ends up not really delivering any meaningful improvements compared to Steamroller, then Zen is going to be in big trouble come H2 2016.

      • Concupiscence
      • 4 years ago

      It’s still not going to be an apples to apples comparison because the X4 845 is a repurposed Carrizo mobile part. Premium Zen parts will be built on a smaller die, are bound to be stuffed full of cache, and will have an abundance of PCIe lanes. It might be instructive to run some benchmarks that can stay within that crimped 1 MB of L2 cache per module, but let’s be practical. Take a look at a mildly overclocked Steamroller FM2+ part, tack on 10% for the difference abundant cache will likely make, and extrapolate.

      • BaronMatrix
      • 4 years ago

      Well, since it was designed by Jim “TheMan” Keller, I’m not worried…

    • brucethemoose
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder how that Athlon X4 845 compares to the 95W Phenom II X4, or the 100W llano-based Athlon 651K.

    4 years+ is like ancient history in the world of tech… But I bet they’re pretty close.

      • albundy
      • 4 years ago

      heh, not sure if it would even be worth reviewing at this point. I feel like my dollar store should be carrying AMD CPUs in the final call 10 cent bin.

      • ptsant
      • 4 years ago

      People automatically assume that progress in the AMD cpus has been almost non-existent. This is not really the case. Someone with a lot of time could compile a cross-generation benchmark from the 45nm Phenom II X4 (which was perceived as a decent chip at its time) to the 28nm Excavator cores.

      Having actually owned a Phenom II X4 and the Kaveri 860K, I can tell you they are not at all in the same league, especially if you consider perf/power. We’ll see where the 845 is positioned, even though it’s not a performance part.

      • ptsant
      • 4 years ago

      So, I had a look at Anandtech benchmarks. The (then) relatively high-end 45nm Phenom II 965BE is a 125W part and is practically equivalent in performance with the 28nm Steamroller 7800K. Only the second one is a 65W part. And the 65W includes a rather decent GPU.

      In my workloads (which I benchmarked explicitly), going from the Phenom II 965BE on the same M/B to the FX-8350 brought about 60% better performance. Improvement in games was less impressive but in well-threaded application the difference was a even bigger. So I can’t complain. I would have liked a socket-compatible steamroller FX chip as an upgrade path, but nobody would buy this over Skylake. So I can understand why AMD is not making them.

    • wingless
    • 4 years ago

    Having a smaller L2 Cache and PCIe 8x don’t quite make this appealing for a budget gamer build where a discrete GPU is needed. AMD had a chance to make a budget contender IMO.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      So this is the Marlin Brando chip?
      It coulda been a contender?

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      Would anyone using this in a budget build have a GPU paired with it that PCIe 3.0 8x limits? Even Thunderbolt 2 was only capping high end GPUs at 80ish percent of their performance, and that was equal to what, 2x PCIe lanes?

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      No one has shown any performance improvement from 16 PCIe 1.0 lanes as far I as I know (with a single card). So really a 4x 3.0 with 4x for everything else should actually be fine.

      Not that I’d suggest this setup, but I don’t think PCIe lanes would be the bottleneck.

    • blastdoor
    • 4 years ago

    Maybe MediaTek should buy AMD. Then we’d at least get more cores.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      You misspelled moar coars.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Hooray for ‘good enough’ computing! Yipeee!!! Hooray for Hillary!!! Hooray for [s<]Republicans[/s<] Democrats!!! Rory was right! There's no sense in buying CPUs that give more performance than you need! Why wait 10 seconds when 30 seconds is perfectly acceptable!?! Patience is, after all, a virtue! Hooray for patience!!!

      • jihadjoe
      • 4 years ago

      If you have “good enough” performance, CPU waits for YOU!

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    One important factoid: That Carrizo-based Athlon only has 8 lanes of PCIe connectivity, not the full 16 that you see in most consumer chips.

    If an i7 5820K with only 28 lanes of PCIe is crippled, then I don’t know how the Athlon should be clasified.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      Good luck comparing a $70 CPU to a $400 one.

      Both CPUs are missing functionality that their contemporaries offer. Other FM2+ CPUs have 16 lanes. Other LGA-2011v3 CPUs have 40 lanes. Both come up short.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      FUXXXXXOOORRRREEDDDDD.

      • Concupiscence
      • 4 years ago

      “Hobbly-wobbly.”

      • jihadjoe
      • 4 years ago

      I wouldn’t call 28 lanes crippled. Cut-down yes, but definitely not crippled. It’s still 12 lanes more than the 4790k and 6700k, both of which cost more than the 5820k.

      8 is… hobbled. PCIe GPU scaling tests show that 8x PCIe 3.0 doesn’t bottleneck GPU performance at all, but you won’t have any lanes left for anything else in the system.

      • Bensam123
      • 4 years ago

      Considering it’s 5x as expensive… I guess it should have 40 lanes of PCIE. Although it’s fun to poke holes at things that are in completely different price brackets. You should’ve just went to server chips and made fun of the number of cores it has.

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    If the price is right on the 7860k, it could be alright for a low-cost gaming HTPC. Probably worth waiting for Bristol Ridge though- these parts are all memory bottlenecked, so DDR4 + memory compression could be a decent improvement.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 4 years ago

      The A10 APUs are surprisingly capable when gaming at a low 1080p resolution.

    • maxxcool
    • 4 years ago

    Man that’s a expensive cooler …

      • Aranarth
      • 4 years ago

      … But it comes with a “free” cpu!

    • Neutronbeam
    • 4 years ago

    I think with Excavator AMD is just digging itself a deeper hole in the market.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      We can dig it!

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      Once they achieve Zen they hope to levitate out.

        • Wirko
        • 4 years ago

        Once you reach the centre of the Earth, which direction is “out”?

          • anubis44
          • 4 years ago

          Up.

          • Timbrelaine
          • 4 years ago

          …literally any direction?

          • jihadjoe
          • 4 years ago

          Didn’t they say achieving Zen is all about finding center?

          Suddenly all these digging machines make sense!

      • SpaceCasey
      • 4 years ago

      The steamroller chips seem a little flat on performance, too.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      They’re probably hoping they’ll strike gold soon enough.

      Keep going AMD!

      • BaronMatrix
      • 4 years ago

      The average consumer Carrizo is aimed at doesn’t know what Cinebench or 3D Mark even are… The whole point of Carrizo was to CUT POWER… When applied to Zen, 5W chips will be scorchers…
      Down Vote me… I LOVE IT…

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    The Athlon X4 845 at $70 might be the interesting piece here, I wonder if it will be able to knock off the i3 as the budget gaming champ. The current FX does ok with framerates,but not as well as the i3 at frame times. If the Excavator cores help with that, at 70, it could replace the trusty old i3+750TI as the “just better than console” combo for under $500 builds.

    To be clear, it’s not going to best the i3 in pure performance, but if it provides frame times around the same, and they both are able to push framerates above 60 if the GPU is able, it could bring that level of experience down to 70, leaving more budget for the GPU.

      • Freon
      • 4 years ago

      The price competitor would be something like the Pentium G4400 or G3258, not an i3.

        • Concupiscence
        • 4 years ago

        I don’t predict it’ll be meaningfully faster – maybe a 5% nudge up in performance over Steamroller, which was already a minor improvement over Piledriver in the scheme of things. What’s more interesting is that the X4 845 is quoted at a 65W TDP, which definitely makes it more attractive for a SFF setup. At $70 it’s a crazy deal for a cheap gaming box that will make short work of most indie titles while still managing AAA titles at console-level performance. At a given price quote, an Excavator quad with a GTX 950 would cost about as much as an i3 with a GTX 750 Ti, and the added GPU grunt would make a much bigger difference for a cheap gaming rig.

          • tipoo
          • 4 years ago

          Exactly.

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        Sure, but the i3 is generally the recommended step up, since hyperthreading makes a huge impact on frame times with four threads going. The Pentiums are ok, but for the same architecture they do suffer a lot more in frame times because of that omission.

        So what I meant was, if the Excavator Athlon could provide a similar experience as the i3, for $70 which as you say is more Pentium priced, then it could be the new budget champ.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        I think the idea is that you pick the perf/$ king within the $50-$150 bracket.

        It’s less about, “I need to spend exactly x” or “I need to get exactly x performance” and more “I want the best value for my dollar.”

          • bfar
          • 4 years ago

          Right. A good $70 CPU will play your indie games. Add 40-50 dollars to your budget and you’ll play pretty much anything.

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      [url=http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/newegg-system-builder-marathon-q4-2015-amd-lan-box-pc,4411-2.html<]Toms Hardware explored this in their most recent system builder[/url<] Those lucky ducks actually get to build, benchmark, and give away their system builds each quarter. (wink wink TR)

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        Still behind the i3 in framerates then, but both are able to push games over 60fps if the GPU allows. Shame they didn’t look at frame times. Even with the loss in framerates it could be moot over 60, and that could go towards a better GPU that makes a more tangible benefit.

        Also i wonder about DX12, if the two added physical cores will put it over eventually.

      • DrCR
      • 4 years ago

      Mobo prices though.

      Whenever I consider such a CPU, it seems I always find the pricing for a proper motherboard to be nearly the same as a much more powerful but not too much more expensive route e.g. an i3 BLCK OC route.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        Has Skylake blck overclocking really taken off? I can’t find a comprehensive list of compatible motherboards, but I know quite a few are out there.

          • Zizy
          • 4 years ago

          Majority of Z have bclk OC support but very few others do at this point. The only really interesting combo is suitable motherboard + i5 6400, and even this one is imo meh – you spend too much on the mobo + cooler to justify saving a few euros over 6600k.

          • Freon
          • 4 years ago

          [url<]http://overclocking.guide/gigabyte-z170-non-k-overclocking-guide/[/url<] [url<]http://overclocking.guide/asus-z170-non-k-overclocking-guide/[/url<] [url<]http://overclocking.guide/asrock-z170-non-k-overclocking-guide/[/url<] [url<]http://overclocking.guide/msi-z170-non-k-overclocking-guide/[/url<]

            • ImSpartacus
            • 4 years ago

            You’re doing the Lord’s work.

            • DrCR
            • 4 years ago

            +1, and I’d + your post higher if I could

      • Bensam123
      • 4 years ago

      FX-8320e runs about $120… OC’d it makes a very lucrative budget chip and has for some time now. Sometimes you can get it cheaper then that as well.

      • Kretschmer
      • 4 years ago

      I’d be extremely surprised if this could catch an i3 in gaming performance. Those chips are insanely strong for the price.

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        It looks like it won’t catch it from the link above, but my point was about bringing a similar experience down to 70 dollars. The current models and the Pentiums show worse frame times than the i3, but the i3 and FX have usually been able to bring most games above 60fps if the GPU allows though.

        If this one can shore up those frame times to better than Pentium levels, someone looking to build a budget box under say 500 might be tempted by it, as they could put more towards a GPU which would have a more substantive impact on games. Say the difference between a 750 and 950.

        (by the way “above 60fps” doesn’t mean flawless here, dual core/quad FX models also show larger drops sometimes than Intel quads)

          • Kretschmer
          • 4 years ago

          I’d just be surprised if there is anything special about this chip that would make it competitive against a G3258 at $70. Yes, it is “4” cores, but the single-threaded performance will be a deficit. Throw in the monster overclocks that we saw with the PAA, and it shouldn’t be close (unless a game absolutely requires 4 threads).

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      But it’s Carizzo without it’s main selling point, the full hardware HEVC decoder.

        • brucethemoose
        • 4 years ago

        I’ve found that most people don’t really care about playback quality, and the Carrizo CPU is capable of decoding HEVC.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    OK moderately serious question here, and remember that this is being asked in the same context as people who have gone Krogoth on all Intel parts since the 2500K came out:

    1. Even if you hate Intel and want to buy AMD, would anybody seriously consider one of these parts for a new build today? That’s given that FM2+ is a clearly obsolecent platform and AM4 is right around the corner, even if you don’t want to buy Zen and just buy the 28nm versions of the same chips in this announcement that will be re-launched in about 3 months for AM4.

    2. If you already have a Kaveri system, where’s the incentive to upgrade exactly?

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      My thoughts exactly. This is AMD trying to maintain some sort of sales until Zen launches late 2016.
      I’m not exactly sure who they’re trying to fool though. At this point, anybody that’s still an AMD holdout is looking at Zen to save their bacon.

      As I’ve said many times, I want AMD to succeed in the CPU space as much as the next guy. But they just don’t have a good track record of delivering to the level of marketing hype they drum up with niche performance claims turned into generalizations. I’ll believe it when I see it.

        • just brew it!
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]I'm not exactly sure who they're trying to fool though. At this point, anybody that's still an AMD holdout is looking at Zen to save their bacon.[/quote<] Indeed. When I finally move off of Socket AM3+ it will either be to Zen, or to something from Intel.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 4 years ago

          Same boat here. Really hoping Zen is all it’s cracked up to be because an i5 Skylake is looking rather temping right now.

          Though amusingly, I have no need for more performance in my desktop, but I do have an ancient Core 2 Quad for my HTPC that struggles with modern games even at modest settings.

      • NTMBK
      • 4 years ago

      In theory you could have a low end Kaveri (2 cores, not many GPU shaders) or a Trinity APU in an FM2+ board. Pretty niche though. I wish they would give some more information on Bristol Ridge, if that’s meant to be coming out in the next few months.

      • xeridea
      • 4 years ago

      Not your performance enthusiasts, but for those where it is “good enough”, which is the majority of the population. If you are the kind who would spend $3-500 on a new Intel CPU, these are not for you. If you were going to get a Pentium or i3, because you don’t do heavy photo editing, the latest AAA games, or other CPU heavy tasks, these should be fine. Comparatively they are slow, but real world it is a matter of use case. So it’s not that they total molasses failures like many put them out to be, they just aren’t as fast as higher end Intel CPUs, but they are priced accordingly.

      For the holdout question, anybody only spending $70-120 on their CPU probably doesn’t necessarily “need” Zen. Or, they want to upgrade their computer and don’t want to wait when basically anything on the market is fast enough for a lot of tasks.

      A 960 or 380 isn’t necessarily “slow”, they will run plenty of games just fine, not at 4k, they just aren’t as fast as like a 980TI or Fury X. Plenty of people are still buying video cards now because what is available suits their needs and/or its not worth it to them to wait. A lot are holding out, but not everyone.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 4 years ago

      I don’t see any reason to upgrade but I think these would make a great SteamOS system. I’m eyeballing it for just that reason. Though, Zotac has an FX-7600P system that looks to be better suited than a full DYI system.

        • NTMBK
        • 4 years ago

        Given the state of AMD’s Linux drivers, you’d be better off using Windows with Steam Big Picture mode.

          • DragonDaddyBear
          • 4 years ago

          I’ve actually had little issue with AMD on Linux. To the contrary, I can’t update my Windows driver because of some .Net issue (I should try the newer ones, since they nix that.)

          Additionally, the Windows license is another $100. I spec’ed out a $350 system I was satisfied with. That’s more than a 25% price increase.

            • NTMBK
            • 4 years ago

            Have you compared performance between the two? Last I saw, AMD on Linux was way slower than AMD on Windows, but there haven’t been many good comparisons lately.

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 4 years ago

            Yes I have. And there are lots of great comparisons on Phoronix.

            Going back to driver problems, though, my other alternative for an inexpensive Linux system is Intel. I got a cheap NUC for Christmas that was a PITA to get running. It has terrible reviews for Linux because it “doesn’t work.” It does, but none of the modern distributions are shipping new enough kernels for the graphics to work out of the box. With AMD, a fix may eventually come, but I won’t have to compile another kernel to update the drivers. I’m on 4.4 and I’m having all kinds of graphics related crashes, too! Though, if I roll Ubuntu (which 14.04.3 is back ported enough to start the NUC up) I can try the Intel graphics updater. However, that’s not impressed me much and hasn’t helped me in my current situation.

            Then there’s the underdog side of it. I’d rather support AMD anyways. They need all of the help they can get.

            • NTMBK
            • 4 years ago

            When I talked about “the state of AMD’s Linux drivers”, I was talking about performance, not glitches 🙂 The Phoronix comparisons are decent for what they have, but they are pretty limited in budget and time. Have you found the performance difference to be acceptable, then?

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 4 years ago

            I’m looking at $ for $ on Linux. AMD is leaving more than just a little performance on the table. However, I think it would do better than a lot of the similarly priced Intel products for IGP. Unfortunately, I’m having a rough go at finding and doing a comparison of the A10-7850K and anything Intel produces in the price range.

            • Kretschmer
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]Then there's the underdog side of it. I'd rather support AMD anyways. They need all of the help they can get.[/quote<]I'll never understand this. Why would you "charity buy" AMD when recent AMD management teams weren't interested in the firm? They're a publically-traded firm with a more-or-less undifferentiated product.

            • Concupiscence
            • 4 years ago

            It depends on the hardware you’re using. My anecdotal experience with a Radeon 7750 in Ubuntu 15.10 x64 on a Core i3 2120 with 8 gigs of DDR3 has been overwhelmingly positive: Soma runs flawlessly, at least as well as it did under Windows 10 x64. Serious Sam 3 had some minor visual artifacting but otherwise ran as well as the Linux port allows. The overall quality’s solid, and I like how effortless it all is. I may nudge my testbed box into running 16.04 with a Radeon 6850, add xorg-edgers to my repo list, and try to break that, but for pre-GCN 1.2 Radeons it’s really not problematic to go with the FOSS drivers right now.

            On the other hand, GCN 1.2 needs to get its act together, but at least work continues to progress on that front.

            • NTMBK
            • 4 years ago

            That sounds pretty great! Is that with the AMDGPU driver?

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 4 years ago

            For that gen of CGN the new AMDGPU just got experimental support, so I doubt it.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 4 years ago

          AMDGPU is coming. Although, they’re still working issues with it, and I expect it will be 6-9 months before it’s supplanted catalyst.

        • Kretschmer
        • 4 years ago

        What would make these better than an i3 or Pentium?

          • Ninjitsu
          • 4 years ago

          [spoiler<]Nothing.[/spoiler<]

            • Concupiscence
            • 4 years ago

            Against an i3: Nothing besides the price. I had a 750K running in a janky secondhand motherboard, and while multithreaded performance was in the same ballpark the IPC lets singlethreaded performance down hard. Even against a Sandy Bridge i3 the 750K got its clock cleaned in most gaming scenarios. Granted, if you’re talking sub-i5 CPUs it’s unlikely that you’re going to splurge too much on the GPU and the difference will be muted most of the time, but minimum framerates still matter.

            Against a Pentium: Same per-thread performance limitations, but the AMD chips support AVX and AES. More physical threads are also friendlier to recent console ports, which sometimes choke if they find fewer than three logical threads. If I were building a box centered around single-threaded performance (like MAME or some other kind of emulation) the Pentium would be a no-brainer, but for general use the difference really isn’t dramatic.

            edit: Eww, just realized the PCIe lane limitations and crimped cache. The 800-series CPUs just got noticeably less appealing.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 4 years ago

          Most builds without GPUs I’d rather get the more balanced graphics from an AMD.

          A small HTPC is a good example. AMD’s integrated GPU is strong enough to run advanced filters like MadVR, and has better drivers for this sort of usage. Basically, any build where a $100+ GPU isn’t needed, but there’s still a slight graphics requirement.

          • DPete27
          • 4 years ago

          Overclock it to 4.5GHz. But it seems that’s well into the “rare” category in terms of chips that can hit that. Then you’re looking at whether your budget motherboard can do it. Let’s face it, if you’re buying a premium board to OC this chip to 4.5GHz to match a stock i3, you’re throwing your price/performance advantage out the window and probably should’ve just gotten an i3 in the first place.

          • Flapdrol
          • 4 years ago

          price

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      1. No

      2. Don’t bother.

      Any questions?

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      I know multiple people that would rather get an fx 6300 machine than an i3 6100 machine for budget discrete gpu gaming.

      It’s all about dem cores. Seriously, not even joking. Some people get blinded by core counts. It’s hard to explain exactly how poor piledriver or excavator compares to a haswell/Skylake core. You say, “you can’t compare clocks between two architectures like that” and they seem to think that would add something like a 5% error when it’s more like 50%.

      And that’s before you try to explain how little cpu performance even affects modern non-gpu-limited gaming workloads. I cringe every time I hear someone go, “you spent all that on your gpu, why didn’t you at least upgrade your ‘i5’ to an ‘i7’?”

      • sircharles32
      • 4 years ago

      These parts specifically? No. However, I’ve built 2 home servers around the A8-7600, with them locked into a 45W TDP (Bios Option). They work perfectly in that role.

      Recently I built a Linux box on socket AM3+ (FX-6300). I couldn’t beat the price, and it was perfect for what I wanted to do with it.

      Obsolete or not, if you’ve got a need, and the price is right, why not.

      • Zizy
      • 4 years ago

      People don’t wait for Zen with 1k+ systems and nobody ever waits for any new part on their 500$ systems, unless coming extremely soon.
      Your 2. assumes people have something comparable already, something that might not be the case.

      But yeah, the only interesting point about this part is its existence.

      • mnecaise
      • 4 years ago

      1. sure, why not
      2. isn’t one.

      I just built a new machine for my kids to do classwork and light gaming. Did it with an Athlon X4 860 and re-used an existing graphics card. Cheap. Works fine. Probably could have come in about the same price and performance with an i3… Used the AMD anyway, so my son could play with with overclocking. If he accidentally bakes it, then it’s not a lot of money down the drain.

      • morphish
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve built several 7870k systems for relatives and friends since the iGPU is actually pretty good for casual gaming and the system is very snappy for productivity work. You can get a FM2+ motherboard with lots of good value perks (like 8 SATA ports, plenty of PCIe Gen 3, 4 memory slots, plenty of fan headers, etc…) for crazy low costs.

      Family members upgrading old Windows XP machines aren’t looking for extremely fast storage (SATA SSD is fine, no need for M.2), fastest possible transcoding times, or tons of virtualization. They just need something quick for browsing, good for watching video, and can game better than an i3. That is basically the 7870k in a nutshell.

      The Athlon 845 looks like it’s meant for someone gaming on a very very tight budget – someone that’s going to drop in a $150 video card and wants to spend as little on the platform as possible. No iGPU (saves $50 off the 7870k) and no DDR3-2400 (which the 7870k needs to keep its iGPU running at its peak – saves $15) lets this person get the next tier up in discrete GPU. The fact that you get better IPC from Excavator than from Steamroller is icing on the cake.

      I can definitely see the person that definitely doesn’t want to spend for the i5, and finds the i3 too pricey will be excited about a system like this. Especially since you get quiet stock cooler in the mix (yep, another $15 saved).

      • ptsant
      • 4 years ago

      As I have often said, people often greatly underestimate the performance of the Kaveri parts, especially the dirt-cheap 860K, which I use in my home server/NAS/compute box.

      At this point, we don’t know what the 845 brings to the table. If it has a +5-10% IPC at a much lower power consumption, it would make a decent alternative. I know that at $70, I would consider this almost an impulse upgrade.

      Obviously, these parts are not made for the hardcore gamer, but people who have actually used them are often pleasantly surprised.

      • ET3D
      • 4 years ago

      Serious answer to 1: I’m still waiting.

      I don’t hate Intel, but I like AMD and have two AM3/3+ systems at home. I thought about upgrading the HTPC (Phenom II X3 710 with crappy NVIDIA based MB) but there’s not much to upgrade it to (partly due to the MB). I thought of buying a Core i3, but decided that waiting is the right thing to do (I’ll just replace the noisy PSU).

      Even for the desktop (which I haven’t used for a while) I thought at some point of upgrading the Phenom II X6 1090T, but there’s just no upgrade that I feel is worth the price.

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