AMD A8-5600k APU Processor Review




/ 11 years ago

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AMD told us at a recent press conference about their release of the range and how they will have the “whole stack” available at launch and as you can see from the below image, quite a few APUs are being released and the one we have available today is sitting just at the higher-end of the scale with a TDP of 100W, 256 Radeon cores with a GPU clock speed of 760MHz. CPU wise, we have four cores to play with with a base frequency of 3.6GHz and turbo speed of 3.9GHz. It will also quite happily run our Corsair Vengeance 1866MHz kit straight out of the box with memory support up to this speed and for the budding overclockers out there, you’ll be happy to see that being a “k” derivite, it comes unlocked.

AMD being typical AMD, they want to make it easy for their users to upgrade, much like we saw with AM2+ and AM3+. Sadly, for users of the Llano FM1 socket processors, you will need to upgrade your board to the newer FM2 socket, but now AMD are adamant that FM2 will last around 3 years and will support the future, next generation processors. Under the FM2 socket, you will also notice three key chipsets; A55, A75 and A85X depending on your uses and of course budget.

As this isn’t your typical CPU you would expect to find some other nifty little features. Of course, this is an APU and the desktop processor and graphics teams at AMD have teamed up to chuck in some much sought after features, including Eyefinity.

Eyefinity is a feature that all of the latest AMD Radeon graphics cards include, and now we see it being developed into the new Trinity APUs and can be enabled within Catalyst Control Centre.

Utilising on the above Eyefinity technology, we’ll also see multi monitor support for Windows 8, meaning you will be able to span your applications across 3 screens, as if it were one single monitor. Before, we saw applications being restricted to three monitors by locking a maximum size to each individual screen, whereas Windows 8 will harness this better technology to make things better for the user.

Taking a more detailed look at the APU itself, we can see that when comparing to an older A8-3870k (on the right) that the design hasn’t changed with a large IHS covering the bulk of the APU. The FM2 based A8-5600k features a 3.6GHz clock speed with Turbo CORE 3.0 boosting it to 3.9GHz and features 256 Radeon cores with a clock speed of 760MHz.

FM1 and FM2 may look similar but are not backwards/forwards compatible with each other and we can confirm this when looking at the pins. On the left we can see the layout of the pins on an FM1 based A8-3870k compared to the newer FM2 based A8-5600k on the right. Straight away you can see the pins have moved in a variety of locations but at a first look you may not notice it.

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