AMD A10-7890K, the best desktop APU

Apu Scaled.jpg
Apu Scaled.jpg

With permission from what we see in upcoming 2017 with ZEN, AMD A10-7890K APU is AMD’s top of the line, and concentrates all the experience and optimization of the Steamroller architecture (codenamed Godavari) on the best desktop APU to date.

Someone may still wonder: what is an APU for?

Main answer: an APU is used to play at 720p, the resolution of many monitors still today, even at 1080p in many games with low medium settings, and not only DOTA, LOL, Minecraft … which are always mentioned when talking about APUs. Of course we leave aside certain “triple A” games that are poorly optimized and capable of absorbing resources beyond anyone’s possibilities, such as the controversial Dishonored 2 (of which we continue to expect a patch fix it).

Here we bring you a sample moving Battlefiel 4. (It is not easy to see the APU at hand in action in a video recorded in a decent way. We put as a video of its “little sister” the A10-7870K APU, with 200 Mhz less in the CPU and the same GPU, which can serve as a good reference of what an APU is capable of).

It is true that we cannot expect a high frame rate with any APU if we are with an FPS game, but as we have seen we can cope well with a well optimized team (later we will explain how) and at a price of laughter compared to competitive processors. Below we will see the A10-7890K with Crysis 3.

What games use the CPU for

Years before the launch of the first APU in 2012, AMD already had in mind to merge its experience and technology with ATI graphics cards and their CPUs into a single product for multiple uses. The idea was to put everything in a single package (CPU, GPU, IMC …) sharing the memory and save us having to buy the graphics card separately. The bet was strong and the sales did not accompany it, as we commented in a section of the Intel i7-6700K article, but when you decide to innovate the principles are always difficult.

It is convenient to remember, as I also mentioned in that article, that using high-end CPUs for casual gaming can be overkill too, both for the price and for the poor use they make in the programming of the games of the threads from the fourth core. Although of course, if you can afford a great CPU and a great GPU, it is better to have extra threads in the CPU assuming that in the future we will be able to take advantage of them.

Of course, Today’s “triple-A” games are programmed to take advantage of CPU architectures with high single-core performance. And they use the CPU also for multiple tasks within the game, which with the API DirectX 11 are more efficient performed by the CPU. The most powerful CPUs are also required to service the millions of requests from a high-end dedicated GPU aided by its high-performance cache and IMC.

However with the possibilities of the new APIs DirectX 12, Vulkan and OpenGL it could be argued that practically everything is scheduled to be processed on the GPU.

APUs of yesterday, today and …

There is no denying that the APUs and the latest AMD GPUs have paved the way for future new architectures and processing modes that today we only see in servers, such as CPUs with integrated HBM2 memory that Intel just introduced.

And I have no doubt that in the future we will see APUs with HBM2 memory in the same package.

In fact, one of the reasons for the graphics card to be in the same package as the CPU and use the same memory is to lower latencies in task dispatch. Ideally, the RAM was next to the APU and at the height of a GDDR5 at least and that so far has not happened with the APU, at least until we see it accompanied by HBM2.

For all this It is very important that we accompany the A10-7890K with DDR3 memory of at least 2133 Mhz CL9 or 2400 Mhz CL10 if we want the maximum performance with the APUs. And if the BIOS of your motherboard allows it and you have knowledge of how to do it, it is good to do some overclock to the IMC of the APU. The latter is even more convenient especially if you embark on overclocking the integrated GPU.

The AMD A10-7890K APU and consoles

A PC with the A10-7890K APU and an original Xbox One console or an original PS4 share some of the architecture.

As we have seen AMD A10-7890K APU has 512 shaders at 866MHz, while the PS4 has 1,152 shader units at 800MHz and lto Xbox One 768 shaders at 853MHz.

It is true that the architecture and software of consoles differ from a PC, starting with their fixed hardware, which allows games to be optimized with respect to the hardware resources that are free and that are specific to them. For example, Xbox One has a “custom” processor for sound and another for graphic effects, with 32MB more than a very fast memory. Whereas a PS4 uses GDDR5 memory, instead of DDR3 memory at different frequencies, depending on our chosen configuration, that these PC APUs use.

Kaveri Family Specifications

In this table we can see that the AMD A10-7890K APU It is the top of the range. It is also the last to hit the market and the only one that comes with the exclusive Wraith cooler fan.

AMD A10 Kaveri Series APU
Hardware features
APU model IGPU Type Processing cores * CPU / Turbo Clock
TDP Total L2 cache DDR3 speed
A10-7890K Wraith cooler Radeon ™ R7 12

(4 CPU + 8 GPU)

4.3 / 4.1 GHz 866 MHz 95W 4MB 2133 Mhz
A10-7870K Radeon ™ R7 12

(4 CPU + 8 GPU)

4.1 / 3.9 GHz 866 MHz 95W 4MB 2133 Mhz
A10-7860K Radeon ™ R7 12

(4 CPU + 8 GPU)

4.0 / 3.6 GHz 757 MHz 45 or 65 W 4 MB 2133 Mhz
A8-7670K Radeon ™ R7 10

(4 CPU + 6 GPU)

3.9 / 3.6 GHz 757 MHz 95 W 4 MB 2133 Mhz
A8-7650K Radeon ™ R7 10

(4 CPU + 6 GPU)

3.8 / 3.3 GHz 720 MHz 95 W 4 MB 2133 Mhz
All APUs capable of displays with HDMI ™ 1.4a, Display Port 1.2, DVI, AMD FreeSync ™ technology.


All the APUs of the Kaveri generation, by not needing an additional graphics card, allow to have a great graphic performance for gaming in a small space and compatibility with Freesync, as this video explains.

AMD A10-7890K moving Battlefield 1 with DX11 and DX12

As we have been saying, the performance of an APU in games depends on the API used, the speed of the RAM memory (to a large extent) and the optimization of the game to distribute the tasks between the CPU and the GPU. A current game that can serve as a great example is Battlefield 1. We show you the performance of the APU A10-7890K

The fluid game experience can be achieved from 30 FPS

The fluid game experience can be achieved from 30 FPS

As we can see, it is possible to play smoothly at a resolution of 900p, as current consoles do (especially if we use a Freesync monitor)

As we can see, it is possible to play smoothly at a resolution of 900p, as current consoles do (especially if we use a Freesync monitor)

As we can see, it is possible to play smoothly at a resolution of 900p, as current consoles do (especially if we use a Freesync monitor)

Source: wccftech.

Conclusions, availability and prices

Sure, we all want to have the best, but not all of us want to spend a lot of money to play.

When investing in a PC for multiple daily uses and that allows us to play, this APU A10-7890K that we have on the table is one of the most important to consider. Whether you are looking for a second small PC, or you want to play fluidly (especially with the help of a Freesync monitor) with enough images per second and you do not feel the need to compete for FPS, this is your processor.Can’t ask for more for what this AMD A10-7890K APU costs

, as you can see in our offer below.

Of course, if you want to complicate yourself a bit, you can buy a lower model that does not have the Wraith cooler heatsink and pair it with an affordable liquid cooling, like the one we saw in this Enermax Liqmax 120S review, and overclock it at ease until squeezing it. .
  • PROS:
  • Able to play everything decently
  • Ridiculous price for what it can do
  • Perfect for compact PCs
  • Up to three screens by HDMI, DVI, Display Port and VGA, (depends on the type of chipset the motherboard)
  • Excellent performance for general use

Native hardware support for DirectX 12 and Vulkan
  • CONS:
You can consider choosing the lower model and pair it with a refrigeration to your liking

Total score User rating: 5( 2