AMD's new desktop chips make overclocking affordable

AMD's new A10 and A8 chips that can be overclocked are priced between $100 and $150, lower than Intel's competitive offerings

Advanced Micro Devices' latest A-series quad-core desktop processors balance the need for speed with price -- they run at up to 4.2GHz, but can be overclocked to 6.5GHz with liquid nitrogen cooling, the company said.

The company is offering two quad-core chips, the A10-5800K and the A8-5600K, that can be unlocked. The processors are faster and cheaper than competitive Intel chips, said AMD desktop products manager Adam Kozak during a conference call to discuss the new chips.

The new chips will allow manufacturers to build cheaper desktops with features such as overclocking and upgradability not usually available in processors in the US$100 to $150 price range, Kozak said. Intel's unlockable processors start at $216, according to a Sept. 2 price list.

Chip makers in the past decade have reverted to adding more cores instead of cranking up clock speed to balance system performance and power consumption. But Intel and AMD are still consistently trying to claim the performance crown by offering chips that can be overclocked. AMD last year broke a processor speed world record by clocking a high-end FX-series chip to 8.429GHz in a system cooled by tanks of liquid helium, and the feat was noted by Guinness World Records.

AMD is targeting budget desktops and Kozak said the chips are available with integrated graphics processors or can be paired with external graphics processors. The chips can be unlocked to crank up CPU and graphics processor clock speeds, which is especially handy for enthusiasts seeking improved application and graphics performance.

The chips are based on the Piledriver microarchitecture, which is also used in the latest laptop processors code-named Trinity released by AMD starting in the middle of this year. AMD's internal benchmarks revealed the new chips provide 25 percent to 37 percent overall faster system performance than the older desktop chips code-named Llano, which were released last year.

The unlockable chips have 4MB of cache, consume 100 watts of power and are identifiable by the K moniker. The A10-5800K has a maximum CPU clock speed of 4.2GHz and 384 graphics cores with 800MHz GPU clock speed. The A8-5600K has a maximum clock speed of 3.9GHz and 256 graphics cores with 760MHz GPU clock speed.

The new products announced also include chips that cannot be unlocked. The quad-core A10-5700 runs at up to 4GHz and the A8-5500 runs at a clock speed of up to 3.7GHz. The chips draw 65 watts of power and have 4MB cache.

AMD did not provide an exact price for the chips, but said they will be in the range of about $120 in units of 1,000. The chip will be available starting Oct. 2 through component channels worldwide.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?