AMD's New Desktop APU Is A 12-Core Monster

AMD has a new top-end APU — that's accelerated processing unit, if you didn't know, combining a high performance CPU with a high performance integrated graphics chipset — in the A10-7870K. Built to go inside your next mainstream desktop PC purchase, it's just as small as any other CPU, but has some serious graphics grunt under the hood — more than enough to beat a mainstream Intel chip and standalone graphics card.

An APU aims to combine a performance CPU with a performance graphics chipset, without requiring a standalone card for those graphics. Intel's chips have integrated graphics, too, but AMD's APUs stand out because their integrated graphics are much more powerful. And with similar power requirements and thermal performance, as well as broadly similar price tags to Intel's mainstream chips, it's an easy sell when you're looking for a small and energy-efficient desktop PC. Those twelve cores? Four are CPU, and eight are GPU — all working together, in very close partnership.

AMD really has that mainstream market — the kind of $500-$1000 desktop PC that you'd buy from Dick Smith or JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman — locked down with its A10 APUs, and the A10-7870K is the most powerful yet. It's AMD's goal to make a machine that you'd buy happily for the family to use for browsing the 'net and sending emails, but also for you or your kids to play those mainstream games like League Of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2 and so on.

AMD says the 7870K solidly beats an Intel Core i3 plus a discrete GeForce GT 740 graphics card when it comes to price and performance; they're talking 25 versus 35fps in Starcraft 2, 39 versus 49fps in CS:GO, and so on. Since it's an APU, there's a significant cost saving — you only have to buy the one chip, not a CPU plus a GPU — as well as a packaging improvement, fitting into a smaller case with a more unified cooling system.

You'll be able to buy the A10-7870K as an OEM chip as of tomorrow, June 3rd, and it'll also start appearing in built-to-order systems from AMD's partners like HP and Dell. You'll pay a $199 RRP for the 7870K; that's about the money you'd pay for an Intel Core i3-4160 or i5-4460, which will have broadly similar processing but markedly inferior graphics. [AMD]

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