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AMD rolls out Richland based desktop APUs

AMD Richland APU die shot

Following with their new-found strategy of a yearly refresh, AMD announced the successor to their popular Trinity based APUs. Say hello to Richland folks.

AMD has been working on their “Fusion” project for quite a long time. After years of delay, the troubled company finally launched their first-generation APU or Accelerated Processing Unit models with their Llano architecture two years ago. The performance was all over the place, but the company proved it to everyone that their pursuit wasn’t in vain.

Fast forward 3 years and you can clearly see the shift that AMD has brought about. Intel is concentrating harder on its graphics unit each passing generation, and AMD won a hat-trick with the new generation of consoles; the Wii U, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are all using APUs designed by AMD which should bring the company billions of dollars home.

AMD Richland Desktop APU lineup

Let’s talk about Richland. AMD’s Richland is more of a stop-gap for the real carnage that is silently waiting for its turn to unleash itself. Kaveri is the APU line that you’re waiting for. Trinity owners need not go for an upgrade, unless they simply want to. Think of Richland as a tweaked Trinity (2012) with clock speed improvements, more developed 32nm process and better drivers. All this translates to roughly 5-15% improvement in performance, not enough to warrant an upgrade. It is worthy of noting that Trinity won the “Best of COMPUTEX TAIPEI award” in 2012, but we doubt a similar feat will be achieved by Richland.

The entire line-up is value oriented, with the prices ranging from$69 to $142 only. Keep in mind, these APUs have a CPU and a discrete class GPU on the same die. AMD has introduced Splashtop wireless streaming technology with their new Richland APUs. The updated HD 8000 GPU can handle memory clock speeds up to 2133 MHz, and AMD has complemented that by launching its own Radeon Gamer series 2133 MHz RAM kits. For benchmarks, OpenCL or gaming, have a look at the gallery of slides released by AMD.

Shipping for AMD’s next generation APU begins this month, June itself. Although CPU performance isn’t comparable, Richland hopes to match or best Intel’s new Iris Pro graphics on their Haswell processors. Of course, Kaveri aims to change the tide later in 2013. We’ll keep an eye out for it.

Preetam Nath
A 3rd year engineering student, Preetam Nath has a keen interest in following the smartphone and tablet sphere. He plays games on his favorite old PC when he's not doing anything. In the mornings, you can often find him at the gym.

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