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AMD A10-5800K review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £99
inc VAT

Improved 2D performance and some proper on-chip graphics power make this a mid-range processor to be reckoned with


The improved graphics are the real story, though. The A10-5800K has 384 stream processing units running at 800MHz – this compares well with the A8-3850’s 400 stream processors running at 600MHz. The A8-3850 could cope with modern games at console-style resolutions – we saw a playable 35.5fps in Dirt 3 at 1,280×720 with High detail and 4x anti-aliasing from last year’s chip – but the A10-5800K can play modern games at desktop resolutions.

In Dirt 3 at 1,920×1,080 with High detail and 4x anti-aliasing, we saw 29fps from AMD’s new processor. Turning off anti-aliasing gave us a smooth 35fps. When running the test at 1,280×720, High detail and 4x anti-aliasing in order to compare to last year’s chip, we saw 45.5fps from the A10-5800K – fully 10fps faster than the A8-3850, and 19fps quicker than Intel’s Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K.

The processor isn’t powerful enough to run our punishing Crysis 2 test at a decent detail level, but to see how it copes with 2012’s titles we also ran a benchmark using Dirt Showdown, which is a much more graphically-impressive game than Dirt 3. Here we had to turn the game down to 1,280×720 to get a playable frame rate, but even with the detail set to High and with 4x anti-aliasing we saw a smooth 39.9fps, showing that if you’re willing to put up with console resolutions the A10-5800K can still play modern games at high detail levels.

Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown looks great, and the A10-5800K can play it

There’s an easy way to make sure you can play games at your 1080p monitor’s native resolution, though – fit a cheap AMD graphics card and run it in CrossFire with the Trinity processor. The A10-5800K will work with the Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 in CrossFire. We paired it with a 1GB HD 6570, which is £44 from Amazon. With the card in place (and once we’d used our motherboard’s BIOS to switch the primary graphics output back to the processor’s graphics) we could enable CrossFire. This led Dirt Showdown at 1,920×1,080 with High detail and 4x anti-aliasing to leap from 26.5fps to a very smooth 47.1fps, showing the combination of a £100 processor and £44 graphics card to be enough to play the latest games at high resolutions and detail levels.

AMD’s A10-5800K is a reasonable improvement over last year’s A8-3850 in applications and a big improvement in games. It has enough power for everyday tasks and a competitive price/performance ratio compared to Intel’s chips, which it also thrashes in games. Another advantage is that you can significantly improve 3D performance by adding an inexpensive graphics card to use in CrossFire mode. All this makes the A10-5800K a great basis for a mid-range PC and a Best Buy.

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Basic Specifications

Processor coreTrinity
Processor clock speed3.8GHz
Processor socketFM2
Processor process32nm
Processor number of cores4
Processor supported instructionsMMX(+), 3DNow!(+), SSE (1, 2, 3, 4A), x86-64, AMD-V, AES, AVX, XOP
Processor multiplierx38
Processor external bus100MHz
Level 1 cache4x 48KB
Level 2 cache2x 2,048KB
Processor level 3 cacheN/A
Supported memory typeUp to DDR3 1866
Processor power rating (TDP)100W

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