Intel has long held a strong advantage over its chip rival AMD when it comes to powerful consumer processors. AMD's top-end FX chips, notably the AMD FX-9590 and AMD FX-8370, are better suited to taking on their Intel Core i5 counterparts, but not any recent chip with an "i7" its name.
Down toward the other end of the spectrum, though, where value matters more than absolute performance, things are a lot more promising for AMD—especially if gaming is important. Due largely to the fact that modern consoles have multiple addressable cores, we're seeing a growing number of AAA game titles that prefer, or in some cases even require, four cores (or four addressable threads) to run.
The lowest-price current-generation Intel chip that meets this four-thread requirement is the $125 Core i3-6100, while AMD offers up an excellent alternative in the Athlon X4-880K. The latter chip is starting to show up at online retailers for between $90 and $95. We also had no issues overclocking the AMD chip to an impressive 4.5GHz with the company's improved (and not at all noisy) stock cooler. (It's a relative of the AMD Wraith Cooler we reviewed a few weeks back.)
Intel Core i7-8700K
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But the Athlon chip requires the use of a dedicated graphics card. Unlike the Core i3, it lacks on-chip graphics, which many users will prefer for the sake of simplicity, but thus isn't ideal for building or upgrading a slim, compact system. For those types of users, AMD has a whole line of chips (the company calls them "APUs," for its combined CPU/GPU), as well, including the new-in-2016, $115 AMD A10-7860K that we're looking at here, and the flagship A10-7890K. (The latter is roughly $180; we're in the process of reviewing that one.)
While the A10-7890K ($488.88 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) delivers better CPU and graphics performance if you're after the best of what's available from an APU, the lesser A10-7860K sticks surprisingly close to it, given the $65 price difference, and the fact that the A10-7860K is rated to sip substantially less power than the 95-watt A10-7890K. For most users, we think the A10-7860K is the better value of the two, by no small measure. By which we mean: $65 worth of "measure."
The A10-7860K comes clocked out of the box at an even 3.6GHz, with the ability to jump as high as 4GHz under ideal thermal conditions. It's another chip in the company's refresh of the "Kaveri" line, which AMD calls "Godavari." But there's nothing new here in the way of architecture or other hardware features versus earlier chips in the line.
Rather than rattle off a full list of the chip's specs, here's a summary, direct from AMD.
And here's how the A10-7860K's specs stack up against several of the company's recent APUs, including the flagship A10-7890K. As you can see, the A10-7860K sits comfortably in the middle.
While the architecture and FM2+ socket here aren't new, the A10-7860K is an interesting chip, in that it has specifications that are very similar to those of the previous A10-7850K ($134.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) , but with a slightly slower base clock speed on the CPU, while the frequency of the eight graphics cores gets amped up a bit, to 757MHz. Twiddling the knobs on CPU and GPU speeds wouldn't be all that exciting on its own, but AMD has managed to do so here while dropping the A10-7860K down to 65 watts, rather than the 95-watt rating of many of the other chips in the A Series.
That puts this chip quite close to the Intel Core i3-6100 in terms of efficiency. (The Intel chip is a 61-watt part.) AMD is careful, though, to point out that the new chip is in a 65-watt "TDP Class," so it's probably safe to say there is some thermal wiggle room in there. If you overclock the chip, especially, it's entirely possible that the A10-7860K will consume more than 65 watts under load. But then, the Intel chip isn't unlocked for overclocking, so at least with AMD, you have that option.
AMD has the overclocking angle covered, as well. The company is boxing the A10-7860K with a newly designed stock cooler that's rated to handle 95 watts of heat dissipation, so there's lots of cooling overhead. We used this new cooler to test the A10 chip and didn't have any complaints. It's not as large as, nor quite as quiet as, the AMD Wraith Cooler that's now bundled with the FX-8370. But the red fan adds some visual flair (though it did clash with the gold heat sinks on our Asus test motherboard), while remaining reasonably quiet at stock settings.
Before we jump into the benchmark nitty-gritty, it's important to point out that with the recent mix of Intel and AMD chips, we took this opportunity to switch over to Windows 10 for our CPU testing. We tested the Intel Core i3-6100, AMD A10-7860K, Athlon X4 880K, AMD A10-7870K, and AMD A10-7890K all under Windows 10, while the older chips here, the AMD FX-8370 and Intel's Core i5-6600K, were tested under Windows 8.1. This means the performance numbers of the Core i5 and AMD FX chips aren't strictly comparable to those of the rest of the bunch. But those are also much costlier and more powerful CPUs, and they are listed here more to provide a broad reference than strictly as competition.
And while it's impossible to ensure that everything is exactly comparable between Intel and AMD platforms, we tested all of these chips with a Serial ATA-based solid-state boot drive and 16GB of RAM. And to give the integrated graphics of these chips the best possible advantage, we tested the Core i3 with its DDR4 Corsair RAM running at its fastest rated speed (2,800MHz), while the AMD-based systems were tested using AMD-branded DDR3 RAM running at its top rated speed of 2,100MHz. RAM speed is important mostly for integrated graphics, as it gives the chip more throughput to push pixels.
We started off our testing with Cinebench R15, an industry-standard benchmark test that taxes all available cores of a processor to measure raw CPU muscle.
The A10-7860K landed last here, significantly behind the competing Core i3 chip, which costs about $10 more. But as we'll see later, the AMD chip's strength is in its graphics. And at least the A10-7860K didn't lag far behind the competing AMD chips here.
iTunes 10.6 Encoding Test
We then switched over to our venerable iTunes Encoding Test, using version 10.6 of iTunes. This test taxes only a single CPU core, as much legacy software does.
In this test, which relies more on clock speed (and instructions per clock cycle) than simple core count, we expected the Intel chips to dominate, and they do. The Core i3 chip was about a third faster than the A10-7860K.
In this 4K video-crunching test, we use Handbrake version 0.9.9 and task the CPUs to convert a 12-minute-and-14-second 4K .MOV file (the 4K showcase short film Tears of Steel) into a 1080p MPEG-4 video.
Here the A10-7860K looked a bit better, besting the Althon X4, and landing only a few minutes behind the Intel Core i3. For those who often perform intensive media-crunching tasks, though, the AMD FX and Intel Core i5 chips are significantly speedier, and worth paying extra for.
Next up is our Photoshop CS6 benchmark, which taxes the CPUs by performing several complex filter operations on a large benchmark-standard image we use.
Once again, the AMD A10-7860K was spanked by the Intel Core i3 here. The Athlon X4 and A10-7890K did somewhat better. But considering they're both 95-watt chips, while the A10-7860K is a 65-watter, its performance here is actually quite respectable.
POV Ray 3.7
Last in our CPU-centric tests, we ran the POV Ray benchmark using the "All CPUs" setting. This test challenges all available cores to render a complex photo-realistic image using ray tracing.
On this test, while the A10-7860K again finished last, the results were fairly close, apart from the much pricier (roughly $250) Core i5. The Core i3 chip, while it still bested the AMD 10-7860K, didn't do so by a huge margin. This proves that AMD's quad-core A10 chips are still quite capable when tackling tasks that lean on all available cores and threads.
As noted earlier, the AMD A10-7860K's on-chip graphics aren't anything new, but the eight cores have been clocked up compared to previous A10 chips in this price range, to 757MHz. The pricier (and more power-hungry) AMD A10-7890K flagship does have even higher-clocked graphics cores, running at 866MHz.
Really, though, it was how the A10-7860K's graphics would stack up against the similarly priced Intel Core i3-6100 that interested us the most. While the Intel chip consistently bested AMD's offering on our CPU tests, we had a strong suspicion that the tables would turn when it came to gaming and graphics benchmarks.
3DMark (Cloud Gate)
We started out our graphics testing with the 2013 version of Futuremark's 3DMark, specifically its Cloud Gate subtest, which is designed to measure a system's overall graphics capabilities.
The A10-7860K's showing here was impressive. Particularly on the Graphics subscore, which aims to isolate just graphics performance, the A10-7860K outperformed the Core i3 chip by an impressive 37 percent, and it even edged out the $350 Core i5-6600K chip, while getting within striking distance of the flagship A10, the A10-7890K.
Tomb Raider (2013)
To get a sense of how these chips can handle modern gaming, we started off our game testing with the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise at a couple of resolutions, first at the Normal detail setting, then on the much-more-demanding Ultra preset.
Things continued to look good for the A10-7860K here. It produced frame rates around 30 frames per second (fps) at 1,920x1,080 (1080p) at the Normal setting, or at 1,366x768 and Ultra settings. The Intel Core i3 chip, meanwhile, was only able to keep things running smoothly at the lower setting and resolution. The A10-7890K was a better performer, but not drastically so, given that it costs significantly more and consumes more power.
Next, we ran the open-world action title Sleeping Dogs. This game launched in 2012, but at high settings and resolutions, it's still demanding enough to push even moderate gaming PCs to their limits. We stuck to the Medium detail setting.
In our final game test, the A10-7860K was able to deliver smooth performance at 1080p easily, and it lagged only about 1.5fps behind the costlier A10 chip. Intel's Core i3, meanwhile, was entirely capable of smooth gameplay, but only at the lower resolution. When stepping up to 1080p, the Core i3-6100 lagged about 12fps behind the A10-7860K, and fell into some choppy performance territory.
A Word About Overclocking
Also, unlike the the Core i3 chip, AMD's A10 chips are unlocked for overclocking. You can focus your clock-tuning efforts either on the CPU or graphics side of the spectrum. Given time constraints (we're testing and writing reviews of three chips alongside this one), we didn't attempt to overclock this chip. But it's likely users will be able to achieve modest gains. Still, if significantly better graphics performance is what you're after, we'd strongly suggest stepping up to a dedicated graphics card rather than counting on the gains of any kind of overclock here. Even a modest one should provide much better performance than what we saw from any of the chips here. In any case, the A10-7860K's modest TDP makes it a better fit for modest budget builds or slim, compact media PCs than serving as a chip that gets pushed to the edge of its abilities.
Those who are serious about gaming at high settings and resolutions at or above 1080p will definitely want to invest in a dedicated graphics card. But builders or upgraders willing to dial down some in-game settings and keep resolutions low will find a lot to like with the A10-7860K. Its performance doesn't break any major ground, unless maybe you're talking about integrated graphics performance per watt, or something similarly esoteric. But considering AMD lists this chip's TDP class as 65 watts, its graphics performance is impressive compared to both the 61-watt Intel Core i3-6100 and the 95-watt AMD A10-7890K. The Core i3 is much more powerful on CPU-specific tasks, but the A10-7860K's CPU performance is still plenty capable of mainstream computing tasks without feeling sluggish—especially if paired with a solid-state drive.
Those who plan to use a dedicated graphics card will want to opt instead for the less-expensive Athlon X4-880K, which performs nearly as well on CPU tasks as this chip but costs roughly $20 less—money that would be better funneled into a graphics card if your budget is tight. But as a modest gaming chip for a budget box or a slim, compact system that's designed to live in a living room or den, plugged into an HDTV, the A10-7860K is a solid choice. That's especially true as AMD-based motherboards tend to be more affordable than competing Intel boards.
If you're the type who is inclined to upgrade processors down the road, though, you may want to pay a little more and go the Intel "Skylake"/6th-Generation Core route—or wait a bit. As we noted in our Athlon X4-880K review, it looks like the FM2+ socket is near the end of its run, as AMD has promised that a unifying "AM4" socket will be arriving sometime in 2016. For available details as of this writing, check out this update on AMD's Zen and AM4(Opens in a new window) on our sibling site, ExtremeTech.
In other words, if you opt to build a new system around the A10-7860K, we wouldn't expect to see much (or possibly anything) in the way of chip upgrades in the future, apart from what's available today. You could drop in the current flagship, the A10-7890K, down the road (when pricing on it will probably be lower) to get better CPU performance. But the graphics bump you'll get from doing so isn't all that substantial. If you think you'll need better gaming performance before replacing your motherboard for a newer platform, we'd strongly consider opting for a system with a dedicated graphics card instead, or waiting to see what AMD serves up with AM4.
(Opens in a new window)See It$109.99 at Tiger Direct(Opens in a new window)
Very good integrated graphics performance.
Compatible with FM2+ socket.
FM2+ is nearing end of life.
Other CPUs fare better with general processing tasks.
The Bottom Line
The AMD A10-7860K is a balanced processor in terms of price, performance, power usage, and gaming capabilities. It's a good choice if you're upgrading a FM2+ DIY PC.
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AMD A10-7860K Review? ›
The AMD A10-7860K is a balanced processor in terms of price, performance, power usage, and gaming capabilities. It's a good choice if you're upgrading a FM2+ DIY PC.Is AMD A10-7860K good? ›
The AMD A10-7860K is a balanced processor in terms of price, performance, power usage, and gaming capabilities. It's a good choice if you're upgrading a FM2+ DIY PC.What generation is AMD A10-7860K? ›
|Memory Support:||DDR3-2133 MHz Dual-channel|
|PCI-Express:||Gen 3, 16 Lanes (CPU only)|
Both the AMD APU A10-7860K Quad-Core and the Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz have the same number of threads. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core. The APU A10-7860K Quad-Core and Core i5-6500 3.2GHz are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable.How many watts is AMD A10-7860K? ›
In idle state, the i3-6100 draws 27 watts while the A10-7860K draws 32 watts.What is an AMD A10 processor equivalent to? ›
|Intel Core i5-6400T @ 2.20GHz||4,315|
|PassMark Software © 2008-2023|
The AMD A10 series is not designed to be the “Best Processors” they're a low to mid grade. It's a Far better Comparison for the Ryzen 7's vs i7's since they're very close in performance some beating in some ways and loosing in others.Is AMD A10 good for gaming? ›
With frame rates fluctuating between 41 and almost 100 FPS, activating FreeSync smooths the action out quite a bit. AMD's A10-7890K is definitely suitable for gaming, even though you won't be able to play the latest titles with their quality presets turned up.What is the best GPU for A10-7860K? ›
The best Discrete Graphics Card which can used in Dual Graphics with the A10-7870k is the R7 250.How old is AMD A10? ›
|Introduction||October, 2012 (launch)|
|µarch||Piledriver, Steamroller, Excavator|
Is AMD A10 better than A8? ›
Performance. The A8-7650K is on par with the more expensive A10-7700K APU due to their similar clock rates. Notably, the AES benchmark in TrueCrypt runs 5% faster on the A10 in our tests. Single-core performance is generally weak on the Kaveri APU series.What RAM does AMD A10 support? ›
The A10-7700K 3.4 GHz Quad-Core FM2+ Processor is compatible with DDR3-2133 memory, utilizes 28nm lithography, supports PCIe 3.0, and is unlocked. It is compatible with Windows 10 (32/64-bit), 8.1 (64-bit), and 7 (32/64-bit).Is AMD A10 equal to Intel i5? ›
AMD A10 and Intel i5 are the leading processors in the market. The main difference between them comes in their processing power and support for graphics. In simple terms, Intel i5 processors are more powerful while AMD A10 has better on-board graphics.What is the clock speed of AMD A10 7860K? ›
The A10-7860K 3.6 GHz Quad-Core FM2+ Processor from AMD has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and comes with features such as AES instructions, FMA instructions, Advanced Vector Extensions, and AMD virtualization.Is AMD A10 good for music production? ›
Absolutely, It can handle all the programs what Intel can do, while in heavy multi-threaded environment more cores always performs better than less cores, even if /core performance lower.What wattage does AMD recommend? ›
|AMD Radeon RX 6800||650W||800W|
|AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT||650W||800W|
|AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT||500W||650W|
|AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT||600W||750W|
The Apple T2 chip is based on the A10. On May 10, 2022, the iPod Touch 7th generation was discontinued, ending production of A10 Fusion chips. The latest software updates for the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus including the iPod Touch 7th generation variants systems using this chip are iOS 15.7.Which is better A10 or i3? ›
The A10-7850K makes for a reasonable entry-level gaming PC or HTPC. However if processing performance, especially single threaded, is required, then the i3-4360 is far superior.Which AMD processor is equal to Intel i7? ›
The thing with Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 is that they are almost equally powerful in terms of performance. Here we will make it easier for you to decide the best pick in terms of practical use and how they will fit you better in actual real-life use.Is AMD A10 quad core? ›
Amd A10-7850K Quad-Core (4 Core) 3.70 Ghz Processor - Socket Fm2+ Prod.
Is Ryzen better than A10? ›
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 advantages
The 1600 packs more processing cores than the AMD A10-7800 processor. Large number of cores helps this CPU to process multiple tasks or heavily multi-threaded applications.
Galaxy A10 is a mix of great design and a decent display at the cost of underwhelming performance and an overall average camera. However, devices within this price range do come with some compromises, and Galaxy A10 is no exception.Is AMD A10 good for Windows 10? ›
Since this is an APU, the processor handles the graphics too — no need to buy a separate graphics card. The graphics are fairly future-proof too, offering DirectX 12 support for Windows 10. Of course, this would be a good choice for Windows 7 and 8.1 too.What is the best AMD A series? ›
The AMD A10-7870K represents the best single-processor solution for online and eSports gaming, delivering best-in-class gaming performance – up to 48 percent higher frame rates in the most popular online games vs.What GPU does Hollywood use? ›
Hollywood is the name of the graphics processing unit (GPU) used in Nintendo's Wii video game console. It was designed by ATI (now AMD), and is manufactured using the same 90 nm or 65 nm (depending on the hardware revision) CMOS process as Broadway, the Wii's central processing unit.What is the most powerful AMD card? ›
Best Performance AMD GPU
The Sapphire Nitro+ 7900 XTX Vapor-X simply is the fastest AMD GPU currently available.
NVIDIA is by far the most represented graphics card manufacturer among the professional gamers that we analyze; around 97% of analyzed professionals are using an NVIDIA-based card.Will AMD A10 run Windows 11? ›
As mentioned by @RobertOZ your AMD processor is not supported by Windows 11. You will need to upgrade to a ZEN+ or newer processor.Which is older Intel or AMD? ›
AMD, or Advanced Micro Devices, has been manufacturing semiconductors, microchips, CPUs, motherboards, and other computer components for over 40 years. After Intel, they are currently the second largest corporation in this industry. The Intel Corporation, or Intel, was founded a year earlier, in 1968.Is AMD A10 7870K good for gaming? ›
Plus, with the A10-7870K chip, you can get playable 1080p gaming performance now with some moderation of your in-game settings, and opt to install a dedicated graphics card later to play at 1080p with the settings turned further up.
What is the best GPU for A10 7860K? ›
The best Discrete Graphics Card which can used in Dual Graphics with the A10-7870k is the R7 250.What is the clock speed of AMD A10-7860K? ›
The A10-7860K 3.6 GHz Quad-Core FM2+ Processor from AMD has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and comes with features such as AES instructions, FMA instructions, Advanced Vector Extensions, and AMD virtualization.How fast is a AMD A10 processor? ›
The A10-7700K 3.4 GHz Quad-Core FM2+ Processor from AMD has a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 3.8 GHz.How much RAM can the AMD A10 use? ›
The A10-7850K natively supports up to DDR3-2133, so that is the fastest RAM we will be testing with. Note that the shared memory will be set to 1GB to keep it consistant between the Intel and AMD systems.Is AMD A10 better than i5? ›
AMD A10 and Intel i5 are the leading processors in the market. The main difference between them comes in their processing power and support for graphics. In simple terms, Intel i5 processors are more powerful while AMD A10 has better on-board graphics.What is the fastest clock speed processor? ›
Intel has announced an enhanced version of its 13th-Generation Core i9-13900K processor, which is its first to reach speeds of 6.0GHz without overclocking. The new Core i9-13900KS is Intel's fastest-ever CPU and the fastest one currently on the market from any manufacturer.What is the highest AMD clock speed? ›
The Fastest Gaming Processors in the World.¹
With up to 16 cores, 32 threads, boost clocks of up to 5.7GHz2 and up to 144MB of on-chip memory, AMD Ryzen 7000 Series processors deliver game changing performance.
The A10 held a decent edge over the lesser A10-7850K, but it lagged well behind recent Intel Core i5 and i7 chips and older AMD FX models that lack on-chip graphics. This is generally the performance we'd expect, as AMD's APUs have always lagged behind competing Intel models on raw CPU performance.What is the weakest AMD processor? ›
The worst chip AMD offered was the Ryzen 5 4500, a recycled Ryzen APU featuring the old Zen 2 architecture.Is AMD A10 equal to Intel? ›
Intel Core i5-7400.