AMD’s A10-7700K: The other K

Taking a step down the pricing ladder…

AMD 7700k (2 of 3)

Unbeknownst to most people there are actually two unlocked Kaveris on the market. The first is the A10-7850K and second is the A10-7700K which is the chip we’re reviewing today. As part of this review we’ll also be looking briefly at MSI’s A88X-G45 Gaming motherboard.

The differences between the 7850K and the 7700k are pretty minor. The 7700K loses 200Mhz of both base and boost clock speed compared to the 7850K. On the graphics side the changes are more substantial as the 7700K comes with only 6 enabled GPU slices rather than the full 8 slices found on the 7850K; GPU clock speeds and cache sizes remain the same though.

Based on these specification we should see a small gap (<10%) in CPU workloads and a larger gap in videos games. To test this hypothesis we’ll be running our A10-7700K sample through a selection of benchmarks.

AMD 7700k (3 of 3)

MSI’s A88X Gaming is a good quality motherboard. ASUS, Gigabyte, Asrock, and MSI seem to really have AMD’s 88X chipset dialed in. As a consequence I have yet to look at an FM2+ motherboard that I didn’t like. In this regard MSI’s offering is no exception, but it does standout from the competition in a few important ways by having really good looking heatsinks, a third PCI-E slot, and a thoughtful array of features like an error code reader and on-board power buttons. I have no reservations in saying that MSI’s A88X-G45 Gaming is an excellent FM2+ motherboard .

7700K Test system

Here’s our test system’s specifications and as always you can find our raw benchmarking data on Mega. We’re using abridged version of our normal testing suite due to time constraints; that said we still have a pretty clear picture of the differences between these two APUs.

7700k Comparison

In our gaming benchmarks these two APUs are closer than I had expected. But the performance gap was pretty substantial in Battlefield 4. For CPU workloads the 7700K is consistently behind the 7850K, but it is usually less than a ten percent difference. Considering that the price gap between these two APUs is currently about $15 it’s a bit of a toss-up for which choice is the better value. Both offerings are solid chips, but it’s a bit surprising to see that there’s only another $15 gap between the top Kaveri and the FX-8350. At the moment Kaveri holds quite a premium given its absolute performance level.

AMD 7700k (1 of 3)

Considering the performance that we saw from the A10-7700K there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that a mild overclock of this chip would allow it to match the stock performance of the A10-7850K. If you have the extra $15 dollars though, it will probably be worth it to go for the A10-7850K, the price and the performance gap between these two chips is small enough to give neither a really clear lead over the other from a value standpoint. In the end it seems you can’t go wrong with either of AMD’s Kaveri’s or MSI’s A88X-G45 Gaming motherboard for that matter.S|A

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Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.