After viewing the iGPU performance of the A10-7870K, we decided to take it a step further by testing performance when combined with a discrete GPU. A user may have initially purchased an APU to use as a Media PC. After testing out it’s gaming performance, one might be tempted to add a discrete GPU. The addition of a discrete GPU would not only enable a user to increase settings, thus resulting in better visual appeal but would also increase the FPS tremendously. This would in turn lead to a more enjoyable gaming experience. However, a major concern in the mind of a user would be whether or not the CPU of the A10-7870K would be powerful enough to drive a somewhat high end GPU. This is what lead us to actually test the A10-7870K alongside the Sapphire R9 285 Dual-X OC 2GB. We were eager to see how the CPU side of things would perform and whether or not it would hold back a discrete GPU in games as we are well aware that the A10-7870K is a quad core CPU. We decided to set it against the FX 8350. We even overclocked the FX 8350 to 4.5Ghz. We overclocked the A10-7870K to 4.5Ghz. Since we were testing with a 16GB kit of Ram, we were well aware that it would be very difficult to get 2133Mhz stable with the FX 8350 so we ended up running both CPUs at their native supported RAM Frequencies. To push the limits even further the R9 285 was overclocked to see whether the A10-7870K could keep up with it. Since AMD has marketed the R9 285 as a 1440p gaming card and after testing games we found that to be quite true so all the benchmarks below were run at 1440p.
FX 8350 at 4.5Ghz, 1866Mhz Ram
A10-7870K at 4.5Ghz, 2133Mhz Ram.
Sapphire R9 285 overclocked to 1100/1500Mhz
The following games were used to test the gaming performance of the A10-7870K:
- GTA V
- The Witcher 3
- Shadow of Mordor
- Dirt 3
- Metro Last Light Redux
- Tomb Raider
- Resident Evil 6
- Final Fantasy XIV
GTA V was tested with the settings kept to High. This being an open world game is fairly intense on the CPU. The CPU usually takes a hit when there are multiple characters on screen. The world in the game is large and will require a little more CPU power than the A10-7870K can give. However, we see that an extra 4 cores only yields an 11fps gain. At 52fps with the A10-7870K the game was perfectly playable and without the Fraps counter on the corner of the screen, we doubt that many users would actually notice the difference between the CPUs.
The Witcher 3 was run at Medium settings. We could go higher and run it at High settings but that did reduce the FPS by around 7 or so so we decided to keep it at medium as the difference in visuals did not justify it. As you will notice the difference between the A10-7870K and FX 8350 was just 2fps. While the game never seemed to benefit from the extra cores, we were able to ALT+TAB with less lag as all cores weren't being used at their maximum usage as with the quad core. However, this doesn't translate to any problem in The Witcher 3 as gameplay was amazing with both CPUs.
We maxed out all settings except for the Texture Quality which was set to high and Ambient Occlusion which we left at Medium. We couldn't go higher with the Texture Quality option as the 2GB vRam buffer would prove to be insufficient for it. As you can see both CPUs were able to maintain 60 fps. We ran the in-game benchmark for this test. FPS while playing the game was a little higher than that which we got with the built-in benchmark. By now we know that the A10-7870K is able to drive the R9 285 almost as effectively as the FX 8350.
Dirt 3 is a more or less GPU bound game as the results are pretty much what we expected. Both CPUs sit tight together as they achieve exactly the same frames per second at 82. We ran the in-built benchmark for Dirt 3 at the Ultra preset with MSAA at x8. The A10-7870K seems to be well fitted with the R9 285 as a discrete GPU at 1440p.
We made use of the in-game benchmark for this game and kept the settings at Very High with SSAO and PhysX disabled. The results were the same for Metro Last Light Redux. The quad core CPU performs the same as the octa core FX CPU. Although the single-threaded performance of the A10-7870K is higher than the FX CPU as both are clocked at 4.5Ghz, we hoped the extra four cores would make a difference. The above results shows that it did not and that the A10-7870K is pretty capable of providing a good gaming experience when paired together with a discrete GPU.
Tomb Raider was run with the graphics preset set to Ultimate. The fps that both the CPUs along with the GPU managed to pull off was extremely impressive. The difference between both CPUs was just 2fps.
We maxed out settings in Resident Evil 6 and cranked up FXAA to the maximum and achieved very playable framerates in game. We ran the built in benchmark for Resident Evil 6. The reason we mention all the settings is to enable our users to facilitate a comparison with their similar performing hardware.
Final Fantasy XIV was benchmarked at the Maximum preset. This game is likely to be more GPU intensive as the results achieved reveal that the difference between CPUs, in this case, an octa core and quad core, barley makes a difference. From all the above benchmark charts we can well conclude that the A10-7870K coupled with a discrete GPU is going to deliver a very good gaming experience, almost keeping up with the FX 8350 in most occasions.