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AMD introduces new flagship A10-7890K APU and Wraith cooler

By Katrina Canlas & Koh Wanzi - on 3 Mar 2016, 7:51am

AMD introduces new flagship A10-7890K APU and Wraith cooler

AMD has announced two more FM2+ desktop processors in the A10-7890K and Athlon X4 880K. (Image Source: AMD)

On top of its announcement of three new FM2+ desktop processors in early February, AMD is launching two more FM2+ CPUs – a new flagship Godavari APU and an Athlon X4 chip.

But as far as it comes to breaking new ground, the new AMD A10-7890K APU doesn’t really offer anything too exciting. For one, it is almost completely identical to the A10-7870K and maintains the same 95 watt TDP. The key difference is that the A10-7890K features a 200MHz bump to its clock speed, where the base and Turbo frequencies have been boosted from 3.9GHz and 4.1GHz respectively on the A10-7870K, to 4.1GHz and 4.3GHz on the A10-7890K.

The A10-7890K will ship with AMD’s new Wraith cooler, which we first saw at CES 2016. The Wraith can handle a TDP of up to 125 watts and represents quite a significant upgrade over the traditionally low-end stock coolers that AMD has bundled with its APUs in the past. While the clock speed increases could be partly due to better maturity of the 28nm process, it’s likely that the improved cooling capabilities of the Wraith cooler played a big role in enabling the performance boost.

That’s because chipmakers still have to ensure that the CPU stays within the thermal limits of the stock cooler, even if enthusiasts are just going to discard it in favor of more powerful third-party solutions. So now that the new APU will be bundled with the 125 watt TDP Wraith cooler, AMD has more freedom to clock the processor more aggressively.

AMD's new Wraith cooler runs extremely quiet, yet still delivers powerful cooling performance. (Image Source: AMD)

Users on a tight budget will also definitely appreciate the Wraith cooler, as it means that they don’t have to come up with extra cash to buy a decent external solution. Given the overhead that the Wraith has over the new APU’s 95 watt TDP, it should even be able to handle some mild overclocking.

On the topic of cooling, AMD announced that the older A10-7870K APU would be getting a new cooler as well. AMD doesn’t have a proper name for the new cooler -- it simply refers to it as a new 125 watt thermal solution – but it is actually the Wraith cooler with the illuminated shroud removed. According to AMD, both coolers still use the same metal heatsink and fan, so there is no difference in terms of cooling capacity or noise production.

The other new processor released is the Athlon X4 880K, which will ship with the aforementioned 125 watt cooler as well. It replaces the Athlon X4 860K and is positioned as the fastest Athlon X4 processor from AMD so far, with a base frequency of 4.0GHz and Turbo frequency of 4.2GHz.

Compared to AMD’s APUs, the Athlon X4 processor lacks integrated graphics capabilities, so users will need to pair it with a discrete graphics card.

Here's a quick look at the specifications of the new chips compared to the A10-7870K. (Image Source: AMD)

All this is part of AMD’s effort to enable affordable, small form factor PCs that can provide a smooth gaming experience in online games like League of Legends at 1080p resolutions and high detail settings. When paired with a discrete card like the Radeon R7 370, AMD says that the Athlon X4 processor can handle 1440p gaming as well.

The AMD A10-7890K will retail for US$164.99, while the Athlon X4 880K will be cheaper at US$94.99.