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Desktop launch day for AMD's new Trinity APUs has arrived. CPU performance is a little shy of what I expected. Thankfully, prices are also a little shy of what I expected.
The interesting bins are the quad cores with 100 W TDPs. The A10-5800K (3.8 GHz base, 4.2 GHz turbo, full graphics) is $122. The A8-5600K (3.6 GHz base, 3.9 GHz turbo, 2/3 graphics) is $101. The Athlon X4 750K (3.4 GHz base, 4.0 GHz turbo, no graphics) is $81. Or at least that's the MSRP. E-tailers didn't seem to get the memo on that, though. The A10-5800K is $130 on New Egg and Tiger Direct, and $140 on Amazon.
As expected, the A10-5800K with integrated graphics immediately becomes the APU of choice if you're looking to build a gaming system on a ~$500 budget. On a slightly larger budget, the Athlon X4 750K is immediately the best choice for budget processor that you're going to pair with a discrete card. Or at least, it will be as soon as it shows up for sale, since no one seems to have it in stock at the moment. The 4 GHz turbo means it's guaranteed to be able to run at 4 GHz at least part of the time, so overclocking it to run at 4 GHz all of the time should be completely safe.
The launch of a new platform often means expensive motherboards. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be the case today. The A55 and A75 chipsets are older, while the A85X chipset is the new one. I think the A75 is the right chipset for most people, as it gets you modern amenities such as USB 3.0 and SATA 3, without the added expense of the A85X. The A85X also supports CrossFire, but if a single Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 660 isn't good enough for you, then you really should look at a Core i5-3570K, not Trinity.
Oddly, AsRock and BioStar are the only motherboard manufacturers with A75 chipset, Socket FM2 motherboards available on New Egg at the moment. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI also have Socket FM2 motherboards available, but just not with the A75 chipset. Hopefully that changes shortly, but for now, AsRock has you covered.
$66 including shipping for a motherboard that will work and has everything you need for a low end system:
Again, that includes USB 3.0 and SATA 3, though with only two memory slots and not much power delivery, it is decidedly low end. Or $87 including shipping for a full-featured motherboard:
Eight rear USB ports, three monitor ports, four memory slots, onboard USB ports (including 3.0 ports), PS/2, eSATA, and various overclocking goodies. And it's cheap. On launch day.
There are no surprises on the architecture side, since it's the same silicon as released for laptops in May. Intel still owns the high end, but AMD once again owns the budget gaming space.