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A8-9600 CPU By AMD Review

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A8-9600 CPU By AMD Review

amd-a8-9600

The A8-9600 is one of the new seventh-gen APUs from AMD, using the AM4 socket, with four cores, 3.4 GHz maximum clock, and TDP of 65 W. Let’s find out how fast it is.

When AMD announced the AM4 socket, they said it would support Ryzen CPUs and the future seventh-gen APUs (APU, that stands for Accelerated Processing Unit, is how AMD calls their CPUs with integrated video.) The A8-9600 is one of the middle models of these APUs. It has four cores, 3.1 GHz base clock, 3.4 GHz turbo clock, TDP of 65 W (optionally settable to 45 W,) and Radeon R7 integrated graphics engine. It has 2 MiB of L2 cache and no L3 cache.

However, the A8-9600 (and the other models launched with it) do not use the newer Zen architecture (used on Ryzen CPUs,).  Instead, they are based on the Bristol Ridge core, that uses Excavator architecture, the same used, for example, on the Athlon X4 845, which we tested in 2016. So, the A8-9600, even using the AM4 socket, is not a Ryzen 3 CPU with integrated video, but an older CPU adapted for the new socket.

Figure 1 shows the package of the A8-9600.

AMD A8-9600

Figure 1: Package

AMD A8-9600

Figure 2: Package contents

Figure 3 unveils the A8-9600 processor.

AMD A8-9600

Figure 3: The A8-9600 CPU

The underside of the CPU can be seen in Figure 4.

AMD A8-9600Figure 4: Underside of the A8-9600

For our benchmarks, we compared the A8-9600 to the Pentium G4600, which is close, in price, to the tested CPU. We also included the Ryzen 3 1200, in order to have an idea of the performance difference between two similar CPUs that use the same socket but different architectures, the Core i3-7100, the Core i5-7400 (read about it here), the Core i5-8400, and the Ryzen 5 1500X (review here).

We used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card in all tests.

Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs on the next page.

In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.

CPU
Cores
HT/
SMT
IGP
Internal Clock
Turbo Clock
Core
Tech.
TDP
Socket
Price

A8-9600

4

No

Yes

3.1 GHz

3.4 GHz

Bristol Ridge

28 nm

65W

AM4

USD 70

Pentium G4600

2

Yes

Yes

3.6 GHz

-

Kaby Lake

14 nm

51W

LGA1151

USD 87

Core i3-7100

2

Yes

Yes

3.9 GHz

-

Kaby Lake

14 nm

51W

LGA1151

USD 120

Core i5-7400

4

No

Yes

3.0 GHz

3.5 GHz

Kaby Lake

14 nm

65W

LGA1151

USD 190

Core i5-8400

6

No

No

2.8 GHz

4.0 GHz

Coffee Lake

14 nm

65W

LGA1151

USD 190

Ryzen 3 1200

4

No

No

3.1 GHz

3.4 GHz

Summit Ridge

14 nm

65W

AM4

USD 110

Ryzen 5 1500X

4

Yes

No

3.5GHz

3.47

Summit Ridge

14 nm

65W

AM4

USD 180

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU
L2 Cache
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Memory Channels

A8-9600

2 x 1 MiB

-


Up to DDR4-2400



2


Pentium G4600

2 x 256 KiB

3 MiB


Up to DDR4-2400



2


Core i3-7100

2 x 256 KiB

3 MiB


Up to DDR4-2400



2


Core i5-7400

4 x 256 MiB

6 MiB


Up to DDR4-2400



2


Core i5-8400

6 x 256 KiB

9 MiB


Up to DDR4-2666



2


Ryzen 3 1200

4 x 512 KiB

2 x 4 MiB


Up to DDR4-2666



2


Ryzen 5 1500X

4 x 512 MiB

2 x 8 MiB


Up to DDR4-2666



2


During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.

Hardware Configuration

  • Motherboard (Coffee Lake): Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming
  • Motherboard (Kaby Lake): Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 7
  • Motherboard (AM4): ASRock X370 Taichi
  • Memory: 16 GiB, two DDR4-3200 8 GiB Geil modules configured at 2666 MHz
  • Boot drive: Samsung 960 EVO 500 GiB SSD
  • Video Card: GeForce GTX 1080
  • Video Monitor: Philips 236VL
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX600

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • NTFS
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • NVIDIA driver version: 387.92

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 4% error margin. Thus, differences below 4% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 4% should be considered as having similar performance.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure computer performance. We ran the standard test, which included opening applications, web browsing, writing, photo editing, video chat, video conversion, and rendering. Let’s see the results.

AMD A8-9600

On the 3DMark 10 benchmark, the A8-9600 was 30% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 29% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

3DMark

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Time Spy runs a Direct X12 simulation; Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation, and Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance but is aimed at average computers.

AMD A8-9600

On Time Spy, the A8-9600 was 13% slower than the Pentium G4600 and 18% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

AMD A8-9600

On the Fire Strike benchmark, the A8-9600 was 26% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 34% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

AMD A8-9600

On the Sky Diver benchmark, the A8-9600 was 35% slower than the Pentium G4600 and the Ryzen 3 1200..

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It’s useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot because usually, this kind of software recognizes several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).

We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.

AMD A8-9600

On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the A8-9600 was 27% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 41% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Blender

Blender is an image and movie rendering software that uses all the threads of the CPU. We used the program to render a heavy image of a project named Gooseberry Benchmark. The graph below shows the time the CPU used to finish the image, so the less, the better.

AMD A8-9600

On Blender, the A8-9600 was 43% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 36% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

CPU-Z

On its current version, the well-known hardware identification software CPU-Z comes with a benchmarking tool, which measures CPU performance for one core and for all available cores.

AMD A8-9600

On the single thread benchmark, the A8-9600 was 43% slower than both the Pentium G4600 and the Ryzen 3 1200.

AMD A8-9600

On the multiple thread benchmark, the A8-9600 was 32% slower than the Pentium G4600 and 49% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Handbrake

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

AMD A8-9600

Here the A8-9600 was 20% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 55% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

WinRAR

Another task where the CPU is very demanded is on file compacting. We ran a test compacting a folder with 8 GiB on 6.813 files to a file, using WinRAR 4.2. The graph below shows the time taken for each test.

AMD A8-9600

n WinRAR, the A8-9600 was 83% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 60% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

V-Ray Benchmark

V-Ray Benchmark is a tool for measuring image rendering performance using the processor and the graphics card. It renders two images, one using the processor (CPU) and one using the video engine (GPU). We ran the benchmark and compared the CPU time on the graphics below.

AMD A8-9600

On V-Ray, the A8-9600 was 47% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 82% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with FPS elements, launched in August 2016, that uses the Dawn engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested it using the benchmark included in the game, with DirectX 12 enabled, Full HD, and graphics options as “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

AMD A8-9600

On this game, the A8-9600 was 49% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 38% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).

AMD A8-9600

In this game, the A8-9600 was 54% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 46% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with all image quality set as “normal” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

AMD A8-9600

In GTA V, the A8-9600 was 39% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 38% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Hitman

Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game in Full HD, with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

AMD A8-9600

On Hitman, the A8-9600 was 42% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 39% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using Full HD resolution and graphics quality set to “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

AMD A8-9600

Also on Rise of the Tomb Raider, the A8-9600 was 40% slower than the Pentium G4600, and 43% slower than the Ryzen 3 1200.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG, released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance in this game, we walk around at the first scene of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD (1920 x 1080), with image quality set to “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second and represent the arithmetical mean of the three collec

AMD A8-9600

In this game, the A8-9600 was 35% slower than both the Pentium G4600 and the Ryzen 3 1200.

We ran some quick benchmarks in order to compare the performance of the integrated video present on the A8-9600 to the Pentium G4600, and the Core i3-7100 from Intel. We removed the video card and ran three 3DMark benchmarks: Fire Strike, Sky Diver, and Cloud Gate.

AMD A8-9600

On Fire Strike, the A8-9600 was 58% faster than the Pentium G4600.

AMD A8-9600

On Sky Diver, the A8-9600 was 28% faster than the Pentium G4600.

AMD A8-9600

On the Cloud Gate, the A8-9600 was 9% slower than the Pentium G4600.

We also ran, using the integrated video, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (A.K.A. CS: GO), which is a very popular game, launched in August 2012, using Source engine, which is DirectX 9. We benchmarked it playing in “Inferno” map, against bots, in Full HD, and image quality as “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second and represent the arithmetical mean of the three collected results.

AMD A8-9600

On CS: GO, the A8-9600 was 6% faster than the Pentium G4600.

When AMD announced new CPUs with integrated video using the new AM4 socket, we were excited. We were hoping for a combination of the good performance of Zen cores (used by Ryzen CPUs) and a high-performance iGPU, which creates a great cost/performance ratio for budget gaming computers.

However, for some reason, AMD chose to launch new APUs using the old Excavator architecture. Because of this, the A8-9600 is a processor that is slower, not only than Intel’s competitors but also the newer processors from AMD itself. If we compare the performance of the A8-9600 to the Pentium G4600’s,

We see it’s a lot slower; if we compare it to the Ryzen 3 1200 (which also brings four cores), it’s clear how much faster Zen architecture is compared to Excavator.

Compared with its predecessor, the Core i3-7100, the Core i3-8100 is a lot faster on games and applications that use four cores. Compared to one of its direct competitors, the Ryzen 5 1400, we see that the model from AMD is faster in some applications (the ones that take advantage of several threads) and the Intel one is faster in others, and also in most games.

But one thing was clear on our tests: the Core i3-8100 was consistently faster than the Core i5-7400. It is not a surprise, since both CPUs are almost identical in term of architecture and specs, with a slightly higher clock rate on the Core i3-8100.

So, the Core i3-8100 is an excellent CPU for gaming and work, with a great cost/benefit ratio. Only applications that use a high thread count justify the investiment on a more expensive processor, like the Core i5-8400 or a Ryzen 5.