Refreshes can be a good thing.  AMD certainly needed it in the APU line and have some solid parts out there for the right kind of customer.  If a user just wants good CPU performance then the latest Intel parts are a good choice.  If a user wants inexpensive CPUs with lots of threads, then the AMD FX-8000 series are solid.  If a user wants a solid CPU with good integrated graphics that will play the latest games at reasonable resolutions, levels, and framerates then the latest AMD APUs are the best choice.

The 7860K was introduced in Q1 and is widely available now.

The Godavari refresh achieves more of its promise of being a more efficient chip than the previous Kaveri units.  The 7860K performs mostly on par with the 7850K, but rated at 30 watts lower than that older part.  A 30% plus decrease in rated TDP all the while staying within 2 to 5% of the performance of the older part is a good thing.  The real world power decrease at the plug was less than the claimed 30%, but it is still a significant amount.

The new cooler keeps these chips nice and controlled when it comes to temperature.  They also do not get loud.  This is a value added feature for AMD.  It surely will not make or break a decision to buy the APU, but it does not detract from it either.  Intel’s competing heatsinks are relatively small and there are times in some situations that they will throttle more than expected due to heat.

There are a lot of full featured motherboards supporting the FM2+ socket.

Godavari looks to be a necessary build up to the next step for AMD in the form of Bristol Ridge.  These upcoming chips are will be Excavator and GCN based APUs and they will fit in the upcoming AM4 platform.  I would suspect that overall performance between Godavari and Bristol Ridge will be relatively close, as BR is still going to be based on 28nm HKMG.  For right now the Godavari based APUs are cost effective solutions with mature motherboard support.  The A10-7860K retails for $115 while the A8-7670K is around $105.  The i3-6100 is not far behind at $125, but while the CPU is far stronger, the integrated graphics cannot compete well with what AMD provides at a lower price point.  If a user wants usable graphics performance for modern games, AMD is the only way to go at this price.

AMD keeps on chugging along and surviving.  Refreshes like this will help keep them selling parts to OEMs and consumers alike.  Godavari is a small step forward in power efficiency, all the while retaining a very reasonable price.  The A10-7860K and A8-7670K APUs will not blow any minds.  They also will not cause a user to blow their top with subpar graphics performance, nor will it blow their budget with a very affordable price.  In a perfect world AMD can be all things to all people at all price points, but perhaps we have to wait for a more Zen moment for that to be true.

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