AMD's new processors won't blow your mind, but its quiet CPU coolers will bring you peace

amd expands wraiths chilly influence over fx lineup amdwraithcooler
AMD
This year could be a big one for AMD, as the company plans to introduce a new CPU architecture, Zen, and a new GPU architecture, Polaris. These aren’t due until midyear at earliest, however, so the company has put out some minor updates to tide fans over.

These come in the form of three new processors: A10-7860K, A6-7470K, and Athlon X4 845.

The A10-7860K is a midrange APU which combines four processor cores with eight Radeon GPU cores. It has a base clock of 3.6GHz, with a boost clock of 4GHz, and the GPU frequency is 757MHz. It’s classified as a 65-watt component, which is surprising given its power — many similar AMD parts have been classified as a 95-watt part in the past, which means beefy cooling is recommended. Overall, the A10-7860K is a midrange component that should sell for $118.

Slotted below that is the A6-7470K. It has only two processor cores, along with four Radeon GPU cores. The base clock is 3.7GHz with a boost clock of 4GHz, and a GPU frequency of 800MHz. It’s also a 65-watt component. It’s stats point towards it being an entry-level APU, and it’s priced accordingly at $67.

Last up is the Athlon X4 845. As part of the Athlon line, this chip does not have a built-in GPU, but it does have four processor cores clocked at 3.5GHz, with a boost maximum of 3.8GHz. It too is a 65-watt part, and will sell for $70.

Note the prices are an estimate. AMD has not revealed the final retail prices. But these new processors are not drastically different than those already available, so it’s easy to guess they’ll sell at a similar MSRP.

In addition to these new chips, the company is highlighting its coolers. It showed off its new Wraith cooler at CES, which we now know will be bundled with select AMD processors starting with the FX 8370. The processor is $190 by itself, and the Wraith bundle is $200 — a pretty reasonable price.

AMD is also going to ship new cooler designs, called the “Quiet Thermal Solution,” with the new A10-7860K and Athlon X4 845, as well as these older processors: A8-7670K, A8-7650K, Athlon X4 870K, and Athlon X4 860K. These are said to have “the same near-silent capability” of the Wraith, but they’re smaller, as they’ll be paired with AMD’s midrange chips.

But wait, there’s more! AMD will be releasing some slightly tweaked AM3+ and FM2+ motherboard designs in the first quarter of 2016. The AM3+ boards will be called the 990X and 990FX — the former will have both USB Type-C support and M.2 drive support, while the latter will only have M.2 support. The FM2+ boards, called the A88X and A68H, will both have USB Type-C support but will not have M.2. support.

With the exception of the motherboards, everything announced here should be launched immediately, so you should start to see retail listing show up over the next few days. It looks like now is a good time for AMD fans with an aging system to upgrade, as the release of Zen in late 2016 will also mean the transition to a new motherboard socket.

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