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We as consumers live in a wonderful time. A time filled with excellent options at prices that are amazingly reasonable. Unfortunately, with so many options we can lose focus of what is actually important and get bogged down in minutia. Sometimes this means chasing half second improvements, sometimes it means chasing ‘improvements’ that will not matter a hill of beans. Sometimes it even means chasing an improvement that will result in an overall slower system as the budget doesn’t allow for that mega, ten core CPU that is probably not even needed. When this happens consumers can actually overlook some pretty darn good deals and instead go right for ‘overkill’. Sure overkill is always better than ‘good enough’… but only when budget is of no concern.
One such example that has not gotten a lot of traction is the downright cheap $112 (USD) AMD A10-7800 and FM2+ CPU cooler. This is an interesting pair as it represents a potential diamond in the rough that few will even consider. After all the A10-7800 is not the top of the line AMD processor, nor does it say ‘Intel’ on the package. Instead what it does offer is four cores, running at up to 3.9Ghz, and uses DDR3 RAM instead of much more expensive DDR4. Better still it runs in darn near any AMD FM2+ motherboard produced! If all that was not enough it also comes with an integrated eight ‘core’ R7 GPU that runs at 720Mhz… and is comparable to discrete video cards from not that long ago.
The wraith represents one heck of potential value as it is one beefy looking cooler that relies upon multiple heat-pipes, copious amounts of aluminum in a 92mm form-factor cooling array, uses and 92mm fan (and comes with a pretty decent one – as we will show in this review). Better still it either comes free or costs only ten dollars for ‘wraith Edition’ CPU/APU models. On paper that sounds more like an aftermarket downdraft cooler and not a cooler that comes as a ‘stock’ option for many AMD processors – including the A10-7890k.
Yes, in our collective rush to embrace ‘the best’, APUs and coolers like this do get overlooked. So today we are going to put it under the microscope and show what a builder on a tight budget can get. To do that we will placing this up against a similar priced Intel i3 processor (the $111 i3-6100) and let the chips fall where they may. So what can only hundred and twelve dollars get consumers these days? Let’s find out!