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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of AMD A8 3870K

Reasons to consider the
AMD A8 3870K

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Much more l2 cache 4 MB vs 1 MB 4x more l2 cache; more data can be stored in the l2 cache for quick access later
More cores 4 vs 2 Twice as many cores; run more applications at once
More threads 4 vs 2 Twice as many threads
Supports trusted computing Yes vs No Somewhat common; Allows for safer, more reliable computing
Much more l2 cache per core 1 MB/core vs 0.5 MB/core 2x more l2 cache per core
Higher Maximum operating temperature 72.7 °C vs 70 °C Around 5% higher Maximum operating temperature
Front view of AMD A6 7400K

Reasons to consider the
AMD A6 7400K

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Significantly higher clock speed 3.5 GHz vs 3 GHz More than 15% higher clock speed
Much better performance per watt 2.8 pt/W vs 1.03 pt/W Around 2.8x better performance per watt
Newer manufacturing process 28 nm vs 32 nm A newer manufacturing process allows for a more powerful, yet cooler running processor
Much lower annual home energy cost 15.66 $/year vs 40.03 $/year 2.6x lower annual home energy cost
Much lower annual commercial energy cost 56.94 $/year vs 138.41 $/year 2.4x lower annual commercial energy cost
Newer Jan, 2014 vs Dec, 2011 Release date over 2 years later

Benchmarks Real world tests of A8 3870K vs A6 7400K

CompuBench 1.5 (Bitcoin mining) Data courtesy CompuBench

A8 3870K
46.8 mHash/s
A6 7400K
46.97 mHash/s

CompuBench 1.5 (T-Rex) Data courtesy CompuBench

A8 3870K
0.62 fps
A6 7400K
0.83 fps

PCMark 8 Home 3.0 Accelerated Data courtesy FutureMark

A8 3870K
2,346
A6 7400K
2,590

Sky Diver Data courtesy FutureMark

A8 3870K
2,532
A6 7400K
3,153

Cloud Gate Data courtesy FutureMark

A8 3870K
4,726
A6 7400K
3,420

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

A8 3870K
5,602
A6 7400K
3,180

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

A8 3870K
1,597
A6 7400K
2,081

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

A8 3870K
126,200 MB/s
A6 7400K
1,910 MB/s

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

A8 3870K  vs
A6 7400K 
Clock speed 3 GHz 3.5 GHz
Cores Quad core Dual core
Socket type
FM1
FM2+
Is unlocked Yes Yes

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Supports trusted computing Yes No
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE4a
SSE2
F16C
MMX
AVX
SSE3
SSE
BMI1
AMD64
SSE4.1
FMA4
FMA3
SSE4.2
AMD-V
3DNow!
Supplemental SSE3
AES
TBM
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

memory controller

Memory controller Built-in Built-in
Memory type
DDR3-1866
DDR3-1600
DDR3-1333
Channels Dual Channel Dual Channel
Maximum bandwidth 29,866.66 MB/s 29,866.66 MB/s

details

A8 3870K  vs
A6 7400K 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 4 2
L2 cache 4 MB 1 MB
L2 cache per core 1 MB/core 0.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm 28 nm
Max CPUs 1 1
Operating temperature Unknown - 72.7°C Unknown - 70°C

integrated graphics

GPU GPU GPU
Label Radeon™ HD 6550D Radeon R5 series

power consumption

TDP 100W 65W
Annual home energy cost 40.03 $/year 15.66 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 138.41 $/year 56.94 $/year
Performance per watt 1.03 pt/W 2.8 pt/W
Typical power consumption N/A 52.81W
AMD A8 3870K
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AMD A6 7400K
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