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First post, by mr_bigmouth_502

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I'm thinking of building a small formfactor gaming rig some time in the near future, and to keep costs down, as well as power consumption and heat dissipation, I'm considering with an AMD A10-7850K Kaveri APU. Now, I know this won't replace a "proper" CPU + GPU combo for running high end games at ludicrously high settings, but I'm mainly just aiming to have a box that'll play Titanfall and Carmageddon: Reincarnation at a playable framerate.

Does anyone have any experience with these APUs, and if so, what do you think about them?

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Reply 1 of 18, by NitroX infinity

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Graphics performance of the A10-7850K should be about the same as an HD7750 with (G)DDR3. Personally, I think APU's will only start to get interesting once they support DDR4-4266 or about that speed.

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Reply 2 of 18, by F2bnp

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Honestly, 7850k is just too damn expensive for its own good. You can get an Athlon II that's a little bit slower and a faster videocard at that price. 7850k's GPU performance with fast DDR3 memory will be equal to a 7750 GDDR3. The 45W/65W part (7600 I think) is far more interesting to me.

Generally speaking, I've built a few APU systems, ASUS and ASRock motherboards are dirt cheap and I can keep the costs down, so everyone is happy 😊 . Also, because this is a highly integrated system, you don't have to worry about a lot of temps, drivers...

If you want to replace your current system, I would never recommend the 7850k. Go for a cheaper APU, like the 6600K or an Athlon II or even an FX-6300 and add a more powerful card. You won't regret it.

Reply 3 of 18, by sunaiac

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Waiting for the 7600 here, to update my HTPC (which is currently a X4 955BE with GTX275, so it's hard to be less efficient ^^)

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Reply 4 of 18, by swaaye

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I'd wait and see what Intel does next. I think Kaveri is quite uninteresting. Its GPU is horribly bandwidth limited and the CPU is junk. It's too expensive.

AMD APUs will forever be budget boredom unless they can figure out how to get more memory bandwidth to them as Intel did with the EDRAM. DDR4 isn't enough. Maybe something will come with the stacked DRAM tech that is nearing.

Reply 5 of 18, by F2bnp

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I think the main problem with Kaveri is pricing. 7850k is just too expensive. Generally speaking, Bulldozer is leading nowhere, even AMD knows it that's why they don't seem to be releasing any Steamroller chips for AM3+.
Their latest project (x86 + ARM) is interesting to say the least.

I think in 2-3 years, APUs will have matured and we will be looking at those earlier years the same way we look back on the Pentium 4 and Pentium D.

Reply 6 of 18, by mr_bigmouth_502

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F2bnp wrote:

Honestly, 7850k is just too damn expensive for its own good. You can get an Athlon II that's a little bit slower and a faster videocard at that price. 7850k's GPU performance with fast DDR3 memory will be equal to a 7750 GDDR3. The 45W/65W part (7600 I think) is far more interesting to me.

Generally speaking, I've built a few APU systems, ASUS and ASRock motherboards are dirt cheap and I can keep the costs down, so everyone is happy 😊 . Also, because this is a highly integrated system, you don't have to worry about a lot of temps, drivers...

If you want to replace your current system, I would never recommend the 7850k. Go for a cheaper APU, like the 6600K or an Athlon II or even an FX-6300 and add a more powerful card. You won't regret it.

What about a Pentium G3220 paired with a similar GPU? It would cost a bit more, and lack a couple cores, but I think it would make up for it with single-threaded performance and upgradability, as I'd be able to move up to a core i5 or i7 later on.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 8 of 18, by sunaiac

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ratfink wrote:

Every time I look at building a cheap rig I end deciding the best option is a six-core amd fx.

The 6300 is actually one of the most interesting CPUs. It sells for 100€ around here.
Used one with a 270X for a budget gaming PC, no regrets, 270€ the pair.
Of course my more wealthy friends get the 4670K + 290 TriX treatment, but that's 570€, the price of the full machine with the 6300 + 270X 😁

As for kaveri, I do agree that 7850 and 7700 are a bit meh ...
The good on seemed to be the 7600, but they don't seem toi be in a hurry to get it out 😖

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Reply 9 of 18, by swaaye

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I like the Core i3 4330. It has world class single-thread performance and that is still maybe the most useful metric, plus it is extremely power efficient. It has the full GPU enabled. The CPU part will just dust Kaveri. They are also around $50 cheaper than Kaveri A10 7850.

Reply 10 of 18, by ratfink

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Interesting you mention i3. My i3 ultrabook [1.4ghz?!] seems to play diablo 3 just fine. I thought it would be crippled by that game. I guess the ghz gets boosted during play but still.

Reply 11 of 18, by mr_bigmouth_502

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swaaye wrote:

I like the Core i3 4330. It has world class single-thread performance and that is still maybe the most useful metric, plus it is extremely power efficient. It has the full GPU enabled. The CPU part will just dust Kaveri. They are also around $50 cheaper than Kaveri A10 7850.

Unfortunately, an i3 paired with a decent GPU will end up costing me more than a Kaveri. If I raised my budget, perhaps it would be a decent option.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 12 of 18, by NitroX infinity

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Isn't i3 just a higher clocked Pentium with hyperthreading?

Athlon II X4 760K or Pentium G3420 + Radeon HD 7770/R7 250X 1GiB GDDR5 will cost you about the same as the 7850K but deliver beter performance.

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Reply 13 of 18, by GL1zdA

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NitroX infinity wrote:

Isn't i3 just a higher clocked Pentium with hyperthreading?

Yes, it is. Some offer also an additional 1 MB of cache.

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Reply 14 of 18, by mr_bigmouth_502

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I just did the math, and I figured out that a Pentium G3220 with a Geforce 750 GTX costs only about $10 than the APU I was looking at before, while offering superior single-threaded performance, more graphical horsepower, and theoretically better Linux support, all while being fairly power and heat efficient.

Compared to the Radeon HD 7770 in terms of specs, the GTX 750 is pretty much neck-and-neck, with some areas it scores better in, and others it scores worse in. Overall however, the GTX 750 seems to have better performance in benchmarks, and it's more power-efficient, which is a crucial thing to consider for a small formfactor build. http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-7770-vs-GeForce-GTX-750 http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid= … apphire-edition http://www.hwcompare.com/17125/geforce-gtx-75 … radeon-hd-7770/

I *could* save $10 and grab the one model of the 7770 available on NewEgg that's cheaper than the GTX 750, but then I'd have to look into a beefier power supply than the 380w Antec Earthwatts I was looking at, and I would have to deal with a hotter-running, less-efficient card overall.

Heh, so much for years of being a Radeon fanboy. 🤣 I'm starting to sound like a shill for Nvidia.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 15 of 18, by gerwin

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GL1zdA wrote:
NitroX infinity wrote:

Isn't i3 just a higher clocked Pentium with hyperthreading?

Yes, it is. Some offer also an additional 1 MB of cache.

** Edit: Please disregard this bit: **
Note that i3 has Intel Virtualization Technology enabled, contrary to the Sandy+Ivy Bridge Pentium. This matters in case one is planning to use virtual machine software. Sadly intel disables such options on their budget offerings.

On the other hand I am not too fond of hyperthreading.

swaaye wrote:

I like the Core i3 4330. It has world class single-thread performance and that is still maybe the most useful metric, plus it is extremely power efficient. It has the full GPU enabled. The CPU part will just dust Kaveri. They are also around $50 cheaper than Kaveri A10 7850.

Was of the same opinion. At least in the Sandy+Ivy bridge times. Intel has the base CPU core nailed down properly, whereas AMD tries to compensate with additional features and a lower price.

Last edited by gerwin on 2014-05-10, 10:23. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 16 of 18, by swaaye

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i3 4330 also has 4MB L3, a much better IGP, AVX, AVX2, FMA3, and AESNI. The L3 boost benefits the IGP, plus it is a fully enabled Haswell GPU AFAIK. Pentium is quite gimped.

I am curious to see what Intel will do for an IGP in their 14nm CPUs.

What I really want to see is EDRAM or stacked DRAM on future APUs from AMD and Intel. That will bring big gains and allow for bigger GPUs to be viable. Memory bandwidth is a huge problem right now. I7 4950HQ is super neat but way too expensive, another problem that needs to be solved.

Reply 17 of 18, by mr_bigmouth_502

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If the current Pentium lacks VT-x support, then that's a deal-breaker for me. The other things don't matter to me so much because my current CPU lacks them anyway, and I know I'll be able to upgrade to a better CPU later on if I feel I need them.

Actually, I was just reading up on the G3220's virtualization features, it lacks VT-d, but so does my current CPU, and my current CPU actually runs virtualization software quite well. My current CPU has VT-x though, and so does the G3220, so I guess it should be fine.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 18 of 18, by gerwin

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mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:

Actually, I was just reading up on the G3220's virtualization features, it lacks VT-d, but so does my current CPU, and my current CPU actually runs virtualization software quite well. My current CPU has VT-x though, and so does the G3220, so I guess it should be fine.

I also looked at the intel specs again, and must admit my memory was not right, even the Sandy Bridge Pentium G620 has VT-x. The only thing I can now find lacking on Ivy Bridge Pentiums are AVX Vector extensions and some graphics extensions.

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