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Thread: AMD A-series CPU (Llano, Socket FM1)

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    AMD A-series CPU (Llano, Socket FM1)

    Quite interesting solution from AMD. CPU+GPU in one unit - APU. Like SandyBridge with its Intel HD 2000/3000 graphics, but with far more interesting GPU capabilities. Yep, the CPU is not that strong, but it has enough power to play latest games utilizing built-in GPU (Radeon HD 6000-series)

    I do plan to build my own Llano Gaming Rig/HTPC:
    • AMD A8-3850 @ 2.9 GHz (4 cores, 1 MB of L2 cache per each core)
    • Titan low profile CPU cooler
    • ASUS FM1 PRO mATX MoBo
    • 2 x 4 GB DDR3 @ 1866 MHz (or 1600 MHz) Kingston branded (or Corsair or G.Skill one)
    • 120-160 GB SSD Corsair branded
    • CoolerMaster Elite 100 chassis with 150W PSU (HTPC-like tiny case). (Is 150 watt enough for that system?!)

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    Programmer Bulat Ziganshin's Avatar
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    3850's gpu is only 2x faster than hd3000 and slower than 6670. with a $100 videocard like gf450 you will get ~3x faster gaming

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    You cannot use the additional video card with such a small chassis. And the purpose of a new system is to be super small or else I have still small enough mini-ITX SUGO SG07 PC (Core i7 2600, GTX 570, ...). Llano is about a small system that has all onboard. So with such restrictions I cannot play games using just Intel's HD 3000 and with Llano I can. Alternatively, Zotac released miniITX MoBo with nVidia graphics and 1155 socket... But the price... Llano-based solution is much cheaper!

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    Why second gaming system? Maybe you should buy a gaming console, eg Xbox? Xbox has even much less computing power than that Llanos (48 VLIW shaders - 240 Radeon cores equivalent?, 22 GBps bandwith, 512 total RAM, etc), but handles even more latest games than a PC (as there are many Xbox exclusives). Or you can wait for Wii U.

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    XBox is great and even has some exclusive games that not released under PC, e.g. my favorite Gears Of War 2 & 3. Furthermore XBox 360 is notable cheaper than Llano gaming rig. Anyway, XBox is limited to its own games. And PC gaming rig can do everything - web surfing, movies, gaming, including gaming with various emulators of NES, Sega MegaDrive, Super Nintendo, etc., programming, torrent-box and so on - it's a fully featured PC.
    Currently for that purpose I use an Atom-based Netbook that is great for its battery life, but kinda weak at home - the newest game I can ran on it is Unreal Tournament 2004 and it's slow for FullHD videos. Just need a small and portable (room-to-room) device...

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    I think it should be possible to do remote programming, benchmarking, gaming, etc You can try to make your own OnLive Ie at least if it comes to small distances, you can make you own small network using 100 Mbit or 1 Gbit cables and transfer screen capture video stream.

    I am planning to make my own remote system for development, ie benchmarking, continuous integration, etc Set up some good Linux rig with SSH access available from anywhere :]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piotr Tarsa View Post
    Xbox has even much less computing power than that Llanos (...) but handles even more latest games than a PC
    Games for Xbox (and also for other consoles) are created to run at 30 fps, sometimes only 720p and they feature worse graphics than their PC equivalents, so they don't need such a powerful hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by encode View Post
    Just need a small and portable (room-to-room) device...
    Because I'm thiking about something similar, I have a question - how are you going to solve all the wiring? It's good to move the computer around the house easily, but then you have to connect more than a power cord, so the portability would decrease a bit because of that.
    I am... Black_Fox... my discontinued benchmark
    "No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time? I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again." -- Bill Gates

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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Fox View Post
    Because I'm thiking about something similar, I have a question - how are you going to solve all the wiring? It's good to move the computer around the house easily, but then you have to connect more than a power cord, so the portability would decrease a bit because of that.
    For TV connection you need just an HDMI cable that can be connected to the TV already - just connect the PC. For monitor - DVI or VGA... That's all!
    Mice, keyboard and gamepad can be easily connected to PCs USB ports, or, as in my case, all that stuff is just wireless. You just keep a few nano receivers connected to USB ports. And even mice and keyboard need just one nano receiver! I'm talking about Logitech.
    So, no actual wiring!

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    Sound goes through HDMI cable, which I have in monitor as well (there are probably monitors that can send sound from the HDMI cable to speakers, so I don't need to work with sound cable when bringing the case from "TV" to the "PC" room), peripherals are wireless under Unifying nano receiver, internet goes through wi-fi dongle... So there remains power cord and HDMI cable. Sounds fine
    I am... Black_Fox... my discontinued benchmark
    "No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time? I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again." -- Bill Gates

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    Cool

    My Llano gaming rig:

    CPU (APU)
    AMD A8-Series A8-3850 OEM (2900 MHz, FM1)

    CPU cooler
    Zalman CNPS8700 NT

    Crossfired GPU
    Radeon HD 6570 Sapphire PCI-E 2048Mb (11191-02-20G) RTL

    Motherboard
    ASUS F1A75-M PRO [Socket FM1] RTL

    Memory
    8Gb DDR-III 1866MHz Corsair (CMT8GX3M2A1866C9) (2x4Gb KIT)

    SSD
    120Gb SSD Corsair Force 3 Series (CSSD-F120GB3-BK)

    Case
    Thermaltake SD200 270W Black (VK72721N2E)
    Zalman ZM-F1 FDB (Stock fan replacement)



    EDIT: Updated configuration

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    Talking

    This SUGO keeps only mini-ITX motherboards. And I chose mATX form factor motherboard. Actually I like SilverStone SUGO series - my main PC is based on SUGO SG07. This time I go for a bigger motherboard and more slimmish case...

    Actually I've ordered my Llano gaming rig - it will ship this Friday! Interesting to run some compression tests - this little baby has nicely fast RAM (1866 MHz) and such RAM is easily overclockable....

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    Got the PC, installed Windows, got the latest drivers, updated BIOS and... ...the system became DEAD! Just blank black screen, coolers are running but BIOS not responds to anything! Tried many things - nothing helped! Happy beginning...

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    Updating BIOS is always very risky. Probably there's some jumper on mainboard to reset BIOS to default state.


    Games for Xbox (and also for other consoles) are created to run at 30 fps, sometimes only 720p and they feature worse graphics than their PC equivalents, so they don't need such a powerful hardware.
    Most AAA games are produced for consoles firstly and then are ported to PC, so the graphic effects aren't that much different between consoles and PC. Of course you can apply higher resolution and better filtering algorithms to output but generally you are unable to increase the details of the virtual in-game worlds. Many people (including me) complains at consoles saying they're slowing down innovations in graphics engines.
    Last edited by Piotr Tarsa; 17th September 2011 at 03:53.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piotr Tarsa View Post
    Updating BIOS is always very risky. Probably there's some jumper on mainboard to reset BIOS to default state.
    Tried everything - nothing helped - the MoBo is DEAD! Will visit the service center this Monday...
    Updated BIOS many times on SandyBridge and my netbook - only improvements and no surprises. And here I nearly lost my new PC! A nightmare!

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    Cool

    Finally, service center replaced the motherboard! Well, I like the Windows boot time! And new PC looks like a solid gaming system - I can play Call Of Duty Black Ops at Max Settings using just one Low Profile video card (25-30 fps at 1080p). Experimenting with CrossFire - unable to run Black Ops on Dual Graphics... Will install other games to play with. I guess this PC will able to play upcoming Battlefield 3! I'm really waiting for this game!

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    Cool

    Tested Crossfire on Battlefield Bad Company 2 (max settings):

    A8-3850 alone - 15 fps
    A8-3850+HD6570 - 35 fps!

    What a nice gaming rig!

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    What about HD6570 alone? I've seen benchmarks showing that Hybrid Crossfire is inefficient, sometimes even slows down a decent discrete card.

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    I saw such "benchmarks" as well, looks like Intel writing such things.

    Anyway, to use CrossFireX you need a game that supports DirectX 10 or 11.

    My favorite Call Of Duty: Black Ops supports DirectX 9 only... So, regarding non-CrossFire performance:

    HD6570 2GB slightly better than integrated graphics alone. As a note I have one of the best Low Profile HD6570 video card with 2 GB video memory and fast RAM - 8GB DDR3 1866 MHz by default. If do a small overclock and use integrated graphics - the system will be unstable as hell - I was even unable to run Call Of Duty! But if you use HD6570 you will able to do some overclock!

    Well, as soon as possible I will upload a few videos to YouTube - describing this ultimate Llano build and FPS for FullHD(1080p) and HD(720p) at all possible combinations (A8-3850 alone, HD6570 alone, and both of them crossfired). Looks like Battlefield Bad Company 2 is a good game to start! It's one of my favorites, although I just can't play against Russians...

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    Cool

    Inspired by CrossFire performance boost, I purchased the second Radeon HD 6570. Now my PC has 3 GPUs! One form A8-3850 and two identical Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 2048 MB. Anyway, you may use only 2 GPUs at the same time. If APU is a primary, then you should choose which Radeon to use for CrossFire. If one of the Radeons is a primary, you can just enable the CrossFire, binding with a second Radeon.

    Okay, the performance chart, from low to high:

    1. A8-3850 alone
    2. Radeon HD 6570 alone
    3. A8-3850+Radeon HD 6570 crossfired
    4. Radeon HD 6570+Radeon HD 6570 crossfired

    With two Radeons I able to use the CrossFire in Call Of Duty Black Ops! I was unable to do so crossfiring APU+GPU! In addition, I can do a higher APU and GPU overclock...

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    Well, you may try Bitcoin mining on the APU's GPGPU and gaming on crossfired Radeons at the same time :] Crossfire between APU and discrete GPU is AFAIR called Hybrid Crossfire, so this is probably a different beast than normal Crossfire and has own limitations.

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    Then the problem is when to sell your bitcoins. The market is very volatile. I should have bought at US$0.75 when I first heard about it, but I didn't think it would go anywhere. http://www.tribbleagency.com/?p=8278

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    if you use external gpus anyway, intel g530+radeon5750 would be both cheaper and faster

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    Hybrid CrossFire is probably very custom-tailored thing, CrossFireX should handle even more than 2 GPUs - Wiki:
    Since the release of the codenamed Spider desktop platform from AMD on November 19, 2007, the CrossFire setup has been updated with support for a maximum of four video cards with the 790FX chipset; the CrossFire branding was then changed to "ATI CrossFireX"
    There is some slight variability in which cards can be paired together:
    GPU in the same series can be crossfired with each other. So a 5800 series GPU (e.g. a 5830) can run together with another 5800 series GPU (e.g. 5870).
    But again, this probably doesn't apply to HybridCrossfire.

    EDIT: By the way, what reasons do you see for using nV graphics and what for AMD?
    I am... Black_Fox... my discontinued benchmark
    "No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time? I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again." -- Bill Gates

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    Some YouTubes:
    The Ultimate Llano Gaming Rig
    A8-3850+HD6570 vs HD6570+HD6570


    Use what you like!

    Small notes.

    If you build a small HTPC/Gaming Rig, and if there is no space for discrete graphic card - take A8-3850 - you will able to play some old games and a new games at low resolution.

    If you have a space for one Low Profile video card (mini-ITX) - take A8-3850 again! In pair with some Radeon you will get nice performance!

    If you have space for full height video card, or you able to use two video cards in crossfire - you can use any CPU. A8-3850 is just an improved Phenom X4 with lower CPU clock. Well, I'm waiting for Llano Black Edition (A8-3870) to get some GHz boost...

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    Improved the system:

    Replaced PSU to more tuf one - Sea Sonic SS-300TFX. Better and more powerfur PSU gained some 3DMarks! Looks like the older PSU that came with the chassis was just weak for my system.

    Added D-Link PCI Wi-Fi Adapter.

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    Programmer Bulat Ziganshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by encode View Post
    Some YouTubes: ...
    seems that next time i should answer with 3D video ))

    you can switch Liano to 133 Mhz bus to overclock it: http://www.fcenter.ru/online.shtml?a...ssors/31398#11

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    Red face

    It's not that simple. I do a lot of experiments, overclocking CPU to 3.5+ GHz. But, I was unable to run Windows... Either SSD is not recognized or Windows failed to boot...

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