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Current state of AMD APU landscape?

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,589
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I haven't even look at AMD APUs seriously (well, OK, except for those 10 LLano dual-core CPU / mobos I picked up really cheap on ebay thanks to waltchan).

I picked up three A55-chipset FM2+ MSI micro-ATX boards from TD one time on a sale for $28 ea., which I thought was a spectacular deal. I then filled the CPU sockets with three, I think A4-6300 APUs, which were the cheapest APUs that I could find.

To be quite honest, I'm no fan of Bulldozer and derivatives, and I found that the A4-6300 APUs, even at 3.7/3.9, lacked "snap". (In fact, I think I prefer the 3.15Ghz slightly-OCed LLano dual-core APUs.)

I was just perusing Newegg's Labor Day sale, and they have a fancy A88X micro-ATX board for around $60.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-157-689&cm_sp=LaborDaySale-_-0902-0905-_-13-157-689-_-NA

It's got two PCI-E x16 (physical) slots, M.2, and 8 SATA6G ports.

Are there any current worthwhile modern FM2+ APUs to use in one of these boards?

Have APUs gotten any better than the Trinity / Richland FM2 days?

How's the media decoding support? 4K? HEVC? VP9?

Edit: Granted, it's probably not a great time to invest in FM2+, with AM4 around the corner... but OTOH, FM2+ stuff should be fire-saled pretty soon (if it hasn't already started, like with this board), and AM4 is bound to have some "teething pains".

If Bristol Ridge was out in the whitebox channel, I'd probably go with that, for more modern media-decoding support.

Btw, are any of the rumors true, that there is going to be BOTH FM2+ and AM4 varieties of BR?
 
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Azuma Hazuki

Golden Member
Jun 18, 2012
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As you've no doubt seen me post several times before, the Kaveri-based A8-7600 is probably the best overall offering in AMD APU space right now, though it's not something I'd use for a gaming build but rather a budget box. It's essentially a Haswell i3 with somewhat lower ST oomph for the price of a Haswell Pentium.

Supposedly the A10-7890K is a surprisingly competent low/low-mid gamer, but it's almost $150...which is fair for what it is, but gets smoked by a $80 Athlon X4 and a $70 dGPU.

Kaveri was a nice step up over Trinity/Richland. Excavator (Bristol Ridge) strikes me as something that could be surprisingly useful but that we're likely not going to see much of. The age of Orochi cores is over, and they're mostly not going to be missed. See what Socket AM4 has to put out. But at this point I'm looking more forward to Ravenridge (Zen APU).
 

ConsoleLover

Member
Aug 28, 2016
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AMD has messes up so much with their APU's they are all garbage. The naming scheme and performance levels are so unclear, the Igpu is so unclear that literally no one is buying them for said reasons. If I can't follow their APU's and I spend a lot of time reading about this stuff and I'm informed, then your average consumer is 100% in the dark about their apu's and what they do, for what type of system they are, etc...

I think they need to basically scrap all their previous generations, sell them off, clear the stock completely and rename the current ones and just put forth 2 models. One for dirt cheap entry level and one for the not so poor's man entry level. One should cost $50, the other $90. Call them Athlon E 1400 and Athlon E 1600
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,377
762
126
I was just perusing Newegg's Labor Day sale, and they have a fancy A88X micro-ATX board for around $60.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-157-689&cm_sp=LaborDaySale-_-0902-0905-_-13-157-689-_-NA

It's got two PCI-E x16 (physical) slots, M.2, and 8 SATA6G ports.
Hmm, it states
If PCIE3 is occupied, M2_1 will be disabled.
So, that sucks, you can't use a PCIE3 vid card & the M2 at the same time.
edit* Don't post when you are half asleep. :oops:
 
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superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
101
The best value in consumer CPUs from AMD is the 8320E from Micro Center for $90 with $40 off a board. Put it with a board like the UD3P and you can get 4.4 GHz out of it with 8 cores active or higher with fewer active — depending on how much you want to invest in cooling and PSU. Get a cheap discreet GPU from Ebay if you don't want to play games.

I see no point in buying one of the current APUs. Discreet GPUs are dirt cheap used. I've purchased them from Ebay before. Even an ancient Radeon 3870 will run in Windows 10 if you track down the right driver. I know. I've done it.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,589
5,618
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Uhm, no. Just no. I was interested in something modern, power-efficient, not needing a dGPU, and cheap and new. Edit: And supported.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,589
5,618
126
So, that sucks, you can't use a PCIE3 vid card & the M2 at the same time.
Just for anyone reading this: "PCIE3" in mobo nomenclature, simply means the PCI-E slot in position #3 from the top. It does not mean PCI-E 3.0. You can still use the primary PCI-E slot ("PCIE1") and the M.2 PCI-E slot safely, I'm sure.
 
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whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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I wouldn't buy AMD APUs/CPUs right now with AM4 and Zen coming out soon. An i3-6100, while costing more upfront will last longer for a basic build.
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,457
641
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Are you sure the 7860k is 65watts? I thought all the overclockable ones were 95watts. In any case, the question as always is "what do you plan to use it for?" I would think multi threaded cpu performance would be similar or slightly better than an i3, lightly threaded worse, and the igpu better. If you want the best playback and decode, i think you would have to wait for Kaby Lake. Unfortunately it is still in limbo of being decent at everything, but not really outstanding at anything.But at 110.00 it is a decent choice for general use and light gaming.For any kind of serious gaming, you would be better off with an athlon x4 and a discrete gpu even though it would cost about 80.00 more.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
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Uhm, no. Just no. I was interested in something modern, power-efficient, not needing a dGPU, and cheap and new. Edit: And supported.
Here is a A8-7670K and MSI A68H grenade motherboard combo for $99.99 AR ($10 rebate) free shipping:

http://www.frys.com/ads/page29#AdNavi

(The grenade motherboard has decent reviews on Newegg).

EDIT: Oh, I see looking back on the OP you just want a APU not a combo.
 
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Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,377
762
126
Just for anyone reading this: "PCIE3" in mobo nomenclature, simply means the PCI-E slot in position #3 from the top. It does not mean PCI-E 3.0. You can still use the primary PCI-E slot ("PCIE1") and the M.2 PCI-E slot safely, I'm sure.
Whoops... I totally misread that. Thanks for the correction. :oops:
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,548
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cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
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Virtual Larry,

Regarding APU vs. dGPU power consumption and efficiency I did recently buy a A8-7670K APU...so what I will do is compare idle on Athlon x 4 860K + GT730 GDDR5, Athlon x 4 860K + GT710 and A8-7670k (All using the same motherboard, PSU, RAM, storage, etc.)
 
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superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
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I was interested in something modern, power-efficient, not needing a dGPU, and cheap and new. Edit: And supported.
Regardless, the best choice in consumer AMD CPUs is the 8320E, provided one has access to the Micro Center bundle.

The overall efficiency is probably greater than with APUs because of the better FPU resources as well as the larger caches, despite the reduced IPC of the older Piledriver architecture versus Steamroller and Excavator. For well-threaded workloads the additional threads/cores also helps. The chip is flexible because cores can be disabled and clock speed increased for use with workloads that are poorly-threaded.

If you want power efficiency so much that an 8320E at stock (or undervolted) doesn't suffice then you're going to have to pay a premium for an Intel part. There is also the matter of how much work gets done in an amount of time versus how much consumption there is when loaded.

As for the discreet GPU, if one can get a better deal with one than without one then it seems quite arbitrary to exclude such a system from consideration.

The only reason to choose one of the currents APUs is if one is stuck with a small form factor.
 
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NostaSeronx

Diamond Member
Sep 18, 2011
3,210
727
136
The only reason to choose one of the currents APUs is if one is stuck with a small form factor.
or, a laptop. For the FX-9800P.
Acer(Dual-channel/16 GB & 128 GB SSD/1 TB HDD w/ 2 GB DDR3 M440 /1080p_5ms) and Dell(Dual-channel/16GB & 1or2 TB w/ 4 GB GDDR5 M455 / 1080p_5ms?) are pretty good for the price. HP, not so much.
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,970
340
126
A8 7600 on paper was the best of the line since the launch, checking newegg right now ($82 I think) it still looks like a winner, lots of CPU and IGP for the money I think.
 

The Stilt

Golden Member
Dec 5, 2015
1,709
3,057
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How's the media decoding support? 4K? HEVC? VP9?
H.264 & VC-1 up to 1080.
Carrizo was the first APU to support 4K and HEVC (8-bit / Main). No AMD product currently has the hardware for VP9 decoding, but a hybrid solution should be enabled in the driver for Bristol Ridge and Polaris dGPUs.
VP9 is pretty much rubbish compared to HEVC, the only reason why it requires even a thought is YouTube :rolleyes:
 
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ahimsa42

Junior Member
Jul 16, 2016
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speaking of APU's, are there any plans to release an AM4 excavator chip with no iGPU or will there only be Bristol Ridge? it seems that an inexpensive AM4 4X 845 like chip along with an RX 460 would be in the price range of BR, if not cheaper, and give far superior performance.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,589
5,618
126
H.264 & VC-1 up to 1080.
Carrizo was the first APU to support 4K and HEVC (8-bit / Main). No AMD product currently has the hardware for VP9 decoding,
Sigh. Even the Fermi-based NV GT610 does H.264 and VC-1 up to 1080P, I think.

Was there ever a desktop version of Carrizo?

I guess my friend with an Athlon II X4 (AM3 CPU in AM2+ board) and GT610 wouldn't see any decode improvement moving to an APU.

Edit: I'd get him an RX 460 2GB/4GB card, but he still uses a VGA LCD monitor.

It seems that if you want to decode HEVC or 4K-encoded media, you have to junk your VGA monitor.

Although, I think that the GTX950 might be capable, and still supports VGA.
 
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Abwx

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2011
9,117
902
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but a hybrid solution should be enabled in the driver for Bristol Ridge
There s no hybrid solution like in Intel s products, Bristol ridge has a fully capable H265 decoding UVD :

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Processors/AMD-Introduces-7th-Generation-APUs-Bristol-Ridge-Takes-Center-Stage

These APUs all feature the latest UVD 6.0 unit which has VP9 and H.265/HEVC support. AMD has focused on getting these formats to play back at the necessary resolutions and rates while sipping power
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,457
641
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Regardless, the best choice in consumer AMD CPUs is the 8320E, provided one has access to the Micro Center bundle.

The overall efficiency is probably greater than with APUs because of the better FPU resources as well as the larger caches, despite the reduced IPC of the older Piledriver architecture versus Steamroller and Excavator. For well-threaded workloads the additional threads/cores also helps. The chip is flexible because cores can be disabled and clock speed increased for use with workloads that are poorly-threaded.

If you want power efficiency so much that an 8320E at stock (or undervolted) doesn't suffice then you're going to have to pay a premium for an Intel part. There is also the matter of how much work gets done in an amount of time versus how much consumption there is when loaded.

As for the discreet GPU, if one can get a better deal with one than without one then it seems quite arbitrary to exclude such a system from consideration.

The only reason to choose one of the currents APUs is if one is stuck with a small form factor.
For general use, an apu (or i3) makes a lot more sense. For general use you dont need eight cores, and you get an igpu that is more than good enough for general use. An eight core FX only makes sense if you are doing heavily multi threaded productivity tasks or are going to pair it with a fairly powerful dgpu.
 

Abwx

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2011
9,117
902
126
As you've no doubt seen me post several times before, the Kaveri-based A8-7600 is probably the best overall offering in AMD APU space right now, though it's not something I'd use for a gaming build but rather a budget box. It's essentially a Haswell i3 with somewhat lower ST oomph for the price of a Haswell Pentium.
.
That was the case last year eventually but the Godavari iteration is quite better, for instance the 7860K has same comsumption than the 7600 despite its higher frequency, if it wasnt for the price difference the former is to be prefered.





http://www.planet3dnow.de/cms/23887-amd-athlon-x4-860k-a10-7860k-und-a10-7870k-im-test/subpage-leistungsaufnahme-und-energieeffizienz-apus/
 

mikk

Platinum Member
May 15, 2012
2,959
774
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There s no hybrid solution like in Intel s products, Bristol ridge has a fully capable H265 decoding UVD :

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Processors/AMD-Introduces-7th-Generation-APUs-Bristol-Ridge-Takes-Center-Stage

This is wrong, Skylake has a fully capable H265 decoding support on board since 1 year, AMD only since a couple of weeks. At least this is what you call full support. Both support 8 bit only in hardware. So with Kabylake AMD is far behind, no 10 bit and VP9 support. This is a big disadvantage for them.
 
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