FM2 / FM2+ (A55M / A4-6300 dual-core/single-module VLIW APU) - not as bad as I remember.

Aug 25, 2001
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#1
I was pleasantly surprised tonight, when I built a dusty FM2+ MSI A55M mobo, and an AMD A4-6300 APU, the cheapest FM2 APU that I could find at the time that I purchased the motherboard.

I had built a similar system with a single 4GB DDR3 DIMM, and I think an SSD, for a friend, that I gave him, in part because I found it to be ... sluggish. I think that I had Win10 on it, probably 1511 or 16xx at the time.

Well, fast-forward to tonight. This build, I used 2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600 RAM, probably running at 1333 right now because I didn't set any RAM speeds explicitly. I also added a Crucial BX500 120GB 2.5" SATA6G SSD. Which, I believe that the A55M, being an entry-level chipset, only has 3.0Gbit/sec SATA ports. (SATAII)

Yet, this system is downright SNAPPY, after installing the AMD beta Crimson drivers for Win7 64-bit.

I honestly can't explain the difference in experiences. Maybe some of it is, too, that my friend's place, had "mainstream" internet, and I've got Gigabit FIOS, but still. Windows just "pop" open.

WEI is:
CPU 6.4
RAM 5.9 (lowest)
Graphics and Gaming Graphics 6.6
Disk 7.9 (highest)

I actually don't mind using this rig, for browsing, or whatever. It's amazing. Could the difference, be the dual-channel RAM, rather than single-channel, combined with the BX500 SSD, which has a relatively excellent 4KQD1 score of 37MB/sec, for its budget class.

Too, it could be the Win10 driver, isn't really optimized for this VLIW APU, whereas the Win7 64-bit driver kind of is.

Edit: I may be remembering wrong. I think that his PC had a 5400K APU, which is Trinity. This is a 6300 APU, a Richland. That obviously makes a difference.

But I think that I built some rigs using this APU, that are in storage, and I think possibly, when testing those rigs, that they weren't nearly this snappy either, but again, I may have only given then single-channel RAM.

So I guess the takeaway for this thread is, MAKE SURE TO USE DUAL-CHANNEL RAM WITH AMD APUs, ... and.... USE AN SSD WITH GOOD 4KQD1 SCORES, FOR A 'SNAPPY' FEEL.

Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket.
 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#2
I had built a similar system with a single 4GB DDR3 DIMM, and I think an SSD, for a friend, that I gave him, in part because I found it to be ... sluggish. I think that I had Win10 on it, probably 1511 or 16xx at the time.
Windows 10 16xx.....so that wouldn't had Firefox Quantum (which came out 11/2017).
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#3
Windows 10 16xx.....so that wouldn't had Firefox Quantum (which came out 11/2017).
Very good point! I had temporarily forgotten about that. Yes, changes to the modern Firefox allow for far better multi-tasking performance.

But still, even opening applications, BAM! They're right there, in your face.

Maybe I remember something, about the BX500's default initial state, as the entire drive runs in SLC mode? Can you find anything to that effect, @cbn ? I thought I had read that somewhere.
 

Shivansps

Platinum Member
Sep 11, 2013
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#5
It is actually good... as Windows improved to no screw up so much with CMT. And SSD makes everything feel fast.

The mayor problem with these old APU is that they are relaying on a outdated IGP driver that will not get any updates and multimedia support is a little minimum for these days.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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#6
On the APU's, you will notice a big difference between single and dual channel.
 

amd6502

Senior member
Apr 21, 2017
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#7
Very nice, yes these desktop dual thread APUs have enough frequency that they make perfectly decent www machines still. Not sure how future proof is the only worry. My 5GB-ram mom www box running on an 8GB ssd (hosting /usr/ binaries for linux) alongside and old hdd is still performing well (on a similar chip, A6-7400k).
 

escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
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#8
The Passmark score is roughly equivalent to a modern G3930 which would have better codec and Win 10 support. The speed difference would be due to the RAM. I wouldn't use 10 on such old hardware.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#9
The Passmark score is roughly equivalent to a modern G3930 which would have better codec and Win 10 support. The speed difference would be due to the RAM. I wouldn't use 10 on such old hardware.
I was doing Win7 64-bit Windows Updates in the background (thankfully, Richland is a fully-supported CPU/APU for Win7 64-bit), and the CPU was nearly maxing out on both threads, and the updates were plodding along as they do. (Max phys mem was 4GB, max commit charge near the end of a bunch of updates (192) was nearly 9GB.) A HDD rig would have died under that load, maybe. At least, it would have become unbearably slow. With this BX500 120GB SSD though? I could keep browsing as if nothing was going on in the background.
 
Jan 28, 2017
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I rocked a Athlon X2 3600+ for almost 10 years until something died and force me to make a cheap upgrade for this same APU, but I use 4GB 1600 Single Channel.
Works wonders for it's use, but I use Win7.
I thought about putting Win10 in it but my experience with Win10 on a notebook is the worst possible, how can this thing be so slow, so slow!

Anyway, it's one of the slowest APU but still, any modern CPU is "good enough" for the majority of people. Even the IGP if you lower the resolution when gaming, if you game, is good enough.
 

rbk123

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
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#11
So Larry found an old AMD build of his to perform well? Shocked. Shocked I tell you.

:p
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#12
So Larry found an old AMD build of his to perform well? Shocked. Shocked I tell you.
LOL. It's actually worse than that... I'm digging out most of my old BNIB CPU + board combos, and building with them.

Just built an Ivy Bridge Celeron (G1610) rig, with an ECS H61 micro-ATX / mini-DTX board. Put Win7 Pro 64-bit on there as well.

Honestly, this probably has more CPU "grunt", benchmark-wise, but the A4-6300 seemed "snappier", by a little bit, probably because of the advanced iGPU.

Both are pretty darrn usable for browsing and whatnot.

Going to probably give both of them away locally. (Maybe I should try selling on ebay?)

I figured it out, I have $189 in hardware in the A4-6300 build.

Edit: And $246 in the G1610 / H61 build. (Intel CPU/mobo more expensive, more expensive separate case and PSU.)
 
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rbk123

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
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#13
I figured it out, I have $189 in hardware in the A4-6300 build.

Edit: And $246 in the G1610 / H61 build. (Intel CPU/mobo more expensive, more expensive separate case and PSU.)
While both are pretty cheap amounts, over time that adds up since you do so many of those low end systems that don't seem to be sell-able. It's a hobby, though, and your love for those setups is infectious, so worth the price. :)
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#15
Larry, if you still have DDR3 lying around, here's another obsolete toy to play with.
Biostar A68N-5745 Ver. 6.x
https://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=857
Is there a link to a US vendor to buy one of those to try out? Does Newegg carry them yet?

Looks interesting. Could offer those board/CPU combos to my customers on FM1 rigs, they could re-use their DDR3 RAM.

I also just put together an ASRock G41M-something, ebay special (not new), that I've had around for a year or so. It takes DDR3, had 2x2GB in there already, and an E4600, which I replaced with an E8500. Which I initially tried to OC, but it wouldn't boot. I then found out that there is VDIMM and other voltage adjustments, but NO Vcore adjustment. Figures. Phooey on product segmentation. (The board is advertised as being able to OC.)

Put in an XFX R5 230 2GB (DDR3?) card, since the mobo only had the chipset IGP, with VGA output, and I need HDMI to connect my display.

Put in a 50GB SATA2 SSD, why waste a BX500 on a Core2-era box. :p
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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#16
Is there a link to a US vendor to buy one of those to try out? Does Newegg carry them yet?
I'm sorry, but I can't get any of them, even from the bay.
I'm afraid this is one of the case of Asia market only.

I also just put together an ASRock G41M-something, ebay special (not new), that I've had around for a year or so. It takes DDR3, had 2x2GB in there already, and an E4600, which I replaced with an E8500. Which I initially tried to OC, but it wouldn't boot. I then found out that there is VDIMM and other voltage adjustments, but NO Vcore adjustment. Figures. Phooey on product segmentation. (The board is advertised as being able to OC.)
I also did that to my dad's PC with Abit I-45C motherboard. I swapped his E4400 for E7300 and add 2 GB DDR2 stick in it, all in for about 10 USD. And, LOL, his reaction when browsing is just priceless. Now I just need to look for cheap GT 710/ 730 card so he can watch YT without a glitch.
I wish I can give him better system one day, but that's all I have now.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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#17
Put in a 50GB SATA2 SSD, why waste a BX500 on a Core2-era box. :p
On the other hand, why not? XP will fly on it... ;)

Nothing wrong with modern performance on a retro system. Unless of course you're going for the complete authentic experience, disk thrashing, limited RAM and all... :cool:

Joking aside, us humans tend to remember things as they ought to be. Not as they were. Running XP on my own multi-OS system with a modern SSD is a completely different experience to running it on mid-'00 era hardware. It's so fast you wont believe it. Likewise when virtualized on a modern system.
 

escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
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#18
I wonder how long this 7600 non K I built back in March 2017 will last. I rarely game anymore, and if so, on a PS4 that is fast gathering dust. I suppose, how long till Youporn overwhelms this i5? :D
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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#19
I was playing around with a Sempron 145 on XP a few weeks back, and overclocked it to 3.8GHz on default vcore, the thing felt fast, it only showed how limited it was playing videos for what I used,
but double the cores with an Athlon II X2 or this APU, and yeah, I can see it being pretty fast for lighter tasks.
 

Spjut

Senior member
Apr 9, 2011
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#20
IME, older systems feel more snappy running Windows 10. That's ranging from C2D/C2Q with GT 610/8800GT and Athlon X4 3870k Though my PCs haven't had less than 6GB RAM.

I wonder whether WDDM 1.2 and 1.3 makes any difference compared to Win7 just supporting WDDM 1.1.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,540
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#21
IME, older systems feel more snappy running Windows 10. That's ranging from C2D/C2Q with GT 610/8800GT and Athlon X4 3870k Though my PCs haven't had less than 6GB RAM.
MS did a, often overlooked, decent job of optimising 10 for low spec systems. It'll generally run a bit better then 7 on equivalent HW. With a few caveats. Which leads to:

(We don't need to mention the real reason for doing it wasn't older systems, but... ehm... bottom-end Atom derivatives. Think dual core Bay Trail and such.)

I wonder whether WDDM 1.2 and 1.3 makes any difference compared to Win7 just supporting WDDM 1.1.
10 just about requires a DX11 capable GPU to run well. If you have older DX9-10 GPU, 7 is the better choice, since 7 still has a GDI+ fallback which runs a lot better then the DWM compositor on such HW.

So long as the GPU is DX11/WDDM 1.1 capable, the specifics don't really matter since even the lowliest HD2500 is enough for desktop work.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#22
I wonder how long this 7600 non K I built back in March 2017 will last. I rarely game anymore, and if so, on a PS4 that is fast gathering dust. I suppose, how long till Youporn overwhelms this i5? :D
Well I built my Haswell i5 in 2013 and it still going strong with no need to replace or upgrade it.
Youporn should be fine for years...:p
 
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