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Old Jul 25, 2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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AMD ADFS 2011 Wrapup & AMD Lynx Platform Tests @ Rage3D.com

Rage3D wrestles the AMD Lynx, AMD's A-series APU platform for mainstream desktops. Check out the features inside AMD's Accelerated Processing Unit and the read about the AMD Fusion Developer Summit. We also look at memory bandwidth and it's effect on AA and AF, as well as Dual Graphics and Image Quality.

ADFS 2011 Wrapup & AMD Lynx Platform Tests @ Rage3D.com
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Old Jul 25, 2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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This particular bit of writing
Quote:
If you pair the A8-3850 CPU cores with a discrete HD 5550 GDDR5 you get about the same performance as our overclocked APU results. If you took that ~$70USD and bought an ~$85 HD 6670 instead, enabling Dual Graphics CrossfireX increases performance by 73.5% over the 5550 results, and . Interestingly, overclocking the APU decreases performance, indicating the power containment is reducing CPU performance for gaming. Running the APU overclocked on the CPU cores but the GPU underclocked, with the HD 6670 as primary and only GPU increases performance by 68% against the stock APU by itself, and 21.2% over running the APU with a HD 5550. Engaging dual graphics with the HD 6670 increases performance by 43% over using the 6670 alone, and 141% over using a stock A8-3850 APU. If that sounds high, recall that the 6670 is equipped with an extra SIMD, higher core clocks, four more texture units, and has much faster memory (128-bit GDDR5 with 4 RBEs, vs. 64-bit DDR3 and 2RBEs.).
Increasing your spend from $85 to ~$110 HD 6770 gives you a 2% increase for 30% more money. Bumping up to a total of ~$150USD, and a Radeon HD 6850, you get a 225% increase in performance over a stock APU, and ~35% increase in performance over APU dual graphics with HD 6670 or single 6770. Double the money, get a third more performance - an elegant demonstration of the law of diminishing returns.

I thought seemed a little dense and lacked flow making it difficult to follow. Additionally comparing the price of a platform with similar horsepower to the 6670+APU configuration, but with a conventional GPU+CPU would have been helpful.

I was also hoping for a broader look at dual GPU compatibility among different programs and comparing the difference between the APU and GPU providing the display adapter.

As always my comments are meant to be constructive. Sorry if I seem like a wet blanket when it comes to APUs. I do recognize they have a place and the idea has great possibilities, but at the same time I would like to see rage be more probing and critical to better show how these parts fit in.
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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Great read, one of the best articles putting forth AMD's concepts of the future linked with the hardware reflecting it. I've been impressed with HardOCP articles this year in general but this one I would say is the best this year for us computer geeks .

I am not sure if you had a dual setup as in APU and HD5550 or if that is even possible. I wonder if a HD5570 and APU in dual mode can be done or more importantly is supported? Considering the Radeon cores on the HD5570 are the same more so then compared to the HD6570.

Awesome on showing memory aspects of a build and OCing effects - This has to be the best review so far of Llano in that respects.

I am not sure how one could compare an AMD Fusion APU with Intels rather weak GPU in Sandy Bridge which does not support DX11, cannot be combined with a discreet card. Compairing them with same graphics card but with dual mode of the APU would just blow away what Intel has graphically and anything that uses the GPU for computing. Then compairing that to cost/performance/watt and one will see I think how superior in that aspect AMD's APU is.

Great read!
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 07:53 AM   #4
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I did try a 5550 with the APU 6550D but it's not a supported Dual Graphics combination. The official specs are that you can do Dual Graphics (on the current A8 desktop APU's) using 6570 and 6670 discrete cards. I'm working on a follow up which touches on that.

Last edited by caveman-jim : Jul 26, 2011 at 08:01 AM.
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 08:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the answer, not sure why that is not supported. There maybe something added in the 6xxx series to support an APU in Dual mode but I have not heard that from AMD.

Still it is very tempting for me to get an A8-3850 and a low profile 6570 and another mobo for fun.

Agree with console replacement machine, these things can cream the PS3 or XBox 360 and still take much less power then those consoles, while being diskfree gaming to boot. It would be an interesting market if someone made Steam boxes, as in a console like gaming setup using Steam client to load PC games. Maybe a 10% discount on all Steam games goes with it .
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the nice review..It's better than a couple others I've found so far.
One in particular had the A8-3850 paired with a Nvidia gpu and had it up against Sandy Bridge and other Intel options.

One thing I would like to see in your follow-up is 4 sticks of 1600 memory
to see if enabling simultaneous read and writes would make any difference.

It's tempting to put a system together to replace my daughters old single core
3700 939 & 3650 with one like you've tested but with 4 sticks of ram..
Once white-listed it could be a nice second gpu folding machine too.
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 07:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFoss View Post
One thing I would like to see in your follow-up is 4 sticks of 1600 memory
to see if enabling simultaneous read and writes would make any difference.

... could be a nice second gpu folding machine too.
I'm trying to figure out the necessary RAM swaps to make that happen

GPU folding.... meh. Bitcoin... possibly.
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
I'm trying to figure out the necessary RAM swaps to make that happen

GPU folding.... meh. Bitcoin... possibly.
Great thanks

As for folding I'm hoping the apu will assist the 6670 plus simultaneous read and writes might be fun to try...worst case scenario I wind up building an
HTPC out of it.
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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As far as I can tell, GPU folding isn't significantly hampered by memory bandwidth. Folding on the Vision Engine in the APU then I can see how having all four sticks and simultaneous read/write mode would be a benefit, but I think it would be minimal to ppd and help UI and other task responsiveness more than anything else. I'll look into checking on that at a later date
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 08:49 PM   #10
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Great read Jim! I really enjoyed the depth of the article and all the testing you did.

Thanks for all the hard work.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 08:22 AM   #11
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You can see more APU + HD 6670 performance testing in the Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate review just posted. This time with HD 6670 as primary GPU, compared against a 6770 at 1600x900 and 1920x1080 resolutions.
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