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Advice on upgrading an AMD A10 6800k based system

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  • CPUs
  • A10
  • AMD
  • APU
  • 6800K
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  • Performance
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January 10, 2014 4:13:58 PM

Hello guys,

I recently made a mistake and rushed into buying a new system without extensive research.I ended up with AMD's A10 6800k APU and so far i am not pleased with its performance, I should mention I play games frequently, recently tried TERA online and was disappointed.

I started researching and I found out how I can improve my APU's performance like buying higher frequency RAM's or going into dual graphics with an 6670.

I realize I should have not gone APU in the first place but the deed is done and im looking for cost effective ways to move away from the APU step by step.With money being an isue and for any regular cpu i also need to buy a new motherboard because its on the FM2+ socket I'm torn between buying a discrete medium-high end graphics card like ATI 78xx series or just improving the iGPU by buying higher frequency RAMS (my rams are pretty bad 2x4gb 1333mHz).

I am not happy in the current state because every game seems to stutter when set to very high even League of Legends which is not considered a high demanding game,the stutters are very small but they're there. Also TERA online was a nightmare, on very low setting i could pull 40 fps max when not moving, on very high 10-12.

I was hoping you guys can give me some advice on how to improve this system step by step because the money are pretty tight now and i cant afford a Motherboard&CPU&GPU.

Sorry for any grammar mistakes, english is not my first language and thanks for being an awesome community.

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January 10, 2014 4:18:07 PM

get a bigger graphics card like the 7870 or similar. xfiring will only do so much for small cards and sometimes nothing at all. (look for 2gig cards)
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January 10, 2014 4:28:22 PM

As stated above, just buy the best performing graphics card. Forget "dual graphics" all together. Stick in a nVidia GPU or install something like a Radeon HD 7850 that will definitely disable the integrated graphics core.

Technically "dual graphics" works with up to a Radeon HD 7750, but not positive if sticking a HD 7770 or 7790 will disable the integrated graphics. They should.....
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January 10, 2014 4:32:38 PM

Also I feel the APU should do better even in its current state, I mean the games should be playable so I am afraid there is a bottleneck somewhere but i dont know much about this subject hence the post.
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January 10, 2014 4:37:26 PM

the gpu on the apu will perform better with a decent discreet card. you're heading in the right direction.
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January 10, 2014 4:40:00 PM

First try to get some solid info on where your performance problem lies.

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


You could also experiment with removing one core in the bios. This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many cores.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

My guess is that you will want both a cpu and a gpu upgrade.

I would do the graphics upgrade first. Anything you get will be transferrable to a new cpu/motherboard.

The A10 has decent graphics somewhat equivalent to a 6670.
You could add a 6670, but I think that would be very puny compared to a $150 discrete graphics card.
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January 10, 2014 4:45:56 PM

geofelt said:

The A10 has decent graphics somewhat equivalent to a 6670.
You could add a 6670, but I think that would be very puny compared to a $150 discrete graphics card.


Just to be clear the integrated Radeon HD 8650g with DDR3-2133 RAM is basically equivalent to the Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 version not the DDR5 version. That means it only has about 75% the performance of the Radeon HD DDR5 graphics card. That places the Radeon HD 8650g / HD 6670 DDR3 basically halfway between the performance of the desktop Radeon HD 5570 and HD 5670.
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January 10, 2014 4:57:24 PM

geofelt said:
First try to get some solid info on where your performance problem lies.

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


You could also experiment with removing one core in the bios. This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many cores.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

My guess is that you will want both a cpu and a gpu upgrade.

I would do the graphics upgrade first. Anything you get will be transferrable to a new cpu/motherboard.

The A10 has decent graphics somewhat equivalent to a 6670.
You could add a 6670, but I think that would be very puny compared to a $150 discrete graphics card.


I set the maximum processor state to 50% and then ran TERA the frames only droped from like a steady 30 to a steady 26-27, from what i have read the CPU can handle some of the medium-high discrete graphics card without bottlenecking so i dont think that would be an isue, i cant afford a high end one anyways lol.
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January 10, 2014 5:02:18 PM

Some research shows the 8650g with a passmark rating of 830.
A $140 GTX650ti will be 2698.
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January 10, 2014 5:04:13 PM

why is this becoming so over complicated?
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January 10, 2014 5:05:24 PM

Sounds like your cpu can handle a stronger graphics card.

What is your budget in dollar equivalents?
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January 10, 2014 5:42:29 PM

What motherboard do you have? Yes 1333mhz RAM was a bad idea. You mentioned having a fm2+ motherboard. Have you considered getting Kaveri? The new A10 7850k is supposed to be a beast. Of course you would still need way faster RAM. The 6800k is already just about the fastest quad core processor AMD has ever had. It would be fine with a really good video card. It's also a really good overclocker with the right motherboard. Also depending on your motherboard, you can overclock your igpu quite a bit. I can easily get well over 1000mhz with mine. You could also overclock your wimpy RAM.
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January 10, 2014 9:13:55 PM

The CPU side of the A10 APU is roughly comparable to Intel's Core i3, give or take, but the GPU is quite weak at least for 1080p or most latest games. Buying A10 7850k will be a waste. For $170 you're get a meager improvement in CPU and iGPU. Take this money and just buy a good GPU.
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January 11, 2014 2:48:49 AM

CTurbo said:
What motherboard do you have? Yes 1333mhz RAM was a bad idea. You mentioned having a fm2+ motherboard. Have you considered getting Kaveri? The new A10 7850k is supposed to be a beast. Of course you would still need way faster RAM. The 6800k is already just about the fastest quad core processor AMD has ever had. It would be fine with a really good video card. It's also a really good overclocker with the right motherboard. Also depending on your motherboard, you can overclock your igpu quite a bit. I can easily get well over 1000mhz with mine. You could also overclock your wimpy RAM.


This is my motherboard https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/A88XMPLUS/

Went for around 100$.
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January 11, 2014 5:43:55 AM

So i think i have an hardware isue here.Sometimes when i try to turn on the pc the monitor doesnt start so i have to force shutdown from the button then start again for like 2-3 times until it starts...is it an apu isue because im freaking out right now.
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January 11, 2014 5:46:31 AM

That's a good motherboard. You should be able to overclock any and everything with good cooling.
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January 11, 2014 6:38:39 AM

I would suggest you buy a cheap 6670 ddr3 and crossfire with your APU,it surely cant hurt to try it may just double your performance in some games AMD is not lying when they say dual graphics boosts graphics performance.
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January 11, 2014 10:03:32 AM

You need at least dual channel 1866mhz ram, download passmark performance test, the site just gives the average scores but the soft you can look at all the scores AND the spec of the systems, ram hurts these so bad eg on sc 1866mhz I scored 541 and with dc 1866mhz I scored 927 on the 3d graphics, mine is an a8-5600k (7560d) and that score is more than the average a10-6800k, the a10s with fast ram get 1000-1200 iirc. The software is not free but gives a 30 day day trial, I think its worth the money though for the database.
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January 11, 2014 12:28:45 PM

I think you got 2 options.

Wait 3 more days and get an AMD A10-7850K and faster RAM (at least 1866) The claimed 20% IPC boost will definately make help in games along with the GCN graphics and HSA. If the integrated graphics still proves too slow, get a dedicated graphics card and ignore Dual Graphics.

Wait for the Athlon II X4 for Steamroller. The lack of L3 might slow it down a bit but the 20% IPC boost is going to make up for it and exceed the FX 4300 IMO.
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January 11, 2014 2:38:57 PM

Quote:
Wait for the Athlon II X4 for Steamroller. The lack of L3 might slow it down a bit but the 20% IPC boost is going to make up for it and exceed the FX 4300 IMO.


The 6800k already exceeds the FX 4300 in cpu power. I'll assume a Steamroller Athlon x4 will beat it even more.
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January 11, 2014 2:49:41 PM

Bottom line i will try to buy a good discrete graphics card.Any good budget graphics card? I heard that the ones with the 256 BUS/ DDR5 are the ideal ones.
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January 11, 2014 3:06:43 PM

even buying a $100 hd7770ghz edition or 7790 gpu would let you play many things on high on 1080p well if you're on a budget. If you have $200 to spare get the r9 270x. The lower clocked r9 270 is about ~$180


my bro recently paired a gtx 660ti with his a10 5800k and has been able to play any game so far fine on ultra 1080p. According to benchmarks it's probably not constant 60fps if you're super nit picky,but, I honestly couldn't tell a difference when he was playing from my higher end i5 3570k/hd7950 build.



so in short, just make it simple. For ~$100ish get a 7790gpu, for 180-200, get a r9 270x or r9 270

I actually cringed when I read of your APU being used with only 1333mhz ram:(  lol.
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January 11, 2014 3:13:19 PM

WhiteSnake91 said:
even buying a $100 hd7770ghz edition or 7790 gpu would let you play many things on high on 1080p well if you're on a budget. If you have $200 to spare get the r9 270x. The lower clocked r9 270 is about ~$180


my bro recently paired a gtx 660ti with his a10 5800k and has been able to play any game so far fine on ultra 1080p. According to benchmarks it's probably not constant 60fps if you're super nit picky,but, I honestly couldn't tell a difference when he was playing from my higher end i5 3570k/hd7950 build.



so in short, just make it simple. For ~$100ish get a 7790gpu, for 180-200, get a r9 270x or r9 270

I actually cringed when I read of your APU being used with only 1333mhz ram:(  lol.


the r9 270x/270 are far too expensive in my country, they go for about 300$ ,instead i could go Radeon HD 7850 which goes for around 200$.

And dont worry i know i should have higher frequency on my rams... The ones i ordered were 2x4gb 1600 Mhz but they were sent broken so i had to return them and the prices on memory are insane here i mean 2x4gb corsair 2133Mhz are like 200$.
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January 11, 2014 3:16:50 PM

I can't find stock of the GTX 650 Ti Boost or the HD 7850 ANYWHERE (US). Are they discontinued? If so, thats a shame.

It seems like both NVIDIA and AMD are trying to rip us off by creeping up the R7 260x and the GTX 650 Ti (which by the way loses out on a lot of features against the boost version) prices to where the 650TiB and the HD7850 prices were.
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January 11, 2014 3:18:03 PM

ahh I see. 7850 wouldn't be bad and technically even better than the 7790 that's roughly in the new xbox one console. 7850 isn't that bad, haven't checked it in many recent games but should play on 1080p high well. I remember it playing bf3 on ultra 1080p 60fps fine
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January 11, 2014 3:20:00 PM

Lessthannil said:
I can't find stock of the GTX 650 Ti Boost or the HD 7850 ANYWHERE (US). Are they discontinued? If so, thats a shame.

It seems like both NVIDIA and AMD are trying to rip us off by creeping up the R7 260x and the GTX 650 Ti (which by the way loses out on a lot of features against the boost version) prices to where the 650TiB and the HD7850 prices were.


yeah it's sad, alot of prices on stuff have skyrocketed when I see them in stock. I've seen 650ti boost go for more than the 660ti/ GTX 760 cost, and most of the AMD high end side has skyrocketed due to bitcoin miners thinking they'll get rich off this new currency lol.
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January 11, 2014 3:25:01 PM

WhiteSnake91 said:
ahh I see. 7850 wouldn't be bad and technically even better than the 7790 that's roughly in the new xbox one console. 7850 isn't that bad, haven't checked it in many recent games but should play on 1080p high well. I remember it playing bf3 on ultra 1080p 60fps fine


My real concern is if i will be fine CPU wise since i am not really sure how to go about disabling the GPU in the APU and wether the CPU is powerfull enough compared to other quad cores out there.
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January 11, 2014 3:37:08 PM

yes............. keep your apu and get a 2gig 7870 or better card................did you look at that video I posted?............
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January 11, 2014 3:38:05 PM

well, I'm not going to say it's the best out there, but it's not the worst either. In the future you can choose to upgrade to amd or intel.

The athlon x4 750k that many have recommended online for 1080p gaming on a budget is basically your cpu just without the graphics built in lol. So you're not THAT bad off. Plus your CPU boosts to 4.4ghz by itself


you don't have to turn off the built in graphics, my bro hasn't. When you plug in a gpu the computer already knows to use it. Obviously plug in your DVI/HDMI cable to the new gpu you get though.
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January 11, 2014 3:39:12 PM

swifty_morgan said:
yes............. keep your apu and get a 2gig 7870 or better card................did you look at that video I posted?............


I did actually I just forgot about it since ive seen a ton of hardware related videos lately.
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January 11, 2014 4:08:07 PM

list all your hardware. include power supply and monitor.............. give specific problems.
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January 13, 2014 3:40:30 PM

I finally got the money to order new RAM memory since i dont have enough for a video card and my current memory is boroughed and im thinking of getting Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB Kit 2x4GB DDR3 2400MHz CL11 but i am not really sure that my ASUS A88XM-PLUS motherboard can support that since it says it only supports up to 2133/2400(O.C) and im not sure what that means. Thanks again you guys have been a great help.
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January 13, 2014 4:03:43 PM

it'll support 2400mhz ram. You'd even see an FPS increase in games because the AMD APU's need fast ram. It makes me cringe when I see people pair an APU with wimpy slow 1333mhz ram :p 
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January 13, 2014 4:29:24 PM

im really changeable... so my budget is somewhere around 150$ in this money i can either buy the above mentioned 2x4gb 2400mHz or buy a (hd 7770 1gb ddr5)/(Gainward GeForce GTX 650 1GB DDR5 128bit) and a 4gb 1333 mHz memory (since the current memory is not mine)
i really dont know which way ill get more gaming performance also if you can suggest me a better graphics card in this price range it would be nice
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January 13, 2014 4:51:51 PM

only if you're using the built in graphics do you need fast ram, since your getting a gpu fast ram isn't needed. But do buy another 4gb stick because 8gb ram total is really best for gaming.

since 4gb ram costs around ~40 now, that leaves about ~$110 for the gpu.


try to find HD 7790 for that price, it's better than the 7770. But if all you can afford is the 7770, it'll serve you well. It's about as strong as the older GTX 460 and that used to be the go to card back in the day lol. It can play on 1080p well, and if you're on a lower resolution you can likely play everything on ultra. Even on 1080p you can do ultra and have 30+fps more often than not.


the 7790 is what's in the xbox one new console, so you'll be set for years with that.
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January 13, 2014 4:57:49 PM

WhiteSnake91 said:
only if you're using the built in graphics do you need fast ram, since your getting a gpu fast ram isn't needed. But do buy another 4gb stick because 8gb ram total is really best for gaming.

since 4gb ram costs around ~40 now, that leaves about ~$110 for the gpu.


try to find HD 7790 for that price, it's better than the 7770. But if all you can afford is the 7770, it'll serve you well. It's about as strong as the older GTX 460 and that used to be the go to card back in the day lol. It can play on 1080p well, and if you're on a lower resolution you can likely play everything on ultra. Even on 1080p you can do ultra and have 30+fps more often than not.


the 7790 is what's in the xbox one new console, so you'll be set for years with that.



heh the 7790 is around 180$ in my country i taught about it myself but i need something more budget oriented and since the holidays just passed and almost everything is out of stock lately my options are limited tough i did find a nice 7770 Ghz edition 1gb DDR5 for just 120$


Another curious thing is today i got to test a discrete graphics card , the saphire hd 4850(dont think they make them anymore since i couldnt not find one for sale, it has 256 bit BUS, 1gb DDR3,pixel shader 4 i think) and surprisingly i saw little performance improvement i ran the Passmark where i scored 1800 with only the APU and it scored 1847 with the discrete graphics card and in0game little to no improvement at all
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January 13, 2014 5:00:14 PM

the 7770ghz is decent, you could certainly do much worse than a 7770ghz edition :p 
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January 13, 2014 5:33:49 PM

Will the 7770ghz definately disable the integrated GPU?
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January 13, 2014 7:13:06 PM

I don't see why it wouldn't, you should be fine
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January 14, 2014 12:18:48 AM

hyperionel said:
WhiteSnake91 said:
only if you're using the built in graphics do you need fast ram, since your getting a gpu fast ram isn't needed. But do buy another 4gb stick because 8gb ram total is really best for gaming.

since 4gb ram costs around ~40 now, that leaves about ~$110 for the gpu.


try to find HD 7790 for that price, it's better than the 7770. But if all you can afford is the 7770, it'll serve you well. It's about as strong as the older GTX 460 and that used to be the go to card back in the day lol. It can play on 1080p well, and if you're on a lower resolution you can likely play everything on ultra. Even on 1080p you can do ultra and have 30+fps more often than not.


the 7790 is what's in the xbox one new console, so you'll be set for years with that.



heh the 7790 is around 180$ in my country i taught about it myself but i need something more budget oriented and since the holidays just passed and almost everything is out of stock lately my options are limited tough i did find a nice 7770 Ghz edition 1gb DDR5 for just 120$


Another curious thing is today i got to test a discrete graphics card , the saphire hd 4850(dont think they make them anymore since i couldnt not find one for sale, it has 256 bit BUS, 1gb DDR3,pixel shader 4 i think) and surprisingly i saw little performance improvement i ran the Passmark where i scored 1800 with only the APU and it scored 1847 with the discrete graphics card and in0game little to no improvement at all

What was your 3d graphics score by itself with the apu on passmark?

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January 14, 2014 12:48:22 AM

The 6800K was designed to be paired with DDR3-2133, so that would be the first step. You can get a 20-30% performance gain using top rated memory. DDR3-2400 would give some future proofing.

LoL is not a very demanding game, so you should be fine with just that memory upgrade.
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January 14, 2014 12:57:35 AM

with as much as ram has shot up in prices since last year, he'd be better off even getting an actual 7770 gpu, same price roughly
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January 14, 2014 3:59:10 AM

7770 is too slow and under performing.
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January 14, 2014 5:17:46 AM

swifty_morgan said:
7770 is too slow and under performing.


Can you please suggest anything better in that price? I heard really good things about this video card but i dont want to rush into buying parts. Again its the sapphire radeon hd 7770 ghz edition 1gb ddr5.

I care to mention i don't want the games running on ultra i just want them to run smooth at around 60 fps on 720p i really hate framedrops and with the apu im getting plenty atm.
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January 14, 2014 5:50:58 AM

should have said that in your initial post.......... buy the 7770.
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January 14, 2014 6:00:56 AM

Thank you guys for everything, i just placed the order for the 7770 Ghz....there was only 1 left in the stock and i couldn't find a cheaper one so i hope it will be fine
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January 14, 2014 10:38:15 AM

ah I didn't know you would only be on 720p as well...on 720p would probably be on ultra fine.

I know what 7770 isn't the best card ever, never said that. But the guy said the 7790 is $180 in his country and that's the only next step up...here it's about $10-20 more than the 7770
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