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Dual Graphics: A6 3500 + Radeon HD 6450. Poor Performances

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June 17, 2012 9:35:27 PM

Hello,
This thread is technically a double post, since I have exposed my problem in a reply to another member’s question. However I am in real need of advice, being fairly new at PC building (first build ever).
Here is my configuration:
APU: A6-3500
MB: Gigabyte A75M-D2H
RAM: Corsair Vengeance (2*4GB)
Graphics card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6450 (silent edition)
PSU: Antec VP 450W
Display: LG LCD 48” (max resolution: 1920x1080; max refresh rate: 70 Hz)

As you can guess from the specs, I have followed the rules of building a budget PC oriented more toward home entertainment that could still be used as a solid option for casual 3D gaming. The results are more than disappointing.

I cross fired the APU and the Radeon GPU (ticked the enable AMD Radeon Dual Graphics box in the AMD VISION Engine Control centre) and thought that I had achieved what was advertised by AMD. Not being a heavy gamer, I used my computer casually for internet and some not demanding gaming (Football Manager 2012), but then decided to check the performance of my setup , after I realized that Football Manager was giving a 2 out of 5 in 3D rating for my system. I mean, according to AMD, the A6 is capable of running DIRT 3 flawlessly, therefore a low demanding game should rate my system as a superstar.

I went online and used the Game o meter available on the 3D Mark website, just to be comforted that my system could run virtually all the recent games at honourable settings levels. Then I downloaded 3D Mark, and ran the basic version (720p). I was horrified at how slowly it ran. In average the FPS is around 5. 5 FPS in the tests while website tells me should run with no problem at high settings.

All the options I could think of, I have tried since then. I disabled Dual Graphics and ran the APU on its own with no luck. I did the same thing but with the Graphics card running, same poor performance.

At this point, I am hoping that my A6 has a big defect, because if it is in good working order, then it is a poor piece of hardware, and a poor deal in the end. Dual graphics seems to be a myth, at least with the A6, since the only test for the concept that I could find online were made using an AMD A8.

I am taking any piece of advice. If you think that I am a fool that has missed a glaring flaw in his building of a computer please let me know. I would take all the criticism even the harshest if that leads to me ending that nightmare. I was hoping playing Anno 2070 that was offered to me recently, but I am not really found of the slideshow style it has when running on my brand new PC.

Thanks.

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June 17, 2012 9:51:34 PM
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No that's about how an A6-3500 crossfired with a 6450 would perform. It's not going to make your computer all the sudden operate like it has a $400 graphics card. It operates like it has a $70 graphics card which is exactly what you have. Crossfiring the A6-3500 with a 6450 gives you a 6550D2 which is basically the integrated GPU of an A8-3850. If you were to get a better GPU like the 6670, which is the best GPU you can do a hybrid crossfire with an APU with, you would have what AMD refers to as a 6690D. The 6690D doesn't even outperform a 6770 by itself. So I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything but you got what you paid for. AMD may market it as "high end graphics" but it sounds like it is performing the way it should. All games should be playable on LOW settings.

Resources:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/dual-graphi...
June 17, 2012 9:54:23 PM

The 6450 is a very slow card, actually slower than Intel's latest integrated graphics for perspective, so it may be dragging down your APU when in CrossfireX. Have you tried running stuff without CrossfireX enabled? Also, is your APU very hot? It may be downclocking the graphics so that it does not overheat. 5.5 fps is to be expected in 3Dmark, not even the latest and greatest single GPU can run the thing at 60FPS. My GTX 460 and i5 2500k only gets 20fps with the settings in the free version.
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June 17, 2012 10:00:52 PM

Unless you have the Catalyst 12.6 driver, boot into safe mode, completely uninstall all of AMD's graphics drivers, profiles etc. then restart and install the newer drivers and profiles. Catalyst 12.6 is the best AMD driver at this time and is very CF friendly. However, as has been said here, A6 plus 6450 is a low end setup, IE it's not even mid-ranged. A8+6670 is slightly into the mid-range IMO, but A6+6450 isn't even close.
June 17, 2012 10:08:04 PM

Thanks for your reply fb39ca4.

Yes I have tried turning off Cross Fire X with not much luck. The FPS is the exact same. There is one thing I do not understand, and my lack of knowledge will certainly show here I believe: is the 3d Mark website a reliable source? I let it acces my PC config, it detected my APU and GPU and then assessed the capability of the machine with great optimism I have to say.

Another thing is, I have no idea how to figure out if my APU is too hot or not. The fan only seldom accelerates. Is there an easy way to figure this out?

I have a Cooler Master Elite 370 case, with one rear exhaust fan, and I am using the in box APU cooler.
June 17, 2012 10:11:15 PM

blazorthon said:
Unless you have the Catalyst 12.6 driver, boot into safe mode, completely uninstall all of AMD's graphics drivers, profiles etc. then restart and install the newer drivers and profiles. Catalyst 12.6 is the best AMD driver at this time and is very CF friendly. However, as has been said here, A6 plus 6450 is a low end setup, IE it's not even mid-ranged. A8+6670 is slightly into the mid-range IMO, but A6+6450 isn't even close.


Yes I have installed all the latest drivers, including Catalyst 12.6.
June 17, 2012 10:16:01 PM

Wow!
That is a big wake up call. I have to say that I have been fooled all the way. I watched all these videos of people paying BF3 and Crysis 2 on a HD 6450. I admit it is hard to determine the FPS on a Youtube video, but I was fairly confident that my PC would run 3D games pretty smoothly.

In instance, Anno 2070, in low settings (selected automatically by the game), is still really bumpy. I have not tried any other game but I don't think that any miracle will happen then.

Is there at least a way to make the most of it? like settings that will help my system not seem so ridiculously outdated?
June 17, 2012 10:17:31 PM

akangatta said:
Yes I have installed all the latest drivers, including Catalyst 12.6.


Did you uninstall all previous graphics drivers in the way that I mentioned? If you didn't, then the old drivers and the new ones could clash with each other. You should not be having problems with CF (even Llano's CF) while using the Catalyst 12.6 driver unless there is something wrong with your computer that needs to be fixed. Have you tested and made sure that the 6450 is in proper working order too? Also, make sure that there isn't a BIOS setting that is fighting with the 6450. We can trouble shoot and hopefully get things working, just know that there should be a tangible boost with the 6450 on an A6. The 6450 is not so slow that it can't help the A6's 6530D.
June 17, 2012 10:28:15 PM

You have your monitor plugged into the motherboard and not the 6450 right? The crossfire will only work using the on-board display adapter.
June 17, 2012 10:29:52 PM

blazorthon said:
Did you uninstall all previous graphics drivers in the way that I mentioned? If you didn't, then the old drivers and the new ones could clash with each other. You should not be having problems with CF (even Llano's CF) while using the Catalyst 12.6 driver unless there is something wrong with your computer that needs to be fixed. Have you tested and made sure that the 6450 is in proper working order too? Also, make sure that there isn't a BIOS setting that is fighting with the 6450. We can trouble shoot and hopefully get things working, just know that there should be a tangible boost with the 6450 on an A6. The 6450 is not so slow that it can't help the A6's 6530D.


Ok blazorthon.

I am not going to pretend that I have understood everything you said (CF??). But I do believe that starting from scratch seems a good way to verify that everything has been set-up properly.

I have not done it in a while. So just to be sure. In Win7 I go to devices and printers, then y PC, then the hardware tab and finally Display adapter... right?
June 17, 2012 10:30:20 PM

stickg1 said:
You have your monitor plugged into the motherboard and not the 6450 right? The crossfire will only work using the on-board display adapter.


Darn, I forgot to mention that. +1.
June 17, 2012 10:30:56 PM

stickg1 said:
You have your monitor plugged into the motherboard and not the 6450 right? The crossfire will only work using the on-board display adapter.


Yes it is plugged in the On board HDMI. I selected On board as the primary display in the BIOS.
June 17, 2012 10:32:35 PM

blazorthon said:
Did you uninstall all previous graphics drivers in the way that I mentioned? If you didn't, then the old drivers and the new ones could clash with each other. You should not be having problems with CF (even Llano's CF) while using the Catalyst 12.6 driver unless there is something wrong with your computer that needs to be fixed. Have you tested and made sure that the 6450 is in proper working order too? Also, make sure that there isn't a BIOS setting that is fighting with the 6450. We can trouble shoot and hopefully get things working, just know that there should be a tangible boost with the 6450 on an A6. The 6450 is not so slow that it can't help the A6's 6530D.


Do I need the wipe the drivers for both APU (HD 6530d) and GPU (HD 6450)?
June 17, 2012 10:33:15 PM

akangatta said:
Ok blazorthon.

I am not going to pretend that I have understood everything you said (CF??). But I do believe that starting from scratch seems a good way to verify that everything has been set-up properly.

I have not done it in a while. So just to be sure. In Win7 I go to devices and printers, then y PC, then the hardware tab and finally Display adapter... right?


No. What you need to do is reboot your computer and boot into safe mode. Then, uninstall all AMD/Ati graphics drivers, CF (Crossfire) profiles, etc. etc.

Honestly, I'm not too good at explaining these things, maybe someone else can help better than I can.

EDIT: you need to uninstall all graphics drivers.
June 17, 2012 10:39:21 PM

blazorthon said:
No. What you need to do is reboot your computer and boot into safe mode. Then, uninstall all AMD/Ati graphics drivers, CF (Crossfire) profiles, etc. etc.

Honestly, I'm not too good at explaining these things, maybe someone else can help better than I can.

EDIT: you need to uninstall all graphics drivers.


Thanks man,

Don't worry I will try to do it. Google will be my dearest friend once more. I will let you know if it worked. I appreciate the advice.
June 17, 2012 10:44:40 PM

akangatta said:
Thanks man,

Don't worry I will try to do it. Google will be my dearest friend once more. I will let you know if it worked. I appreciate the advice.


Glad to help, albeit not as successfully as I would have preferred.
June 28, 2012 12:03:17 AM

Best answer selected by akangatta.
June 30, 2012 11:49:16 PM

Ok so yesterday I got my parts

A6 3500 (overclocked to 3.1GHz no voltage adjustments)
HD6670
ECS FM1
2x4GB AMD entertainment addition
still waiting for SSD using 5400rpm laptop drive for now(booooo)

I installed all software and enable cross fire without a problem, i saw your thread and decided to run the 3d mark just like you and the same results about 5 fps. well in my opinion I dont think 3d mark utilizes the Radeon Dual graphics or APU for that matter. So i then wanted to see a actual gaming benchmark so i tested resident evil 5 1920x1080 w/ high setting and wow i was impressed with the 54fps average considering this benchmark did not utilize radeon dual core and was all APU, I am certain when i get my ssd this will improve. one odd thing i saw was my windows experience gives my 6.4 graphics using crossfire and 6.8 with hd 6670 discrete card, all in all i am happy with the rig especially since I only spent about 185 for all this stuff 1080p full bluray mks play flawless with XBMC with good stable FPS

My system runs pretty cool on high loads about 26c when idle and about 36c with ample loads you can monitor your temps using "core temp" it tells you the frequency of your CPU as well as temperature you can adjust to centigrade or ferinheight .
July 1, 2012 12:08:37 AM

Try running these games and benchmarks with just the 6670. Plug the monitor into the 6670. I was reading an article the other day that said the hybrid crossfire doesn't always work the way it should. As far as the windows score goes, I saw the same thing when I had 1 HD6870, I had a 7.8 and when I crossfired 2 6870s I still had the same 7.8s. Even though the performance was much much better. I wouldn't worry too much about the scores and benchmarks, if your gaming experience is good that's what is important!
Anonymous
July 1, 2012 1:13:42 AM

If your going to run with Llano, do an a8. Its only a few more dollars, but you have that extra core and GPU power.

The 5450 is a pathetic card, and I'd even go as far as saying that it is slower then my IGP HD 3200. The graphics on the A6 is't amazing, and it's getting outdated.

If your looking to keep your FM1 socket, get an A8 with 6670. Its the max dual graphics can handle. It is pretty entry level at that even, but i'm just trying to be economical here.
July 1, 2012 8:34:44 AM

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