Six Socket FM2 Motherboards For AMD's Trinity APUs

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
CPUAMD A10-5800K (Trinity): 3.8 GHz Base, Up to 4.2 GHz via Turbo Core, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Socket FM2
CPU CoolerSunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
RAMKingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX: 8 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-27
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7660D: 800 MHz GPU, DDR3-1600
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 12.11
ChipsetAMD Platform Driver 8.947.0.0


We used the Windows 7 software configuration from our recent Bulldozer performance story for today’s benchmarks, updating only the drivers and one game. We altered our game settings by one quality level as well to help maintain more playable performance from the A10's on-die graphics engine.

Our G.Skill DDR3-2200 memory kit defaults to DDR3-1600 CAS 9. Unfortunately, both the Sapphire and ECS boards wouldn't boot with those modules installed. We were instead forced to use an older, slower DDR3-1600 CAS 9 kit for our benchmarks, which those two boards defaulted down to DDR3-1333. Manual configuration gave us the proper performance we were expecting, but you can be sure we're going to take compatibility into consideration at the end.

ECS and Sapphire didn’t have the same compatibility issues with our G.Skill DDR3-2666 kit, probably because this kit defaults to DDR3-1333 settings. Lacking SPD values for DDR3-1600, this second set of memory was reserved exclusively for our overclocking tests.

We also threw our full range of keyboards and mice at these boards to make sure that they all worked in UEFI and required no special attention in Windows. After watching every board pass that test, we tried DOS mode through a boot disk and discovered mouse issues on the Asus and ECS platforms. In DOS mode, our Logitech mouse would only move vertically, while our Razer mouse moved inconsistently, switching randomly between normal and reverse movements.

The need for DOS mode compatibility is mostly limited to old DOS mode-based games. We’re not sure how many readers are affected, but those who do should take note of the issues we're seeing, which often take firmware updates to rectify.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
Test Set 2: High Quality Defaults
F1 2012In-Game Benchmark using Adrenaline Tool 1.0.0.12
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: High Quality Preset, 4x AA
SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Details Defaults
Test Set 2: High Details Defaults
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (64-bit)Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe After Effects CS 6Version: CS5.5: Tom's Hardware Workload, SD project with three picture-in-picture streams, source video at 720p, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5Video length 2min 21s, Export to H.264 Blu-ray
Source 960x720, Output 1280x720
Adobe Acrobat X ProfessionalV10.0.0, PDF Creation from PowerPoint 2010 Presentation (3.6 MB)
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLI Version: 0.98, Video: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48 000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.2.0.5440: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
BlenderVersion: 2.62: Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1, Cycles renderer and internal tile renderer (9x9)
Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with devenv.com /build Release
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012V14.1.0.328 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, Frame 248, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 16.5 Pro: THG-Workload (1.30 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.20.0.0: THG-Workload (1.30 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.28: THG-Workload (1.30 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
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55 comments
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    Top Comments
  • americanbrian
    Why no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles.

    You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results.

    I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.

    8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?

    How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ?

    So many questions unanswered....
    14
  • cangelini
    americanbrianWhy no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles. You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results. I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ? So many questions unanswered....

    These sound like great ideas for a platform-oriented story. In fact, Thomas and I have discussed doing a piece on memory and Trinity. Maybe we could expand that to include an exploration of graphics and processor bottlenecks, too. Thanks for the feedback!
    14
  • cangelini
    I fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • buzznut
    And I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.
    0
  • Cryio
    Why, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9
    -8
  • Crashman
    CryioWhy, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9
    Why don't you point to where you see that?
    10
  • Sakkura
    CrashmanWhy don't you point to where you see that?

    Sneaky, lol. Now he's going to be downvoted.
    4
  • Crashman
    SakkuraSneaky, lol. Now he's going to be downvoted.
    Not sneaky, I just see a lot of sniping in here. I checked the article and didn't find it, and I really need to find it before I can gripe at the person who made the final revisions to this article. His comment could be completely false for all I know...
    8
  • cangelini
    I fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.
    12
  • abbadon_34
    Sounds like someone is owed an apology
    -5
  • Darkerson
    buzznutAnd I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.

    Penalizing a company over a PCB's color is asinine and petty. Even if you have a case with an acrylic window, do you stare into your PC all day and night? If so, that is trend I don't care for.

    There are much more important things to worry about, like quality, price, and features, to name a few...
    5
  • Anonymous
    cangeliniI fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.

    "Adoby Creative Suite"

    just one?

    :lol:
    who cares, good job to crash and the rest of the crew . . .

    edit: i had to fix a typo . .oh karma!
    7
  • cangelini
    looniam"Adoby Creative Suite"just one? who cares, good job to crash and the rest of the crew . . .edit: i had to fix a typo . .oh karma!

    Heh, apparently, editing motherboard round-ups in a Thanksgiving food coma is not conducive to catching typos. Got that one as well--thanks looniam! :)
    10
  • americanbrian
    Why no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles.

    You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results.

    I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.

    8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?

    How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ?

    So many questions unanswered....
    14
  • Someone Somewhere
    Is it just me or is there no list of prices for the boards? There's relative price, and some board is worth $25 more than another (which is enough if you want to do half a page of simultaneous equations), but I can't find an actual list.
    0
  • cangelini
    americanbrianWhy no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles. You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results. I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ? So many questions unanswered....

    These sound like great ideas for a platform-oriented story. In fact, Thomas and I have discussed doing a piece on memory and Trinity. Maybe we could expand that to include an exploration of graphics and processor bottlenecks, too. Thanks for the feedback!
    14
  • silverblue
    Also, a detailed look at the effects of undervolting Trinity. :)
    1
  • silverblue
    buzznutAnd I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.

    Well, in days gone by we'd have had green or gold boards. To be perfectly honest though, unless you're going to have a side window, you're not likely to care about the PCB colour. I'm far more interested in features and performance than the aesthetics, personally.
    7
  • blazorthon
    buzznutAnd I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.


    I thought that the brown PCB meshed decently with the black and grey color scheme utilized by most of the rest of the board. Hey, at least it doesn't look like those ugly low end FoxConn boards :lol:
    5
  • bentonsl_2010
    CrashmanWhy don't you point to where you see that?


    Here is a relevant quote from a randomly-googled article:

    Longtime Elder Scrolls fans hoping Skryim would take full advantage of the PC's strengths: unfortunately we have to disappoint you. Game director Todd Howard says besides higher quality textures and bigger resolutions, it "looks the same" as on consoles, and it's "mostly a DirectX 9 game in terms of how the shaders work."

    He does note DirectX 11 support is a possibility down the line, however: "When it comes to DirectX 11 there are things they get us for free, like performance gains. You’re going to get performance gains out of it versus an older version. But the specifics DX11 does, like tessellation and all that kinda stuff, we aren’t taking advantage of that right now. That doesn’t mean we won’t in the future. We aren’t right now because we want to author it so it looks great.”

    On the bright side, the new engine means Skyrim looks quite lovely as is, just nothing mind-blowing, which it could be. No doubt the modding community will improve the situation before long, though.
    -3
  • blazorthon
    Bentonsl_2010Here is a relevant quote from a randomly-googled article:Longtime Elder Scrolls fans hoping Skryim would take full advantage of the PC's strengths: unfortunately we have to disappoint you. Game director Todd Howard says besides higher quality textures and bigger resolutions, it "looks the same" as on consoles, and it's "mostly a DirectX 9 game in terms of how the shaders work."He does note DirectX 11 support is a possibility down the line, however: "When it comes to DirectX 11 there are things they get us for free, like performance gains. You’re going to get performance gains out of it versus an older version. But the specifics DX11 does, like tessellation and all that kinda stuff, we aren’t taking advantage of that right now. That doesn’t mean we won’t in the future. We aren’t right now because we want to author it so it looks great.”On the bright side, the new engine means Skyrim looks quite lovely as is, just nothing mind-blowing, which it could be. No doubt the modding community will improve the situation before long, though.


    He wasn't asking for proof of what DX is utilized by Skyrim, he was asking where in the article was it claimed that Skyrim used DX11.
    6
  • unempit
    It must be Monday...my first thought was how did they get 6 sockets on one motherboard... :)
    3
  • Onus
    That 16C over ambient on the ASRock board is a little worrisome. That looks like the only real outlier in all the measurements. Was that at stock clocks, or with the OC?
    As far as performance goes, there doesn't appear to be any difference worth noting (which I'd expect).
    1