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AMD's Trinity APU Efficiency: Undervolted And Overclocked

Test Setup And Software

Test Hardware
ProcessorsAMD A10-5800K (Trinity) 3.8 GHz (38 * 100 MHz), Four Cores, Socket FM2, 4 MB Total L2 Cache, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
AMD A8-5600K (Trinity) 3.6 GHz (36 * 100 MHz), Four Cores, Socket FM2, 4 MB Total L2 Cache, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i3-3225 (Ivy Bridge) 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), Two Cores, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i3-3220 (Ivy Bridge) 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), Two Cores, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Thermal PasteZalman ZM-STG1
MotherboardMSI FM2-A85XA-G65 (Socket FM2) AMD A85X FCH, Beta BIOS
Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H (LGA 1155) Intel Z77 Express, BIOS F17
MemoryG.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600, F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL @ 9-9-9-24 and 1.5 V
Hard DriveCrucial m4 256 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7660D
AMD Radeon HD 7560D
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Intel HD Graphics 2500
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverCatalyst 12.8
HD Graphics Driver For Windows 7 (15.26.8.64.2696)

We were forced to cut a couple of different benchmarks from our suite because of stability issues on AMD’s Trinity platform. The first was PCMark 7, which hung up during the first video playback and transcoding test with a white screen where the output should have been. MSI and AMD both claim that nobody else has reported this, so it's possible we have a one-off issue. The second was Blender, which crashed shortly after starting up. We re-imaged our drives, uninstalled and reinstalled the software, and reinstalled drivers and codec packs to no avail.

Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunesVersion: 10.4.10, 64-bit Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Convert to AAC audio 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)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.8Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2.2Version: 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, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Application Benchmarks and Settings
WinRARVersion: 4.20 RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinZip 16.5Version: 16.5 WinZip GUI, Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
7-ZipVersion 9.22 beta LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6Hollywood Sequence to H.264 Blu-rayOutput 1920x1080, Maximum Quality, Mercury Playback Engine: Software Mode
Adobe After Effects CS6Version: CS6Tom's Hardware Workload, SD project with three picture-in-picture frames, source video at 720p, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (64-Bit)Version: 11 Filtering a 16 MB TIF (15 000x7266), Filters:, Radial Blur (Amount: 10, Method: zoom, Quality: good) Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol) Median (Radius: 1px) Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
ABBYY FineReaderVersion: 10 Professional Build (10.0.102.82) Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
3ds Max 2012Version: 10 x64 Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9), Frame: 248, Resolution: 1440 x 1080
Adobe Acrobat X ProfessionalPDF Document Creation (Print) from Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with devenv.com /build Release
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version 1.0.3
  • esrever
    Most PC are idle or semi idle when people have them on. 90% of the time I use my PC, I do web surfing or watch video or a text editor for work, my pc is not loaded with benchmarks 24/7. If you look at idle power consumption, the trinity APUs are amazing. They easily beat out intels offerings. If you are looking at the power consumption over a month, the trinity will be much more energy efficient than the i3 for most people.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    man getting this in a 17inch laptop with a 12 cell battery would make it an instabuy
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    In the end, then, both Intel and AMD are offering you an experience. Which one do you pick?

    At this price point, i would choose AMD Trinity.
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... i like the WinZip with OpenCL acceleration benchmark... it shows...
    Reply
  • cangelini
    esreverMost PC are idle or semi idle when people have them on. 90% of the time I use my PC, I do web surfing or watch video or a text editor for work, my pc is not loaded with benchmarks 24/7. If you look at idle power consumption, the trinity APUs are amazing. They easily beat out intels offerings. If you are looking at the power consumption over a month, the trinity will be much more energy efficient than the i3 for most people.Happy to set a couple of systems up and let you know what I find.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    AMD should team up with developer of 7zip to accelerate it on APU's. That will make Trinity look better. A lot of people use 7zip. And most of the installation setup exe files are compressed using LZMA algorithm.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Chris, it would be great to see some benchmarks of applications that uses the new FMA3 instructions of the Piledriver.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    esreverMost PC are idle or semi idle when people have them on. 90% of the time I use my PC, I do web surfing or watch video or a text editor for work, my pc is not loaded with benchmarks 24/7. If you look at idle power consumption, the trinity APUs are amazing. They easily beat out intels offerings. If you are looking at the power consumption over a month, the trinity will be much more energy efficient than the i3 for most people.So, it's probable that we're seeing a difference in configuration. It looks like Anand is using the Gigabyte A85X board and perhaps an older driver version. I'm on the MSI board and Cat 12.8, with a different Intel setup as well. On the Windows desktop, after 10 minutes on each config, I get 59 W for Intel and 67 W for AMD at idle.
    Reply
  • techcurious
    Chris, for the sake of completeness, any chance you could undervolt the i3-3225 at stock speeds and run the power consumption/efficiency tests on it? ;) ...to reveal how low the i3 can be pushed with some tweaking as well, and create the opportunity for a more fair comparison with the undervolted Trinity results.
    Reply
  • sarinaide
    Thanks Chris, another great article to pass time over. You really need to comment on the forums more and more so to help out against the blatent belligerence against what AMD are trying to achieve and how they are looking to achieve it.

    Hopefully this articale can start to filter around particularly for the budget users which A-series is premised to target.
    Reply