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Six A75-Based Motherboards For AMD’s A8 And A6 APUs

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
APUAMD A6-3650: 2.60 GHz, four cores, 4 MB Combined L2 Cache, Socket FM1
APU CoolerRosewill FORT120
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD: 4 x 4 GB (16 GB Total), DDR3-2200 Benchmarked at 2 x 4 GB (8 GB total), DDR3-1600 CAS 9
GraphicsIntegrated Radeon HD 6530D: 320 Shaders, default settings, shared system RAM
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
Graphics and ChipsetAMD Catalyst 11.6

AMD was fresh out of A8-series APUs by the time this editor needed one, but the lower price of its A6 series makes the runner-up an attractive option for buyers in the $100 motherboard market.

Rosewill’s FORT120 might not be available on the market any longer, but it has proven itself the perfect cooler for our socketed AMD processors. Anyone envious of this older model can find similar performance from the similar designs of other manufacturers.

G.Skill’s 16 GB DDR3-2200 kit provided the four super-fast DIMMs needed to assess memory overclocking capabilities. We set these to DDR3-1600 CAS 9 for remaining benchmarks.

After determining that our 80 PLUS Gold-rated 760 W Seasonic power supply was 84% efficient at a mere 2.5% load, this editor decided to use it in every possible review.

We included a few games in today’s tests to gauge the benefit of improved memory with AMD’s integrated GPU.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Aliens vs PredatorAlien vs Predator Benchmark Tool Test Set 1: Low Textures, No Shadows/SSAO/Tesselation/AA, 1x AF Test Set 2: Low Quality, No Shadows/SSAO/Tesselation, 4x AA, 1x AF
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 seconds FRAPS) Test Set 1: Lowest Quality/Details, No AA Test Set 2: Lowest Quality/Details, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: Low Overall Quality, High Shaders, DX 10, No AA Test Set 2: Low Overall Quality, High Shaders, DX 10, 4x AA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 9.0.3.15 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)
MediaEspresso 6.5Version 6.5.1210_33281: 1080i HDTV (449MB) to iPad H.264, 1024x768
MediaConverter 7Version7.1.0.68: 1080i HDTV (449MB) to iPad, SmartFit profile
Handbrake CLIVersion 0.94: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.0.0.1555: 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
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.0 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
WinZipVersion 14.0 Pro: THG-Workload (464MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.0 Beta 4: THG-Workload (464MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.2: THG-Workload (464MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
  • dogman_1234
    Thank You for the Review. I am glad to see you guys taking this and pushing it to the limits. Can't wait until SB-E and Bulldozer reviews.

    Qne question, what does the APU,( either the A6 or the A8), have on F@H applications?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    dogman_1234Thank You for the Review. I am glad to see you guys taking this and pushing it to the limits. Can't wait until SB-E and Bulldozer reviews.Qne question, what does the APU,( either the A6 or the A8), have on F@H applications?Since I haven't joined F@H, I can only recommend going to a F@H forum to find someone who's tried it.

    I know F@H is a great cause, might cure cancer etc, but wouldn't it be more geeky to search for radio signals of little green men?
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    what about blue-ray playback? and power consumption when playing it. I'm planing a HTPC. And those small form factor are really appealing. especially Gigabyte’s A75M-UD2H, I will get that one.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    _Pez_what about blue-ray playback? and power consumption when playing it. I'm planing a HTPC. And those small form factor are really appealing. especially Gigabyte’s A75M-UD2H, I will get that one.SFF properly translates to DTX and Mini ITX. These are Micro ATX...

    I checked the CPU reviews and didn't see anything there either. You know it's going to be low utilization for these processors, which means it will be closer to the idle power than to the full-load power...
    Reply
  • buzznut
    I remember when the Gigabyte board first was launched, I though it looked pretty sweet then even posted a poll on it. I'd have to agree, it seems like the board to have for A8. Looks good too, although I a find Gigabyte's non-blue/white scheme offerings more attractive. Just ordered my 990FX UD5, can't wait!
    Reply
  • buzznut
    CrashmanSFF properly translates to DTX and Mini ITX. These are Micro ATX...I checked the CPU reviews and didn't see anything there either. You know it's going to be low utilization for these processors, which means it will be closer to the idle power than to the full-load power...
    I think micro atx fits into plenty of SFF cases. Maybe we need to redefine..

    I'd like to see a showdown of mini itx boards though, I think Anand did something like that recently. That's probably where the A8 CPU's need to go head to head with atom anyway, most reviews I've seen show the CPU's aren't all that cut out for desktop. Maybe the next batch that comes out in Q4/Q1 2012 will be better for desktop.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    buzznutI think micro atx fits into plenty of SFF cases. Maybe we need to redefine..I'd like to see a showdown of mini itx boards though, I think Anand did something like that recently. That's probably where the A8 CPU's need to go head to head with atom anyway, most reviews I've seen show the CPU's aren't all that cut out for desktop. Maybe the next batch that comes out in Q4/Q1 2012 will be better for desktop.lol wut? Dude you got this QUAD CORE based on the phenom II architecture mixed up with the e-350 or the c-50 those are the ones that are going up against Atom.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    buzznutI think micro atx fits into plenty of SFF cases. Maybe we need to redefine.That would make you part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

    1.) SFF originally stood for Shuttle Form Factor and was proprietary, using 2-slots.
    2.) It was copied by companies like First International Computer and AOpen
    3.) AMD established a standard for "open architecture" systems of similar design, called DTX.
    4.) ITX is smaller than DTX and fits DTX cases.

    Notice this has nothing to do with Micro ATX. People who claim that anything shaped like a cube is SFF need only be shown a full ATX cube before they start making excuses. People who point to horizontal cases and say SFF need only look at ancient AT desktops before they're forced to come up with excuses.

    2-slots. That's what makes Shuttle copies different from everything else. Cubes can be any "size", HTPC's can be any "size", if SFF is a size standard it can only be used to apply to two-slot cases.

    Some competitors have been trying for years to expand the definition of SFF. They are, of course, wrong.

    Nobody's perfect, one of Tom's old team members once said that barebones always refers to SFF systems (even though full sized barebones existed long before SFF). But at least Tom's tries to fix those types of errors rather than force them into the vernacular.

    I'm just asking people to be specific. If you mean cube, say cube. If you mean desktop, say desktop. If you mean mini-tower, slim tower, or slim desktop, just say it. Then apply a form factor "Mini ITX slim tower" or "Micro ATX desktop". And if you're saying "SFF" rather than media center, well it's obvious that SFF can do other things so just be specific and say media center.

    If you're not specific, you might find yourself in a discussion about what the meaning of "is" is.

    Reply
  • noob2222
    I have the gigabyte board and undervolted by .2 running stock speeds. Its used for my HTPC setup so for me making it silent and less power draw were the key points. I have an oversized fanless heatsink and never have issues. When I do run a game on it for fun, the case fan will kick up, but watching movies it stays silent.

    Would love to see some benches on the gigabyte with those max overclock numbers as the GPU would benefit greatly from the memory oc.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    noob2222I have the gigabyte board and undervolted by .2 running stock speeds. Its used for my HTPC setup so for me making it silent and less power draw were the key points. I have an oversized fanless heatsink and never have issues. When I do run a game on it for fun, the case fan will kick up, but watching movies it stays silent.Would love to see some benches on the gigabyte with those max overclock numbers as the GPU would benefit greatly from the memory oc.Good News! Tom's Hardware is working on a memory article using one of these boards, and has included games in the test!
    Reply