Memory Scaling, AMD's Trinity APUs, And Game Performance

Test System And Benchmarks

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Test System Configuration
APUAMD A10-5800K (Trinity): 3.8 GHz Base, Up to 4.2 GHz via Turbo Core, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Socket FM2
MotherboardAsus F2A85-V Pro, BIOS 5109 (10/16/2012)
CPU CoolerSunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
RAMG.Skill F3-2133C9D-8GAB (8 GB), DDR3-2133 CAS 9-11-10-28, Tested Stock, 2400 (10-12-11-30), 1866 (8-10-9-26), 1600 (7-9-8-24)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7660D Integrated GPU
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
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 12.10

Asus gives AMD users access to Intel XMP memory overclocking profiles through its D.O.C.P. setting.

Asus motherboards also do a great job of automatically compensating secondary and tertiary timings in response to manual DRAM multiplier changes. That saves us a lot of time and guesswork, making its F2A85-V Pro our top pick.

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3D Game Benchmarks and Settings
Aliens Vs. PredatorUsing AvP Tool v 1.03, SSAO/Tesselation/Shadows On Test Set 1: High Textures, No AA, 4x AF Test Set 2: Very High Textures, 4x AA, 16x AF
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Second Fraps Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF) Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
F1 2012Steam version, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.7, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25-Second Fraps Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version:, Benchmark Only
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • hmp_goose
    Neat stuff, but how sensitive is an IGP to timings?
  • Wisecracker

    The question is ... does the performance with higher speed memory continue to scale as the *SIMD Engine Array* is over-clocked.

    Inquiring minds would like to know ...

  • Onus
    And there were a few games where the faster memory was required simply to break us into our minimally-accepted 40 FPS average.
    Right there. An APU is not a top-tier gamer, so incremental improvement really matters. I could not care less about going from 60FPS to 80FPS, but 30FPS to 40FPS, the same relative improvement, is a really big deal.
  • esrever
    Can't wait to see what DDR4 can do for APUs.
  • slomo4sho
    I would really like to see some 5760x1080 benchmarks.
  • slomo4sho
    slomo4shoI would really like to see some 5760x1080 benchmarks.
    Individuals who would use faster memory for gaming are likely to want to push their mid/high range card to the limits, do you plan on doing a similar piece for AMD CPUs as you did in the Intel article "Does Memory Performance Bottleneck Your Games?"

    Also, I would like to see a Nvidia card at play as well. Maybe a 650 Ti or 660 Ti? In addition, it wold be nice to see the memory scaling difference between AMD and Nvidia GPUs in a single review.

  • merikafyeah
    esreverCan't wait to see what DDR4 can do for APUs.Considering how DDR3-2400 is only a tiny fraction better than DDR3-2133, it's safe to assume memory stops being the bottleneck around that point. DDR4 will not noticeably improve performance or even power consumption as memory consumes almost negligible amounts of electricity to begin with.

    It's back to looking at better GPUs and CPUs for better performance.
    Bpttleneck hierarchy has always been GPU>CPU>RAM.
    The CPU has always been more reliant on the RAM than the GPU but an APU is basically a GPU+CPU in one, so RAM is more important, but as we've seen, only up to DDR3-2133. After that diminishing returns skyrocket.
  • jubas
    slomo4shoAlso, I would like to see a Nvidia card at play as well. Maybe a 650 Ti or 660 Ti? In addition, it wold be nice to see the memory scaling difference between AMD and Nvidia GPUs in a single review.I didn't know that nVidia made APU's?
    The more you know... /rollseyes/
  • de5_Roy
    quite promising performance from trinity.
    still, 15 gb/s out of ddr3 2400 ram is just sad. i expect amd to improve in the next gen apus. the igpus deserve the extra memory bandwidth.
    i wonder how cpu overclocking (along with igpu and ram oc) affect the games like skyrim, starcraft and f1. those seemed more memory sensitive.
  • austenwhd
    When will they integrate a gpu to FX module, that will be blast.