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

Results: 3DMark And Aliens Vs. Predator

Although it's theoretically able to serve up playable frame rates across our entire benchmark suite (at the right resolution and settings, of course), AMD's Radeon HD 7660D integrated graphics processor wasn't designed to compete against the company's own discrete GPUs. That usually means choosing between higher graphics quality or resolutions.

In 3DMark, the limitations of integrated graphics mean using the Entry preset. And as you can see, memory bandwidth has a big impact on this synthetic's overall score.

Stepping up to 3DMark’s Performance preset generally imposed a slide show upon us. Nevertheless, the terrible frame rate was still sped up slightly by faster system memory.

We're putting Aliens Vs. Predator on the same page as 3DMark, since I'm using the benchmark version of this utility. It's still based on a real game though, so we're including the numbers from this one in our overall gaming performance chart.

AvP exhibits huge performance gains favoring higher memory data rates at the most entry-level settings. Unfortunately, those image quality presets look pretty awful compared to other, more modern titles.

Still devoid of luscious graphics, but with far fewer jagged edges, enabling anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering in AvP knocks AMD's APU to its knees. We get playable performance at 1280x720, but you'll probably want at least DDR3-1866 to help performance as much as possible.

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.