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Integrated graphics or APU?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am playing with the idea of upgrading my CPU/Mobo/RAM and can't decide whether to get a board with onboard graphics or go with an AMD APU (A8).
The main focus of the rig is to be a HTPC that can back up DVDs and run video editing/encoding software. Good onboard audio is also important. The goal is to build a system that runs ice cold and is energy efficient. No overclocking. No gaming.

There is a good deal on the PHII 945 ATM, so I would pair that with the ASRock 890GX AM3+ mobo.

Or if I get the A8, I would go with something like this mobo.

I am not 100% set on ASRock motherboards. I do like the CMOS Reset/PWR/RST/Debug LED, but those are just nice to have in case of emergency. Reliability and running cool are higher priorities, and ASRock's warranty is short (1 year).

Future upgrades include the PSU and an SSD with Windows 7 (or 8?).
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post #2 of 14
An A8 has a better GPU built into the chip with a more advanced feature set. I would go with the A8 in that event. Remember that a 4290 (extremely slow) is a DX10 GPU only vs. the Radeon HD 6550D which has all DX11 features and audio features.
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleg33k85;14424931 
An A8 has a better GPU built into the chip with a more advanced feature set. I would go with the A8 in that event. Remember that a 4290 (extremely slow) is a DX10 GPU only vs. the Radeon HD 6550D which has all DX11 features and audio features.

I heard the A8 runs hot, even at stock speeds.
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WD Velociraptor WD Caviar Black Samsung F3 Samsung SH-203B 
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WD Velociraptor WD Caviar Black Samsung F3 Samsung SH-203B 
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post #4 of 14
Its definitely going to run a bit warmer because of the integrated GPU, though based on power consumption I'd imagine its not going to be much warmer than a typical Phenom II - You could under-volt a bit and get a decent cooler to run nice and cool smile.gif
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post #5 of 14
If I was you I would build a llano build and get the highest supported graphics card for dual graphics. Could build a system for like 580 doing tht.
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post #6 of 14
I'd go with the APU. It seems like it'll be faster all around. The A8 3850 has a 100w TDP (heat output) so it's nothing that hasn't been seen before. The average CPU these days is like 95 to 125 watts.
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehmaggot;14426165 
I'd go with the APU. It seems like it'll be faster all around. The A8 3850 has a 100w TDP (heat output) so it's nothing that hasn't been seen before. The average CPU these days is like 95 to 125 watts.

^ This. The A8 may run slightly hot but it's comparable to everything else on the market. Go for the A8 biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 14
No such thing as good onboard audio. You can always pick up the Asus Xonar DG for your audio.
The HDMI audio from the APU is very good for blu-ray. AMD did good on that part.
Get the Coolermaster 212+ for your heatsink, if you dont want to use stock. Even the Corsair H60 would do good too.
    
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleg33k85;14426114 
Its definitely going to run a bit warmer because of the integrated GPU, though based on power consumption I'd imagine its not going to be much warmer than a typical Phenom II - You could under-volt a bit and get a decent cooler to run nice and cool smile.gif
Yeah, I did see that AMD seems to have set the stock voltage on the APUs a bit high, and they can run stock speeds at a much lower voltage (1.15-1.2V).
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehmaggot;14426165 
I'd go with the APU. It seems like it'll be faster all around. The A8 3850 has a 100w TDP (heat output) so it's nothing that hasn't been seen before. The average CPU these days is like 95 to 125 watts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrockut83;14426188 
^ This. The A8 may run slightly hot but it's comparable to everything else on the market. Go for the A8 biggrin.gif

True and True. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sp33d Junki3;14426267 
No such thing as good onboard audio. You can always pick up the Asus Xonar DG for your audio.
The HDMI audio from the APU is very good for blu-ray. AMD did good on that part.
Get the Coolermaster 212+ for your heatsink, if you dont want to use stock. Even the Corsair H60 would do good too.
I have a CM Hyper 212+ sitting in the closet, but I do like my Noctua.
Unfortunately, my speakers don't have an HDMI input. If the onboard audio is that bad, I can always pick up a cheap sound card.

@Everyone - Any suggestions on which motherboard to go with the A8? Like I said, the ASRock has nice features, but the warranty is lacking. Maybe an Asus or Gigabyte board?
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WD Velociraptor WD Caviar Black Samsung F3 Samsung SH-203B 
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WD Velociraptor WD Caviar Black Samsung F3 Samsung SH-203B 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Noctua NH-U12P Windows 10 Home Samsung 32" LCD HDTV 720p Logitech K330 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
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post #10 of 14
Onboard is not all bad, there ok, but they do lack in the clarity needed in most situation.
A cheap card would be the Asus Xonar DG.
The F1A75-V Evo/Pro from Asus is a good choice for the AMD APU. That depends on what you want to spend.
    
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Corsair AX650 NZXT S340 Logitech G500 Razer Goliathus Extended Mouse Pad - Speed 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Audiotrak Prodigy Cube DAC Edifier S330D 2.1 Speaker Bose AE2 Headphone Superlux 668B Headphone 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Logitech UE 4000 Headphone Sennheiser PC320 Headset MX-4 Thermal Paste (CPU/GPU) 3x 140mm Noctua NF-P14s Redux 1200rpm PWM 
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1x 120mm Noctua NF-S12B Redux 1200rpm PWM NZXT 2m Sleeved White LED 
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Intel 3770k @ 4.2Ghz Asus Z77 Sabertooth EVGA GTX1060 3GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB BLT2K8G3D1608ET... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial MX100 512GB Corsair Force 115GB WD Green 1TB WD Green 2TB 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cryorig C1 + XT140 Win7 64 Home SP1 ASUS VE278Q CM Storm Trigger Brown Switch 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX650 NZXT S340 Logitech G500 Razer Goliathus Extended Mouse Pad - Speed 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Audiotrak Prodigy Cube DAC Edifier S330D 2.1 Speaker Bose AE2 Headphone Superlux 668B Headphone 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Logitech UE 4000 Headphone Sennheiser PC320 Headset MX-4 Thermal Paste (CPU/GPU) 3x 140mm Noctua NF-P14s Redux 1200rpm PWM 
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1x 120mm Noctua NF-S12B Redux 1200rpm PWM NZXT 2m Sleeved White LED 
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