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How well do APUs do on BOINC?

post #1 of 8
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I can snatch a nice deal from a friend, which involves purchasing an A6-3650. But i want to know how well this chip performs BOINC-wise, both in CPU and GPU loads. Since this will be "replacing" my HTPC, but i don't use it much aside from the occasional movie or 30-minute show, so it will spend most of the time crunching (not 24/7 though). Also, need to compare the crunching prowess to a Ph II x4 850 and a locked/unlocked Athlon II x4 640 as those are my second options. I do plan to OC them as far as thermal limits allow.
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post #2 of 8
I know only about the A8-3850 and you can see for GPU tasks, most things won't run or it is extremely slow.

However, the CPU is a nice one! It crunches just fine but is very sensitive to memory timing. The faster the memory, the better it runs. I also confirmed the Passmark values for the A8-3850 are with 1600MHz 1T DDDR3...

So, if you want an integrated processor that you really can't overclock, the APU's are very good considering...

Heaven 2.5 benchmark runs about 7 FPS on it as well... so it isn't the smoking fast 3D machine some would have you believe. There is an APU in the spreadsheet you can look at for numbers as well...

biggrin.gif

Edit: I would also add, to create a fast quad core system on minimum footprint with minimum power used, I doubt much can beat the A8-3850 on an Asus Pro mobo... I built one and it's super quiet, cool, and crunching to this day.
Edited by Tex1954 - 12/7/11 at 6:36pm
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info.

I checked the spreadsheet (i'll be checking in later my GTS 450's/i3/C2D/CoreDuo data... as soon as i know how to get it and post it tongue.gif), and what is this i read i have to use a whole core for GPU crunching? And if it takes ~2 hours to crunch a single Prime WU, it's not worth it IMHO (too used to ~30 mins per WU on my 450's biggrin.gif) and i'm doing a wild guess crunching on the APU on SETI (if it runs) would be as slow as on my old 9400 GT (which was craptasticly bad, and that thing had a ~33% OC).

Also, if the CPU numbers are to be believed, i think i'll get either a Phenom or the Athlon, or try to see how far i can take my unlock-proven x2 555 (tho it is not-so-mine any longer). At least those can get higher OC's and not get a core stolen, plus i will pair the CPU with 1333 MHz RAM (not even my sig rig has anything faster biggrin.gif) so the performance hit will be higher on the APU than on a regular CPU.

Also, do you know how good is Hybrid Crossfire for BOINC? The mobo i plan to use (Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3L) can be Xfired with a 5450, which i can get used for barely nothing. 2 weaksauce cards = ?

Hmm, too many configurations to test... tongue.gif
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post #4 of 8
Sigh, the truth is, the APU's don't crunch GPU tasks well at all...if at all. I didn't try crossfire, but reading others posts, it seems to work. The comment was for the APU only, not in combination with anything else.

The APU is probably like a PII 820 or so on a new process and runs well.... but, for GPU crunching, need a different separate card to really do anything. APU's are best used for micro systems with good performance.

biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 8
I wouldn't. If you want it as an HTPC that's fine but otherwise it's a waste of money IMO. Just get a 955 or 1090T and use that for CPU tasks (and toss in some GPU's if you want to crunch those tasks). The GPU portion of the A-Series is alright for light gaming and streaming stuff to a TV but not for GPGPU crunching the CPU portion is pretty much just like it's equivalent speed Athlon II chip.
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post #6 of 8
good thread, i was thinkin about getting one of these for my htpc and was requiring that every computer I own crunches decently. so good news cpu tasks thumb.gif


also anyone have corsair h series cooler hooked up to it? im just looking for low profile and quiet and runs cool.
post #7 of 8
I've heard alright things about the H60 but don't have one in that configuration or any "hydro" coolers at all. I personally prefer air and if I were to go water I'd probably get a "real" WC setup with swiftech stuff and all that (it's been a while since I've looked up on WC so I might be rusty on my knowledge of good WC components).

The Hyper 212+ is definitely not lowpro but it gets my vote for running cool at a great price and it's running in most of the systems I've built for family/clients. Otherwise I'd look at the Scythe SCKZT-1000 or maybe a Big Shuriken. (Can you tell I'm a fan of Scythe's stuff?)

Also so far I've built about 3 A-series based systems and it's not for everyone. If you want to crunch I'd honestly really get an unlocked Phenom proc and overclock the hell out of it, and a discrete GPU for GPGPU tasks/projects. Otherwise if crunching is secondary and you want something super lowpro and have a miniITX case/build going for you then it might work out.

Honestly the majority of "budget" systems I've built are Phenom II or Athlon II based with cheapo discrete graphics and they seem to do well for my clients. At least I haven't heard any complaints related to the initial performance/hardware related choices I've made.
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post #8 of 8
I recently build an A6-3650 HTPC and briefly ran WCG on it. I haven't tried the iGPU, because I assumed it wouldn't be compatible with BOINC projects. It looks like that's the case. My Advice: Just build an Llano HTPC for fun. Mine idles at ~50W from the UPS.
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