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AMD A6-3500 with GIGABYTE A55M-S2H, Entry APU OC Review

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
AMD launched new APU structure, FM1 platform in July 2011.
6 months passed, there are only A75 and A55 chipsets support FM1 platform.
However, FM1 CPU is getting more and more. Mainly it’s for mid to low market. The C/P is quite well.

A6350001.jpg

FM1 has X4/6 series as 4 Cores or K series for OC market.
The main strength for FM1 platform is 3D performance of APU structure.
How to pick higher built-in 3D graphic and CPU performance is key subject for selecting APU.

Even though it’s an entry level product, the balance between built-in 3D graphic and CPU performance is important.
Finally, I decide to buy AMD A6-3500, triple cores, and AMD HD6530D.
I didn’t buy most entry A4-3300, because it’s only dual cores and HD6410Dis lower spec.
As using A6-3500, more CPU cores can compensate the performance and the 3D performance is higher.
A6350002.jpg

Inside Box
Product manual, sticker, cooler, and AMD A6-3500.
A6350003.jpg

FM1 CPU pins are complete different with AM3+.
A6350004.jpg

A55 chipset has no USB3.0 and SATA3 comparing to A75.
For normal users or word process machine, A55 is enough. If you have more budget, you also can consider A75.
This review I use GIGABYTE A55M-S2H, the form factor is Micro ATX.
A6350005.jpg

All solid caps for entry MB is regular components now. Also, it has GIGABYTE exclusive Super4 technology.
Recently, it launched 4 years warrant which is conversed operation as 3C products is reducing their warranty.
A6350006.jpg

Lower-Left Corner
2 X PCI-E X16, first is X16 and second is X4. It supports AMD Dual Graphics.
1 X PCI-E X1
1 X PCI
Realtek ALC889 Audio chip supports 7.1 channels and High Definition Audio.
Realtek RTL8111E LAN chip and black connector is TPM module slot.
A6350007.jpg

Lower-Right Corner
6 X Blue SATA, provided by A55. It’s SATA2 and supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and JBOD.
There are two front USB 2.0 in left and right is DualBIOS.
A6350008.jpg

Upper-Right Corner
2 X DIMM DDR3 support 1066/1333/1600/1866/2400(OC). DDR3 max capacity is 32GB.
Next is 24-PIN power connector.
A6350009.jpg

Upper-Left Corner
AMD CPU Socket FM1. It’s compatible with AM2/AM3 cooler.
CPU uses 4+1 phases PWM. Upper left is 4Pin power in.
A6350010.jpg
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
IO
1 X PS2 KB/Mouse
D-SUB/DVI/HDMI Output
1 X S/PDIF Optical output
6 X USB 2.0(Red)
1 X RJ-45 LAN
3 X Audio jacks
A6350011.jpg

Test Configuration
CPU: AMD A6-3500
MB: GIGABYTE A55M-S2H
DRAM: CORSAIR CMX8GX3M2A1600C9
VGA: AMD Radeon HD6530D
HD: WD 7200rpm 640GB
POWER: be quiet! STRAIGHT POWER GOLDEN 550W
Cooler: AMD original cooler
OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
A6350012.jpg

Performance Test
CPU 100.0 X 21 => 2100.1MHz(Turbo Core up to 2400MHz)
DDR3 1866.8 CL8 10-7-27 1T
GPU 600MHz

Hyper PI 32M X 3 => 28m 41.814s
CPUMARK 99 => 317
A63500DPI.png

Nuclearus Multi Core => 1315
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 8.65/4150
A63500DNM.png

Nuclearus Multi Core doesn’t support Multi Thread Speed.
It should be having issue for AMD APU 3 Cores CPU only.

CrystalMark 2004R3 => 108281
A63500DCM.png

CINEBENCH R11.5
CPU => 1.95 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 0.67 pts
A63500DCB.png

PCMark Vantage => 5328
A63500DPCVAN.png

I will compare the performance with former Intel Pentium G620 and AMD A6-3500.
G620 market price is lower than A6-3500 which is similar product position.
As CINEBENCH R11.5, in single thread performance, G620 is 55% higher than A6-3500.
G620 dual core full speed is 3% faster than A6-3500 triple core.
Fritz Chess Benchmark multi-tasking performance, G620 is 6% higher than A6-3500.
A6-3500 is enough for general use. This is why I mentioned AMD multi cores can compensate the CPU performance.

DDR3 1866.8 CL8 10-7-27 1T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 8933 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 13677 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 9379 MB/s
A63500DMEM.png

FM1 APU DDR3 can run 1866 as default and OC to higher range.
The bandwidth is not improved much. AMD AM3+ Bulldozer CPU is only AMD platform which improves the DDR3 bandwidth.

Temperature(Room is 22˚C)
Enter to OS Desktop - 18
A63500DT1.png

CPU Full Speed - 48
LinX 0.6.4
A63500DT2.png

About AMD 32nm CPU temperature, the test value will be much lower than actual temperature.
Left side AISA64, you can see it’s much lower than room temperature. As internet data showed the CPU info is not accurate.
Even though GIGABYTE Touch BIOS software temperature is more accurate, it’s still lower than real temperature.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Power Consumption
Enter to OS Desktop - 30W
A63500DWIDLE.jpg

CPU Full Speed - 76W
LinX 0.6.4
A63500DWLINX.jpg

G620 OCCT Power Supply Test (CPU/GPU Full Speed) - 97W
A63500DWOCCT.jpg

A6-3500 power consumption in entering to OS desktop is good, but full speed is a little higher in entry system.
Built-in GPU is around 21W consumption. As good 3D performance, it’s still acceptable range.

AMD Radeon HD6530D Default Mode
3DMark Vantage => P3091
A63500D3DVAN.png

FINAL FANTASY XIV
1920 X 1080 => 709
A63500DFF14.jpg

StreetFighter IV Benchmark
1280 X 720 => 78.42 FPS
A63500DSTF4L.jpg

3D performance is AMD APU advantage. Built-in 3D performance is higher level in APU.
As three 3D software scores, A6-3500 3D performance is 2.4~2.5 times faster than Pentium G620.

StreetFighter IV Benchmark, resolution 1920x1080, for UMA Frame Buffer Size comparing.
256MB => 44.10 FPS
A63500DSTF4H256.jpg

512MB => 44.17 FPS
A63500DSTF4H512.jpg

1GB => 45.10 FPS
A63500DSTF4H1G.jpg

256MB and 12MB UMA Frame Buffer Size have less difference.
1GB also only has 1 FPS more. Actually, you can treat it as error.
Some users would like to see the difference. I add the DDR3 capacity test as reference.

BIOS Boot Up Screen
A63500B01.jpg
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
OC Setup - M.I.T. tuning page
CPU Frequency from 100 to 135
Memory Clock change to x6.66
A63500B02.jpg

GPU Set Up Related Page. As former review, adjusting GPU clock is not improving 3D performance much.
In APU platform, you only can rise DDR3 clock to improve 3D performance.
A63500B03.jpg

Advanced DDR3 Setup Page
This time I set it as CL8 10-7-27 1T.
A63500B04.jpg

CPU Related Items. You can set up IGX here.
A63500B05.jpg

PC Health Status
A63500B06.jpg

APU OC range is not as high as old platforms, however, the clock range is still wide enough.
OC is relying on CPU and DDR3 quality to adjust clock and voltage.
It takes to fine tune the best setup.

OC Performance Test
CPU 135 X 25 => 2835MHz(Turbo Core up to 3240MHz)
DDR3 1800.2 CL8 10-7-27 1T

Hyper PI 32M X 3 => 21m 51.782s
CPUMARK 99 => 428
A63500OPI.png

Nuclearus Multi Core => 1766
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 11.53/5533
A63500ONM.png

CrystalMark 2004R3 => 153049
A63500OCM.png

CINEBENCH R11.5
CPU => 2.60 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 0.90 pts
A63500OCB.png

PCMark Vantage => 6298
A63500OPCVAN.png

The comparison of A6-3500 OC from 100MHz to 135MHz.
Referring to CPUMARK, Fritz Chess Benchmark and CINEBENCH R11.5 CPU performance benchmark,
single threading improves 34~35%. 3-core full speed performance also enhances 33%. This is very well.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
DDR3 1800.2 CL8 10-7-27 1T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 10230 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 16301 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 11462 MB/s
A63500OMEM.png

DDR3 clock compares to CPU default. The difference is DDR3 1866 and DDR3 1800.
As CPU clock increasing, three DDR3 bandwidth benchmark all have 14~22% improvement.
Even though APU DDR3 bandwidth is far behind his competitor, OC to increase DDR3 bandwidth is some help.

Temperature(Room is 22˚C)
Enter to OS Desktop - 28
A63500OT1.png

CPU Full Speed - 58
LinX 0.6.4
A63500OT2.png

Temperature in entering OS desktop is much lower and full speed is similar.
Do hope AMD 32nm APU or AM3+ CPU can improve the temperature report accuracy.
In full speed mode, you can feel the heat by touching the cooler. You need better cooling system for OC AMD APU.

Power Consumption
Enter to OS Desktop - 34W
A63500OWIDLE.jpg

CPU Full Speed - 95W
LinX 0.6.4
A63500OWLINX.jpg

G620 OCCT Power Supply Test (CPU/GPU Full Speed) - 117W
A63500OWOCCT.jpg

After OC, the power only increases 4W. In CPU or CPU/GPU full speed also increases 19 and 20W.
This power consumption compares to A6-3500 performance is too high. I hope AMD can solve it by improving manufacturing.

AMD Radeon HD6530D
UMA Frame Buffer Size 1GB
3DMark Vantage => P3927
A63500O3DVAN.png

FINAL FANTASY XIV
1920 X 1080 => 882
A63500OFF141G.jpg

StreetFighter IV Benchmark
1920 X 1080 => 53.93 FPS
A63500OSTF41G.jpg

As CPU clock rising, Radeon HD6530D 3D also improves 24~27%.
Even though it’ slower than A8-3850 Radeon HD6550D, the 3D performance is very impressive in IGP platform. This is key APU advantage.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
A6350013.jpg

AMD FM1 CPU has three positions. First is entry platform by APU 3D performance.
After then, it’s X4 CPU without IGP to build low cost 4 cores platform with A55 or A75 chipset. Finally, it’s K skus which is unlock version.
Unfortunately, even K skus or 32nm manufacturing, CPU is hard to reach 3.6GHz in acceptable voltage.

A6350014.jpg

Formerly, windwithme already shared several A75 with A8-3850 reviews which are more high-end combo in FM1.
This review is entry A6-3500 and A55 chipset. If you are looking for AMD APU, you can use it as your reference.
APU owns good 3D performance and moderate OC ability. If you need high-end 3D applications, you better to have external VGA card.
For only using IGP and need better 3D performance users, PU structure can be your good options. smile.gif
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