Originally Posted by xd_1771
The GPU performance given by a Llano A8 APU and 6670 is about equivalent to an HD 7770
Crossfire doesn't always scale, and the best case scenario for the APU+6670 even with 1866 RAM speed is effectively a 6670+50% performance. It's a nice little boost, but it's not the "near double" performance we get from x-firing a pair of discrete cards. (well... it is closer to "double" when the APU is paired with a weaker card, but that's just a weaker result all around, irrelevant anyway).
A 7770 routinely benches between 50-100% faster than a GDDR5 6670. In otherwords, a 7770 on it's worst day, is as fast as the APU+6670 on it's best day assuming equal CPU power. When we factor in games that won't scale, or scale poorly, along with the relatively poor gaming performance of the shrunk athlon II architecture in CPU intensive games (strategy), it is very hard for me to muster up any good reason to recommend an APU gaming rig. The APU is a FAR BETTER solution when used on it's own (no crossfire), as part of a general productivity machine that benefits from having a bit more GPU umph for creation apps or light gaming and such. The sweet spot for these APUs is NOT in dedicated gaming rigs (even though AMD would like to try to make the world believe that it is).
My suggestion is as follows:
These Sandy bridge pentiums have proven to be very effective budget gaming CPUs, and have been beating out equal priced AMD offerings for gaming performance/value since their launch. More importantly, starting with a low end 1155 chip, puts in place KNOWN GOOD upgrade paths. The logical step would be to drop an Ivy bridge i5 on at a later date, an enormous leap in gaming performance. There is no upgrade path for FM1 that would afford this large of an improvement.
Better performance than the APU hybrid x-fire solutions with no dependency on fancy fast system memory to keep up. More importantly, better future performance scaling options. Just drop in another 7770 and go x-fire to nearly double FPS across the board. This is a much better looking upgrade path than a llano build approach.
B75 chipset micro board with crossfire support. Ready to drop in another 7770 and an i5 down the road. (just don't use it to OC a CPU, it'll run an Ivy i5 at stock speeds just fine though, and if you've been following the benchmarks, an ivy i5 at stock speeds, is faster in gaming than any AMD CPU at any practical overclock). For a budget board, this is actually a pretty well done unit. The 4xRAM slots might be useful long term if the machine is used for many years and needs an upgrade in that department later (unlikely, but it's nice to have the option without having to toss out perfectly good memory). The 1333 speed is of the RAM included here is actually faster than the little G620 will support anyway, just happens to be the cheapest way to get a 2x4GB kit into the build on the egg that I can come up with.
Kinda neat looking micro case should complement this micro build pretty nicely. More than enough PSU to power the system upgraded to an i5 and dual 7770. (combined TDP of 240W, the rest of the system rarely ever exceeds 50W, in this case it would be less). The only part here that scares me is whether there is enough room at the bottom of the case for a GPU to actually fit in the other PCIE slot.... It would have to be one of the 7770's with the single slot mount width (like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131477
) I think the dual slot width on the cooler would just fit down in there but I could be wrong so I'll admit this is a gamble for getting into this more compact but nice looking case.
These are nothing fancy on performance, but the blues are sort of the industry standard for reliability, price, warranty. nothing wrong with using this drive, however, if you can find a cheaper 500GB drive elsewhere, go for it.
place-holder ODD, prices change daily, go with the cheaper option.
That's ~$460 shipped. Slightly over budget, but the extra ~$40 over the budget of other build ideas builds a machine with a lot more potential out of the gate, and a lot more potential down the road. If you can find better deals on the ODD and HD elsewhere the gap will tighten.
People get all upset around here when we post better intel builds for gaming in the AMD forum, unfortunately, I can not offer an AMD build that comes even remotely close to the expandability, or initial gaming performance of the machine above. The issue is that, in order to build an AMD rig with room to grow, the motherboard has to be more expensive to support the much higher power requirements. The LOW END AMD CPU options that make sense for a gaming build, all use more power than an i5 ivy. With a slightly higher budget, I believe I could put together a respectable AMD gaming rig based around either a 4100 or Rana X3 on a respectable board with room to grow.
EricEdited by mdocod - 8/24/12 at 1:04am