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What's the point of an APU for a gaming build?

post #1 of 38
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A10-7850K: $185
2x4GB of DDR3-2400 CAS 10 (since the APU needs as much RAM bandwith as it can get to perform decently): $80
No discrete GPU

Total: $265


Core i3-4330: $125
2x4GB of DDR3-1600: $60
AMD R7 250: $80

Total: $265


Athlon 760K: $85
2x4GB DDR3-1600: $60
Radeon R7 260X: $120

Total: $265



Going with the i3 gives better CPU performance and better GPU performance compared to the 7850K, with the same total cost.

Going with the 760K and 260X sacrifices a little bit of CPU performance, but with significantly better GPU performance compared to the 7850K. Again, same total cost.

So what's the point of an APU for a gaming build?
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post #2 of 38
PSU requirements but yeah I'd get a APU under $100 like the 5800K does well for $90
post #3 of 38
Its much better to buy some OC-able Gskill RAM @1600 and clocking them up since it'll be much cheaper.But yeah,AMD needs to revise their pricing.
    
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post #4 of 38
G.Skill TridentX has a RAM specified as 2400 MHz with CAS 9, pretty awesome. But AFAIK, in G Skill's arena best suited RAM for AMD processors are the RipjawsZ, they also have a 2x4 GB 2400 MHz CL10 RipjawsZ kit, that would provide better bandwidth because of the actual memory chips used in RJZ for which runs optimally on AMDs.

I feel APU is a better way to go, you do sacrifice some GPU horsepower but against that there is HSA which outweighs the lowly GPU, it'll make your CPU perform like an i7, maybe better than the i7 (I've worked with HSA and I can tell this from exp thumb.gif). Then later on you can add a dGPU since you may notice that 4k is getting popular and hence AMD/NVIDIA may launch a single GPU which finally can play well at 4k. If you go for the i3 then surely you'll get better CPU performance now but it will be disappointing with the arrival of HSA since you won't be able to use it. Even i3 has a GPU but it don't support HSA, Intel is not a part of HSA Foundation. As for the future of HSA and my confidence over it is because HSA has already arrived for mobile platforms in the form of new Snapdragon processors and MediaTek processors and it works great.

EDIT: JAVA 8 has launched and supports Stream which leverages parallel CPU/GPU (HSA like) acceleration
Quote:
The Java API designers are updating the API with a new abstraction called Stream that lets you process data in a declarative way. Furthermore, streams can leverage multi-core architectures without you having to write a single line of multithread code. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/java/ma14-java-se-8-streams-2177646.html

JAVA 9 will have native support for HSA for running the JVM's, so you have to decide wisely
Edited by imran27 - 4/14/14 at 8:51pm
    
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post #5 of 38
996gt2,

If you're building a machine to solve an existing problem, there is no point in Kaveri.

If you're building a machine to solve a problem that you didn't know you had, then Kaveri is the answer.

Historically, with most instruction capabilities that have made their way into CPU design, the hardware has to lead the software, so new capabilities don't solve existing problems, but the performance of the "first to market" products with these technologies may slowly creep up as the software side leverages the technology over the years... Unfortunately, if the past is any indication of things, adoption for new instruction capabilities usually follows whichever hardware is actually LEADING the industry in performance otherwise.

Like buying into an early AMD64 CPU when all of the software was still 32 bit, by the time there was enough 64 bit software to take advantage of the CPU, the original 64 bit CPUs were obsolete, and that was at a time when AMD was actually making BETTER CPUs than Intel. I fear that HSA actually has a harder road to adoption ahead of it because the hardware that supports it has major deficiencies in terms of performance and compute efficiency and value in existing software compared to the competition, which is apt to result in low market saturation of the hardware. The only thing *going* for HSA at this time, is the fact that if leveraged properly, it really could overcome the performance of a high end CPU (by multi-fold) in lots of workloads. It's my opinion that if AMD is really serious about getting this off the ground, they would have to price Kaveri competitively in terms of EXISTING conditions, and not "theoretical" conditions. If people are buying i3s and i5s instead of Kaveri because they are priced the same or lower and perform better in the "existing software" that is the main concern of the buyer, then Kaveri/HSA has no chance of ever reaching critical mass. If Kaveri were priced to compete with the i3-4130, it would have a lot more check marks in columns that matter to real consumers.

YMMV,
Eric
Edited by mdocod - 4/17/14 at 2:26am
     
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post #6 of 38
HSA will be widely adopted in a shorter span of time than we can think of, there just needs to be a complete and solid base, like completely compliant HSA hardware and conventional softwares to have support for HSA, like JAVA/C++ etc. then it is an easy road. Why will developers start to go for HSA? Because they have to, HSA is not AMD exclusive, it includes Qualcomm, MediaTek, ARM, TI and others who are driving force in the mobile computing industry and hence all mobile computing hardware is supporting HSA so adopting HSA makes a lot of sense, getting higher payback in terms of performance for the same amount of efforts.

Many open-source API and libraries are adopting HSA support and soon it'll be available to two of the most popular programming languages, Java and C++.
    
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post #7 of 38
Even if adoption is widespread in 3 years (highly unlikely given the size and scope of mainstream productivity applications), Kaveri will be effectively legacy status at that time, superseded by AMDs own new HSA supporting hardware and platforms. Buying into it now is best for developers, not mainstream users. The mainstream user's best buy-in point for this hardware is going to be a few years out regardless.

Support at the development level doesn't translate to support at the user level immediately.
     
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

Even if adoption is widespreadKaveri will be effectively legacy status at that time, superseded by AMDs own new HSA supporting hardware and platforms. Buying into it now is best for developers, not mainstream users. The mainstream user's best buy-in point for this hardware is going to be a few years out regardless.

True, I completely agree with the highlighted statement. Mantle didn't took that much of time, did it, though not in widespread use but still it's in use in most demanding games that we gamers love to play, AMD should unify Mantle and HSA, it'll be better way to get HSA to masses.

Regarding the span...3 years is not justified, yes it'd be 3 years if it was a completely new thing but no, it's just extensions and backend for the frontend that developers and their apps already use, devs won't exclusively code for HSA, it'd just be a cherry on top of the cake for the people who own supported hardware.
    
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post #9 of 38
To respond to the OP's question directly:

The only reason to get Kaveri for a gaming build is to bet on Mantle and HSA support. You can kick in some extra cash for an R7-250 for dual graphics, if you want.

That being said, there is some noise being made to the effect that BCLK restrictions on Kaveri can be circumvented pretty easily. I'm looking for more verification of this phenomenon, but to be honest, it surprised me that someone did it without messing with the SATA controller or anything.

If true, it means someone could pick up a cheap(er) A8-7600 and overclock that guy (aww, out of stock?). The weaker iGPU could probably do okay versus the 7850k due to bandwidth issues, especially if iGPU overclocking is on the table (which it should be!). The 7700k could also be an acceptable alternative for the same reasons, and hey, you get unlocked multipliers that way.
post #10 of 38
Even though all the combination listed are at the same price range of $265. Rather than depending on technologies that is still in progress. I would look at space saving rather than performance, if I were to buy kaveri.
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