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Old 10-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
davcefai
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Question AM3+ v FM2 motherboard


I have always tried to use motherboards with on-board graphics so that when my graphics card fails I can fall back on the on-board one.

On average a m/b seems to outlive 2 graphics cards.

I am about to order a new m/b because mine will not boot with a graphics card fitted, although the card works OK on another PC. I prefer AMD systems for their performance to price ratio and Asus boards for their quality.

However it now seems that to get on-board graphics I must get an FM2 socket m/b with the graphics on the ALU. I will still fit an external graphics card. Currently I have a GF8400 which will later be replaced by a GT 630 or 650.

Am I likely to have performance or other issues by going down this road?

Opinions, no matter how biased , will be appreciated.
 
Old 10-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
intok
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Depends on how much CPU you want, the fastest FM2 APU is the 4.4Ghz quad core A10-6800K http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bulldo...A10-6800K.html while the fastest AM3+ CPU is the 5Ghz octo core FX9590 http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bulldo...20FX-9590.html

Theres also the problem that the APUs are memory bandwidth limited, you'll want to buy higher spec ram and a mobo with good ram overclocking capabilities to get the most out of the A10-6800K.

Now if you can wait for Kaveri, due out by spring, those will be faster then the current crop of FM2 APUs.
 
Old 10-12-2013, 12:35 AM   #3
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcefai View Post
I have always tried to use motherboards with on-board graphics so that when my graphics card fails I can fall back on the on-board one.
"when"? Now thats some positive thinking...
Anyway, may be some truth to that, but the lower spec cards tend to last longer than the high end ones (maybe their typical usage scenarios make the differenmce).

Regarding the actual question, if you want to use a dedicated card anyway, want raw performance and dont care about power consumption, use am3+. They mostly have IGPs (which are really old and slow and the driver support isnt stellar) and older chipsets (only the higher ends have USB3 and SATA3). You might as well think about using Intel because they have quite good IGPs with better driver support and very good CPUs and newer chipsets on board.

The fm2 boards use less power, have newer chipsets with integrated USB3/SATA3 (depending on the board, the 85 series chipsets ave them), have way better IGPs, but their CPUs are weaker in performance compared to am3+ cpus (but also consume less power and run cooler, especially the 65w versions). Also have adequate power for lesser demanding games and even hardware HD decoding (the latter if used with a sufficiently recent kernel and OSS drivers).

Now it really depends what you plan on doing with it and what amount of $$ want to throw at it.

I have a quad core A8-5500 first-gen FM2 65w APU with an integrated Radeon 7560D and its great for everything i need it to be - watching videos (including hardware decoded HD videos), running VMS, developing web applications, playing games like TF2, DoD (the native Linux Steam versions), Urban Terror etc.
Before i had an integrated nvidia 8200 which is mostly a 8400, but this radeon IGP smokes it, there is no comparison.
 
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
cascade9
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You can get AM3+ motherboards with onboard video, with either nVidia (GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a chipset) or AMD (mostly 760G or 880G chipsets, you might find others).

nVidia chipsets and AMD 7XX/8XX with SB7XX southbridges are limited to SATAII (SATA3GB/s). A nasty limit in these days of cheap and super fast SATAIII SSDs.

I wouldnt get either if you go AM3+, the 9XX chipsets are better IMO, and have SATAIII.

If you already have a 8400GS, I'd keep it in case a video card dies. Though I'm a little shocked at your 'On average a m/b seems to outlive 2 graphics cards' comment davcefai. If thats your expereince, wow. I've found vieo cards are tougher than motherboards in most cases.....
 
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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Here is a whole page of motherboards to choose from with ondboard graphics. All AM3+ and all reasonably priced. And another two with slighter better graphics and this one is good as well. One more for the road.

There are plenty to choose from it all depends on your requirements and budget. They aren't the best but I'm sure they'll handle whatever you throw at them.
 
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
You can get AM3+ motherboards with onboard video, with either nVidia (GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a chipset) or AMD (mostly 760G or 880G chipsets, you might find others).

nVidia chipsets and AMD 7XX/8XX with SB7XX southbridges are limited to SATAII (SATA3GB/s). A nasty limit in these days of cheap and super fast SATAIII SSDs.
I dont know if the nforce chipsets are still in use. Anyway, even in their time (AM2/2+) all i have seen were limited to ht 2000 (the 8200/8300 chipsets had up to ht5200).
The 760G has the AMD 3000 IGP, still old, has some driver stability issues (at least had). The only somewhat wortwhile IGP is the 4200/4250 found in the 880 chipset. The 900 series chipsets have no IGPs.
All of the above IPGs are slower than the 8400 you have (maybe the 4200 comes close?), also all of them lack UVD (hardware decoding) under Linux (the 8400 has vdpau).
My previous 8200 nvidia was better then all of them (maybe except the 4200) and it was in an old AM2+ mobo, but the nvidia 8 series chipsets werent used after that.
The truth is that the am3+ igps have very limited capabilities, being based on age old chips. The platform is clearly made to be used with a dedicated card. If you want SATA3 or USB3, you have to use 900 series.
On the other hand the FM2 newer x85 chipsets have it all - 8x SATA3, 4xUSB3 built in. Their IGPs trump the am3+ IGPs in every way and more. The higher end IGPs coupled with fast double channel RAM are very fast, reaching the lower end 128 bit dedicated cards.
The CPUs are indeed slower than the am3+ as they lack the level 3 cache entirely and have max of 4 cores (2 modules) whereas the am3+ have up to 8 cores(4 modules), but have still plenty of power in them and use way less power - a 4 core FM2 has almost half of the TDP of a am3+ 4 core (65 vs 125 w) and it has a kickass GPU included.
 
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #7
davcefai
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Many thanks to all who helped. It has clarified my thinking.

Sad to say, in Malta it is almost impossible to buy AMD kit. I was looking at buying from Amazon BUT: today my other PC went down! Memory problems which affected BOTH hard discs.

The PC would not boot with 2 memory sticks in. It would with one - either one in either slot. What seems to have fixed it is cleaning the memory sockets with a piece of card. However there seems to be extensive file damage - some partitions have gone AWOL.

Since I am now running on only one PC - and a dodgy one at that - I'm going to buy Intel as I can get the stuff over the counter on Monday, rather than in 7 days. To my surprise the price difference in minimal.

Thanks again for the help.
 
Old 10-13-2013, 06:19 AM   #8
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@ davcefai- yeah, aMD stuff has got harder to get, intel is back to dominating the supply chains in some countries.

I'm still wondering what the heck is happening that causes you to go though so many video cards.....are you using some very nasty 'yum cha' power supply?

@ gradinaruvasile- The nforce chipsets are still around, and updated to AM3+. Asrock is making the most of them, eg-

http://www.asrock.com/mb/NVIDIA/N68-...X/index.us.asp

Just one example, asrock is making a few nforce AM3+ boards. Yes, they are stil HT2000.

The 4000 series AMD/ATI GPUs do support UVD with linux-

Quote:
Each hardware video GPU capable of XvBA video acceleration requires a X11 software device driver to enable these features. Currently only AMD's ATI Radeon graphics cards hardware that have support for Unified Video Decoder version 2.0 or later (primarily the Radeon HD 4000 series or later) are supported by the proprietary ATI Catalyst device driver.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Video...m_Acceleration

There is also other hardware video decoding methods that the earlier AMD/ATI GPUs support.

There are at least on paper 890GX chipset AM3+ boards around with HD 4290 video, e.g. GA-890GPA-UD3H-

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/prod...px?pid=3785#sp

While I've never seen, or even heard of one being avaible, there is a 980G chipset as well. Its just a rebranded 880G, and with FM2 around I dont think we'll ever see one on sale.

AMD 800 series chipsets with SB8XX do support SATAIII. Some of the cheap and nasty 880G boards use the SB7XX southbridge with only SATAII, but there are SB8XX SATAIII 880Gs around, e.g. GA-880GMA-USB3-

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/prod...px?pid=3817#sp

It, like make other 7XX, 8XX and 9XX AMD chipsets boards, has an add-on chip to support USB 3.0. Not natively from the chipset, but thats not going to make a huge dfference.
 
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
davcefai
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Quote:
I'm still wondering what the heck is happening that causes you to go though so many video cards.....are you using some very nasty 'yum cha' power supply?
I've always thought that that was the norm, Happens both at home and at work and to other people's PCs too.

Power supplies? I doubt it. Mine are top quality and I always over-specify them. I doubt that would have a negative effect.

I would guess that Malta, being hot half the year and damp quite often is unkind to graphics cards. Also most NVidia cards sold here are branded Gainward. Maybe the quality is not tops....?

The good news for me: I've found a local source of AMD kit and will be banging on their doors at 0901 tomorrow.
 
Old 10-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #10
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
@ gradinaruvasile- The nforce chipsets are still around, and updated to AM3+. Asrock is making the most of them, eg-

http://www.asrock.com/mb/NVIDIA/N68-...X/index.us.asp

Just one example, asrock is making a few nforce AM3+ boards. Yes, they are stil HT2000.

The 4000 series AMD/ATI GPUs do support UVD with linux-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Video...m_Acceleration

There is also other hardware video decoding methods that the earlier AMD/ATI GPUs support.

It, like make other 7XX, 8XX and 9XX AMD chipsets boards, has an add-on chip to support USB 3.0. Not natively from the chipset, but thats not going to make a huge dfference.
Am3+ CPUs use HT3.1 links at 2600 MHz. I think that speed is multiplied by 2 hence the other boards (even the Am2+ ones) have stated 5.2 MT/s in their sheets. These boards can do 2 MT/s so using them would cripple the CPU. Also they seem to be limited to 95w parts.

Hardware decoding: Hardware decoding needs a video player that can use it, its not some automagic thing happening in the background.
The xvba hardware accleration is fine on paper, but there is one thing that is in fact missing: video players that can use it actually.
-There is a libva sub-module that can be used by players that use libva (like vlc), but thats horrible, it is bugged as hell, introduces artifacts, has high CPU usage.
-The native xvba implementation:
The ONLY player that supports the Catalyst driver provided xbmc NATIVELY is a sub-branch of the xbmc player (FernetMenta's branch). The fglrx code is already frozen and archived (because of the unresponsiveness of the Catalyst developers) as they turned all their support to the free radeon driver's VDPAU implementation (used on the 5000 series and above).

I dont know of any other hardware decoding methods that actually work there were talks about using shaders in the OSS radeon driver and whatnot but nothing actually implemented and probably never will since with kernel 3.10 UVD is exposed via VDPAU on radeon 5000 and higher (the 4000 series reportedly using some old and bugged UVD so it probably wont have it). This means that mplayer, smplayer, vlc (2.1.0) etc can use hardware decoding, but only with the newer chips. The FM2 Trinity/Richland IGP chips are very well supported by the free driver and do VDPAU perfectly well.

The add on USB3 chipsets may not be supported fully under Linux as the built in ones are - you never know when you will bump over some dubious chipset that will give you headaches.
 
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
davcefai
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Quote:
you never know when you will bump over some dubious chipset that will give you headaches.
I can tell you precisely when this will happen: in a situation where minutes count and it is too late to start over on another machine.
 
Old 10-14-2013, 06:01 AM   #12
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Am3+ CPUs use HT3.1 links at 2600 MHz. I think that speed is multiplied by 2 hence the other boards (even the Am2+ ones) have stated 5.2 MT/s in their sheets. These boards can do 2 MT/s so using them would cripple the CPU. Also they seem to be limited to 95w parts.
No, 'gee, thaks for the info'? :P

I'm yet to see any benchmarking on the nForce chipsets vs AMD chipsets on AM3+. Its likely that there would be a performance hit...'cripple' without any data is going too far.

There are other nForce 630a boards aroud which do supoport at least some 125watt TDP CPUs (e.g. gigabyte GA-M68MT-D3P and GA-M68MT-S2P). There are also other nForce AM3+ chipset boards around, like the nForce 520LE and 720D.

I'm not current with AMD XvBA hardware decoding, but I'm sure I got it running with Mplayer somehow.

Unless things have changed a lot, I'd much rather have an nVidia GPU for video decoding. If it was me, and I did get a FM2 system, I'd get a AMD Athlon X4 750K (no onboard video) and a nVidia G210 or GT5XX/6XX. The AThlon X4 + video card works out as the same cost (in some markets anyway) as a AMD A8-6600K with onboard video, and then you arent 'crippling' the CPU/GPU by using RAM and RAM I/Os for video use.

#edit-

Quote:
Originally Posted by davcefai View Post
I've always thought that that was the norm, Happens both at home and at work and to other people's PCs too.

Power supplies? I doubt it. Mine are top quality and I always over-specify them. I doubt that would have a negative effect.

I would guess that Malta, being hot half the year and damp quite often is unkind to graphics cards. Also most NVidia cards sold here are branded Gainward. Maybe the quality is not tops....?
It doesnt seem to happen here (brisbane, australia), and the climate here is hot and can get very humid. I used to work in a place that 'refurbished' (in this case, just cleaned..badly..had some windows version installed, then sold). I'd get several dead motherboards for every dead video card.

Same thing with cases I pick up from the side of the road, bins, etc..

Having an oversized psu shouldnt matter.

I find it baffling that you and others are having so many issues.

Maybe it is gainward? I dont see many gainward cards anymore, but from what I can see they tend to use 'cut down', shorted PCBs, custom (non-standard or non-reference) power circuts, and often have no VRM/RAM cooling (though that would only apply to 'gamers' and 'top end' cards, the lower models tend to not have VRM or RAM cooling).

Last edited by cascade9; 10-14-2013 at 06:36 AM.
 
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:09 PM   #13
davcefai
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Thanks for all the useful inputs. However when I went to buy the kit the shop (only one I found that sells AMD) had an AM3 M/b but no CPUs. So I finished up with an FM2 system.

The hardware works OK but the graphics driver is driving me up the wall. It segfaults when loading. I am now downloading the beta driver.

If that doesn't work I shall have to scream for help again.
 
Old 10-14-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
intok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
No, 'gee, thaks for the info'? :P

I'm yet to see any benchmarking on the nForce chipsets vs AMD chipsets on AM3+. Its likely that there would be a performance hit...'cripple' without any data is going too far.

There are other nForce 630a boards aroud which do supoport at least some 125watt TDP CPUs (e.g. gigabyte GA-M68MT-D3P and GA-M68MT-S2P). There are also other nForce AM3+ chipset boards around, like the nForce 520LE and 720D.
You have to ask yourself why you would want to use a CPU in a chipset it was never designed for. The Nforce 630a was designed for socket 939 era CPUs way back in 2006, to use it with a modern CPU even though it says it's supported is just not a good idea.

Even the nForce 980a, Nvidia's last chipset for AMD is woefully out of date for current CPUs.

As to why they are no longer benchmarked, well, theres your reason, they are older, less feature complete and lower performing when all other hardware is equal.

As for VDPAU, does it even matter? AMD GPUs now have working UVD on Linux and even a low end CPU can playback 1080p video. Besides, even if you went to a higher resolution then 2560x1600 that the Nvidia IGP would not be able to handle it. In fact 2560x1600 may already be out of range for the hardware even for a 2D desktop, let alone playback of 2K or higher video.

Last edited by intok; 10-14-2013 at 10:15 PM.
 
Old 10-15-2013, 12:44 AM   #15
cascade9
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intok, I never suggested the nForce chipsets for AM3+ are a good idea. In fact, I went the other way (check back on post #4).

Apart from some very specific situations, I'll never suggest the old nForce chipsets. The main situation being 'I have a AM2/AM2+ system with a dead motherboard'. Which is how my flatmate ended up with a asrock nForce N68 AM2+ board...which is one of the chpeaest and nastiest boards I've ever seen. Her brother has a N68 AM3, which is just as bad.

But just because the chipset was designed that long ago doent make it automatically bad. 2008 AMD 7XX became AMD 8XX then AMD 9XX (with virtually zero hardwre changes AFAIK). They did update the southbridge, which is why most 8XX and all 9XX chipset boards have SATAIII.

BTW, the year of the AMD 7XX chipsets is the giveaway. nVidia didnt want to bother with AMD chipsets now that AMD was back making its own chipsets. Besides that, AMD performance was dropping vs intel (before core 2 duo, AMD was much better vs intel) from 2006/2007 onward, which reduces the demand for 'top end' chipsets' (which is what nVidia always wanted to sell).

LOL, VDPAU does matter, even if you have an AMD GPU. Since as far as I'm aware gradinaruvasile is correct, and the radeon drivers can use VDPAU.

Which also creates its own issues with the 'fusion' APUs, in my mind at least. Do you run the catalyst drivers and deal with XvBA? Or run the raedon drivers and deal with possible higher power consumption and heat output, and slower framrates if you play games?

As for why they arent benchmarked, it probably does have something to do with them being 'low featureset' boards. Probably just as much to do with 'asrock isnt sending them to be tested, and no-one else is really making them'. Since AMD has lost the performance crown, or even a good claim to it, the % of AMD reviews has dropped a lot. Not just on the 'old stock' junk chipsets that nVidia is still flogging, but on all the chipsets.

BTW, 1920x1440 is max. resolution on the 7025s. Not really an issue IMO, since if you've got enough money for a monitor over 1920x1440, you can afford a video card. Or a better chipset!

Last edited by cascade9; 10-15-2013 at 12:45 AM.
 
  


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