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Old 10-31-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
zeiz
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What's modern integrated graphics about?


4 years ago I got Asus M3N78-vm motherboard ($80) + AMD dual core Athlon2 2.3GHz ($85) + 4Gb ram. The board has Nvidia GeForce 8200 onboard chip. I decided just to try before buying any video card. But everything has been working just great up to now; the chip was able to handle all my Linuxes and BSDs as well as win7 and win8 just perfectly (I even played some games) so I didn't buy any video card.
But recently I got some problems with latest KDE4 so I "woke up" and started search what's going on currently on motherboard market...and found myself ... in cave ages
4 years ago some boards had integrated graphics and some other didn't so it was easy to distinguish and choose.
Today is different. 8 core processors, APU, EPU, TPU etc etc but there is no info in specifications whether a board has onboard video or not and if yes where it comes from.
As I can only guess nowadays if CPU is Intel then onboard graphics (if any) is just Intel. If CPU is AMD then it's Radeon/HD... whatever AMD.
Since Nvidia isn't a mobomaker is its graphics available now only as expensive video cards?
Also it's not clear what kind of integrated video is installed: is it text mode quality only? If not how to distinguish between video qualities? I'd like to keep Asus+AMD+Nvidia preference but I really got lost in "new times"
What's going on in hardware nowadays?
Many thanks.

Last edited by zeiz; 10-31-2012 at 09:24 PM.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
cascade9
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Asus M3N78-VM is a AM2+ board. Since then, yeah, theres been a lot of changes.

Intel and AMD have both moved 'onboard video' from the chipset/northbridge to the actual CPU. That is what AMD means by 'APU', a 'CPU with an intergrated GPU'.

All the AMD Fusion series are APUs with an intergrated GPU. They are sold as 'intergrated CPU' (CPU is soldered into the board, no CPU socket, no upgades/replacement possible) laptops/netbooks/notebooks with the odd and 'who cares really' mobile sockets, and as FM1 (obsolete) and FM2 motherboards. AMD 'Fusion' ranges from low end low power consumption stuff though to quad-cores, however, they are 'low end' quad care CPUs.

AM3+ with 9XX chipsets, the current AMD 'performance' boards, have no intergrated video at all.

Intel is far more complicated. Most of the (mainstream) current intel CPUs have intergrated video chip on teh CPU, but not all. Some intel chipsets have no support for the intergrated video chip on the CPU at all.

Intel also has 'intergrated CPU' boards, mostly intel Atoms. They also have intergated video, with the older versions it works with linux, the newest versions have no real linux support, as they are powerVR chips. Some other intel intergrated video int eh past has also been powerVR chips as well...they are a right pain.

Its also still possible to get motherobards with the intergrated video on the chipset/northbridge (older intel chipsets, AMD AM3+ 8XX chipsets). They are best avoided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Since Nvidia isn't a mobomaker is its graphics available now only as expensive video cards?
Expensive? Yes, some cards are, but you can get nVidia cards for $30. Not at all expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Also it's not clear what kind of integrated video is installed: is it text mode quality only?
Nope. All intergrated video is capable of high resolution GUIs. Apartf from some of the intel with powerVR chips, all current intergrated video should run with 3D acceleration as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
I'd like to keep Asus+AMD+Nvidia preference but I really got lost in "new times"
Want AMD + Asus + nVidia? Easy. (I'm just making a semi-random suggestion)

AMD FX CPU, Asus AM3+ 9XX board, nVidia card to siut (low level if you dont play games, mid to high level if you do some gaming).
 
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
zeiz
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Thank you very much, with you help I'm getting back on the track
So .. they tripled their efforts to promptly impose Windows to the world.
Fortunately for each screw a screwdriver exists so perhaps it's just a question of time.
Perhaps in meantime I'd rather think how to upgrade my current system.
Does NVidia still make its own cards? If not what brands (besides Asus) have top reputation nowadays?
Thanks again.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
TobiSGD
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Would be nice to know what you actually want to achieve with that system and what your problems are. Your system should run any Linux distro (and any other OS) just fine, so may be an upgrade will not solve your issues.
 
Old 11-02-2012, 12:01 AM   #5
zeiz
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Good question
Indeed everything runs on the system but KDE-4.9.2 so I blame my video.
It's very likely to tune install and get the KDE running (my 10 y.o. P4 system runs almost everything too) but the issue shows that upgrade is ahead anyway. It's possible to get PhenomII 945/965, add another 4Gb ram but I only can use a card to upgrade video. Another solution is to buy new system and gift this one to my kids. But M4N (sata2, usb3 etc) doesn't have any video means card again and cost again.
Perhaps it's a time to switch to Intel cpu (I'm quite happy with P4S333) but as I know Intel graphics (and everything else except processors) is the worst for Linux/BSD world (drivers, drivers...). It also could be wrong 'cause I didn't pay attention to hardware for long enough. However I saw Intel's answer to people unable to get win7 driver for wifi card:"...the card has 1 year limited warranty and it's discontinued..." so just dump a perfectly working laptop and buy new one with drug'n'drop uefi blocked by MS
Thus if there is no currently a chance to keep my preferences I'd rather wait being aware that there are no more onboard Nvidia graphic chips on mobos.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Old 11-02-2012, 04:07 AM   #6
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
OK, I will do my best to do that.

Quote:
But M4N (sata2, usb3 etc) doesn't have any video means card again and cost again.But M4N (sata2, usb3 etc) doesn't have any video means card again and cost again.
Any board with Nvidia chipset is deprecated and in the best case a hack to get it running with AM3+ CPUs. I would recommend to not stick yourself with Nvidia chipsets.

Quote:
Perhaps it's a time to switch to Intel cpu (I'm quite happy with P4S333) but as I know Intel graphics (and everything else except processors) is the worst for Linux/BSD world (drivers, drivers...). It also could be wrong 'cause I didn't pay attention to hardware for long enough.
Actually, yes, you are totally wrong here. Except for some integrated Atom video-parts, which in reality are PowerVR chips, you can't get better open source support than from Intel. If you are not a gamer (and it seems so) I would in fact recommend to go for a recent Intel CPU. You might also want to try one of AMD's APUs, but through recent actions from AMD and current news about them I can't recommend them wholeheartedly. Not so much from a functional standpoint (AFAIK those things work really well), but from a political standpoint.

Quote:
However I saw Intel's answer to people unable to get win7 driver for wifi card:"...the card has 1 year limited warranty and it's discontinued..." so just dump a perfectly working laptop
I never saw Intel doing something like that. But in any case it doesn't apply to Linux, once a open source driver is released you basically have support forever (theoretically, but practically the support will last longer than the machines lifetime).

Quote:
buy new one with drug'n'drop uefi blocked by MS
Sadly, a common misconception, spreaded by attention begging bloggers. Neither UEFI nor Microsoft are blocking other OSes.

Quote:
Thus if there is no currently a chance to keep my preferences I'd rather wait being aware that there are no more onboard Nvidia graphic chips on mobos.
There will be no more new Nvidia chipsets for x86 CPUs, simple as that, so waiting for them is not an option for you. I would recommend to either think about a cheap discrete videocard, if you really want to go for Nvidia, or to think about a change to Intel and its integrated video.
 
Old 11-02-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Does NVidia still make its own cards? If not what brands (besides Asus) have top reputation nowadays?
nVidia only sold cards with nVidia branding for a while, and they were nothing special.

In the budget/midrange level cards, there wont be much if any difference between Asus cards and everybody else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Indeed everything runs on the system but KDE-4.9.2 so I blame my video.
Considered blaming KDE?

I've been a logn time KDE user, and while KDE 4.X is pretty, I've been hearing 'performance is better with the new version!' for ages now. In my expereince (post KDE 4.2 or so) if a newer version of KDE has a difference in performance, its got worse, not better.

I'm seriously considering chaning over to Xfce or maybe razor-qt on my main desktop.....my media box is running the same distro I use on my desktop, and it has 1GB RAM DDR1, single core CPU, and a slower video card, and its more snappy than my desktop with a dual/quad core and 4GB DDR3.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
It's very likely to tune install and get the KDE running (my 10 y.o. P4 system runs almost everything too) but the issue shows that upgrade is ahead anyway. It's possible to get PhenomII 945/965, add another 4Gb ram but I only can use a card to upgrade video.
Which is by far the best price/performance increase you'll get.

I dont know why you are so worried about the cost of a video card, its cheaper than buying a new motherboard, CPU, RAM and possibly other stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Another solution is to buy new system and gift this one to my kids. But M4N (sata2, usb3 etc) doesn't have any video means card again and cost again.
Avoid M4N. They are either updated 7XXa/9XXs chipsets (no onboard video, so you need a card anyway) or the truely horrible GeForce 7025/7050 nForce 630a chipsets.

If you want AMD, get an AM3+ 9XX AMD chipset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Thus if there is no currently a chance to keep my preferences I'd rather wait being aware that there are no more onboard Nvidia graphic chips on mobos.
nVidia is out of the x86 chipset business.

The orginal nForce chipset was good (but pretty much based on the AMD chipset business nVidia bought), nForce 2 is still IMO the best onboard video and sound setup ever (yeah, its old now, but at the time it was amazing) nForce 3 + 4 were O.K.to poor, later chipsets were at best average....

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiz View Post
Perhaps it's a time to switch to Intel cpu (I'm quite happy with P4S333) but as I know Intel graphics (and everything else except processors) is the worst for Linux/BSD world (drivers, drivers...). It also could be wrong 'cause I didn't pay attention to hardware for long enough.
Ugh, happy with a P4S333. Sorry, I've used that baord, its average at best, and SiS chipsets in general arent that great.

Intel video varies a lot. Some of them were just nasty and slow (i810, i815, i845, i865), soem were just nasty (non-powerVR GMA) some of them have awful support with linux (anything with a powerVR chip).

If all you care about is running a basic desktop, intel video works. For harder tasks, intel video sucks. How much you could class KDE 4.X as a 'harder video task' I dont know, and would probably depend on just how much you are using desktop effects. I've havent run KDE 4.X on intel HD video and I dont use a huge number of desktop effects anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Except for some integrated Atom video-parts, which in reality are PowerVR chips, you can't get better open source support than from Intel. If you are not a gamer (and it seems so) I would in fact recommend to go for a recent Intel CPU. You might also want to try one of AMD's APUs, but through recent actions from AMD and current news about them I can't recommend them wholeheartedly. Not so much from a functional standpoint (AFAIK those things work really well), but from a political standpoint.
I'd suggest avoiding the APUs for different reasons. Limited upgrade path in particular, and the other is that the only 'advantage' of the APUs over other AMD or intel CPUs is they have decent video capabilities for gaming.

While I'm also not that impressed with some of the actions that AMD has taken lately, I still support them, for different political reasons to TobiSGD.

But long story short, if you want a new AMD, get an AM3+ motherboard, AM3/AM3+ CPU (both types run in AM3+ boards) some DDR3. If yuo want intel, get an LGA 1155 board, Intel chipset (probably a Z86/z77) and a LGA 1155 CPU. Its that easy.

BTW, even if you do get a board with onbaord video, I'd still suggest a video card in many cases. No loss of main system RAM and RAM I/Os for video use can make a difference at times, (and in the case of intel HD XXXX video, it will also use some of the CPU cache) and its only $30 US or so for a basic video card.
 
Old 11-02-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
gradinaruvasile
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I have the same mobo. I run Debian Testing with Xfce on it and it works wonderfully.
Now,
1. the card is able to play games, even LOTRO via Wine quite well with water reflections and stuff. I used compiz with it and was working perfectly well. So it has enough oomph for any accelerated desktop.
2. It uses the latest series of nvidia drivers ( you do use the proprietary one i assume) so it is compatible with newer technologies, it has built in hw decoding (vdpau) and whatnot.

1+2=If some desktop seems slow, there is probably either some bug in the driver "discovered" by the kde folks, or plainly something is badly implemented in kde. Changing the vid card to a newer nvidia probably wont solve this issue as these kinds of bugs largely are driver-version dependent, not vuid card dependent.

BTW:
- the mobo supports Am3 CPUs up to 6-core Phenoms - i have an Athlon II x2 250 @3GHz in it (you need a simple BIOS upgrade).
- i built recently an APU-based computer for someone and i had it for 3 days, so i put my hdds in it, installed the amd driver and gave it a spin (Asus F1A75-M mobo with SATA 6Gbps/USB3+4 GB 1333MHz RAM)) . The 2.7 GHz A4-3400 APU (almost the slowest one mind you) worked just as fast as my 3 GHz Athlon II (both are based on the same architecture), but the system felt faster, probably because of the faster RAM and maybe chipset.

The built-in GPU from the APU, however, wiped the floor with the 8200 - it had magnitudes higher FPS (accompanied by a smooth feel) in any games i played with it (sadly LOTRO wasnt playable because of a wine bug, but D&D worked very fast with highest settings, as did Regnum Online that was stuttering with the 8200). The "dreaded" AMD driver performed wonderfully stable.

Now this system is based on the FM1 chipset, and recently the FM2 was launched accompanied by noticeably faster APUs (~30% video) at about the same price.

Right now are 3 real upgrade paths: AMD/AM3+ socket, AMD/FM2 socket, Intel/1155 socket. From these - The Am3+ socket is at the second gen CPUs, not sure will be around for more, the 1155 is older and is, well, Intel that means it wont be around too. FM2 is new, and will be used for at least 1 more APU generation (maybe more, AMD is quite generous sometimes).

The AM3+ series cpus - those boards are more expensive if you want SATA 3/USB3, the cpus are more expensive. The onboard graphics are somewhat better than the 8200, but not that much (HD3000/HD4200) and are based on old designs.
The Intel route - see above - more expensive USB3+SATA3 boards, except you REALLY need a dedicated card because a)Intel integrated is still sub par, b) Intel drivers for Linux downright suck, making the less-bad newer Intels really bad under Linux compared to Windows. A more obscure detail is the feature support of their CPUs - Celerons and Pentiums that are priced as a dual core APU, while have ecellent CPU power, tend to be feature-crippled and not only in the video part where they might miss hw decoding etc - for example they dont have full virtualization support if any, so read the specs carefully if you plan to run virtual machines on them efficiently. AMD APUs/CPUs have full CPU and video feature support (not speed!) across the board.

I personally will surely get an FM2 APU for my next build - decent built in graphics (higher speed RAM+dual channel memory is a must), lower power consumption, no additional noise, affordable USB3/SATA3, upgradable with dedicated graphics if really needed - which wont be my case probably as i can run everything with the 8200, a FM2 APU will surely will be enough and more, (which, btw would beat the $30 dedicated cards you would use with an Intel).
 
Old 11-04-2012, 05:03 AM   #9
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
The built-in GPU from the APU, however, wiped the floor with the 8200 - it had magnitudes higher FPS (accompanied by a smooth feel) in any games i played with it (sadly LOTRO wasnt playable because of a wine bug, but D&D worked very fast with highest settings, as did Regnum Online that was stuttering with the 8200). The "dreaded" AMD driver performed wonderfully stable.
Yes, the FM1 and FM2 boards are fine if you want gaming speed for minimum expense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Right now are 3 real upgrade paths: AMD/AM3+ socket, AMD/FM2 socket, Intel/1155 socket. From these - The Am3+ socket is at the second gen CPUs, not sure will be around for more, the 1155 is older and is, well, Intel that means it wont be around too. FM2 is new, and will be used for at least 1 more APU generation (maybe more, AMD is quite generous sometimes).
LGA 1155- who knows.

AM3+- will probably get 'Steamroller' (next gen) CPUs.

FM2- I'm already hearing about FM2+. Its possible that there will be another set of CPU releases for FM2, but IMO its just as likely that there will be FM2+ boards capable of running FM2 and FM2+ CPUs, but FM2+ CPUs will only run in FM2+ boards. Or possibly, they will run in (some) FM2 boards with a BIOS update.

I think that AMD isnt quite sure yet what future CPU releases will use which sockets. Until there is a proper offical announcment, I wouldnt be buying FM2 or AM3+ boards in the expectation of future CPU releases (though IMO its more likely that AM3+ will get something in the future).

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
The AM3+ series cpus - those boards are more expensive if you want SATA 3/USB3, the cpus are more expensive.
Maybe where you are. Prices will vary, and I'm just using newegg as an example.

In the US a AM3+ board with USB 3/SATA-III is not much more expensive than an FM2 board. The FM2 boards start at about $5, and while there are 1 or 2 boards under %60 with USB 3.0, most of them are $65-100. You can get an asorck 970s with USB 3.0 for $70, and theres a whole load of 970 chipset boards for $70-100.

AM3+ CPUs are pretty much the same cost as FM2 CPUs. All the below as 4 core/2 module models, apart from the FX-6100.

FM2-
AMD A8-5500 Trinity 3.2GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) $105
AMD A8-5600K Trinity 3.6GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) $110
AMD A10-5700 Trinity 3.4GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) $125

AM3+-
AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) $110
AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) $120 ('6 core'/3 module model).

AMD FM2 is fine, if you dont mind being limited to a much smaller CPU cache and 4 cores. Well, 2 bulldozer modules really. If you want more than 2 bulldozer modules/4 threads, you have to get an AM3+ board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
The onboard graphics are somewhat better than the 8200, but not that much (HD3000/HD4200) and are based on old designs.
IMO dont even think about the not-so-great AMD 7XX and 8XX chipsets with onboard graphics for AM3+, or the even worse nForce with onbaord graphics chipsets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
The Intel route - see above - more expensive USB3+SATA3 boards, except you REALLY need a dedicated card because a)Intel integrated is still sub par, b) Intel drivers for Linux downright suck, making the less-bad newer Intels really bad under Linux compared to Windows.
While I'm no fan of intel video, no, you wont need a standalone video crd in many cases.

For 'normal desktop use', light media use, even light gaming the intel HD video is fine. If you want to playdemanding games, or do a lot of media watching, a video card is a good idea.

While some intel linux dirvers are awful, and there are intel video chips with no/amazingly poor linux supoport, the intel HD video series isnt that bad. The drivers for intel HD video is fine in my (limited) expereince, and the experience of lots of other linux users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
A more obscure detail is the feature support of their CPUs - Celerons and Pentiums that are priced as a dual core APU, while have ecellent CPU power, tend to be feature-crippled and not only in the video part where they might miss hw decoding etc - for example they dont have full virtualization support if any, so read the specs carefully if you plan to run virtual machines on them efficiently. AMD APUs/CPUs have full CPU and video feature support (not speed!) across the board.
Virtualisation hardware support only matters if you are a heavy user.

Hardware video decoding is possible with linux and intel HD video chips (with VAAPI). No, you wont get as much of a reduction in CPU use as you would with VDPAU. But it works, and you dont really need VDAPU/VAAPI/XvBA unless you are a heavy media user, or have a older CPU unable to decode high resoution videos.

Have you even tried XvBA? It could be enough to send you of to the computer shop to buy an cheap nVidia card for hardware video decoding....

Last edited by cascade9; 11-04-2012 at 05:06 AM.
 
Old 11-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
LGA 1155- who knows.

AM3+- will probably get 'Steamroller' (next gen) CPUs.

FM2- I'm already hearing about FM2+. Its possible that there will be another set of CPU releases for FM2, but IMO its just as likely that there will be FM2+ boards capable of running FM2 and FM2+ CPUs, but FM2+ CPUs will only run in FM2+ boards. Or possibly, they will run in (some) FM2 boards with a BIOS update.

I think that AMD isnt quite sure yet what future CPU releases will use which sockets. Until there is a proper offical announcment, I wouldnt be buying FM2 or AM3+ boards in the expectation of future CPU releases (though IMO its more likely that AM3+ will get something in the future).
Yes, there are rumors that point to an unification of the FM2 and AM3+ sockets (should have been sooner). But this wont come earlier than 1-2 more generations of cpus. Also AMD said that the FM2 is the last APU socket before the unified one, whatever that will be plus the next gen APU (Richland) will work with FM2. So, at least one more generation is assured for FM2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Maybe where you are. Prices will vary, and I'm just using newegg as an example.

In the US a AM3+ board with USB 3/SATA-III is not much more expensive than an FM2 board. The FM2 boards start at about $5, and while there are 1 or 2 boards under %60 with USB 3.0, most of them are $65-100. You can get an asorck 970s with USB 3.0 for $70, and theres a whole load of 970 chipset boards for $70-100.
I personally wouldnt go below Gigabyte. But in general you are right - The FM2 boards with A75 chipset (native USB3/SATA3) are a few bucks more than their equivalent in AM3+ with 970 (same brand). Admittedly, the A85 costs more, but doesnt seem to have anything essential that impacts performance. I took Gigabyte as a basis here - those boards are verywhere, even here in Romania.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
AM3+ CPUs are pretty much the same cost as FM2 CPUs. All the below as 4 core/2 module models, apart from the FX-6100.

FM2-
AMD A8-5500 Trinity 3.2GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) $105
AMD A8-5600K Trinity 3.6GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) $110
AMD A10-5700 Trinity 3.4GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) $125

AM3+-
AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) $110
AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) $120 ('6 core'/3 module model).

AMD FM2 is fine, if you dont mind being limited to a much smaller CPU cache and 4 cores. Well, 2 bulldozer modules really. If you want more than 2 bulldozer modules/4 threads, you have to get an AM3+ board.
There is A4-5300 for $65 and A6-5400k for $75 if you are on a tight budget - they are everything one needs for light gaming and such.
BTW you posted the old Bulldozers there, the second gen Visheras start from 130 (FX-4300) - these are in fact the equivalents for the FM2.
And you have to factor in a video card's price if you use the 970 chipset as that one doesnt have an IGP or if you use 980G you have to contend with a very slow (compared to the APUs) IGP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
IMO dont even think about the not-so-great AMD 7XX and 8XX chipsets with onboard graphics for AM3+, or the even worse nForce with onbaord graphics chipsets.
I have tried the HD3000 (in a AM3 or AM3+ board with the 760G chipset i had for a couple of days) and in fact it was a bit faster than my 8200 i use for everything (well, maybe the 3 core cpu helped a bit). No hw decoding at all under Linux, but it was working well. AFAIK the 8xxG chipsets have the 4200/4250 integrated which is even better and has xvba.
BU they dont come close to the APUs in terms of performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
While I'm no fan of intel video, no, you wont need a standalone video crd in many cases.

For 'normal desktop use', light media use, even light gaming the intel HD video is fine. If you want to playdemanding games, or do a lot of media watching, a video card is a good idea.

While some intel linux dirvers are awful, and there are intel video chips with no/amazingly poor linux supoport, the intel HD video series isnt that bad. The drivers for intel HD video is fine in my (limited) expereince, and the experience of lots of other linux users.
Well i had seen x3100 and hd4500 in action in Linux and it worked for browsing and such (smaller movies too). But thats all. Any attempt to actually play games (based on the ioquake engine, very light) was either unsuccesful (hard lock/crash/etc) either resulted in very low FPS. I dont know the i series how actually perform, but i dont hold my breath. Under Windows they seem fine, but Linux is very different cup of tea. Their drivers seem to be hit and miss something like the open source AMD drivers, only that AMD has some more serious hardware to play with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Virtualisation hardware support only matters if you are a heavy user.
Well it does matter to me as i run a VM in background all the time (my testing web server) and sometimes launch additional ones (Windows, to test IE crap or native-only programs/hardware). Im pretty sure im not the only one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Hardware video decoding is possible with linux and intel HD video chips (with VAAPI). No, you wont get as much of a reduction in CPU use as you would with VDPAU. But it works, and you dont really need VDAPU/VAAPI/XvBA unless you are a heavy media user, or have a older CPU unable to decode high resoution videos.

Have you even tried XvBA? It could be enough to send you of to the computer shop to buy an cheap nVidia card for hardware video decoding....
I have tried VDPAU which is stable and works pretty much well if you have a minimum B class card such as the 8200 (and doesnt actually work on cards like Quadro NVS 135M/285 that have A class decoding).
I also tried xvba on a dedicated 6670 and later with an integrated HD 6410D (A4-3400 APU). Both performed exactly the same - worked in certain movies and not in others. Some had distorted images. Now i hear that the latest fglrx beta driver has better xvba support, but i cant say until i see it.
Of the 2 methods, VDPAU is much better, i get like 10% CPU usage for 1080p clips.
With Xvba i get about 30-35. Without i have ~70% (really wide margins, ranging from 30 to 90, but usually about 50-70).
Using vaapi (i use vlc mainly) with nvidia performance wise its exactly like the xvba only with better compatibility.
IMO you dont have to be a heavy media user to hook up your HD TV to the computer and watch HD movies.

Anyway - In my opinion using an APU is much more simple and cost effective solution if you do all kinds of stuff as i do (light gaming, virtual machines, graphics editing snd whatnot).
Add the fact that i run my computer 24/7, im really interested in the power usage of my computer - a dedicated card would surely add to the bill as with an APU i can have the same ~65w envelope for both CPU and GPU. Also i have the computer on the desk right beside me so noise levels really count here.
 
Old 11-05-2012, 02:11 AM   #11
Steven Arnold
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Hello Friends,

A graphics processing unit (GPU), also occasionally called visual processing unit (VPU), is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the building of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics, and their highly parallel structure makes them more effective than general-purpose CPUs for algorithms where processing of large blocks of data is done in parallel. In a personal computer, a GPU can be present on a video card, or it can be on the motherboard or—in certain CPUs—on the CPU die. More than 90% of new desktop and notebook computers have integrated GPUs, which are usually far less powerful than those on a dedicated video card.

Best Regards
Steven Arnold
 
Old 11-07-2012, 04:26 AM   #12
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Yes, there are rumors that point to an unification of the FM2 and AM3+ sockets (should have been sooner). But this wont come earlier than 1-2 more generations of cpus. Also AMD said that the FM2 is the last APU socket before the unified one, whatever that will be plus the next gen APU (Richland) will work with FM2. So, at least one more generation is assured for FM2.
Not assured at all until we actually see a release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
There is A4-5300 for $65 and A6-5400k for $75 if you are on a tight budget - they are everything one needs for light gaming and such.
1 module bulldozer/piledriver CPUs. Very, very low end. Athlon II X2 270 is $10 are cheaper and about as fast.....

The HD 7480D/HD 7540D are also very low end and will perform a fair amount worse than the HD 7660D found in the more expensive models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
BTW you posted the old Bulldozers there, the second gen Visheras start from 130 (FX-4300) - these are in fact the equivalents for the FM2.
I'm fully aware that I posted bulldozer CPUs. A FX-4100 to FX-4170 is very close in performance to the top end AXX CPUs-

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu...a10-5800k.html

FX-4100 + motherboard + video card will only be a few $$$ more than the FM2 setups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
And you have to factor in a video card's price if you use the 970 chipset as that one doesnt have an IGP or if you use 980G you have to contend with a very slow (compared to the APUs) IGP.
Those 980G (and all the other XXXG chipsets as well) are junk.

As for 'slow', only someone who plays games wil care. A 42XX GPU is just as fast on the desktop as the HD 6XXX or HD 7XXX APUs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Well i had seen x3100 and hd4500 in action in Linux and it worked for browsing and such (smaller movies too). But thats all. Any attempt to actually play games (based on the ioquake engine, very light) was either unsuccesful (hard lock/crash/etc) either resulted in very low FPS.
X3100 and HD4500 are a lot worse than the newer intel video chips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
I dont know the i series how actually perform, but i dont hold my breath. Under Windows they seem fine, but Linux is very different cup of tea. Their drivers seem to be hit and miss something like the open source AMD drivers, only that AMD has some more serious hardware to play with.
If you havent used the Intel HD XXXX vido (iX CPUs) then you dont have any basis for this opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
I have tried VDPAU which is stable and works pretty much well if you have a minimum B class card such as the 8200 (and doesnt actually work on cards like Quadro NVS 135M/285 that have A class decoding).
I've never used a Quadro NVS. I have used a few nVidia GPUs with VDPAU feature set 'A' (mainly an old 8400GS and 8600GT) VDPAU works fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
I also tried xvba on a dedicated 6670 and later with an integrated HD 6410D (A4-3400 APU). Both performed exactly the same - worked in certain movies and not in others. Some had distorted images. Now i hear that the latest fglrx beta driver has better xvba support, but i cant say until i see it.
Which IMO makes XvBA fairly useless.

'The next version of catalyst has better support' is what I've been hearing about XvBA for years now. Sometimes they make minor improvements, but they still havent got it anywhere near usable for everyday use IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Add the fact that i run my computer 24/7, im really interested in the power usage of my computer - a dedicated card would surely add to the bill as with an APU i can have the same ~65w envelope for both CPU and GPU. Also i have the computer on the desk right beside me so noise levels really count here.
If you want the lowest power level for any given gaming performance level, an i3 + video card is ahead of the APUs IMO.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-07-2012 at 04:31 AM.
 
Old 11-07-2012, 06:45 AM   #13
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
1 module bulldozer/piledriver CPUs. Very, very low end. Athlon II X2 270 is $10 are cheaper and about as fast.....
270 costs more (albeit not very), 250 is exactly the same price as an A4-5300 where i am. And you will need a dedicated card so add that to the price.
That 1 module means nothing if it works for its intended purpose. These APUs are not to be used for l33t gaming or benchmarking(this is pissing contest really) or high level video editing or anything highly threaded dedicated workload, they are used for light gaming and other desktop stuff like browsing etc. They fit that bill perfectly. No need for n>1 modules for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
The HD 7480D/HD 7540D are also very low end and will perform a fair amount worse than the HD 7660D found in the more expensive models.
Duh. But having seen the A4-3400 in action (performed faster than a dedicated nvidia 210) im optimistic given that the 7xxx series are way faster...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
FX-4100 + motherboard + video card will only be a few $$$ more than the FM2 setups.
"FM2 setups" could mean an A4-5300 + A55 based mobo (prices are in Romanian RON, source http://www.azerty.ro/):

FX-4100 = 465,55

A4-5300 APU = 215,55
GA-F2A55M-DS2 mobo = 250,78
total = 466.33 thats pretty much the same for a mobo+apu as for the FX CPU alone.

And its not even the cheapest mobo on the site (that honor goes to an Asrock for 212,37).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Those 980G (and all the other XXXG chipsets as well) are junk.
As for 'slow', only someone who plays games wil care. A 42XX GPU is just as fast on the desktop as the HD 6XXX or HD 7XXX APUs.
I play light games and i care. The HD3XXX/4XXX, nvidia 8200 are on the level of "just enough". APUs are way higher, even the slowest ones + they are more power efficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
X3100 and HD4500 are a lot worse than the newer intel video chips.
If you havent used the Intel HD XXXX vido (iX CPUs) then you dont have any basis for this opinion.
I agree that the old ones are junk and the newer ones are better junk. My opinion is based on stuff i read on the net and everything points to the fact that the intel drivers, as always, are "not there yet". The better working drivers are experimental so the kernels they come with.
Have used an APU in your system you use daily to actually see the difference (just to determine if you are entitled to your opinion about APUs)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
I've never used a Quadro NVS. I have used a few nVidia GPUs with VDPAU feature set 'A' (mainly an old 8400GS and 8600GT) VDPAU works fine.
Probably depends on the clip, but trust me, they are hit and miss on NVS (mostly miss). I really wanted to see my laptop use less CPU, but that just didnt happen. Maybe they gimped the NVS series too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Which IMO makes XvBA fairly useless.
Fairly. It worked on all but one clip for me (that gave messed up pixels).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
'The next version of catalyst has better support' is what I've been hearing about XvBA for years now. Sometimes they make minor improvements, but they still havent got it anywhere near usable for everyday use IMO.
They are not there, but near.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
If you want the lowest power level for any given gaming performance level, an i3 + video card is ahead of the APUs IMO.
Maybe the i3 alone, but the dedicated video card/mobo might screw with this assumption. Not to mention the price tag.
Aso you didnt get when i said the usage scenario covers VMs, etc, the gaming is the least of concern (but nonetheless a decent level of video speed is needed).
Probably we are on different levels regarding what "light gaming"/"decent video speed" and "budget" means.
For where i am, budget build means up to ~250 euros (thats max pretty much and covers the whole computer sans monitor). Try to fit in that an i3+card using a decent mobo (Asus or Gigabyte).
People are upgrading from Athlon xp's and same level Pentiums because something broke. For this market, an APU is blessing.
 
Old 11-13-2012, 01:20 AM   #14
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
270 costs more (albeit not very), 250 is exactly the same price as an A4-5300 where i am. And you will need a dedicated card so add that to the price.
That 1 module means nothing if it works for its intended purpose. These APUs are not to be used for l33t gaming or benchmarking(this is pissing contest really) or high level video editing or anything highly threaded dedicated workload, they are used for light gaming and other desktop stuff like browsing etc. They fit that bill perfectly. No need for n>1 modules for this.
You can get cheap video cards everywhere. Is $30 US really that huge an expense?

Sure, the 1 module APU are fine if you know what you are getting and it runs what you want. I'd guess that most people would prefer to spend a little more and get a fair bit more CPU power, and most A4 buyers are on a major budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Duh. But having seen the A4-3400 in action (performed faster than a dedicated nvidia 210) im optimistic given that the 7xxx series are way faster...
A little faster for any given $$$ and APU level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
"FM2 setups" could mean an A4-5300 + A55 based mobo (prices are in Romanian RON, source http://www.azerty.ro/):

FX-4100 = 465,55

A4-5300 APU = 215,55
GA-F2A55M-DS2 mobo = 250,78
total = 466.33 thats pretty much the same for a mobo+apu as for the FX CPU alone.

And its not even the cheapest mobo on the site (that honor goes to an Asrock for 212,37).
Comparing apples and oranges? A single module A4 is cheaper than a 2 module FX. No surpise. The A8 2 module is more expensive than the FX-4100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
I play light games and i care. The HD3XXX/4XXX, nvidia 8200 are on the level of "just enough". APUs are way higher, even the slowest ones + they are more power efficient.
8200 was never enough for 3D gaming for me, just too weak.

You'll only save a few watts at idle with a APU over a video card. Even the fairly low level cards like a HD 6570 would be faster than any of the APUs, and the lower lvel APUs can be outclassed by very slow, non-gamer cards like HD 6450.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
I agree that the old ones are junk and the newer ones are better junk. My opinion is based on stuff i read on the net and everything points to the fact that the intel drivers, as always, are "not there yet". The better working drivers are experimental so the kernels they come with.
Have used an APU in your system you use daily to actually see the difference (just to determine if you are entitled to your opinion about APUs)?
FFS. Reread how you got here. I wasnt complianing about the AMD GPU drivers (though its a valid complaint). Seeing how I've broguht it up though, you are awre that the HD 3XXX and 4XXX series have been dropped and are no longer supported by current releases? That alone has driven many potential AMD GPU users away.

Not that it matters, but I have used a couple of APU systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Probably depends on the clip, but trust me, they are hit and miss on NVS (mostly miss). I really wanted to see my laptop use less CPU, but that just didnt happen. Maybe they gimped the NVS series too much.
Quadro NVS for various reasons are a joke. I hadnt heard about VDPAU problems with them, that just makes the joke funnier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Maybe the i3 alone, but the dedicated video card/mobo might screw with this assumption. Not to mention the price tag.
You dont have to get an i3, there are other lower level Intel CPUs.

You might be suprised about how weak the APUs are in comparison to even bottom of the line video cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Aso you didnt get when i said the usage scenario covers VMs, etc, the gaming is the least of concern (but nonetheless a decent level of video speed is needed).
I wouldnt take my general comments as 'you've got the wrong system!'. If it works for you, fine.

How many budget users are planning on running VMs and how much the 'extra' hardware virtualisation on AMD helps, what light gaming is, etc. are subjects you can run around and debate forever.

I still stick with 'avoid FM1 and FM2 unless you know wat you are getting...even then, it might not be the best idea'.
 
Old 11-13-2012, 01:01 PM   #15
gradinaruvasile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
You can get cheap video cards everywhere. Is $30 US really that huge an expense?
Sure, the 1 module APU are fine if you know what you are getting and it runs what you want. I'd guess that most people would prefer to spend a little more and get a fair bit more CPU power, and most A4 buyers are on a major budget.
$30 by itself is not huge amount of money, but if you have to fit it in a budget, it counts especially if you could get it bundled for no extra expense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Comparing apples and oranges? A single module A4 is cheaper than a 2 module FX. No surpise. The A8 2 module is more expensive than the FX-4100.
FX-4100@3600MHz - 470,73 RON
A8-5500@3200MHz - 470,85 RON
A8-5600K@3600MHz - 479,01 RON
1 RON=0.28 USD

So, for $3 extra you can get a pretty good vid card bundled.
Or, for the same price you can get a slightly slower CPU with a pretty good vid card and 30 less TDP.
You also have the option to buy a not-that-expensive mobo which has native SATA3 and USB3 support.
You can add a dedicated video card later just as well (bonus: the option to crossfire it - granted it isnt consistent but the option is there), but first you get the (prety good) bundled ones for no added expense.
Why buy a 4100 then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
You'll only save a few watts at idle with a APU over a video card. Even the fairly low level cards like a HD 6570 would be faster than any of the APUs, and the lower level APUs can be outclassed by very slow, non-gamer cards like HD 6450.
Yes, but they add to the price.
6570: 252,19 RON - thats more than a A4-5300 alone and more than half the price of an A8 - the DDR3 memory means its not that fast either.
6450: 141,79 RON - more than half the price on an A4 (cheapest DDR3 model). It does have a 64-bit bus though so its not that fast as it can be theoretically. The new generation of APUs have faster graphics (by 20-30%) than the previous ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
FFS. Reread how you got here. I wasnt complianing about the AMD GPU drivers (though its a valid complaint). Seeing how I've broguht it up though, you are aware that the HD 3XXX and 4XXX series have been dropped and are no longer supported by current releases? That alone has driven many potential AMD GPU users away.
Yes, its a bit worrying, but most distros support them for a few more years (stable releases).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Not that it matters, but I have used a couple of APU systems.
And what was your experience with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
You dont have to get an i3, there are other lower level Intel CPUs.
Yes, but those have lower performance too (admittedly better than the APUs at the same price point, but not that much) coupled with a gimped GPU (which doesnt compare to AMDs stuff).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
You might be suprised about how weak the APUs are in comparison to even bottom of the line video cards.
Im surprised how good integrated graphics got with the APUs. The A4-3400 was faster than an nvidia 210 overall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
I wouldnt take my general comments as 'you've got the wrong system!'. If it works for you, fine.
How many budget users are planning on running VMs and how much the 'extra' hardware virtualisation on AMD helps, what light gaming is, etc. are subjects you can run around and debate forever.
I still stick with 'avoid FM1 and FM2 unless you know wat you are getting...even then, it might not be the best idea'.
Everyone has its own opinion.
You are the adept of dedicated gpu+cpu, i like the apu concept, you think of $30 extra as acceptable, i think its not needed if you have a close enough performance card for free.
Im not willing to pay extra for some extra performance i almost never get to use. Others are.
The thing is that the cpus have reached a point a few years ago with core2duo and athlon 2 where there is no need in upgrading them after a certain point for casual tasks most people do.

My gripe with my current system (which is has the same mobo as the OPs) really is that it turns out that the MCP78S nvidia chipset has some flaky drivers and with the 3 series kernels lately i get ocassional usb-related kernel oopses (connecting an Android phone or a certain crappy webcam) + usb subsystem locks (the currently plugged usb devices work, but nothing that is plugged later), also i suspect certain SATA related errors are the result of these drivers.
So, instead of the upgrade route - plugging an additional vid card and upgrading the CPU to something tri/quad/hexa core (at least Athlon II x3/x4 isnt that expensive now) i will change the whole thing.
 
  


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