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APU + discreet: gimmick or amazeballs?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by mitya, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. mitya

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    So I came across the Lenovo G505s (link) and I notice it has a discreet card (GT 720M) as well as the APU that comes with the AMD A10 processor.

    Is APU + disgreet a gimmick, or do the two somehow magically combine to create a better gaming experience than either one could in isolation?

    Is this what AMD call crossfire? If so, I seem to recall @RCoon (a very helpful member here) telling me at some point last year that the world wasn't really ready for crossfire and its potential lay more in the future.

    I've seen YT footage of people playing Battlefield 4 on this machine, with impressive FPS and settings.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    I think it's a typo, lenovo's page for the G505s doesn't list specs but the driver download page doesn't have drivers for the nVidia GT 720M. I think the store's listing is wrong in that regard.


    A10-5750m has HD 8650G graphics, 384 VLIW4 cores @ 533Mhz, roughly on par with an HD4650 DDR3.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
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  3. Blue-Knight

    Blue-Knight

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    To list a capability or non working device in these kind of products is a common marketing strategy of them...

    That's what happens when we have no rules to be followed.
     
  4. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    It's called hybrid crossfire, but hybrid crossfire doesn't work with an AMD APU and an NVidia discrete GPU. You'd need a very specific AMD discrete GPU to hybrid crossfire with the APU, specifically a 7660M I think, I could be wrong, AMD has too many naming monikers. Besides that, crossfire (desktop dual GPU setups) works wonderfully, but hybrid crossfire(APU + dedicated GPU) has been very hit and miss until this new year, when Kaveri APUs seemed to hybrid crossfire quite nicely with the R7 240.
     
  5. mitya

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    Thanks, guys.

    OK, so that one with the GeForce is probably a mistake BUT I did find a version of the same laptop with Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M dual. From this thread, though, I'm sensing that crossfire (at least in this case) is largely non-beneficial unless games explicitly support it via the drivers.

    Also, @RCoon, you mention Kevari, but is that a current or future thing? I never see that mentioned in specs; I just see Richland. Should I be holding out perhaps for Kevari builds?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  6. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    I'd say that would be the one with hybrid Crossfire, I don't think the 8650G alone is capable of that.
     
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  7. RCoon

    RCoon Gaming Moderator Staff Member

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    LLano (1st gen) and Richland (2nd gen) Hybrid APU crossfire is pretty meh, it only works on a select few titles, and doesn't always work properly. Kaveri does not yet have a foothold in the mobile market, I have no idea when mobile versions of the 7600K and 7850K will be available, perhaps not for months on end. But from a desktop perspective, Kaveri's hybrid crossfire does actually work properly in quite a few interesting titles.

    It's also worth noting both the 8650G and 8570M are slightly more powerful than the 720M. The clocks are lower, but the compute cores are almost triple in number, so even if the magical Richland hybrid crossfire doesn't work, you're still likely to get better performance. Just google 8650G vs 720m and likewise with the 8570m
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  8. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    only way to have a crossfire APU setup is if you have an AMD APU with a Radeon Card that is compatible with the APU portion, id suggest reading up. Otherwise its mainly used for power savings, but a 720M is laughable at best
     
  9. mitya

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    Thanks for the further info, guys.
     
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i've got a 'dual graphics' laptop, AMD APU + dedicated card.


    its horrible. only works with drivers from 2012, only works in DX10/11 games in fullscreen, and while it gave me a 60ish % boost to FPS, it needs drivers so old i just stick with the APU's graphics.


    get one with a fast, singular GPU - avoid the ones that switch between intel and AMD (or intel + nvidia) if possible, they're incredibly fussy with drivers as well.
     
  11. mitya

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    Interesting insight, @Mussels - thanks a lot.
     
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if you get one from a new generation with TRUE crossfireX, its probably worth it - but the 'AMD dual graphics' or 'AMD enduro' are not worth extra cash. (enduro isnt terrible - its a good idea, but hard to update drivers for)
     
  13. mitya

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    Anyone know how much of a leap in class I'd be taking from this APU crossfire setup to, say, a GT 740 or 750?
     
  14. Steevo

    Steevo

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    I can second this. Unless you want to insert your existing card info into the new INF sections or edit the ones in the driver files to match yours it almost impossible.
     
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  15. mitya

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    Also, what happens if a game's drivers don't support crossfire - which GPU gets used: the on-board, or the discrete?
     
  16. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    first things first: what i was talking about was NOT crossfire. crossfire, enduro, and dual graphics work very, VERY differently.


    so which one are you asking about?
     
  17. mitya

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    @Mussels, perhaps I'm tripping over terminology here. I'm talking about the Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M dual. If a game's drivers don't support dual, which would be used - the 8650 or 8570?
     
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    that combination is likely "amd dual graphics" like in my laptop, and not true crossfire - check what they officially call it, because they're far from the same.

    true crossfire works like on a desktop - the GPU power is doubled, while ram amounts/power are not.

    Dual graphics works like crossfire, but only in DX10/DX11, and only with very specific drivers that are very, very rarely updated.
     
  19. mitya

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    Thanks. And are those drivers issued by the game developers, or by AMD?
     
  20. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    by the maker of the laptop.
     
  21. mitya

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    Aha, I see. Thanks.
     
  22. mitya

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    OK so after lots of forum posting and research I'm still not 100% clear on the whole Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M setup. This is dual, NOT crossfire, then, right? In which case, does that mean it's dependent on driver support and, if so, and driver support is not available for a given game, which GPU would be used - the on-board (8650G) or dedicated (8570M)?

    This is really confusing. There's plenty of vids on YT of people playing recent games with this dual set-up, but it's not clear whether they're getting the framerates because the games in question support the simultaneously employment of both GPUs, or it's just running on one of them.

    Sorry, this isn't my area of expertise, as you might have guessed.

    Finally, any word on when we might expect Kaveri laptops? Did my research; most articles just say they were supposed to unveil it at a show in January this year.
     
  23. Mathragh

    Mathragh

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    On the topic of dual graphics: the most recent beta drivers has the following release notes: "Dual graphics DirectX 9 application issues have been resolved".

    Now, I'm not sure whether this is really big news for us dual graphics users which for some reason doesn't get the attention it deserves, or the release notes exaggerate things(or are just unclear).

    It could potentially be a big boon to all dual graphics users however! Sadly, I cannot test it myself, as the gf with her dual graphics laptop is away for 6 months. Maybe mussels or somebody else can try it out though?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  24. mitya

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    Interesting news. Fingers crossed it translates to benefits.

    When you say DirectX 9, what does that mean exactly? I mean I know what DirectX is, but does it mean this 'fix' would benefit only certain games, or something?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  25. Mathragh

    Mathragh

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    "Previously", dual graphics mode would only properly work in directX 11 games, meaning that only the newest games based upon the newest directx technology would(could) properly work on dual graphics.
    A real world example would be that for an instance battlefield 3 and 4 might work OK on dual graphics, but skyrim wouldn't, because the latter is based upon directx 9 while the newest battlefields are based upon directx 11.

    This is(was?) a major drawback, as today many mainstream and high profile games are still based on this older directx platform, like Star Craft II, League of Legends and all valve games.
     

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