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I'm planning on upgrading to an APU system: need advice!

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#1
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#2
Why bother with APU when you want a discrete card? Makes absolutely no sense if you ask me.

My advice is to get a Sandy Bridge i3 if you want a budget gaming rig.
 
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#3
Why bother with APU when you want a discrete card? Makes absolutely no sense if you ask me.

My advice is to get a Sandy Bridge i3 if you want a budget gaming rig.
Not interested in gaming, @ this time: my main concern is power consumption.
 
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#4
If all you are going to be doing is surfing the internet and watching movies, the APU will be good enough. And use less power than the 6670.
 
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#5
Well I don't know what you have planned but 16GB of ram sounds high with the rest of the specs and if your going APU the don't get a 6670. If your going to go dedicated card than you might was well get a i3 as it is faster CPU.

Here are 2 builds I put together a while back.\
i3 Intel is cheaper but not as good GPU so its better option if you go with discrete


AMD APU Better GPU but not quite as fast CPU
 
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#6
Well I don't know what you have planned but 16GB of ram sounds high with the rest of the specs and if your going APU the don't get a 6670. If your going to go dedicated card than you might was well get a i3 as it is faster CPU.

Here are 2 builds I put together a while back.\
i3 Intel is cheaper but not as good GPU so its better option if you go with discrete
http://img.techpowerup.org/111015/Capture0251.jpg

AMD APU Better GPU but not quite as fast CPU
http://img.techpowerup.org/111015/Capture0252.jpg
That's what i'm choosing for myself (mobo, RAM): only difference is the APU's model.

Still need to find out compatibility of the mobo with my RAID card: UEFI BIOSes and Adaptec RAID cards don't mix @ all :(
 
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#7
Any F1A75-V PRO motherboard users out there? Does this board have UEFI BIOS only or does it also have a regular BIOS as well?

I find the lack of response from the motherboard's manufacturer forum disturbing :(

If it doesn't have a regular BIOS, then i have to pick another board for sure :(
 
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#8
Any F1A75-V PRO motherboard users out there? Does this board have UEFI BIOS only or does it also have a regular BIOS as well?

I find the lack of response from the motherboard's manufacturer forum disturbing :(

If it doesn't have a regular BIOS, then i have to pick another board for sure :(
1) I personally recommend the 3850. It's plenty for surfing, media, and light gaming.

2) Discrete card is not necessary. The on-chip video card is as powerful as a 6670. You can run them with hybrid crossfire though. The performance boost, if not gaming, is probably not worth the power draw.

3) UEFI on that board. ASUS says UEFI bios on their website, assume that is what you're getting.

4) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128511. Yes, it's newegg, so you'll have to find your own. At the same time, it's 30 USD cheaper here than the ASUS. I've built on it, and can recommend it as a decent performing board. The underclocking isn't difficult, and the BIOS is still friendly.

5) Try for RAM with 1866 frequencies. Even if the timing is looser, you'll notice a change in performane. The on-chip video utilizes the same RAM as the system, which is why 1866 is so highly recommended.
 
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#10
1) I personally recommend the 3850. It's plenty for surfing, media, and light gaming.
I was thinking 3800 or 3600.
2) Discrete card is not necessary. The on-chip video card is as powerful as a 6670. You can run them with hybrid crossfire though. The performance boost, if not gaming, is probably not worth the power draw.
I'm just worried the monitor is too big for the APU by itself. I can always reduce the resolution, i suppose.
3) UEFI on that board. ASUS says UEFI bios on their website, assume that is what you're getting.
It does say that but there are some mobos that have both types of BIOSes: wondering if this is one of them.
4) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128511. Yes, it's newegg, so you'll have to find your own. At the same time, it's 30 USD cheaper here than the ASUS. I've built on it, and can recommend it as a decent performing board. The underclocking isn't difficult, and the BIOS is still friendly.
This board is a bit more expensive over here then there: http://www.pcdiga.com/pcdiga/Produto.asp?Familia=Hardware&Artigo=8873 :(

5) Try for RAM with 1866 frequencies. Even if the timing is looser, you'll notice a change in performane. The on-chip video utilizes the same RAM as the system, which is why 1866 is so highly recommended.
The plan was to OC just the RAM: this is possible, no? Still, there's this RAM: i suppose i can use what i'm not gonna spend on the discrete card for this RAM's difference and keep the change :laugh:
 
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#11
I was thinking 3800 or 3600.

I'm just worried the monitor is too big for the APU by itself. I can always reduce the resolution, i suppose.

It does say that but there are some mobos that have both types of BIOSes: wondering if this is one of them.

This board is a bit more expensive over here then there: http://www.pcdiga.com/pcdiga/Produto.asp?Familia=Hardware&Artigo=8873 :(


The plan was to OC just the RAM: this is possible, no? Still, there's this RAM: i suppose i can use what i'm not gonna spend on the discrete card for this RAM's difference and keep the change :laugh:
The 3800 is more expensive, and will draw slightly more power. On the other hand, I've had the 3850 run in 1920x1080. The picture was fine with media, but once gaming the eye candy had to be turned down.

There is no true UEFI yet, to my knowledge. Manufacturers use either old school BIOS, or a hybrid UEFI. The hybrid allows for all the features of a BIOS, with the slightly more user friendly GUI of UEFI. I cannot say what flavor of UEFI ASUS utilizes.

That sucks on the board. I can't really understand why that is, considering both ASUS and Gigabyte have total world presence... I don't get it..?

Yes, RAM can be overclocked. You'll likely have to make the timings much looser. There's a thread in these forums that is more knowledgeable about that than I am.
 
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#12
The 3800 is more expensive, and will draw slightly more power. On the other hand, I've had the 3850 run in 1920x1080. The picture was fine with media, but once gaming the eye candy had to be turned down.
Huh? The 3800 is supposed to consume less, which is why i prefer it (65w VS 100w).



There is no true UEFI yet, to my knowledge. Manufacturers use either old school BIOS, or a hybrid UEFI. The hybrid allows for all the features of a BIOS, with the slightly more user friendly GUI of UEFI. I cannot say what flavor of UEFI ASUS utilizes.
According to Adaptec, the problem is in the way UEFI works (described in OP's link).

That sucks on the board. I can't really understand why that is, considering both ASUS and Gigabyte have total world presence... I don't get it..?

Yes, RAM can be overclocked. You'll likely have to make the timings much looser. There's a thread in these forums that is more knowledgeable about that than I am.
Each of my 2 kits of DDR2 RAM is rated @ 900 MHz 4-4-4-12 with 2.0 volts but it's running @ 902 MHz 4-4-3-10 with 2.016 real, and that's with 8 GBs. Granted: i'm with an underclock, but i ran them @ 961 MHz 4-4-3-10 with 2.06 real (IIRC) with my CPU @ 3.91 GHz.
What i mean to say is that there's a possibility that i'm able to get to 1866 without too much extra juice. I don't know if it's not worth buying the kit i mentioned @ 1866 instead of the one in the OP: it's just over 30 euros more for 2 kits.
 
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#13
I think the thing that I meant to say was misinterpretted here. What I meant was the 3800 will consume more power than the 3600. The 3800 will consume less than the 3850, like you said.

UEFI is still new. I wouldn't think that all the bugs have been fully worked out. This is especially true, considering BIOS is something like 30 years old if I remember correctly.

The 1600 RAM is low voltage, which hopefully means there's room to bring it up to regular voltage... I haven't played with OCing low voltage RAM. I really can't give you a good answer on whether everything will go correctly. You'll have to do some research, or find someone more knowledgeable.
 
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#15
I just build a HTPC with i3 550 and H55 chipset using the onboard Intel HD graphics and it rips through all my media. I was concerned with the new claims that APU will deliver. Then I also discovered XBMC and now I cant believe this thing. It is so sweet. Hundreds of Internet channels. Remotes work seamlessly. XBMC even has a live CD version that runs on Linux but Im using 7 for now.

Try in integrated graphics. If you do feel you need discrete graphics get a 430. You really don't need any more and your just wasting power

Mine plays everything, 19 Gb BR 1080p, VOB DTS Dolby digital, everything


But really check out XBMC Media Player
 
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#16
The 1600 RAM is low voltage, which hopefully means there's room to bring it up to regular voltage... I haven't played with OCing low voltage RAM. I really can't give you a good answer on whether everything will go correctly. You'll have to do some research, or find someone more knowledgeable.
It all depends on the ICs that are on the sticks themselves.

Elpida BDBG will easily run 1600 7-8-7 @ 1.4v, or 2133 9-11-9 at 1.65v

(Actually found this out by accident after I replaced a set of Gskill ecos (1600 7-8-7) with some kingston grey series and the XMP did not reset lol)

1866- 9-9-9 at 1.65 also runs in there (you can go slighter tighter and slighter faster than all of those at said voltages, those are generally what sticks sell at though so I used them as examples).
 
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#17
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#18
I've decided on the RAM: 2 kits of this.

The APU will either be the 3850 or the 3800, with the latter being preferred.

There will be no discrete card in this.

As for the motherboard, i have a problem: If F1A75-V Pro does in fact only have UEFI BIOS, it won't do and the board suggested by lilhasselhoffer won't do either due to it not supporting 4 DIMMs @ 1866 speeds (see post above).

This being the case, i'm looking for a board that has:

  1. 5 or more USB 2.0 back ports
  2. 1 PCI slot
  3. 1 PCIe *4 slot (for the RAID card)
  4. has regular BIOS even if it also has UEFI BIOS
  5. 1 eSATA slot
  6. 2 USB 3.0 mid-board ports
  7. 4 DIMMs usable @ 1866+ speeds

Suggestions?

EDIT

Updated OP.
 
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#19
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#20
It seems none will work :(

The gigabyte ones have this problem:



The MSI one has this one:



Even though @ newegg says it supports 1866 RAM speed with OC, @ MSI's site doesn't say so and i tend to trust more the site's manufacturer then a shopping site. Also, it's EFI BIOS: dunno if it's compatible or not with my RAID card.

Thanks for the suggestions, though.
 
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#21
I've finally bought myself a board, APU and RAM for this upgrade.

After searching newegg for a board with my requirements, i found out ... there were none that match my criteria ... so i opted for a compromise and went with these:

Motherboard - http://www.pcdiga.com/pcdiga/Produto.asp?Familia=Hardware&Artigo=8786

APU - http://www.pcdiga.com/pcdiga/Produto.asp?Familia=Hardware&Artigo=8723

RAM - http://www.pcdiga.com/pcdiga/Produto.asp?Familia=Hardware&Artigo=8367


Because this board doesn't support 1866 RAM speed with 4 sticks, i went with only 2 sticks figuring i can upgrade to 2*8 GB later on when the price on these isn't both an arm and a leg :laugh:


Many thanks to the participants in this thread.
 
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#22
Nice I just finished an A6-3650 build for a friend. (I went A6 as I got one new for $85) it does not overclock at all, because I am running AHCI and a the IGP. But it runs pretty well, and with 8 GB 1600 MHz RAM I can do all the stuff a normal person does on a PC while running XP and ubuntu VMs :)
 
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#23
What would you need 16 GB of RAM for? Is this rig going to be used for video, image, or audio editing?

And TDP in that chart is about thermal (heat) output and is to help you decide on a proper cooling solution. While it is plausable to think the 3800 will use less power than the 3850, such may not actually be correct. If both chips idle and run at the same voltages (0.85V idle/1.35V standard), then power consumption would be the same.
 
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#24
What would you need 16 GB of RAM for? Is this rig going to be used for video, image, or audio editing?
Yes.

And TDP in that chart is about thermal (heat) output and is to help you decide on a proper cooling solution. While it is plausable to think the 3800 will use less power than the 3850, such may not actually be correct. If both chips idle and run at the same voltages (0.85V idle/1.35V standard), then power consumption would be the same.
I have a Noctua NH-C12P (discontinued product): it's way overkill for this, but no matter :roll:

EDIT

Changed the OP to reflect current status.
 
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