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Debating playing with AMD

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mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I haven't built a system in a while, so wondered if I should try playing with an AMD box for a change. You might tell from my sig I might be slightly Intel biased recently, and I'm clueless about recent AMD CPUs.

Any tips or suggestions on the following:
Bulldozer core or equivalent - not important how many but 2 module/4 core would be plenty to play with.
Overclockable?
What mobo/chipset?
Low cost?

I just had a poke around some online stores, and if I understand correctly, there's FM2+ for APUs, and AM3+ for pure CPUs, which seem to have more cache. Is that right? So from a CPU processing power perspective, is AM3+ the way to go? I have spare GPUs and disks, so would only really need more ram, cpu, mobo, maybe PSU.

So for example, at 4 and 6 cores I'm looking at FX-4300, FX-6300, since there isn't much cost difference between them anyway, and the latter seems to have far more cache. The jump to an 8 core model starts pushing it into intel i3 territory which I'd rather get if going to that cost, so that's out.

Mobo wise I see 760G chipset at low end and 970 above that. Do I need a 970?
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
You need a 990.
In a nutshell:
AMD is fun to play with and overclock.
Performance will be less than an average Intel setup.
990 board is almost mandatory for FX.
Aftermarket cooling is also.
Cost? By the time you invest in a good board and cooling, you'll be at roughly the same price as an Intel rig that will perform better under most circumstances.
If you just want to play with an AMD setup, I suggest FM2+ and a Carrizo chip.
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Ok, going up again in cost... Asrock 990FX Extreme3 is cheapest at one retailer, with 990FX and I really should start looking up what all this means!
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
You need a 990.
In a nutshell:
AMD is fun to play with and overclock.
Performance will be less than an average Intel setup.
990 board is almost mandatory for FX.
Aftermarket cooling is also.
Cost? By the time you invest in a good board and cooling, you'll be at roughly the same price as an Intel rig that will perform better under most circumstances.
If you just want to play with an AMD setup, I suggest FM2+ and a Carrizo chip.
+1
Overclocking on AMD is a blast!
I won't be going back to intel for said reason above.

I'm not about having the best FPS or such, I prefer to tinker to get preformance I'm happy with.

Motherboard wise look for 8+2 VRM phases. FX NEEDS clean power.
That's not to say 6+2 phase won't overclock, just won't overclock as high.

The Extreme3 you mentioned is 4+1 phase. Enough to run an FX 8xxx stock. The ASUS Sabertooth 990fx R2.0 is a solid board, with the Crosshair Formula V being the best board out there.
A Sabertooth board will push any FX 6xxx CPU to 4.6+Ghz provided you have the cooling.

Basically, what Scott has said is correct. The hardware is cheap for AMD but add in the cooling and it starts to add up.
 
OP
mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
It looks like a higher end 990 overclocking setup is far more than I want to pay for. So let's reset the desires and see what we can do for less. Let's say we remove the overclocking requirement, how does that reduce costs? That's not to say I don't want to overclock, but a limited overclock potential would suffice.

If you just want to play with an AMD setup, I suggest FM2+ and a Carrizo chip.

Carrizo appears to be the mobile CPU? I was looking at FM2+ and Kaveri also. Let's say, how would pairing an A8 7670k and say one of the Asus A88XM mobos go? Not fixed on that mobo, so another in that ball park would be fine too. Just to confirm, the k suffix is like Intel and denotes unlocked multiplier? If I read correctly the higher A10 k CPUs look pretty similar apart from a bit more base clock and possibly stronger GPU. Is there much overclocking to be had from APUs anyway? I'm not looking to set new records, and if the potential gain is small then I'd be happy to pass to save a bit more.
 

dark bishop

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Location
Folding the PWN, Salem Oregon
Green team for life! FX-8350, 990fxa-ud3 from gigabyte, I guess i'm just not as hardcore as everyone else, I havent had a single instance I needed to overclock yet, though with arma3 games starting up that may change.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
There is a good mid range board from ASUS. I forget the model number though. MA97 or something. 6×2 phase but paired with an fx6300 should go to 4.5ghz IIRC
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
There's also the new ASUS board the 970 Pro gaming. I've been working with one this week and it's good mid range board especially for the price. I was able to run my 9370 in it.
 

Bluefalcon13

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
If you are looking at a play system to tweak and tune, I'd recommend an a10-7870k or the new a10-7890k. Build it with the Crossblade Ranger mobo, and some really fast ram. Then tweak and tune with no video card (onboard only). It is impressive how strong they can be, but ultimately, running the IGP causes a balancing act: too much CPU OC, and the IGP suffers, and vice versa. When you are done playing you can turn it into a media server that can transcode video :p
 
OP
mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Pro Gaming is a bit more than I want to spend. The M5A97 seems to come in a variety of options and I've yet to work out the important differences between them, with the upper models a bit more than I want to spend.

Bottom line is, I'd give up serious OC potential to keep the cost down if I need to. This is more about me trying 1st hand what are the relative strengths and weaknesses vs. Intel. It is well documented AMD are not remotely competitive in FPU applications but what if I stick to integer tasks? I don't have that data. OC is a nice extra and a bit of fun on the side, but even running stock I can get good data.
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
With the mid/low range boards you're already giving up "serious" overclocking potential on common cooling including water. For an FX it's the power section that's most important. If OC is a goal and you're looing to the FM2+ I would go with something the generation before 7870. It's a good chi but runs out of gas real soon.
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
The problem I'm having here is the value ratio. I recognise if I want to seriously OC, I ideally need a good mobo, enough PSU, half reasonable CPU, and uprated cooling. But with all that thrown in the $$$ adds up, and I don't want to go there with current AMD technology. Maybe I'll do that with Zen, but not right now.

Putting aside that, I still want to try AMD CPUs in different ways. Let's try a different way of putting it. What would be the lowest cost way to have a reasonable chance of hitting 4 GHz? I believe some CPUs do that out of the box, but if I can get a lower one and turn it up to such, that'll suffice. I've never been into "high voltage" OC since that generally increases power consumption far faster than any benefit you gain from it. Many CPUs I've been looking at are already in the high 3.x GHz ball park, so I would hope a stretch to 4 GHz isn't too demanding.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Most will do 4 gig on stock voltage.
What's your budget?
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I'm not working to a hard budget, and it will be complicated as there will be regional pricing variations. Let's say the AMD CPU+mobo should ideally cost less than an intel i3-6100 + low end mobo as that is what I would be buying on the other side if I were to get another system now.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
So basically, under $200 USD.

Look toward FM2+ then for max bang for the buck.
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
If you have an extra GFX card the Athlon 860k is quite reasonable just no iGP
 

RollingThunder

Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
I haven't built a system in a while, so wondered if I should try playing with an AMD box for a change. You might tell from my sig I might be slightly Intel biased recently, and I'm clueless about recent AMD CPUs.

Any tips or suggestions on the following:
Bulldozer core or equivalent - not important how many but 2 module/4 core would be plenty to play with.
Overclockable?
What mobo/chipset?
Low cost?

I just had a poke around some online stores, and if I understand correctly, there's FM2+ for APUs, and AM3+ for pure CPUs, which seem to have more cache. Is that right? So from a CPU processing power perspective, is AM3+ the way to go? I have spare GPUs and disks, so would only really need more ram, cpu, mobo, maybe PSU.

So for example, at 4 and 6 cores I'm looking at FX-4300, FX-6300, since there isn't much cost difference between them anyway, and the latter seems to have far more cache. The jump to an 8 core model starts pushing it into intel i3 territory which I'd rather get if going to that cost, so that's out.

Mobo wise I see 760G chipset at low end and 970 above that. Do I need a 970?

Going back a few years I played with an Opteron 180 from AMD and before that an Athlon 64 3500+ on early Asrock boards and had a blast with them. If I knew then what I have learned now I would have bought a better board for overclocking but the experience was worthwhile.
 

DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Wait for Zen, then play IMO. As Mr. Scott said, you need to get a top-end 990 mobo and cooling for FX OC so the cost ends up comparable to Intel but the performance is not. FM2+ is for budget setups with the good built-in graphics, but they are weak performers CPU-wise. I used to build mostly all AMD single and dual socket rigs back in the 939/940 days, but mostly all Intel since. I'm trying to be hopeful about Zen but AMD is known to not deliver up to expectations so at the same time I'm a little skeptical. But if the Zen offerings look even a little promising, I'm almost certain to give AMD another shot.