trinity buyers guide - anandtech - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/6449/amd-trinity-buyers-guide/3

"A10-5800K and the A4-5300 in HTPC systems, and have been thoroughly pleased with both in the HTPC usage scenario. The lowly A4-5300 is capable of smooth Blu-ray playback, both locally and via NAS, as well as full 1080p HD streaming playback in both Flash and Silverlight."

Well I guess that answers one big question, trinity A4 can handle HD hulu and netflix no problem.
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post #2 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 01:23 PM
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An i3 and a dedicated card is a better option over any APU. Look at Trinity's pitiful CPU performance:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/A10-5800K-vs-Core-i3-3220-CPU-Review/1646/19

You give up too much for the onboard GPU.
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post #3 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

An i3 and a dedicated card is a better option over any APU. Look at Trinity's pitiful CPU performance:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/A10-5800K-vs-Core-i3-3220-CPU-Review/1646/19
You give up too much for the onboard GPU.

Trinity A4 handles pretty much all the htpc duties well, including 3D blu-ray, which the comparable priced pentium chips don't do.
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post #4 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Trinity A4 handles pretty much all the htpc duties well, including 3D blu-ray, which the comparable priced pentium chips don't do.

Then spend an extra $60 or $70 and get an i3. No need to cheap out on your HTPC, and get a vastly better CPU.
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post #5 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Trinity A4 handles pretty much all the htpc duties well, including 3D blu-ray, which the comparable priced pentium chips don't do.

I thought with Trinity you needed at least A8 for 3D blu-ray? (whereas Llano A4 can do it)
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post #6 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sidefx79 View Post

I thought with Trinity you needed at least A8 for 3D blu-ray? (whereas Llano A4 can do it)

Hmm, andatech said smooth blu-ray playback but didn't mention 3D. Seems like these reviews always leave stuff out.
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post #7 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Hmm, andatech said smooth blu-ray playback but didn't mention 3D. Seems like these reviews always leave stuff out.

Yeah, it's confusing. In the end I chose Llano for my HTPC because it appears trinity A4\A6 doesn't handle 3D bluray so Llano worked out a lot cheaper (and I managed to pick up an A6-3500 - still worked out cheaper than celeron + discrete GPU options at least here in NZ. YMMV.)

AMD website and renethx (in my own "please help" thread) seem to agree on what Trinity can do wrt 3D bluray:
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Yesterday I build a system with Llano A4-3400 and ASUS A75 ATX mb. It supported BR 3D just fine with 12.10 driver + PowerDVD + a HDMI 1.4a 3D display; CPU usage was ~30%.
Trinity A4-5300/A6-5400K supports Frame packing 3D video format, but does not support MVC decode, whence stuttering (dual core is not powerful enough). On the other hand Celeron/Pentium SNB supports MVC decode but does not support Frame packing 3D video format. So Llano A4-3400 is the cheapest (CPU+GPU) 3D solution.
But I tend to recommend a better APU such as A6-3500 (Llano) or A8-5500 (Trinity). (Remember that Socket FM1 is a dead end platform.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD website View Post

2nd Gen AMD A8 Processors include all of the above features, plus:
Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray 3D capability – Provides the ability to watch that latest Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray 3D movies on your desktop
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post #8 of 42 Old 11-29-2012, 04:21 PM
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Playing back BR 3D consists of two parts: MVC decode and Frame packing output.

A4 / A6 Trinity:

- MVC decode: No (unfortunately the processor is not fast enough to decode MVC)
- Frame packing: Yes

All Llano, A6 / A8 / A10 Trinity

- MVC decode: Yes
- Frame packing: Yes

So AMD disabled BR 3D support in the low-end Trinity unlike Llano, perhaps to "compete" with Intel. smile.gif

Celeron / Pentium (SNB / IVB)

- MVC decode: Yes
- Frame packing: No

Core i3 and higher (SNB / IBV)

- MVC decode: Yes
- Frame packing : Yes
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post #9 of 42 Old 11-30-2012, 07:36 AM
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I'm surprised the Anand article didn't even mention the A6-5400K ($70). I built a new HTPC last month using it on an MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 ($50) to replace my three year old but reliable BIOSTAR A785GE with a Phenom II X2 555 BE and GT430. The WE performance is a touch better than the old box and at about half the TDP during load and idle. I haven't played with undervolting/underclocking the 5400K yet but I imagine there may be some more power savings to be had. I'm happy so far. I don't watch 3D so any lack of capability there is lost on me.

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Load (Record & Play TV), 68-78W / Idle,34-41W / Sleep, 4W / Off, 3W
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post #10 of 42 Old 11-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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Since I am about to order, and hoping 3d bluray works, I am about to buy a AMD A10-5700 APU Quad Core Processor, this will be good enough for 3d bluray?
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post #11 of 42 Old 11-30-2012, 06:45 PM
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Evey A8 / A10 Socket FM2 APU supports BR 3D just fine. Playing BR 3D is one of the easiest tasks (with a proper GPU, of course) in HTPC.
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post #12 of 42 Old 12-02-2012, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Since I am about to order, and hoping 3d bluray works, I am about to buy a AMD A10-5700 APU Quad Core Processor, this will be good enough for 3d bluray?

Why not just got for the A10-5800k? Its unlocked and works great. I just got it with an Asus A85X mb, this build loads win7 in 10-15sec without the Asus quick boot option. I also picked up the 6670HD to crossfire as it matches the APU on the A10. Inexpensive and more than enough for media.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

Bit by the upgrade bug, limited by the WAF
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post #13 of 42 Old 12-11-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Playing back BR 3D consists of two parts: MVC decode and Frame packing output.
A4 / A6 Trinity:
- MVC decode: No (unfortunately the processor is not fast enough to decode MVC)
- Frame packing: Yes
All Llano, A8 / A10 Trinity
- MVC decode: Yes
- Frame packing: Yes
So AMD disabled BR 3D support in the low-end Trinity unlike Llano, perhaps to "compete" with Intel. smile.gif
Celeron / Pentium (SNB / IVB)
- MVC decode: Yes
- Frame packing: No
Core i3 and higher (SNB / IBV)
- MVC decode: Yes
- Frame packing : Yes

I've only just seen this, after already building my A6 5400K HTPC. With TMT I have tried Avatar 3D and Ice Age 3 3D Blu-Rays and they play with 30-35% CPU usage.

So should they play at all? Or just with lower CPU usage?
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post #14 of 42 Old 12-11-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyknight View Post

I've only just seen this, after already building my A6 5400K HTPC. With TMT I have tried Avatar 3D and Ice Age 3 3D Blu-Rays and they play with 30-35% CPU usage.
So should they play at all? Or just with lower CPU usage?

Playing direct from original physical blu-ray discs?
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post #15 of 42 Old 12-11-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyknight View Post

I've only just seen this, after already building my A6 5400K HTPC. With TMT I have tried Avatar 3D and Ice Age 3 3D Blu-Rays and they play with 30-35% CPU usage.
So should they play at all? Or just with lower CPU usage?

Actually I tested A4-5300, A8-5500, A10-5700/5800K. So A6-5400K is missing. AMD website mentions BR 3D support for A8/A10 but not for A4/A6, hence my conclusion (guess).

From your result, it looks like A6-5400K supports BR 3D (both MVC decode and Frame packing output). I will try to obtain A6-5400K and report back.
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post #16 of 42 Old 12-12-2012, 09:54 AM
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Yes it was using physical blu ray disks. Is mvc a gpu feature? Is there a way to query the feature set?
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post #17 of 42 Old 12-12-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Actually I tested A4-5300, A8-5500, A10-5700/5800K. So A6-5400K is missing. AMD website mentions BR 3D support for A8/A10 but not for A4/A6, hence my conclusion (guess).
From your result, it looks like A6-5400K supports BR 3D (both MVC decode and Frame packing output). I will try to obtain A6-5400K and report back.

Can't wait to see your results and thoughts on the A6-5400K. I've thought since they announced it last year that it would be the Trinity sweet spot for HTPC use. I hope you'll try some over and underclocking with it too. Mine's running perfectly so far and is fairly thrifty on the power consumption side.

Guy
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post #18 of 42 Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 PM
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Yes, very cool if trinity a6 can do the job. A8 pricing just doesn't quite hit the sweetspot IMO (at least not locally for me) but if A6-5400K can do it all that looks like a winner
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post #19 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 09:36 PM
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Any update on A6 5400 ? Thanks
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post #20 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Actually I tested A4-5300, A8-5500, A10-5700/5800K. So A6-5400K is missing. AMD website mentions BR 3D support for A8/A10 but not for A4/A6, hence my conclusion (guess).
From your result, it looks like A6-5400K supports BR 3D (both MVC decode and Frame packing output). I will try to obtain A6-5400K and report back.

What has your power draw been like and what motherboards have you tried? I'd love to know if the crazy power consumption numbers I've seen are isolated to the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX or some widespread issue. The A6-5400K with FM2A75M-ITX will hit 101W in the BIOS just on boot up without anything else but memory, VGA and power attached to the system. A10-5700 will spike over 125W before it blows the 120W powerboard. It also shoots right up to 70C+. The only way to get it to calm down is to turn off turbo and underclock to 2.8GHz or lower. Yet, I read all these reviews about how low power consumption is but in the real world (at least the mini-ITX world) this hasn't proven to be, at least not with these combos.

 

 

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post #21 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 06:03 AM
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I picked up an A4...I should still be able to do 3D SBS?
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post #22 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

What has your power draw been like and what motherboards have you tried? I'd love to know if the crazy power consumption numbers I've seen are isolated to the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX or some widespread issue. The A6-5400K with FM2A75M-ITX will hit 101W in the BIOS just on boot up without anything else but memory, VGA and power attached to the system. A10-5700 will spike over 125W before it blows the 120W powerboard. It also shoots right up to 70C+. The only way to get it to calm down is to turn off turbo and underclock to 2.8GHz or lower. Yet, I read all these reviews about how low power consumption is but in the real world (at least the mini-ITX world) this hasn't proven to be, at least not with these combos.

I don't know about power consumption in Watts, and I don't run mini-ITX, but in my micro-ATX setup, my A10-5700 sits at about 30C in the BIOS (at max. clock rate). My setup is as follows:
- Silverstone GD05B micro-ATX case with all 3 case fans hooked up to the same motherboard fan header
- A10-5700 with Big Shuriken 2 cooler
- Gigabyte GA-F2A75M-D3H micro-ATX motherboard
I get about 30C for both the system and CPU temp sitting in the BIOS with the CPU fan at about 600rpm and the case fans at about 450rpm. With my setup, I probably could have just stuck the stock CPU cooler on (or kept the Big Shuriken and gotten an A10-5800K instead) while maintaining reasonable temps.
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post #23 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 12:48 PM
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Different test bed this time with the A10-5700. I have it mated to the MSI mini-ITX motherboard with 8GB of RAM, a 180W powerboard, 150W AC adapter and 128GB SSD. It did it's 120W thing in the BIOS but once I got Windows installed it's sitting pretty now at the desktop around 29W and 35C using the stock cooler and the top off the case. Very interesting. Something is really fishy here.

Interesting comparison to the A8-3800: FWIW, it's WEI but it's interesting to me nonetheless to compare two systems. The A10-5700 graphics scores (6.8) are better than the A8-3800 (5.?) but the A8-3800 CPU and memory scores (7.1 and 6.8) are well above the A10-5700 (5.5 and 5.9).

[Edit] It's remarkable the different between the MSI/A10 and the ASRock/A6 setups. While the latter is some of the worst power consumption and temperatures the former is some of the best I've ever seen in the E-i7 case. I have the A10 running at stock, no changes in the BIOS so everything is enabled and auto. I've had it running all day and it's been running nice and quiet and cool, using little power and temps have been mostly below 50C. I am getting an A6 again tomorrow so Friday I'll pair it with the MSI and see how it behaves. Wild.

 

 

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post #24 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 02:04 PM
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I don't know what it's like for other BIOS on other mainboards but for my ASUS F2A85-M the CPU multiplier is set to x43 by default, so when in BIOS the chip is running at 4.3GHz. This is an A6-5400K. First thing I do after updating the BIOS is set the multiplier to 'auto' - brings it down to x36.
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post #25 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 04:10 PM
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All Trinity APUs (as well as FX series CPUs) support Turbo Core, that not only boost CPU clock/voltage, but also lower them depending on the power consumption and temperature (mainly to make sure the APU operates within its stated TDP). In many cases Turbo Core works well. But in some cases it causes negative effects (unexpected slow down of the CPU clock results in malfunctioning of a program, e.g. SVP).

To disable Turbo Core, disable "Core Performance Boost" (CPB) in BIOS. Cool&Quiet always works. Once Turbo Core is disabled, APU may consume a lot more power at load, but steady performance is guaranteed.

(In older days of AMD CPUs, C&Q also slowed down memory clock too, that caused stuttering of video playback. That's similar to Turbo Core.)
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post #26 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

The A10-5700 graphics scores (6.8) are better than the A8-3800 (5.?) but the A8-3800 CPU and memory scores (7.1 and 6.8) are well above the A10-5700 (5.5 and 5.9).

I think this was due to a change in design from Llano to Trinity, that memory write speeds were sacrificed, although read speeds are up. I believe I saw some benchmarks confirming this but I don't remember where. Either way, one of the Newegg reviews of the motherboard I bought seems to have found the same things as you going from FM1 to FM2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128570&Tpk=gigabyte%20ga-f2a75m-d3h
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post #27 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazeefrog View Post

I don't know what it's like for other BIOS on other mainboards but for my ASUS F2A85-M the CPU multiplier is set to x43 by default, so when in BIOS the chip is running at 4.3GHz. This is an A6-5400K. First thing I do after updating the BIOS is set the multiplier to 'auto' - brings it down to x36.

It's like that also for my A10-5700 I believe, the multiplier is set to max by default. How are your temp readings in BIOS comparing to in Windows? I get 14 C (lower than ambient) in Windows while I get about 34 C in BIOS. I've read that lots of AMD chips read CPU temps with a 10 to 20 degree offset, so I added 20 degrees to my readings in SpeedFan. I'm now sitting at 34 C idle and in the mid-50s load.

EDIT: Actually since I have an A10-5700 my multiplier is set to Auto, and I can't change it. But in the BIOS the CPU is always at 3.4 GHz, whereas in Windows the frequency varies under Windows power profiles. So I expect it should actually be cooler idling in Windows than sitting in the BIOS, so my 20 degree offset may be too conservative.
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post #28 of 42 Old 12-20-2012, 08:05 AM
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In the BIOS, after about 15min it's at 70C. In Windows, it sits around 35C with the A10-5700/MSI mini-ITX. No real suprise there since in the BIOS it's running flat out while in Windows it's throttled way down. Desktop (all cores 0%) it idles under 20W which is amazing for a quad-core. That's impressive. These are the best idle power and idle temps I've seen in a desktop-class build (so not Atom) in this mini-ITX case.

 

 

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post #29 of 42 Old 12-20-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

In the BIOS, after about 15min it's at 70C. In Windows, it sits around 35C with the A10-5700/MSI mini-ITX. No real suprise there since in the BIOS it's running flat out while in Windows it's throttled way down. Desktop (all cores 0%) it idles under 20W which is amazing for a quad-core. That's impressive. These are the best idle power and idle temps I've seen in a desktop-class build (so not Atom) in this mini-ITX case.

Wait is that total system idle Watts? If so what PSU and mobo are you using, thats insanely good.
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post #30 of 42 Old 12-20-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Wait is that total system idle Watts? If so what PSU and mobo are you using, thats insanely good.

I know, crazy isn't it? Especially after the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX has fried every mini-ITX PSU I've used.

The motherboard is the MSI FM2-A75IA-E53. The power supply is the Realan 12V180W DC powerboard with a 12V150W AC adapter. I have it running in the Realan E-i7 case with the stock AMD cooler and one Gelid 80mm fan. Other components are 8GB DDR3-1866 running at 1866 (Profile 1), 128GB SSD and a Toshiba slot-load blu-ray.

I honestly can't get over seeing my Kill-a-Watt dip below 20W and Speedfan reporting 35C in that little case with stock cooling!

FM2 mini-ITX: feast or famine.

 

 

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