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 Post subject: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 11:46 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/MSI_A88XM_GAMING/


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 11:06 pm 
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There's one question left:

Who will game with a FM2/FM2+ cpu? And which games will run?

If you chip in a dedicated GPU, then any i5 or i3 + Mobo combination will yield better performance and probably lower energy consumption. What is it i'm not seeing here?


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 5:25 am 
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Thanks for the review and thanks for including the undervoltability. It looks to be a well thought out board. Nice VRM cooling and power mgmt. Wish the UEFI provided lower chassis fan voltage control/PWM control. Hope we see more MSI reviews in the future (Z97/H97 and video cards!!).

Pappnass: Yep, AMD is in a hole.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:56 am 
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At a price of @300CAD for an A10-7850K and this mobo...what does one get on the Intel side? And how much would you have to spend to get equivalent functionality?

And let's not forget that Mobo's like the MSI Gaming are at the absolute top end of the FM2+ market.

A relatively closely priced Z97 board would be the MSI PC Mate, or Gigabyte HD3. I3-4360 or I5-4430 would be in the same price range....now...how much would a GPU to roughly match the APU's capabilties cost?

Since the APU graphics are roughly equal to a GT630(DDR3) or an R7 240, that would be another 65+$. And...let's not forget that the R7-240/250 can be Dual-Graphics'd with the A10, for better performance.

That is AMD's proposition to consumers.

(Although...for the life of me...I can't figure out why there aren't more FM2+ ITX mobo's)

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:10 am 
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darqsyde: The issue is that you don't need an i5 to match A10-7850K in CPU performance. An i5 would destroy any APU CPU wise. A Pentium G3XXX can be had for around $70 CAD, and will outperform the A10-7850K CPU wise in anything that isn't perfectly multi-threaded, such as most games. That leaves enough to get something like a R7 250, which will beat the APU in graphics.

For the same money a Pentium + GPU will outperform any APU in games. Only on the really low end does the APU make sense, at A10-7850K prices they do not.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:34 am 
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I currently use a FX-6300 on a am3+ MB, what if any FM2+ CPU equals that in performance?

My current CPU is 95W TDP and many of the FM2 CPUs are 65W TDP so if one could equal or beat my FX6300 with a lower TDP that would be another possible plus.

I find it odd to think of AMD cpus as a limiting factor for gaming as I don't buy video cards that use >75W. I can't imagine a HD7750 being CPU limited in many games.

I'm currently gaming at 1920x1080 but I'll probably step up in resolution when I get my next monitor and I may do that with the existing CPU and GPU if there isn't a compelling upgrade for either.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 11:04 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
I currently use a FX-6300 on a am3+ MB, what if any FM2+ CPU equals that in performance?

Assuming no overclocking, a few of the A10s have higher clocks than the FX-6300 and would thus be slightly faster at tasks that could not use more than 2 threads effectively. Many games do fall into this area, but the gains would be small and probably not noticable. On anything that can use 3 or more threads effectively then the Fx-6300 would be better.
Quote:
My current CPU is 95W TDP and many of the FM2 CPUs are 65W TDP so if one could equal or beat my FX6300 with a lower TDP that would be another possible plus.

It depends on the application or game. As above, it depends on how many threads can be used effectively. With 2 or less the higher end APUs could meet or slightly beat your FX for a lower TDP.
Quote:
I find it odd to think of AMD cpus as a limiting factor for gaming as I don't buy video cards that use >75W. I can't imagine a HD7750 being CPU limited in many games.

Lots of games are CPU bound and not well threaded. An Nvidia GTX 750 or AMD R7 250 are within your power range and are still fast enough to be CPU limited in some cases.
Quote:
I'm currently gaming at 1920x1080 but I'll probably step up in resolution when I get my next monitor and I may do that with the existing CPU and GPU if there isn't a compelling upgrade for either.

Depends on the game of course, but there are not that many current games that will run well at >1080p with a <75W card, even worse with an APU.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:20 am 
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I think AMD is still hoping their heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) will take off - but does FM2+ even support those processors?

They got so played by Intel. The 1 billion in reparation payment doesn't even remotely cover the damage Intel made in the early 2000s by unfair competition.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 1:57 am 
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washu wrote:
Lots of games are CPU bound and not well threaded. An Nvidia GTX 750 or AMD R7 250 are within your power range and are still fast enough to be CPU limited in some cases.


Can you kindly point me out something more comprehensive about that?

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 7:59 am 
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Cistron wrote:
I think AMD is still hoping their heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) will take off - but does FM2+ even support those processors?



FM2+ (Kaveri) are the first HSA capable processors. So....Yes. If, IF, AMD can get HSA to take off, software wise, that could provide a boost to the value of Kaveri and it's successors. However, like most things with AMD....we wait on the (third party) software.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 8:26 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
washu wrote:
Lots of games are CPU bound and not well threaded. An Nvidia GTX 750 or AMD R7 250 are within your power range and are still fast enough to be CPU limited in some cases.


Can you kindly point me out something more comprehensive about that?


DirectX 11.x and prior have been counterproductive toward developing highly threaded games. DirectX 12 is supposed to better distribute the CPU tasks. I wish I could find the review where they break it down.

Take a look at Blizzard's games. WoW in particular uses 2 cores and is fairly lightweight on the GPU side. Fps is pretty linear with CPU clock and never really tapers off as you speed up the CPU. So, fast CPU with the best single threaded performance is better than throwing more than 2 cores at it. Sort of why a Haswell Pentium can outclass a 4+ core AMD CPU in many game benchmarks.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:07 am 
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washu wrote:
Lots of games are CPU bound and not well threaded. An Nvidia GTX 750 or AMD R7 250 are within your power range and are still fast enough to be CPU limited in some cases.
Quote:
I'm currently gaming at 1920x1080 but I'll probably step up in resolution when I get my next monitor and I may do that with the existing CPU and GPU if there isn't a compelling upgrade for either.

Depends on the game of course, but there are not that many current games that will run well at >1080p with a <75W card, even worse with an APU.


If you are gaming with the APU as your only GPU and not using a discrete card you aren't going to be CPU bound.

If you are gaming with a 75W discrete GPU it will depend on the combination of game, resolution, settings in the game, etcetera.

In my case I'm a semiprofessional gamer but I still keep the case fans slow and the GPU fanless. Turns out you don't have to use the highest graphics settings to win.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:57 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Take a look at Blizzard's games. WoW in particular uses 2 cores and is fairly lightweight on the GPU side. Fps is pretty linear with CPU clock and never really tapers off as you speed up the CPU. So, fast CPU with the best single threaded performance is better than throwing more than 2 cores at it. Sort of why a Haswell Pentium can outclass a 4+ core AMD CPU in many game benchmarks.


Well, but I've also read about people who complain against Core i7 saying it's the limiting factor...

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 5:27 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Well, but I've also read about people who complain against Core i7 saying it's the limiting factor...


That thread is confirming what CA_Steve is saying. An i7 (or Xeon close equivalent) is only using 30% CPU. That is about 2 1/2 threads worth. The rest of the 5 1/2 threads the i7 could be using is wasted because WoW can't use them (though in most cases it would help the i7 turbo higher). The only real advantage in WoW that an i7 has over a same-gen Pentium is clock speed.

The soon to be released "Pentium Anniversary Edition" which can be overclocked should be a great CPU for WoW and other things that arn't threaded well.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 9:49 am 
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washu wrote:
The only real advantage in WoW that an i7 has over a same-gen Pentium is clock speed.


Unfortunately, OC'ing set aside, there isn't almost anything really faster than a Core i7 for regular desktops: so I won't call such a setup as "CPU limited", but in case I'd call such a game a somehow crappy piece of software.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:14 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Unfortunately, OC'ing set aside, there isn't almost anything really faster than a Core i7 for regular desktops: so I won't call such a setup as "CPU limited", but in case I'd call such a game a somehow crappy piece of software.

It's precisely the definition of CPU limited. It just doesn't use more than 2 cores.

If you could get a 10 GHz Haswell Pentium then WoW would run faster. It is CPU limited. Just because a 10 GHz i7 would not help further does not change that.

If you could get a GTX Titan at 10 GHz it would not help WoW run faster. It is not GPU limited.

Lack of multi-threading does not mean an app/game cannot be CPU limited. It only means that adding cores won't help. WoW came out in 2004, the fact that it can use even 2 cores effectively instead of 1 is pretty impressive for the time.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 1:00 pm 
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washu wrote:
It's precisely the definition of CPU limited.


It may be probably due to my terrible english, but I really don't understand: more precisely, even if I don't know WoW at all, I refuse to believe that there isn't a contemporary hardware capable of squeezing substantially more than 25fps (something like 32fps would be pretty the same) from a ten years old game. Sorry for that OT.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:04 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
even if I don't know WoW at all, I refuse to believe that there isn't a contemporary hardware capable of squeezing substantially more than 25fps (something like 32fps would be pretty the same) from a ten years old game.

Why would you refuse to believe that? WoW the game engine is 10 years old, but the content is not. They have added many things to it over the years, asking it to do far more than back in 2004. Also, that thread was specifically referencing performance problems in huge raids with many things happening at once.

It is quite possible (and has been done) to design a map for DOOM that will bring a modern system to its knees. That is a 20 year old game. It's all about how much work you are asking the software to perform.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:16 pm 
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washu wrote:
It is quite possible (and has been done) to design a map for DOOM that will bring a modern system to its knees.


Well, I wouldn't call that a "design", a "map", a "feature": rather, either a bug, or sort of a computer implementation of the omnipotence paradox.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 9:50 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Well, I wouldn't call that a "design", a "map", a "feature": rather, either a bug, or sort of a computer implementation of the omnipotence paradox.


But exactly this is todays reality: APUs seem to fail for those who game. That in theory they are pretty powerful doesn't matter if real world FPS or subjective gaming performance lacks behind a low cost intel system. AMD was kind of successful in the days when they offered more power at less dollars.

@Dhanson865
i agree, to successful game you only need skill and a minimum of resolution/fps. Nobody needs all the eye candy turned on to win.

But in germany you pay more and more every year for every kwh. So power consumption is my personal benchmark factor and that is where AMD simply cannot deliver. Over the projected course of a PC lifecycle, let's assume 5 years, any system needing more wattage while gaming will cost you dearly. And an upfront more of some 50$ to buy an intel system will pay off.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 6:28 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Well, I wouldn't call that a "design", a "map", a "feature": rather, either a bug, or sort of a computer implementation of the omnipotence paradox.

It's hardly a bug that a app/game attempts to do what is asked of it but runs slowly because the task is demanding. Computer programs should do one of two things: Do what you tell them to, or gracefully fail. Should games just refuse to run if some arbitrary FPS cannot be reached? Just quit with an error if your FPS dropped below 30 in the middle of a heated battle? That is basically what you are saying.

I first played DOOM on a 386SX 20 MHz. It was barely more than a slideshow, well under 10 FPS even in low detail mode. At the time I thought it was great. Should the game just have refused to run, or let the user decide what is acceptable?


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 10:08 am 
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washu wrote:
Do what you tell them to, or gracefully fail.


Well, washu, definitely I call "asking a software to perform such a job which cannot be satisfactorily executed" absolutely a "bug": perhaps a bug of the "real programmer" himself, but indeed a "bug".

On the other hand, you (and the world) may gracefully call that as you may rather: I was just curious to learn what "CPU limited" really means, and up to now I'm quite convinced it may mean "everything and nothing", so that it isn't anything I've to be worried about.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:52 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
But exactly this is today's reality: APUs seem to fail for those who game.


Assuming that is true with the APU only on the MB is it still true with an APU + dedicated graphics card?

If AMD stops making new FX series processors there may come a day when I'll have to buy FM2+ or FM3 socket MB to get a CPU faster than my existing one. If that day comes I may end up grabbing an APU even though I'll never use the integrated graphics that are on die.

If the cost per transistor is cheap enough I won't care about the dark circuits I'm not using. Assuming they kill of dedicated gamer CPUs on AM3+ line sockets I could see a gamer oriented APU SKU down the road that went one of two routes

1. GPU still enabled because hybrid graphics are effective at increasing FPS enough for the user to care.
2. GPU disabled because hybrid graphics are a waste of electricity compared to the dedicated GPU.

I may be the rare bird but I have no interest in buying Intel products and will continue to buy alternative CPUs. If AMD can't do it in x86/x64 the market will push towards ARM.

That'd be a messy transition for desktop gamers so I hope AMD can keep our interests on x64 somehow.

So look at the list of processors AMD makes the last time they introduced a new FX CPU at 95W or below was December 2012. The most interesting one on that list for me is

FX-6300 C0 6/3 3.5 GHz 3.8 GHz 4.1 GHz 95 W 2012-10-23

is the A10-7850K the fastest APU they have offered yet?

A10-7850K ?? 4 3.7 GHz N/A 4.0 GHz 95 W 2014-01-14

assuming a game plays nice with 2 cores but doesn't get any gain for the 3rd or higher core (which is common in gaming) and you are using the same discrete graphics in a PCIe x16 slot are these two CPUs roughly on par for gaming or is the difference in core design enough to make the FX CPU still better? If so how much faster does the APU have to be to offset the design difference vs the older FX CPU?

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 5:38 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
Assuming that is true with the APU only on the MB is it still true with an APU + dedicated graphics card?

Yes, it is even more true if you aren't using the GPU part of the APU. The only advantage an AMD APU has over a similarly priced Intel CPU is the GPU part. If you don't use the built in GPU then it comes down to just CPU power and power consumption and Intel beats them soundly on both.

An A10-7850K is in the price range of some i5s, which completely destroy it in CPU power. Move down to the low end Pentium/Celeron CPUs (at least the Haswell based ones) and the similarly priced APUs aren't even in the same ballpark CPU wise, plus they lose a lot of their GPU advantage as well.
Quote:
1. GPU still enabled because hybrid graphics are effective at increasing FPS enough for the user to care.
2. GPU disabled because hybrid graphics are a waste of electricity compared to the dedicated GPU.

All the benchmarks I've seen show #2 to be the case; hybrid graphics don't help enough. For example the best GPU you can use in hybrid mode right now is an R7 250. A Pentium or i3 + R7 250 will give better performance in almost all games than a A10-7850K + R7 250 in hybrid mode and be cheaper.
Quote:
I may be the rare bird but I have no interest in buying Intel products and will continue to buy alternative CPUs. If AMD can't do it in x86/x64 the market will push towards ARM.

That is your choice of course, but AMD has lost even their price/performance advantage over Intel in most cases. I bought AMD exclusively, both personally and professionally when it was the better deal. Ever since the Core 2 that has not been the case. Professionally I cannot recommend AMD CPUs anymore as I would likely get fired. In the server space the performance gap is now so great that the higher cost of Intel CPUs is more than offset by the reduced number needed VS AMDs.
Quote:
So look at the list of processors AMD makes the last time they introduced a new FX CPU at 95W or below was December 2012. The most interesting one on that list for me is

FX-6300 C0 6/3 3.5 GHz 3.8 GHz 4.1 GHz 95 W 2012-10-23

is the A10-7850K the fastest APU they have offered yet?

A10-7850K ?? 4 3.7 GHz N/A 4.0 GHz 95 W 2014-01-14

assuming a game plays nice with 2 cores but doesn't get any gain for the 3rd or higher core (which is common in gaming) and you are using the same discrete graphics in a PCIe x16 slot are these two CPUs roughly on par for gaming or is the difference in core design enough to make the FX CPU still better? If so how much faster does the APU have to be to offset the design difference vs the older FX CPU?

The A10-7850K actually has the "better" core design over the FX-6300 so is slightly faster clock-for clock. I say "better" because it is still a pretty bad design, just refined a bit more. AMD really has no excuse for the Bulldozer/Piledriver/Steamroller core design. They already watched Intel make the same mistake with the P4/Netburst, beat Intel at the time because of it, then went and made the same mistake. Lying about what counts as a core doesn't help any either.

If you must stay with AMD then the more interesting chip for you would be the A10-6800K. It has the same core design as your FX-6300, but a higher clock so it would be faster at single/dual thread tasks. It has a weaker GPU than the A10-7850K, but you have already said you would not be using it.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:47 pm 
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washu wrote:
The A10-7850K actually has the "better" core design over the FX-6300 so is slightly faster clock-for clock.


Perhaps somehow questionable: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1200?vs=699 - http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articl ... Conclusion

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:30 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:


Your first link compares only two multi-threaded tests, so of course the chip with more cores does better. Your second link doesn't even involve the FX-6300, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Neither invalidates what I said.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 11:04 am 
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washu wrote:
The soon to be released "Pentium Anniversary Edition" which can be overclocked should be a great CPU for WoW and other things that arn't threaded well.
At the same time that im intrigued and looking foward to how good will it be, im also a little worried, if its a extremly good overclocker, people could build very cheap setups thinking of popular games that dont require that many cores / threads... like LOL or WOW.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 6:07 pm 
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Posts: 475
Location: Ottawa
Abula wrote:
At the same time that im intrigued and looking foward to how good will it be, im also a little worried, if its a extremly good overclocker, people could build very cheap setups thinking of popular games that dont require that many cores / threads... like LOL or WOW.

This is true, but you can't help those who won't do a bit of research before purchase. Even so, in terms of pure price/performance the new OC Pentium should blow everything else out of the water. Even if a quad+ core would do better at a particular game, it's still going to cost more.

Going forward I would suspect that more games will start using better threading just because of the new consoles. Both the PS4 and Xbox One are 8 weak cores, games have to be mulit-threaded to get good CPU performance. At the same time I think a fair number of developers will just be lazy and not bother threading properly, just scaling down the visuals to compensate.


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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 11:41 pm 
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Location: ITALY
washu wrote:
Your first link compares only two multi-threaded tests, so of course the chip with more cores does better


AFAIK APU and FX don't count "cores" the same way: do they?


washu wrote:
Your second link doesn't even involve the FX-6300, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Neither invalidates what I said.


IIRC the previous APU generation, Richland, sports the same cores of FX-6300: so as they said about 7850 "benchmark indicated lower single-core performance", the statement: - "The A10-7850K actually has the "better" core design over the FX-6300 so is slightly faster clock-for clock" - seems somehow questionable.

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 Post subject: Re: MSI A88XM GAMING: Premium FM2+ Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:14 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
AFAIK APU and FX don't count "cores" the same way: do they?

APU and FX CPUs both count cores the same but incorrect way. They count 1 module as 2 "cores". The A10-7850K has two modules, so it gets counted as 4 cores. The FX-6300 has 3 modules, and gets counted as 6 cores.

The exception is the Kabini APUs and other Jaguar based CPUs, which count cores properly.
Quote:
IIRC the previous APU generation, Richland, sports the same cores of FX-6300:

This is correct.
Quote:
so as they said about 7850 "benchmark indicated lower single-core performance", the statement: - "The A10-7850K actually has the "better" core design over the FX-6300 so is slightly faster clock-for clock" - seems somehow questionable.

You didn't read that review very carefully. The A10-7850K looses to the A10-6800K in single core benchmarks simply because of lower clock speed. In pure one thread tasks they are effectively the same at the same clock speed. Where the Kaveri CPU wins is when more than one thread is running on the same module. Because of the shared resources within an AMD module, a second thread will slow down the first. Kaveri reduces, but does not eliminate this slowdown. As the review you linked shows, when multiple threads are being used the 7850K wins over the 6800K even with the clock speed difference because it can scale better. As long as there is more than one thread running (which on a modern OS is always the case) Kaveri will be faster clock for clock. That is the "better" core design. In a lot of cases the higher clock of Richland negates that, which is why I suggested that to dhanson865 if he is looking for a pure 1/2 thread improvement over his FX-6300.

There really isn't anything with exactly the same clock between Kaveri and Richland. The closest would be the A10-7800 and the A8-6500 with turbo off. Both would then be 3.5 GHz. In a true single thread test they would be the same. In the real world the background threads of your OS would slow down the 6500 more than the 7800, making the Kaveri the winner. In anything really using multiple threads the 7800 would beat the 6500 handily.


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