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Thread: Entry Level system recommendation needed - AMD a8 vs Intel G2xxx?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Entry Level system recommendation needed - AMD a8 vs Intel G2xxx?

    I ask for advice.... currently I search for APU+Motherboard combo, which should be below $120 mark.
    Basically, I have everything, except (GPU, CPU) or (GPU+CPU) and Mobo. I suppose only APU is choice at this price range.

    Unfortunately PTS does not have universal performance index, so I use other benchmarking site to compare CPU performance.
    But what is troubling me is the graphics part.
    ----
    Right now, I choose between:
    Intel G2130 (or similar) + H61/B75 motherboard
    vs
    A8-3850/70 + FM1 motherboard

    Unforunately FM2 APUs are out of my scope (as it seems), as all a4-6 FM2 solutions lose in raw CPU performance to their FM1 A8 counterparts.

    ----

    Then, there is this thing - are amd opensource drivers for these systems better than Intel opensource drivers?...
    Catalyst is out of the question entirely.

    It is office workstation with minimal gaming, but it should work 100% fast for office tasks.
    Unity or XFCE with Compiz ... not clear at this point. But from driver side the workflow should be fluid - Libreoffice, Firefox, Clawsmail etc.

    Any fast advice is very appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default

    Intel has opensource drivers, AMD needs binary drivers for games. Basically more games run with fglrx right now. Intel cpus, even Pentium G is usally faster than AMD cpus.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Intel has opensource drivers, AMD needs binary drivers for games. Basically more games run with fglrx right now. Intel cpus, even Pentium G is usally faster than AMD cpus.
    Thanks Kano! I doubt the graphics "power" of Pentium G is sufficient to enjoy Intel opensource drivers.. :/
    So, I am left with A6 on FM2 vs A8 on FM1, two-core bulldozer vs four-core K10.5 and it seems that A8 is better in raw performance than Pentium G and definitely than A6 FM2.
    I get reports that singlecore performance of G2120 is 1.6x of that of A8-3870, but its not enough to beat the overall power of A8. So far I think I will go A8 route here(+solid caps motherboard, 4GiB of RAM etc).

    Do you know if opensource AMD drivers on lliano are actually currently any good for composite desktop and games like torus trooper, gunroar etc? Thanks!!

  4. #4
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    Yes, the open drivers should work fine on llano in any recent distro. You're also correct that llano beats bulldozer in cpu perf, but the latest gen (piledriver) is a bit faster than llano, with a much better gpu.

  5. #5
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    Thanks curaga!

    Well, it was fun and games till I discovered FM1 and FM2 are not compatible. This means, I can't upgrade to a8/10-5xxx without selling motherboard as well and left to k10.5 cpus.

    And on top of that I found Michael's benchmarks of A8-5600 and they were pretty pathetic with fglrx performing 10x faster than radeon driver - my expectation was exactly this performance but with radeon driver, so it failed; and everybody else uses fglrx when benchmarking. No fglrx for me in any form.

    So, I have decided to use intel 1155 socket and basic 2x2.9ghz ivy(G2020).
    The socket is widely supported and CPU can be upgraded as needed.
    For 150$ one can purchase fast CPU with HD3000 afterwards.

    The motherboard is fine to adopt any amd("if" opensource mature in performance) or nvidia (if previous does not happen) extension card later on.

    It has primitive graphics built it that run fine on opensource, it is sufficient for office, intel has ~20 opensource developers working on opensource driver and does not offer *blob* as real thing and "opensource for the poor".
    ---
    In terms of CPU performance, it is faster than FM2 A6 dual-cores(quad-modules).
    In terms of GPU performance it is equal to A6 running on opensource drivers.

    Crossfire for FM2 and PCIEx will come very very unlikely into opensource amd drivers even in 100 years; following AMD failtastic opensource strategy, if at all.
    So,.. thanks to all!

  6. #6
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    IIRC Michael tested using the defaults (low clocks), radeon currently doesn't automatically change the clocks. While I agree with him on testing defaults, it would've been useful to have high clocks in addition, because now we don't know what's the perf difference when both use high clocks.

    Ivy is a good choice though.

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