AMD Socket / Processor for new PC

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Profile Tony Habergham

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Message 1432431 - Posted: 23 Oct 2013, 22:51:00 UTC

Due to financial constraints it's been a few years since I've done a major upgrade to my main PC, which is on usually 24/7, and running Seti on the Graphics card when not otherwise in use.

I've now decided that the time is fast approaching when I'll have to consider replacing the Motherboard / CPU / Memory.

I'm going with AMD as I have since my first build back in 1994, but being out of the upgrade business for a couple of years, I'e been trying to work out what to go for. All my previous experience tells me to avoid 'on board' graphics like the plague, but reading the forum gives the impression that the newer AMD 'APU' processors, while not as powerful (and cheaper) might actually be more productive for seti, than a 'pure' CPU. Am I right in this?

I'm planning to keep my current graphics card, a GTS 450, which is less than a year old, for playing the slightly less than cutting-edge-required occasional gaming (something like Skyrim or X-Com). Would an APU-based system be powerful enough for this, and give no problems, coupled with the dedicated card?

Currently I'm musing something along the lines of an AMD A8-5500 APU on an Asus F2A55-M board, with $GB DDR-3 running Windows 7 Pro, 32-bit.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Message 1432441 - Posted: 23 Oct 2013, 23:23:30 UTC
Last modified: 23 Oct 2013, 23:24:53 UTC

Yes, should work fine.
A co worker of mine is running such a system with a 650 and can play games nicely.
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Message 1432462 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 0:22:48 UTC - in response to Message 1432431.  
Last modified: 24 Oct 2013, 0:23:50 UTC

Why stay 32-bit for the OS when you have glorious 64-bit hardware?

Also, wth 64-bits, you can go over the 3.5GByte RAM limit suffered by 32-bits...


Happy fast crunchin',
Martin
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Message 1432463 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 0:33:58 UTC - in response to Message 1432462.  

Why stay 32-bit for the OS when you have glorious 64-bit hardware?
I've already got the OS, got it quite cheap when Win7 was going out of stock in favour of Win8.

I acually chose 32-bit because I have a stock of old games and business applications going back anything up to 8-10 years I'd still like to have available (although, in hindsight, now that I've decided to replace, rather than upgrade, my old Athlon X2 4800, this might not have been the best long-term option).
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Message 1432491 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 3:43:58 UTC - in response to Message 1432463.  

Why stay 32-bit for the OS when you have glorious 64-bit hardware?
I've already got the OS, got it quite cheap when Win7 was going out of stock in favour of Win8.

I acually chose 32-bit because I have a stock of old games and business applications going back anything up to 8-10 years I'd still like to have available (although, in hindsight, now that I've decided to replace, rather than upgrade, my old Athlon X2 4800, this might not have been the best long-term option).

I bought a copy of Win 7 64-bit on newegg for $80.00 US.
[/quote]

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Message 1432497 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 4:32:24 UTC

I would upgrade the video card to a amd 7950...they are in the 250 range...and will keep your system powerful enough to last yrs to come....I will be upgrading to a 7950 soon enough

:)
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Message 1432606 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 15:31:30 UTC

If you are going to go AMD, I would suggest a FX-8320 which I have had some pretty good luck with so far. I have a FX-8150 on another machine, but have noticed that it puts out more heat than the FX-8320, so have a Corsair H110 water cooler on it to fix that. Otherwise the FX-8320 stays comfortably warm and quietly crunches away.
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Message 1432607 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 15:32:34 UTC

AMD looks to almost be ready to put out the 8XXX series cards. I checked out the specs on the 8970 and it appears to be a slight inprovement in streaming process but now has dual precision.
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Message 1432678 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 17:55:28 UTC

Not quite the main topic of discussion but...

Doesn't Windows 7 let you install 64bit using the same Win key?
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Message 1432707 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 18:30:31 UTC - in response to Message 1432678.  

yes, it does.
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Message 1432733 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 19:16:34 UTC

Not if you're using M$ OEM disks it doesn't.

That only applies to retail disks.

Cheers.
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Message 1432854 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 22:19:56 UTC - in response to Message 1432733.  

Thanks to all for the guidance.

I'm just exploring the background to the current range of available AMD processors, for a new setup in the region of £200.

My understanding is (correct me if wrong), the APU is a cost-saving measure, by incorporating a GPU processor on the same chip as the CPU, thus negating the requirement for a separate graphics card, and sacrificing some CPU performance as a trade-off.

So, for somebody with a "competant" graphics card, I would go for the socket AM3+ FX-chips, as they are much powerful at the same price level, and the on-chip GPU would be wasted. A little like the old 'onboard graphics/shared memory' systems of old.

However, from the point of veiw of Seti processing, the APU could be better since I could process both on the APU's GPU, and on the graphics card as I do now.

In fact, I'm toying with the idea of coupling a 65W A10-5700 APU (that has an integral 384 core HD 7660D GPU) with a dual PCI-e x16 motherboard, to fit both my existing GTS 450, and maybe a second standalone graphics card later (if I can pick one up cheaply on ebay).

The APU+GPU setup is 55W lower than my current setup, and must be around 100W less than when I was running a 9800 GTX+, so there should be enough capacity on my 650W PSU to run a second card.

I'd therefore be processing 3 GPU-based workunits at a time... or is there a flaw in my cunning plan?

A single brand new high-end graphics card might well be more productive, but I've decided that the underlying system base has to be upgraded at some stage.

Thx, AH
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Message 1432871 - Posted: 24 Oct 2013, 22:45:20 UTC - in response to Message 1432463.  
Last modified: 24 Oct 2013, 22:46:15 UTC

Why stay 32-bit for the OS when you have glorious 64-bit hardware?
I've already got the OS, got it quite cheap when Win7 was going out of stock in favour of Win8.

I acually chose 32-bit because I have a stock of old games and business applications going back anything up to 8-10 years I'd still like to have available...

You could well get a surprising long way with one of the Linux distros + WINE to run your old Windows apps...

Also, no problem of licensing/costs other than for the original Windows apps.


(Many years ago, I made a surprisingly easy move over by using WINE to keep a few old Windows apps going until they were superseded. As a small added bonus, at that time s@h + WU cache + status monitor worked faster under WINE on Linux than on the native Windows! Those were the days... ;-) )

Whichever way you go, good luck!

Happy fast crunchin',
Martin
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Message 1432975 - Posted: 25 Oct 2013, 1:16:24 UTC

the amd 7950 has a 4k video output great for future monitors, or tv

and its a monster for seti at home

:)
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Message 1434397 - Posted: 27 Oct 2013, 17:13:34 UTC - in response to Message 1432431.  

I'm planning to keep my current graphics card, a GTS 450
...
Currently I'm musing something along the lines of an AMD A8-5500 APU on an Asus F2A55-M board, with $GB DDR-3 running Windows 7 Pro, 32-bit.

Hi Tony,

"$GB RAM"? Was that supposed to be 4GB?

Either way, 32-bit Windows 7 (like Vista 32-bit) is not so good since it can't access as much as 4GB of RAM or more (this includes GPU RAM) and Windows 7 (and certainly Vista) struggle with less than 4GB, so I would recommend you have 8GB of RAM... so you need the 64-bit version of Windows 7 (Home Premium is fine unless you need any of the additional features in Pro).
Brian.
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