Asymmetric CrossFire

Asymmetric CrossFire is supported by desktop Llano APUs. You can combine your A6 or A8 with a Radeon HD 6450, 6570 or 6670 and have both GPUs work in tandem. There are some limitations as we found - mainly asymmetric CF only works in DX10 or DX11 games. While DirectX 9 titles will still function, performance will be suboptimal as you'll soon see.

AMD Radeon Dual Graphics Branding
Discrete GPU 6550D 6530D
HD 6670 HD 6690D2 HD 6690D2
HD 6570 HD 6630D2 HD 6610D2
HD 6450 HD 6550D2 HD 6550D2

Getting asymmetric CrossFire working was a breeze. ASRock's BIOS was setup by default to allow for a secondary discrete GPU to function in dual-graphics mode, all I had to do was install a Radeon HD 6570. My monitor remained plugged into the motherboard and the driver handled the rest:

If you're running a DX10/DX11 game you can get positive scaling, however the gains vary. In Crysis we saw a 68% increase in performance over the APU alone, but only a 12% increase over the discrete GPU by itself:

Crysis: Warhead

HAWX showed us bigger gains on both sides. We saw a more than 2x improvement over the APU alone and a 32% increase over the Radeon HD 6570 by itself:

HAWX

Fire up a DX9 game (or a DX10/11 game in DX9 mode) however, and the results are disappointing. You actually get lower performance than if you had stuck with the discrete GPU alone:

Metro 2033

DiRT 2

Mass Effect 2

StarCraft II

GPU Performance Performance in Older Games
POST A COMMENT

99 Comments

View All Comments

  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Oh and to go further than that ... i3-2100 + CF6950 > i5+6970
    And yet here we are, buying i5-2500k's and saying its THE cpu to get .. lol
    Reply
  • smartarse - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Yeah, that's generally how things are done around here.

    Intel's CPU wins a benchmark by 5%? YOU MUST BUY THE INTEL CPU

    Intel's setup uses 10w less at the plug? Clearly, any respectable human being would think of the planet

    Core iX integrated graphics beat 890GX in 2 of 10 games? YOU MUST HAVE ONE NOW!!!!

    Now, flip that around:

    AMD ties Intel in a real world benchmark you actually use? You still want Intel for it's Sysmark score.

    AMD is more efficient? Who cares about efficiency?

    Llano integrated graphics win by 200%? Meh, we expected more, and graphics don't matter anyways.
    Reply
  • HW_mee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    I had to create an account after reading the review and comments.

    I have a two points that I hope people are open for a discussion about.

    First of all, I believe Anand has missed the point of desktop Llano processors. The target platform seems to be laptops, and it really fits in the laptop market, while the desktop Llano processors seem to get low priority from AMD.
    The desktop processors are useful as they provide a powerful platform at a low cost, which is an indication of the intended market for these parts.

    The target consumer for the desktop parts seems to be OEM's, as they can now get rid of dGPU parts in AMD equipped machines in the 500 - 700$ segment, as this segment often features a Radeon 5450, Nvidia GT 430 or similar low end dGPU.
    One less component to worry about is welcome news at any OEM.

    Looking at Llano as a part for a home build, which I think is what Anand is doing in this review, makes it seem odd. Home build are designed to be very good at one or several points, single threaded performance, gaming, low power etc. The only point where Llano excels is idle power use, which nobody seems to care about, and delivering balanced performance with excelling or being particular bad at anything.

    Second point I think should be discussed is peoples notion of what an average user needs in terms of computing power.

    You guys are very demanding users and seem to expect a lot from the average user.
    Going the list of people i know and their computers specification shows that none of them are even close to needing an i3-2100. the computers have a mix of single core Pentium M and ULV processors in the laptops and the desktops consist of a mix of old Athlons, post socket A, and first gen core processors.
    These people are not even close to really stressing their processor. The two most common complaints from the average users I know is the slow harddrive and crappy Intel IGP.

    I could write a lot more on this, including talk of SSD/dGPU being more useful than a powerful processor, but I think I have rambled enough.
    Reply
  • HW_mee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Anand needs an edit button, just to allow editing for one minute after posting.

    I wanted to edit this part:
    The only point where Llano excels is idle power use, which nobody seems to care about, and delivering balanced performance with excelling or being particular bad at anything.

    to say:
    The only point where Llano excels is idle power use, which nobody seems to care about, and delivering balanced performance without excelling or being particular bad at anything.

    changing with to without makes a big difference :-/
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    And for that ... we have the successor to e-350, the only APU that actually hits the spot. it's what everyone needs as HTPC, PC, laptop, work pc, ... all you like.

    And it's prolly as powerful as an Xbox360 anyway ;)
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    As work PC? Glad you're not ruling my IT department!

    MrS
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    "You guys are very demanding users and seem to expect a lot from the average user.
    Going the list of people i know and their computers specification shows that none of them are even close to needing an i3-2100. the computers have a mix of single core Pentium M and ULV processors in the laptops and the desktops consist of a mix of old Athlons, post socket A, and first gen core processors."

    Ok grandpa, you sound like my 60y/o supervisor.

    "in my day, a horse could get you everywhere you need to go"

    Try running WIndows 7 and Office 2010 on a Pentium M. Not gonna be pretty. Try jumping on a web site with some Java or Flash.

    YOUR point is that, "I never really use my PC except to look at pictures or lightly browse the interent". Well, why are you looking at a new PC for this if your Pentium M can handle it.

    The point of ALL these articles is to decide what is the best available tech on the market right now. No one cares that you still use woefully underpowered machines to run windows 2000 and office 95..
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    You sir . are unnecessarily offensive.

    If MS managed to make Office 2010 heavy enough to be an issue on anything above a p3, it's quite just another episode of "hey we can't code shit, but let's do it anyway, add some duct tape, paint it and sell it".

    The point of the articles is to decide what is the MOST APPROPRIATE tech on the market for a USER's specific NEEDS.

    In that, you sir, fail.

    Most people only use facebook,youtube,gmail (or any webmail,really),some music player, some divx player (yes not everyone watches full HD x264 like me), and a few flash games or stuff.

    Would you seriously state that an i3-2100 is REQUIRED for those tasks ?
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/71?vs=289

    And that Celeron is actually faster than an equivalent Pentium M.

    Are you just stuck in a box? Software today cannot run on 5 year old hardware. Let alone 8y/o.

    =

    MOST people multi-task. You must be of the variety that sits at the computer screen and receives and email notification and thinks, "whoo that is cool, email.. who knew!"

    ==

    OWNED
    Reply
  • HW_mee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Great, lets try using that Celeron as a comparison point, I guess it is 4 times slower than an i3-2100, heck it is the cheapest Intel processor you could but 3 years ago, but even that is enough for a game of L4D, Fallout 3 or Oblivion.

    If you go cheap today and buy a dual core 2.X GHz, what task will you not be able to complete "fast enough" as an average user? You mention Encoding sound/video, but the average user just downloads that song/movie straight from the Internet.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now