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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
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  • mino - Sunday, July 03, 2011 - link

    Tell ya what. The benefit is we get paid trolls like you over here. Reply
  • jaydee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    How many monitors can you connect to this with a discrete gpu? Can you do 3 or more DVI/HDMI montors between the motherboard output and a discrete gpu? Reply
  • j_iggga - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    The other dude hit it on the mark. The target for this is OEM parts for budget desktops. So the point about the discrete GPU being more cost effective is moot

    So given that...it's great that finally everyone can game adequately.

    1920 x 1080 on integrated? unheard of in my time
    Reply
  • HangFire - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    OK, so maybe it's better than i3 for laptops. But what I was looking for in Llano was a greatly improved per-clock efficiency in the CPU, something that will drag AMD back into true competitiveness with Intel.

    Instead we get slight tweaking.

    If Bulldozer doesn't deliver a better CPU than oft-tweaked cores dating back to Hammer, AMD is dead on the desktop. Low-end laptops will be the only place they can compete, at least until Intel completes implementing DirectX 10 and 11.
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Bulldozer will deliver .. and it will kill Intel at it's price point, I bet your head on that ;)
    And Intel will be dead on the Server market, you can expect a 30+% perf/watt advantage for Interlagos on release day, only dampened when Intel will release their first 22nm Xeon ---

    More blood in the water, better market for us.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Bet taken. Bulldozer will be an underclocked, overheating monster. AMD is 2 years minimum behind with Bulldozer.

    Ivy Bridge will be out before Bulldozer... Bet on that.
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    AMD is 2 years in advance with bulldozer, as it is not designed as a desktop processor, but a byproduct of Interlagos, which will very likely take a lot of server market share from Intel.

    I'd like to see how AMD could be two years behind, when Intel has been stretching a core design from core1 to sandy bridge ;)

    Bet on the fact that AMD has always priced their stuff right, Bulldozer is in i7-2600k range, that means it will beat it hands down.

    Ivy will be a win in desktop for Intel, but then again, this depends on how fast both Intel and GF can get to 3d-gate 22nm. (which if we look at current trends would mean Intel 6 months before GF more or less).
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    You are completely wrong. Bulldozer was scheduled for release in 2009. It is 2011. Hence 2 years.

    Considering Conroe processors still dominate Phenom II x2, x4, and x6 processors from AMD. I would say AMD is behind. About 3 generations.

    GF is just now shipping its first 32nm chips. Still not a single heavyweight chip at 32nm. Intel has 32nm 6-core processors for over a year. Ivy Bridge is out this fall at 22nm.

    Are you just completely drinking the AMD Kool-Aide or what?
    Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    If I remember correctly, Bulldozer's design was torn up and started again from scratch in 2008. This would undoubtedly increase development time, especially if they completely changed the design.

    And for the final time, stop spreading BS about Conroe dominating Phenom II. Even Penryn doesn't. There are plenty of instances where K10.5 beats the Core 2 family and in most cases where Core 2 wins, the difference is marginal at best, not to mention that a) there aren't any hexacore Core 2s out there nor any with any turbo technology, and b) any sufficiently high performing Core 2 parts are massively more expensive than anything AMD is shipping.

    I dedicated a HUGE post on this topic to you on Toms using Anandtech Bench data and you've obviously decided to ignore it so... believe what you like. :)
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I exaggerated. But the only way to deal with the diluted is to use such devices. Perhaps they will think and research.

    Phenom II vs Core 2 is not even close clock for clock.

    Phenom II only wins in scenarios where it is grossly clocked higher than the similar Core 2. The 9650 is a 3GHz part, Ph II 980 a 3.7GHz part.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/49?vs=362

    The recently released 980 barely outperforms the 3 y/o Penryn Core 2.
    Reply

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