AMD provided us with an A10-5800K APU along with the Asus F2 A85-M Pro motherboard for our test drive. Purists might balk at the idea of an overclockable 100W TDP processor being used in tests intended to analyze the HTPC capabilities. However, the A10-5800K comes with the AMD Radeon HD 7660D, the highest end GPU in the Trinity lineup. Using this as the review platform gives readers an understanding of the maximum HTPC capabilities of the Trinity lineup.

The table below presents the hardware components of our Trinity HTPC testbed:

Trinity HTPC Testbed Setup
Processor AMD A10-5800K - 3.80 GHz (Turbo to 4.2 GHz)
AMD Radeon HD 7660D - 800 MHz
Motherboard Asus F2A85-M Pro uATX
OS Drive OCZ Vertex2 120 GB
Memory G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) F3-2133C9Q-16GAB CAS 9-11 -10-28 2N
Optical Drives ASUS 8X Blu-ray Drive Model BC-08B1ST
Case Antec Skeleton ATX Open Air Case
Power Supply Antec VP-450 450W ATX
Operating System Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Display / AVR Acer H243H / Pioneer Elite VSX-32 + Sony Bravia KDL46EX720
.

The Trinity platform officially supports DDR3-1866 modules. Towards this, we obtained a 16 GB DDR3-2133 Ares kit from G.Skill for our testbed. Using this kit made it possible to study HTPC behaviour from a memory bandwidth perspective.

The software setup for the Trinity HTPC testbed involved the following:

Trinity HTPC Testbed Software Setup
Blu-ray Playback Software CyberLink PowerDVD 12
Media Player MPC-HC v1.6.3.5818
Splitter / Decoder LAV Filters 0.51.3
Renderers EVR / EVR-CP (integrated in MPC-HC v1.6.3.5818)
madVR v0.83.4

The madVR renderer settings were fixed as below for testing purposes:

  1. Decoding features disabled
  2. Deinterlacing set to:
    • automatically activated when needed (activate when in doubt)
    • automatic source type detection (i.e, disable automatic source type detection is left unchecked)
    • only look at pixels in the frame center
    • be performed in a separate thread
  3. Scaling algorithms were set as below:
    • Chroma upscaling set to SoftCubic with softness of 100
    • Luma upscaling set to Lanczos with 4 taps
    • Luma downscaling set to Lanczos with 4 taps
  4. Rendering parameters were set as below:
    • Start of playback (including post-seek) was delayed till the render queue filled up
    • Automatic fullscreen exclusive mode was used
    • A separate device was used presentation, and D3D11 was used
    • CPU and GPU queue sizes were set to 32 and 24 respectively
    • Under exclusive mode settings, the seek bar was enabled, switch to exclusive mode from windowed mode was delayed by 3 seconds and 16 frames were configured to be presented in advance. The GPU was set to fush after the intermediate render steps, copy to back buffer and after D3D peresentation. In addition, the GPU was set to wait (sleep) after the last render step.

Unlike our Ivy Bridge setup, we found the windowed mode to be generally bad in terms of performance compared to exclusive mode. Also, none of the options to trade quality for performance were checked.

Introduction HQV 2.0 Benchmarking
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  • Denithor - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Which explains 1600p on 30" monitors, right?

    Granted, most of us don't sit 3-4' from our TV but I know even on my 50" 1080p barely cuts it (text is hard to read sometimes, fuzzy if I zoom in enough to read easily).
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Meaning, setting it to 16-235 means to discard 0-15 and 236-255 and expand the remainder to full RGB.

    Obviously I don't have a Trinity setup so I'm just speculating, but on my HD6400 there is a different parameter on the display configuration section to tweak screen output range - which I set to RGB full range.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I think you are referring to the pixel format output which is YCbCr 4:4:4 / YCbCr 4:2:2 / RGB Limited / RGB Full

    The dynamic range aspect is orthogonal to the pixel format output over HDMI.

    The screenshot posted is that of a video playing in the background. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I am not sure about AMD's terminology here, but any user setting the dynamic range to 16-235 would expect NOT to see values 0 - 15 and 236 - 255.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Yes I was referring to pixel format output. I use RGB Full. I was under the impression that YCbCr cannot display the ranges 0-15 and 236-255 but I think I might be wrong on this one. It is YV12 / YUY2 colorspaces that lack these ranges.

    And what you're saying about dynamic range is exactly what I'm saying is happening. If you select 16-235, 0-15 and 236-255 from the video is filtered out and the remaining is expanded back to 0-255. Thus a video decoded to YV12 / YUY2 space played on a full range display would have a greyish black or white without selecing 16-235 range. Meaning, the wording on AMD's UI is correct, just the whole idea behind it is confusing.
    Reply
  • superccs - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Have all of our expectations of their new hardware dropped considerably? I am an AMD fan as much as the rest of you, but it just seems like we are trying so hard to find their stuff useful. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    Good deal, another fanboy zombied out for years by the marketing hatred and hype useful idiots collective has shown a glimmer of light, hope that the slave mind can break free from the dirty chains.

    The new test is this: Would you put up with this crap from any other company or vendor ?

    Reply
  • Hardcore69 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    - HTPC box: No point. A G540 + GTX 650 if you really want MadVR and 23.976.

    - Office box: No point. A G540 is enough for a basic everyday system

    - Gaming box: No point. A dedicated card is still the answer for 1080p High/Ultra gaming i.e. real PC gaming.

    Well? APU's are rather pointless. All this accelerated media crap, HD 1000 can do that too.
    Reply
  • Medallish - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    - HTPC Box: that's passively cooled: An A10-5700 would work great in there and be a nice upgrade!

    - Office/Workstation Box: GPU acceleration can make a lot of difference, not to mention people have different needs.

    - Gaming Box: For someone who wants to game but don't want to shell out the money needed to get 1080p Ultra graphics, or as I see it, a gaming starter kit.

    Well? APU's have plenty of point if you're not an out of touch Intel fanatic. Also did you even read the review? There was encoding and decoding that the APU did really well.

    btw. I have a passively cooled HTPC, and a Laptop I use for office work, both based on APU's(Currently Llano, the HTPC is getting a Trinity upgrade though.) and I wouldn't want them any other way.
    Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    Passively cooling a 130W box? Really?

    I'd like to see AMD trying a bit harder to keep their power consumption down, because in the end the reason for me to choose an i5-3570K was that like AMD it offered 'enough' GPU power, but at a much lower max power. My computer runs at well under 10W idle and about 75W max (OCCT+Furmark), more like 45W in normal use. I wouldn't be able to get near that kind of power consumption with equally-featured Trinity parts (aside from the lower CPU performance, which isn't really a big deal tbh).

    (by the way, my 5.9W core i5-computer: http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/8217/fluffy2-...
    Reply
  • Medallish - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Yup, I've been working on my own little HTPC project(Although not as cool as yours :D). The Streacom FC5-OD is surprisingly good at cooling down even a 100W APU, right now I'm using a 3870k, I'm planning on getting the A10-5700 asap, and the final touch I plan on adding is the 6670, connect it to the opposite cooling ribs, however right now I'm running into a PSU limit, that I plan on countering by getting a slightly better PSU(250W CarPC PSU instead of a 150W picoPSU)

    But yeah despite the slightly higher load, the fact is on idle, and most likely average, AMD have really brought down power consumption with Trinity. But I like your setup, and will probably borrow a few ideas from there.
    Reply

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