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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  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Later, when you hace access, can you do the same test with the lower end dual core 65watt Trinity?

    I think that would be the best HTPC Trinity if it also keeps up.

    But looks good for a HTPC/Light gaming rig.
    Reply
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    gotta agree. The A10 would not be my choice of processor for an HTPC. I would go with something lower cost and lower wattage... but maybe other people enjoy transcoding videos on their HTPCs. Reply
  • ddrum2000 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I partially disagree (personal preference). I'd like to the 65W A10-5700 reviewed as opposed to the A10-5800K since a 65W part makes much more sense for an HTPC then a 100W part. By extention, the A8-5500 would be interesting as well though I'm curious how much of a difference the number of Radeon cores makes in terms of HTPC usage. Reply
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    that's what we said. how do you disagree? Reply
  • Silent Rage - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    You said, "The A10 would not be my choice of processor for an HTPC."

    He said, "I'd like to the 65W A10-5700 reviewed as opposed to the A10-5800K since a 65W part makes much more sense for an HTPC then a 100W", hence the partial disagreement.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I transcode on my HTPC, but I just use Quicksync on my i3 with HD 3000 graphics. I use Arcsoft media converter 7 and rip HD TV recordings down to a manageable size to play on my Iconia tablet. Considering the fact that it only takes 20-30 minutes to take a 1080p show down to 720p at 1/6 the original file size, I can't complain about the results. Intel offers an HD 4000 i3, and that would be my HTPC CPU of choice if I had to buy today. Reply
  • Arbie - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    The features you are testing are never obvious from a spec sheet, so a targeted hands-on review like this is very important. At least it is to me, because my next laptop choice will be based on its capabilities for media viewing and gaming. And battery life, followed by weight.

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    this was a desktop review. The Trinity mobile reviews happened months ago.. Reply
  • stimudent - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    I'm glad that Anandtech has explained to us that this is a staged released and has offered its review based around that by looking to past performance. This is better reporting. Not the immature biased reporting being done by Tech Report.
    If Intel did this, it's almost a sure thing TechReport.com would not have said a thing about a staged release and gone ahead with its review the same way Anantech did here.
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Isn't giving you 23.977 what you'd actually want over 23Hz? I can't think of when you'd want 23Hz (whereas 24Hz, 25Hz and 30Hz are all useful) whereas 23.976 is what you'd want from telecined material. Reply

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