AMD A85X Mobo Roundup: ASRock, Gigabyte, Asus

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Gaming Tests

Because AMD talks such big game about the integrated Radeon GPUs inside each Trinity APU, we skipped the low-res gaming benchmarks we normally apply to mobos with integrated graphics and went straight to the hard stuff: full HD, high quality gaming, albeit on games that are a few years old. We tested each motherboard with the top-of-the-line A10-5800K and its Radeon HD 7660D integrated GPU at stock clocks. We tested both games (Far Cry 2 and Left4Dead2) at 1920x1080, High Quality.

Far Cry 2
Gaming Benchmarks

Far Cry 2, though a 2008 game, is very graphics intensive and challenging to midrange or entry-level GPUs. We used the in-game benchmarking tool to run the Ranch Long test three times and averaged the results. We set the resolution to 1920x1080p and used DirectX 10 with no anti-aliasing, low Fire, Physics, and Real Trees, and everything else set to High with HDR and Bloom enabled. 

In every case, the benchmark returned frame rates that look at first glance to be playable, but that doesn't tell the whole story. There were regular downward frame rate spikes such that the game hitched every few seconds. It wasn't until we dropped the renderer to DirectX 9 and used the High preset that we were able to avoid these hitches and get the game to be playable at an average frame rate of 39fps with no hitches.

Hi-Res Gaming: Left4Dead 2
Gaming Benchmarks

Unlike Far Cry 2, which looks a bit janky even at the highest settings, Left4Dead 2 looks and plays just fine on Trinity. We set the game to 1920x1080, moderate film grain, 4xMSAA, 4x Anisotropy, no Vsync, and high detail. We enabled multicore rendering and set paged pool memory to high. We recorded a timedemo of the first five minutes of Dead Center, then played it back several times for each board and averaged the results. 

Even at such high settings, all three boards put out framerates above 40fps--perfectly playable, and it looked great. More importantly, during actual game play it was also great, although there were a few frame rate dips during Smoker attacks and other high-particle situations. Still, the game remained playable and fun as ever. We still wouldn't recommend a Trinity APU for a high-end gaming rig, but for moderate gaming it's perfectly acceptable.

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