3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good budget CPU, but poor heatsink + fan,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: AMD A4 5300 CPU (3.4GHZ, 1MB Cache, 2 Core, HD7480D, Socket FM2, 65W, Retail Boxed) (Personal Computers)
I picked this up for a recent build, previously my budget build choice was the Athlon II 3.2GHz, but as time moves on in technology I decided to try one of these.
Overall I have to say quite a decent processor for a "normal" home pc that is quite capable of doing normal day to day tasks such as browsing, watching HD video and playing the odd non intensive game.
My good and bad list:
+ Good price/performance scoring around 2180 in passmark, and with a WEI score of 6.2 for the processor (All WEI scores Win 7 64bit)
+ Built in graphics are quite respectable despite being one of the lower end APU models from AMD, I got a WEI score of 4.9 for Aero and 6.2 for 3d Graphics, that's better than an older AMD Radeon 5450 graphics card, and similar to a newer budget card the Radeon 6450 (ie good enough for light to moderate gaming)
+ Being a 65W CPU fairly easy to cool (see note about heatsink and fan)
+ Had no problems with HD video playback, running day to day tasks even doing some light photo editing more than good enough for most day to day users
- CPU cooler is poor, a very small undersized heatsink (it's using the same as the 45W Sempron CPU's) it's smaller than the Athlon II 65W heatsink. Whilst it's able to just about provide adequate cooling, the fan is running at quite a high speed and is annoying. I also noted the fan made strange buzing sounds even at lower rpm's and was still audible.
- If GPU performance isn't that important (ie office PC) there might be more suitable alternatives around
Quite happy overall with the performance of the AMD, but bear in mind what your needs are. If you are doing more intensive work you would be better off with the FX range of CPU's. This is quite good enough for most "non power users". GPU performance is quite decent for a budget offering and fine for playing games at lower resolution or dropping the settings down somewhat. More demanding gamers should look at the A6/A8/A10 offerings if you want to go down the APU route. But for casual light gaming on a tight budget this is hard to beat (a budget graphics card it going to cost about the same as this APU, which is part of the appeal of the AMD)
Bang per buck it's hard to complain and the price is a little better than the previous generation Athlon II's (which were quite good enough for this type of budget pc build) just imagine a simlar performance, but with much better graphics built in for no extra cost. To get the best performance for the GPU you should use DDR3 1600 ram rather than the 1333 type (for a normal CPU it won't make much difference, but this APU uses the main ram for graphics so higher speeds help)
With the Kingston Hyper X 4Gb module I used, the GPU took 768mb for graphics.
The only real let down is the very poor CPU cooler. I took the fan off and found it's made by cooler master (I like CM for cases and other products but this fan is bad!), which is different to previous AMD fan's and frankly it's a weak fan that's noisy even at lower speeds. I expect it will quickly annoy most people so do look at other alternatives for a cooler (Gelid do a Siberian budget cooler with an 80mm PWM fan it's basic but cheap and pretty quiet) There are also quite a few other cost effective coolers around so plan on buying one if you get this APU, really the HSF is that bad! Where as previous AMD HSF's were ok if you dropped the RPM's down, the heatsink is so small it needs faster fan speeds to cool it properly.
AMD should take a look at this, I know it's a budget CPU/APU but a better HSF is needed even for a stock offering.
Anyway, despite this it doesn't detract from a good overall CPU, the alternatives at this price range are the Celeron's and Pentium's which will have somewhat better CPU performance, but lack the graphics performance of this offering. On balance I think the AMD is quite a solid and interesting option at this price point.