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AMD APU A6-6400K Black Edition (3.90GHz Richland Dual Core Processor, Socket FM 2) (AD640KOKHLBOX)
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Discover technology that's built to handle virtually everything you throw at it with the elite quad-core performance and responsive design of AMD APU-based desktop PCs. Bring your digital world to life with intuitive gesture and touch controls and enjoy an immersive gaming experience with AMD Radeon™ HD Graphics, all in a sleek, high-end desktop.
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System specs: 2 x 4GB hyper x RAM 1866mhz, Asus F2A85-V PRO mobo, 1 TB Seagate HDD and a couple different GPUS (listed below)
I tried it out with my Sapphire HD 7770 and played some Far Cry 3, Battlefield 4 and Metro last light all on low/med and this CPU severely bottle necked them all. FPS fluctuated from around 20 to 50 with a lot of system hang and freezing, then a lot of the time it would crash. CPU load was locked at 100% when gaming while the GPU load barely rose above 50%. I also tried this with my GTX 650 card and got the same results (albeit lower fps as its a lower grade card)
It was OK on older or less demanding games, Fallout 3 and Skyrim i was playing ultra with 45/60 fps no problem.
If your wanting a cheap and quick CPU for general use then go for this. But if your intending to game then your best off going for an A8 6600k for a decent budget gaming chip.
Now, having said all that, I have to tell you that this is indeed a fantastic value for money. It's a "black edition", which means that several of the overclocking features haven't been zapped with a laser at the factory and disabled. It used to be that these features were intentionally disabled to prevent people from destroying their cpu with excessive heat. New safety features built into chips these days will shut down the cpu before it melts so "black edition," cpu's have become a fairly trendy marketing strategy trageted at the the "home builder" who likes to tinker.
It runs on 65watts instead of 100+ like it's big brothers, the A8 or A10, so it's fairly "green" and will use less energy. It will run cooler too. The transistors are spaced at .32 nanometers which probably impresses god himself and on top of that it even gives you reasonably good gaming graphics with an 800mhz core running 190 pixel pipelines. You just don't know how good you've got it when you consider what was available two or three years ago.
It get even better. If you want to turn it into a real gaming beast then you have the option to spend an additional 50 pounds on a HD 6570 graphics card. You can run both internal and external graphics together. Remember though it has to be an HD 6570. Dual graphics support won't work with any other card except it's little brother the HD 6450. This holds true for all FM2 cpu's. Each cpu is designed to run in dual mode with a specific video card for that particular cpu, so always check to see what cards are compatible before you spend any money. Amd tells you which cards are compatible right on the side of the tin, err, I mean box.
The real advantage you get here is to increase your "pixel pipelines". As mentined, this cpu has 190 pixel pipelines so if you add in another couple of hundred with an additional card.. well you get the picture. One drawback though is that none of the HD 6570 graphics card come with DDR5 memory but my impression is that it's not a big performance boost. You'll need to spend more money on an A8 or A10 to get DDR5 graphic card compatibility. So do your research before you spend your money. The graphics cards which support DDR5 memory cost the same as the older DDR3 video cards. Something to consider.
Also, as I mentioned before, the graphics in this cpu run at 800mhz. About two years ago I spent well over $150 (usa dollars) on a graphics card that boasted that it could be overclocked to 700mhz. Most of the mid-range cards were still running around 600-650mhz on average. If you wanted 800mhz then you would have to spend at least $350. It had a massive fan that sounded like a vacuum cleaner. My whole computer generated so much heat that I had to leave the side case door off or else it could have very well burst into flames. I wore out the fan on the video card in only 3 months of gameplay. It eventually gave out a noise that sounded like tossing a hand full of kids glass marbles into an F16 jet fighter engine.
I should also point out that when you buy this cpu and find yourself in a position to find just the right kind of DDR3 memory for your motherboard, you might be surprised to find that the speed of the memory is limited to 1866mhz. You can install some of the faster memory but it will still be limited. I opted for 8gigs of Crucial, "LT2CP4G3D1869DT1TX0CEU Tactical 8GB Kit (4GBx2), Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR3-1866 PC3-14900 Memory Module by Crucial" I found it here on amazon. I gave it a stellar review. It comes in a totally unique canary yellow. It's beautful looking memory. It can be overclocked but here it runs at 1866mhz maximum. 8 gigs for 60 clams is kinda pricey i'll admit but you have to remember that gaming performance of this cpu will be partially determined by the latency and clock speed of the motherboard memory. The big question is, "how do I set the latency settings in my bios?" I can't help you here. But I can tell you that it's not as difficult as it sounds. If you look in your bios, you'll see that it has a myriad of memory settings, but in fact you'll only have to adjust 3 or 4 of those settings in order to set the latency correctly. I wish could help further but it's beyond the scope of this review.
I paired both of these up with a Gigabyte mini-itx motherboard. The F2A88XN-wifi Ultra-Durable motherboard. I always wanted to explore the world of mini-itx and I'm so glad I did as this system is just amazing. The Crucial memory has very short low profile heat spreaders which were necessary to fit next to the cpu heatsink. And this memory is recommended and tested 100% compatible with the motherboard.
All and all for 50 bucks this is a fantastic value. I overclocked the cpu to it's factory recommended "turbo speed" of 4.1ghz and then later pushed it to 4.5ghz doing nothing more than increasing the multiplier and it's turned out to be the greatest "bang for your buck" I've ever built. I did however put it back to 4.1ghz as I'm running the stock fan.
In the back of my mind I wonder if I should have spent the extra money for an A8 to get a video card that runs DDR5 memory but the cpu runs over 100watts and the power supply in my mini-itx case (like most mini-itx cases) is only 300 watts. So if you're not running mini-itx it's really an option to consider. But I haven't seen overwhelming rave reviews on those video cards so perhaps it's just a bit of hype. It's easy to get carried away when building a computer so I always try to keep in mind the "law of diminishing returns". You reach a point where you're needlessly spending a lot of money for very little performance gain. You have to know when to say "enough is enough."
At the end of the day, after purchasing a 21.5" 1080p dvi-d monitor for 80 pounds, the total investment was just slightly over 300 pounds. I feel like I've built a great system that will last me 2 or 3 years.
If you find my review useful please indicate by hitting the button! :-)
I most certainly recommend this to you without reservation.
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