At the MSI booth, we were treated to several interesting FM2 motherboards for upcoming Trinity desktop processors.  In a variety of form factors (including miniITX!), MSI hope to take to the market on release with a variety of SKUs.  What was a little striking was that even though some boards were named 'A85', most of them actually use the A75 chipset.

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  • kyuu - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    What I want to know is, where the hell are the Trinity laptops?!
  • ShieTar - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    Here is one:
  • Arnulf - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    Yeah but this is only one example and it is built of stupid - Trinity with discrete GPU ... why the hell do they keep sticking additional GPU inthere for lame Crossfire performance ?

    If top Trinity APU is indeed too weak on the GPU side then they should go Sandy / Ivy Bridge + discrete GPU (NVidia in order to get Optimus ?) for far more performance in same thermal profile, plus they avoid all problems with Crossfire.

    If Trinity is OK on the GPU side then stick with that single phucking APU chip and don't waste thermal budget, PCB real estate and users' patience (with crummy drivers and games which don't capitalize on Crossfire).

    This laptop is a piece of poop and the very example of what APU is *NOT* meant to be used for. If you go with two chips there is better performance to be had using a different combination.
  • ffakr - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    It sounds like you're saying we could run a SandyBridge or Ivy Bridge with a descrete GPU in the same power envelope as a Trinity?

    As someone with a small commodity cluster of A8 Llano APUs, I'll certify that you have no idea what you're talking about. My nodes [A8-3850, Black 500G, 16GB 1800MHz RAM] barely exhaust noticeable heat.
    And.. Trinity performance per watt is quite a bit higher than Llano so consider the following in that light....

    CPU performance is mediocre with the Llano but we purchased them to make a commodity cluster for the students to bang on. They won't get time on our new Top500 cluster unless they get to piggy-back on a researcher with access to that system and there are quite a few who need CPU time but either aren't in a lab or assist someone without their own cluster or need for HPC access.

    We didn't buy them to be monstrously fast in the CPU cores tough. We bought them because they're dirty cheap and they come with an OpenCL compatible GPU.
    Unfortunately, AMD wasn't forthright about support for Doubles. I probably wouldn't have purchased the Llanos if I'd known that at the time. However, the integrated GPU is ridiculously fast considering it's size [and cost, and power consumption] when it's crunching integer and single OpenCL code. The bandwidth bottleneck that strangles discrete GP-GPUs is gone, in the APUs it functions just like another CPU core(s). The APU cores just don't get starved for work. In one benchmark, it was faster than an older but still quite fast Intel QuadCore [faster than the A8 cpu] with a GTX550 running the same algorithms in CUDA. That intel combination isn't bleeding edge by any means but it's a solid setup and costs more than twice as much as the A8 alone.

    The Trinity APU isn't marketed as a high performance CPU and it's not compared to an Intel chip in the same relative product slot. It does, however, have extremely high graphics and GPGPU [single and int] performance per $ and per watt compared to an intel option. The draw of a spun up GTX550 is almost exactly 2.5X the power consumption of the max thermals on a Trinity A10.

    This APU isn't perfect. Not yet. The desktop Trinity line does support doubles now so I'm excited about that. Unfortunately, given the rather steep performance hit over single performance (which is amazing at over 700Gf) it seems they're simply using two 32bit register and two gpu cores to kludge doubles.

    Trinity is actually better than I was expecting. For under $350 bucks I should be able to build a base system with Board, APU, and 16GB of RAM [we grab retired commodity rack cases when available and use our cache of RMA'd drives if need be.. though I'm eyeing the 2nd Gen SSD that's under $1 per GB today]. Even with overpriced generic 2U cases, I'm talking about a compute node for $500 that smokes a $2000 entry-level Xeon server in single/int OpenCL performance (and might even beat it with doubles). If I can just get the students to write in OpenCL now. :-/ Of course, in my case, it's a cluster so it's better to have 50 slow cores if there's a lot of poorly threaded jobs instead of what I'd get form the same cost in Intel hardware.

    P.S. If you're running Crossfire it should be obvious this isn't the CPU for you. Why on earth would you consider an APU for a setup that doesn't use the integrated GPU?
    However, if you need a lot of lanes for perhaps a CUDA card and an old donated 10Gb Infiniband card and you're doing it on the extra scraps of an already tight budget.. it's perfect :-)
  • szilu2002 - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    Military Class III - seriously ? i will go to battle with this motherboard? I think the certification price is unjustified, these motherboards are for budget builds.

    Anyways any idea of MSRP, i want a cheap entertainment desktop out of the new generation?
  • stmok - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    "Military Class III - seriously ? i will go to battle with this motherboard? I think the certification price is unjustified, these motherboards are for budget builds."

    => They're using higher quality components instead of the normal low-cost stuff. If it was for budget-market, they'd go with liquid capacitors, etc and other generic components.

    What you're paying for is longevity. (Despite the stupid market branding.)

    ...The worst kind of gimmick is ASUS's top-end mobos that have bullet or ammunition clip shaped heatsinks and colours. (I like their non-gimmick mobos, where they use quality components and clean layouts.)
  • ShieTar - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    Military Class does usually not describe different components, but only a screening process: You buy 10 components when you need one, and use the best one after extensive testing.

    The military can afford this for critical system. MSI can not afford to throw away, so what I would assume they do is test, use the best components for this board, and use everything else on their other boards.
  • fic2 - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    Although the price of military hardware would leave you to believe the 1 in 10 that is not what they do. There is Military Spec hardware that has tighter tolerances and more rigid standards resulting in higher quality.

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