AMD A58, A68H, A78 or A88X?

How to choose your next AMD Platform

Steve Smith takes the guesswork out of building your next AMD computer and sets you up on the right track to building a modern AMD machine.

Episode #5-13 released on December 4, 2014

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Building a computer is not necessarily something very expensive. Computers built with Intel are usually very straight forward, but you pay a lot for the name. AMD processors, the first set of processors to challenge the performance of Intel, are a cost effective means of building a computer perfect for video editing, gaming, and even multimedia consumption. Determining your needs will allow you to get the most out of your AMD Powered computer, and allow you to save lots of cash in the process.

Determining your needs is the single most important aspect of any computer building exercise, even when buying a pre-built computer, you must consider even the most remote possibilities of usage. In my own case, I routinely ask questions related to who will be using the computer, what purpose, where the computer will be located, how old and what gender will the users be, and if any like to play video games, or edit videos. Buying a computer that lacks the necessary functionality to please the entirety of the user base renders the investment futile, so a good understanding of the potential use scenarios, will more likely produce a computer that will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Now, like my last episode, where I analyzed Intel for you, I was only interested in technology that would last for many years, so some of my requirements were support for PCIE Generation 3, SATA 3.0, DDR3 or better, Crossfire support for gamers, and of course, overclocking support for high end tasks.

For entry-level computers, those of you who will use your computers primarily for homework, watching YouTube, social networking, etc... you have entry-level mainboards from AMD A58, and A68H. The A58 platform has entry-level support for FM2+ processors, meaning it will work with the A4 and A6 processor lines from AMD. Has AMD dual graphics support, and support for DDR3-2133 RAM. Keep in mind, this line is being replaced by the now accessible A68H line, which is, also, an entry-level board for FM2+, having support for 4 SATA 3.0 connections, and two USB 3.0 ports. Has support for AMD Radeon Dual Graphics, also supports DDR3-2133, and is designed for use with the A4 APUs, and A6 processor.

For you media inclined users, you can go into the A78 line, which supports PCIe Gen 3 graphics cards, so you can take full advantage of any new graphics card you buy, has support for six native SATA 3.0 ports, and four USB 3.0 ports. This board is overclock-able, and is designed for the A6 and A8 AMD processors. This is, also, a FM2+ socket board.

For those enthusiasts, gamers, video editors, and even those who wish to do some GPU computational tasks, you have the A88X performance-class line of AMD board which is Crossfire Technology-ready, features AMP, a configurable TDP, and has full RAID options. Is the best series of boards from AMD for overclocking, and can be paired with the A8 and A10 processors.

Those wondering why I did not look into the 9-series. It failed to support completely current generation graphics cards by supporting PCIe Gen 2.0, and not 3.0. While all graphics cards will work, they will function at half the speed they could have benefited from. Since, I am looking at having you keep this long-term investment. Rather than opt for 8-core technology, I prefer you opt for latest technology. The A-Series line is an APU class CPU, with support going all the way up to 4 CPU and 8 GPU cores in the A10-7850K. This is why I suggest this line of AMD processors, over the other available 9-series.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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