AMD Fusion Platform - AMD A75
In the case
of the Biostar TA75M+ motherboard PCSTATS is testing in this review, AMD's
Fusion platform consists of the AMD A75 chipset and socket FM1, AMD
A8-3850 FPU processor. This 'Fusion' platform is both an upgrade from
previous IGP chipsets such as the AMD 890GX, and a departure from that era.
The AMD A75 core logic largely fulfills the role of 'southbridge chipset'
while the AMD A8 FPU processor takes on all northbridge tasks, the integrated
graphics processor and main CPU duties.
The AMD A75 'Fusion Controller Hub' chipset supports
six SATA III 6GB/s devices (with RAID 0,1,10), FIS-based switching, four PCI
Express 2.0 x1 lanes, three 32-bit PCI slots, four USB 3.0 & ten USB 2.0
ports, and HD audio. The remaining platform features are allocated to the
processor. The CPU handles eighteen PCI Express lanes, a dual channel DDR3
memory controller, various video outputs and the integrated graphics core
(dependent on the specific CPU model).
A8-series APU has a somewhat higher powered IGP than the AMD A6-series
FPU, as you'd expect.
(*with A8-3850 APU)
|Bus Interface / Speed
||2600MHz HT 3.0|
|Memory Support (dual channel)
|Maximum Memory Capacity
AMD Radeon HD 6550D*
|Radeon HD 4290|
|Integrated Graphics Video Ports
||400 Shaders / 600MHz*
|PCI Express 2.0 Lanes
||4 + 20*
|SATA 6Gb/s | SATA 3Gb/s
||6 / 0
||6 / 0 |
||0, 1, 10
||0, 1, 10|
|USB 3.0 Ports
|USB 2.0 Ports
AMD Fusion A8-3850 processors (or FPU as
AMD calls it) are equipped with a Radeon HD 6550D graphics core. The Radeon HD 6550D
IGP supports DirectX 11, DirectCompute, Blu-Ray 3D, UVD3 and OpenCL. Video
outputs will depend on the particular motherboard, but the technology can
support HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort 1.1a, DVI-D and Analog VGA video
When dual link is enabled on the
DVI-D port, the IGP can handle monitor resolutions of 2560x1600. Ditto for
DisplayPort. HDMI connected displays can be set to a resolution of 1920x1200. AMD
Dual Graphics enables the onboard graphics to be paired with a Radeon HD
6000-class discreet graphics card in a hybrid CrossfireX arrangement. The usefulness of
this is completely debatable, I think most consumers are more likely spend the
extra $50 bucks on faster videocard...
Tied to AMD Fusion A8 3850
processor, the Radeon HD 6550D graphics core operates at 600MHz and features
400 Radeon Cores (shaders). Peak GPU Compute is 480 GFLOPS while 20 texture
units and 5 SIMDs round out the limits of its 3D gaming abilities.
AMD Socket FM1
Fusion APU architecture differs from previous AMD Athlon and Phenom CPUs in that
it integrates not only the memory controller onto the CPU die, but also the
functions of the northbridge chipset and integrated graphics processor.
Consequently, the transistor count for the AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU has ballooned
to nearly 1 Billion transistors. Despite the roughly 300 Million increase to
transistor count, AMD was able to keep the outward size and shape of its APU
processor package identical to previous generation CPUs. It did this by
implementing a 32nm die shrink.
The only physical change is the processors 905-pin socket FM1
Both AMD A8 &
A6 Fusion processors are compatible with AMD 'Socket FM1' motherboards. As you
would expect, Socket FM1 processors are NOT backwards compatible with socket
754/939/940/AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ platforms or vice versa.
given up on its longstanding dedication to upgradability either; we can still
install just about any AMD heatsink manufactured in
the past 8 years onto a socket FM1 CPU. The heatsink retention
cage hasn't really changed much, so socket FM1 and Socket AM2/AM3
heatsinks are entirely interchangeable. Thermal design power (TDP) is a
modest 100 watts for the AMD Fusion A8-3850 PCSTATS is testing the Biostar
TA75M+ motherboard out with.
Next up, a 360 degree look at the Biostar TA75M+ motherboard, then
it's onto AMD A8-3850/A75 overclocking.