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Thread: AMD-ATI PowerXPress in desktop mainboard chipsets

  1. #1
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    Default AMD-ATI PowerXPress in desktop mainboard chipsets

    Hello

    I've got a mixed set of questions about the newer AMD-ATI Chipsets on mainboards in Desktop/Server area.
    I hope it's the right Phoronix category since it would also fit into graphics section.

    Does anybody know when the PowerXPress feature will come into chipsets that are non-Notebook-ones like the M780G (which I found in wikipedia)?
    I'd love to finally see this feature brought to my desktop. As far as I understood though there is support for hybrid graphics in the 7xx chipsets - but there is no implementation for dynamic switching between IGP, discrete card (like a Radeon HD 3870 e.g.) or both. Since my box is running "idle" most time (writing text, surfing, watching DVD and maybe having simple desktop effects) the 3870 consumes power. Would be nice if it could be switched off totally since I only need it for gaming.

    So is there anything like this already available? Or else: When will PowerXPress be implemented in desktop chipsets? It's important for me since I long for that feature for years and I'm about to buy a new board.
    Oh, and of course, it should work with Linux kernel based OS. (if it's only a matter of drivers I can also wait a few months until the drivers are capable of working it)


    And a second question would be:
    Will the socket AM3 boards (afaik there are about 5 on the market yet?) still support AM2 processors like the very nice and power efficient AMD 4850e? I want to keep that CPU cause it just rocks and I have passively cooled nearly everything in my box a.t.m. and want to stay with my cold, efficient and quiet solution.

    And a 3rd one:
    Anyone practical experiences with the 7xx chipsets in general with Linux and what about power consumption?

    Maybe any AMD/ATI official could give me a hint?

    Thanks for any tips in advance

  2. #2

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    only r7xx chip I have is the HD 4650, and it runs pretty cool to begin with. Using the 9.2 driver on Mepis 8 32bit installed by sgfxi -f option.

    ****

    Okay, support for dynamic switching is handled by the X.org infrastructure: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=Njc2Nw :: http://ajaxxx.livejournal.com/60080.html

    You are largely at the mercy of the X-server developers as to when dynamic switching will become available.

    ***

    And no. Socket AM3 motherboards are not backwards compatible with Socket AM2 processors.

    You can put a socket am3 processor on a Socket AM2 motherboard providing the vendor has supplied a bios update.

    You cannot put a socket am2 processor on a socket am3 motherboard ... no matter what happens.

    Socket AM2 processors use a DDR2 memory controller, and all Socket AM2 motherboards use DDR2 memory.

    Socket AM3 processors contain BOTH a DDR2 AND a DDR3 memory controller. Socket AM3 motherboards utilize DDR3 memory.
    Last edited by Saist; 03-08-2009 at 11:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saist View Post
    And no. Socket AM3 motherboards are not backwards compatible with Socket AM2 processors.
    Thanks for the info. So I will have to wait some time until low power AM3 socket CPUs arrive. I guess there are currently no AM3 boards with DDR2 slots/support (while the CPUs seem to provide DDR2 controllers)? The market here shows me about just 5 boards - yet. I'll use an AM2+ board then.

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=Njc2Nw :: http://ajaxxx.livejournal.com/60080.html
    You are largely at the mercy of the X-server developers as to when dynamic switching will become available.
    Thanks, that's an interesting thing to read. Well, that leaves me to hope that future will bring better handling of this and then also to have dual switching GPU on desktop mainboard. While the big is power dead and the onboard chip is doing stuff to save energy when GPU power isn't really needed.
    Tech advances slowly but at least it advances at all.

  4. #4
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    I've seen at least one AM3 board with DDR2 slots on board, it might've been Asrock, they did that before with the ddr -> ddr2 change (putting both slots on a mobo). It still wouldn't enable am2 cpus on the board, only cheaper ram with an AM3 proc.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Adarion;66606]Thanks for the info. So I will have to wait some time until low power AM3 socket CPUs arrive. I guess there are currently no AM3 boards with DDR2 slots/support (while the CPUs seem to provide DDR2 controllers)? The market here shows me about just 5 boards - yet. I'll use an AM2+ board then.

    Asus are the only other ones I believe (naturally Asrock is a division of Asus!)

    They do DDR2 with AMD 780G, 790GX, 790FX, and Nvidia 8300 and possibly 750a, i do know that they have more expensive versions of the 790G/FX boards with DDR3, check their global website and find the AM3 motherboards under products -> motherboards

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