$50 AMD A6-9500 as Cheap Gaming CPU?

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We did a video a while ago comparing AMDs cheapest AM4 APU the dual core A6 9500 to the Ryzen 3 2200G for gaming performance with the integrated graphics. Since then weve recieved quite a few comments asking us about how the A6 9500 would perform with a dedicated GPU.

In this video were going to see if the 50 US dollar AMD A6-9500 is a viable CPU for gaming with a dedicated GPU or if you should save your money and go for something more powerful. Spoiler alert. Were jumping aboard the express train to Bottleneck City.

Lets talk about the CPU and how were testing this. The AMD A6 9500 is a dual core APU with no multithreading with 6 GPU cores. It has a base clock of 3.5ghz and boosts upto around 3.8ghz with a TDP of 65w

The question that was asked was about whether or not the A6 9500 would be a viable CPU for gaming. I didn’t want to grab a single GPU and run it through the usual suite of benchmarks we usually use and call it a day.

Instead I picked 5 GPUs all of which come in at different price points and performance levels. I avoided anything in the lower end and instead opted for mid range to high end. From experience the people who ask these questions usually go for something around the GTX 1060 or 1070 when they eventually build their machines. With that in mind.

The GPUs I chose were the Gigabyte AORUS RX580 4GB, ASRock Phantom Gaming RX580 8G. Before you ask why, its because were testing at a wide range of typical resolutions and although they use the same GPU chip as cards they are quite different.
We also used the Gigabyte Windforce GTX 1060 6G and the GTX 1070 version. Finally because I wanted something to represent the high end, we used the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080.

The motherboard we used was the ASRock B540M Pro4 MATX board with 16GB of DDR4 RAM in the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv MATX with all the panels and filters removed for max airflow. It was basically just an open air bench. I didnt use the stock cooler that the A6 9500 came with because I have no idea where I put it so instead I used the stock cooler from a Ryzen 5 2600.

We ran 3 different benchmarks that all use the GPU in different ways to see what the performance looks like in different situations. As you can imagine there were a lot of tests conducted. 9 tests on 5 cards as well as 9 tests on a i7 8700k test bench for comparison totalling 54 total benchmarks performed. I’m not going to walk you through all of the results like usual but instead point out things that I noticed. Lets get into it.

First up rise of the tomb raider. We performed these tests with the high preset and SMAA set to 4X as it really punishes the CPU. There is a legend down the bottom that shows the resolution and on the right is the average frame rate.

Because people will be interested lets see how the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 compares between the i7 8700K and the A6 9500

For the 1080p test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by 125 percent.

For the 1440p test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by 90 percent.

For the 4K test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by only 13 percent.

As you can already tell pretty early on, The A6-9500 severely bottlenecks all the GPU’s it has attached to it. There are a few reasons why and Ill touch on that later.

Okay lets get into the unigine super position results we performed these with our usual settings of 1440P custom with motion blur and depth of field disabled with 4K optimised textures, 1080p extreme and 4K optimised

How did the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 compare between the i7 8700K and the A6 9500 in super position

For the 1080p extreme test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by only 6 percent

For the 1440p custom test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by 127 percent.

For the 4K test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by only 11 percent.

Last batch of tests is with the Final Fantasy 15 benchmarking tool. All tests were performed with the high preset in 1080p, 1440p and 4K. This test is a little bit different. This test gives you a score based on the total amount of rendered frames.

I recalculated the test results to give better context on an actual frames per second basis. The Run time for the benchmark is 390 seconds so we divided the total rendered frames by the run-time to give an average FPS score. These tests alone should put a nail in the coffin for the A6-9500.

How did the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 compare between the i7 8700K and the A6 9500 in Final Fantasy XV. Prepare your brain.

For the 1080p test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by an eye watering 343 percent. I had to run these a few times because it just seemed like too much but after 6 more runs across 2 systems still the same results.

For the 1440p test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by 230 percent.

For the 4K test we saw the i7 8700k system outperform the A6 9500 system by 97 percent.

Based on those results alone its pretty safe to say that you should probably save your money and NOT buy the AMD A6 9500 if you want a cpu for gaming. There is no application that would make it viable. You can save a few extra bucks and go for the Ryzen 5 2600 if you really want an AM4 system.

There are a few reasons why this is a bad choice for gaming. Firstly the chip itself only has 8 PCIe lanes where as Ryzen chips typically have 20 PCIe lanes. Instantly that will cripple anything to do with using a dedicated GPU and any type of NVMe storage.

Secondly the it only has 2 cores. I think most phones have more CPU cores these days. Thats besides the point though, its not just the core count. Its the type of CPU cores it uses. Its uses the Bristol Ridge 28nm process which is based on the Excavator architecture. It was AMDs last vestige of legacy architectures before Zen. It wasnt very good and was notorious for being hot. I dont want to get into the super technical details but if youre interested there is plenty of info if you do some Google Fu.

Lastly There are alternatives for cheap cpus for gaming. Like I mentioned earlier you can grab a Ryzen 5 2600 for around 150 us dollars or If you want something 2nd hand you can pick up 2nd hand i5s, i7s and Xeons that are between 4 to 8 years old that would blow the A6 9500 out of the water for gaming performance as well.

Why do I own this CPU. I bought it to flash older boards AM4 boards incase I didnt have a first gen ryzen chip. I have only ever used it for this purpose until making this video.

Maybe youre wondering who this CPU is for and why it exists at all. Its for someone who wants a really basic word processing and web browsing machine. Its also aimed at a cheap OEM chip for things like Point of sales terminals and digital signage. You can build a cheap system for around 150 to 200 us dollars for those purposes with this chip. However if youre in the market for a gaming cpu. Do yourself a favour and skip it. Your money can be spent elsewhere.

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