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I5-2500k vs A8-3850 with no discrete graphics

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November 12, 2011 10:41:35 PM

This question has been asked, but I'm not clear on the answer if choosing to use Integrated graphics only.

Question #1
Will the i5-2500 beat out the A8-3850 all around (including graphics) when not using a discrete video card?

From my research many seem to indicate that i can build a llano system without a discrete card and be happy for mid-level casual gaming. However, people seem to infer that the intel option would need a discrete card.

I'm building an HTPC for a/v watching and transcoding (and the intel seems to have benefits to the latter). Since I'm only a casual gamer I'd like to rely on the integrated graphics and perhaps buy a discrete down the road.

Question #2
Also can someone tell me how the HD3000 from the intel and the Radeon 6550 from the AMD compare in gaming to current generation console gaming (xbox 360/ps3)? I realize that console games are coded to a very particular architecture - but can i expect a graphical experience from these integrated video on par that I would get to playing the counterpart on the console?

Question #3
Is the i5-2500 and A8-3850 overkill for an HTPC that will be doing mostly video playback, transcoding, and casual gaming? How much might I save going down one or two notches on the performance ladder, and how much will I lose?

thanks!
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 10:46:04 PM

For gaming yes the Llano will win. For pretty much anything else the Intel's twice as fast.
November 12, 2011 10:46:14 PM

The graphics in the Highest end llano chip is about as powerful as a Radeon HD3850. The HD3000 in the i5 is about as powerful as a Radeon HD4550. The i5 will stomp the llano chip in CPU intensive tasks (aka not HTPC use) while the llano chip will be much better in the graphics department. For all around HTPC use, go with the A8-3850 it will be much better suited for what you want to do.
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a c 789 à CPUs
November 12, 2011 10:48:11 PM

1)The graphics are better on the A8-3850
2) In general i do not compare the two
3) I5 2500K would be an overkill for a HTPC (except trans coding)while a Llano based one would serve your needs.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 10:55:41 PM

Another vote for the Llano.
November 12, 2011 10:56:11 PM

Thanks for the replies. Most of the comparisons I saw were between the i3 and the A8-3850, so I thought that the i5 may be on par in terms of graphics.

Seeing how the cost difference is only $50 more for me to get the i5, and the processing power would spank the AMD, I guess my still unanswered question is will the i5 be *enough* for me graphically. Could I have an experience on the i5 similar to playing 360/PS3?

Is there an other big factors other than cost and raw performance between these two (like power consumption, heat, etc) that would make me choose?

As a comparison to what I'm currently use to - a 3-4 year old HP laptop with a GEForce 8400M GS. I would not consider it up to the level that I would want for gaming on a new rig - I think I'd want something at least twice as good.
November 12, 2011 11:07:23 PM

Ok thanks. I also looked at hwcompare.com and it appears that the Radeon HD4550 (equivalent to HD3000) is only marginally better than my current GEForce8400. Whereas the 3850 is 2-3 times better - which is closer to the mark I was looking for.

So it sounds like even for the most casual gaming of new titles, an i5 isn't going to cut it without a discrete card?

So, it I went i5 instead, I'd end up spending close to $200 more for the processor and a discrete card. I'm not that great with interpreting benchmarks to real world results - but i guess the question now is how much will I really notice the difference with the slower AMD?

And finally, are the current chipsets in MoBos between the two architectures have anything going for them that I should take into consideration?

thanks!
November 13, 2011 12:34:55 AM

If you were to get the i5, all you would need is a $60 graphics card to match/beat the graphics in the llano chip.
November 13, 2011 1:38:39 AM

for transcoding, nothing beats intels quicksync
November 13, 2011 1:55:37 AM

gmaster456 said:
If you were to get the i5, all you would need is a $60 graphics card to match/beat the graphics in the llano chip.


Ok, so I'd be spending ~$120 more to get the same video performance. Possibly a few more on an equivalent mobo. I'd also be looking at more noise and heat having the discrete card. And honestly, if I was going to be buying a discrete card, I would find it foolish to buy something that just "puts me on par" with the A8 - I'd want to make it worth buying a discrete card for....so I still think the $200-250 cost is valid.

It's hard to say how much happier I'd be with the increased speed of the i5. Transcoding with quicksync would be nice, but it seems only relatively few software even supports it at this point.

I'm not sure the Intel route gains me much more for what I would spend... :whistle: 
November 13, 2011 2:05:40 AM

For HTPC use, there is no need for the i5.
a c 448 à CPUs
November 13, 2011 3:05:58 AM

bhendin said:
This question has been asked, but I'm not clear on the answer if choosing to use Integrated graphics only.

Question #1
Will the i5-2500 beat out the A8-3850 all around (including graphics) when not using a discrete video card?


No. The graphics core in the A8-3850 is significantly faster than the one in the i5-2500.

Most games are limited by the graphics core than the CPU core so most games will run faster on the A8-3850 than on the i5-2500.

Quote:

Question #2
Also can someone tell me how the HD3000 from the intel and the Radeon 6550 from the AMD compare in gaming to current generation console gaming (xbox 360/ps3)? I realize that console games are coded to a very particular architecture - but can i expect a graphical experience from these integrated video on par that I would get to playing the counterpart on the console?


Console games are rendered at 720p and stretched to fill a 1080p HDTV. At best the Intel HD 3000 will be able to do a mix of low and medium graphic settings at 720p. The Radeon 6550 should be able to do medium quality on most games that are not GPU intensive at 720p resolution.

Quote:

Question #3
Is the i5-2500 and A8-3850 overkill for an HTPC that will be doing mostly video playback, transcoding, and casual gaming? How much might I save going down one or two notches on the performance ladder, and how much will I lose?


Transcoding is very CPU intensive. I would choose the i5-2500 over the A8-3850 any day of the week whether I am drunk or sober. The amount of time is dependent on

1. The codec you decide to use.
2. The settings that you use.
3. The resolution of the source material
4. The resolution of the final video file
5. The CPU architecture (Intel is faster than AMD)
6. The clockspeed. Encoding speed is pretty dependent on clockspeed. A 2.5GHz CPU will be about roughly 25% faster than a 2.0GHz CPU. Performance does not scale up linearly so a 25% increase in clockspeed may only result in a 20% improvement.
7. If the program and codec you use can take advantage of Hyper Threading (HT).
8. If the Intel CPU you select supports Hyper Threading. The Core i5 series does not support HT.

=================================================================

If transcoding is important, then I recommend the i5-2500k and a discrete video card for games. It is easy to improve the graphics performance for either the i5-2500k or A8-3850. It is more difficult to improve the CPU performance. Actually the i5-2500k is easy to overclock which makes it easy to improve the CPU performance.
November 13, 2011 7:16:49 AM

you list 3 main uses of your HTPC : A/V, transcoding and casual games.

for 1, llano>intel. Intel has some frame sync problems in feew videos.
for 2, intel >> llano
for 3, llano>> intel.

overall, get llano. and it would be cheaper too. but as with tech, newer llano "trinity" is round the corner.
SB upgrade, IB is farther in future.

you basically have two diametrically opposite needs: A/V, which needs very less computing.
and transcoding, which is excessively cpu heavy.
November 13, 2011 7:24:49 AM

I would have to also say llano. I have a llano HTPC and using it for basic stuff and casual gaming it is amazing, with the right RAM. Get some good 1866mhz RAM if you go for the llano, as memory speed will affect performance. But the person right above me sums it up pretty nicely. llano is fast enough for everyday use, transcoding will be slower than the i5.
November 13, 2011 3:43:39 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. Was up alot of the night contemplating.

I think that the llano is right for me for several reasons that all really boil down to cost. I don't really want to spend more than $800 or so on the setup. Not because I can't spend twice as much, but because I don't know if I really see the value/need filled ratio in it.

To go with the Intel would require going up at least $200 - but in all honesty it's probably more:
$50 more for an i5 - after all why would I go i3 when it's comparable with llano, and llano has some more flexibility with gfx
$100-150 on a graphic card - after all why buy a $50 gfx card just to get what you would have gotten from the llano. I'd buy something beefier or just stick with the llano
$25-50 for power supply - Probably need a slightly better power supply to power the discrete card
$?? for the Mobo/RAM - It seems RAM may be slightly cheaper for an intel setup - but I think that may be a wash considering the slightly higher price of similar functioning boards.
?? for the case and special cooling/noise equipment - Having the discrete card will probably mean more heat and case noise - so I'd be spending more money there to balance it out.

Additionally - and I don't want to open a bucket of worms here - but in further researching the intel's faster transcoding with Quicksync - there seems to be alot of issues such as:
1) Few softwares which support it
2) Inability to use it when using a discrete card (although some premium ($$) motherboards may now support a switching feature?) without having 2 monitors connected.
3) Quality problems - as quicksync makes the decision between a balance of speed/quality. Probably fine for encoding TV or transcoding to watch on a mobile but apparently it doesn't support full blueray with all a/v options. The latter is apparently a limitation of current software.

When not using Quicksync for your transcoding path the benchmarks I have seen between the illano and the i3/i5 are actually very similar.

At this point it seems quicksync is still too much in its infancy and until there is more support for it, I'm not sure how worthwhile it is, especially in a setup like mine (with concerns of $, noise, heat).

I've never chosen based on name alone, and have both AMD and intel systems. In fact I tend to switch back and forth with each purchase, and the fact that my last was an Intel maybe means the llano is where I'm leading now :) .
a c 448 à CPUs
November 13, 2011 3:53:28 PM

I just want to point out that even without Quicksync the i5-2500k will be faster at encoding than the A8-3850.

If encoding is not a priority, then getting a Llano APU will be the better choice. Additionally, should you choose to add a video card later on, then you can gain the benefits of Hybrid Crossfire as long as the card is no faster than a Radeon HD 6670. Also, I'm not sure if Hybrid Crossfire will work with the older HD 5xxx series.
November 13, 2011 3:59:50 PM

jaguarskx said:
I just want to point out that even without Quicksync the i5-2500k will be faster at encoding than the A8-3850.



You're right - the chart I was looking at was comparing a Radeon 6870 not the llano 6550.
November 13, 2011 5:11:53 PM

i have core i5 2500k without a graphic card i am able to play crysis2 on 1024*768 at 20fps and if i low it on 800*600 fps are like 25-28,..............dirt3 on 1280*1024 fps 25...............fifa12 on 1280*1024 4xaa detial max fps are 30.........
so buy it without gpu then you can play games on low to medium seting depending upon games

buy dont expect a good fps on big resolution
a c 134 à CPUs
November 15, 2011 1:09:54 AM

When I looked at this scenario Quicksync was only used by 2 programs both of which were used to trancode to mobile device sized output and any audio above stereo output was lost. I don't beleive this is what you are aiming for so quicksync would indeed be a waste.

As for encoding the A8 3850 is about as fast as a phenomii x4 & i3-2105 so theres not alot lost there. And the i5-2500k is only about 12% faster than the i3 so I think you will be happy with the a8-3850.
!