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Llano A4 vs A6 vs A8 (Noticeable Diff in Gaming?)

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July 31, 2011 9:32:24 PM

I am looking into get a llano laptop for medium gaming.

I don't know which one to get between the A4, A6, A8 that is within my budget because I am trying to save as much as I can for the performance.

More about : llano noticeable diff gaming

a c 467 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
July 31, 2011 10:14:48 PM

The A8 series will give you better performance because of higher CPU clock speeds and more importantly the faster Radeon HD 6620G graphics core.
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August 1, 2011 3:42:39 AM

It depends on price and whether or not it comes with discrete graphics. The Llano laptops have to hit pretty specific price points to be worth the money in my book. I'd take an i5-2410M w/ a GT 525M for the same price as any Llano w/o discrete graphics. But it really depends on what model and budget you're looking at.
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August 1, 2011 4:51:52 AM

whats your price range. the llano cpus are still pretty shitty cpus
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August 1, 2011 5:08:34 AM

^It's funny how true that is! Yet they still beat out a P6100, so they can do what you need. But I'm confused why the Llano notebooks aren't priced at bargain notebook rates (sub $400).

EDIT: I'm not even sure it beats out a P6100.
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August 1, 2011 5:50:04 AM

The hp dv6-6135dx is a good bargain for $700 at bestbuy. It has a discrete graphics card in addition to the regular llano embedded one. The hp dv6z series is nice also on the hp website since you can customize them. If you are a student you can get a huge discount.

GPU acceleration is becoming more and more important and even though intel chips are a little faster in reality the difference is pointless. In most apps you are not CPU bound and the difference between half a second and .4 seconds is irrelevant.

I definitely don't get though why people will say that anything that is not the fastest possible is horrible. The llano laptops have very good battery life and balanced performance. They can run modern apps effectively, they can do gpu acceleration and run cpu bound tasks only slightly slower then an intel chip at the same price range.

Apps like web browsers, photoshop, office, engineering software, science software, gaming and even the normal desktop are GPU accelerate now.
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August 1, 2011 6:37:32 AM

I don't say, "anything that is not the fastest is horrible". I say anything that performs worse, but costs more is not worth it.

I have to concede that the AMDs are excellent on battery life. But I tend to assume any laptop that has a discrete card like the one above is a desktop replacement, which indicates plugging it in during most gaming sessions so that the battery becomes a secondary concern.

At $700, there are i5's with discrete graphics that do all tasks just named better (photoshop, gaming, engineering, etc.). I don't think that Llano should be competing with an i5's price points with equal graphics. They should be cheaper so that you get just as much bang for your buck. Right now they are overpriced for what you get.

I was expecting to see Llano's A8's owning the $550-600 range with discrete/dual graphics that Intel couldn't touch and A6's besting i3-2310M's in gaming/graphical tasks while coming in at $400. Instead, I have to recommend an i3-2310M for $450 because A6's don't sell for $400 (at least no more often than i3-2310M's do).
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August 1, 2011 1:31:26 PM

Immudzen said:
The hp dv6-6135dx is a good bargain for $700 at bestbuy. It has a discrete graphics card in addition to the regular llano embedded one. The hp dv6z series is nice also on the hp website since you can customize them. If you are a student you can get a huge discount.

GPU acceleration is becoming more and more important and even though intel chips are a little faster in reality the difference is pointless. In most apps you are not CPU bound and the difference between half a second and .4 seconds is irrelevant.

I definitely don't get though why people will say that anything that is not the fastest possible is horrible. The llano laptops have very good battery life and balanced performance. They can run modern apps effectively, they can do gpu acceleration and run cpu bound tasks only slightly slower then an intel chip at the same price range.

Apps like web browsers, photoshop, office, engineering software, science software, gaming and even the normal desktop are GPU accelerate now.

only slightly slower is an understatement. SB i7 blow the doors off llano. they finish the race eat dinner and are home before llano even finishes. they are about half as fast.
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August 1, 2011 2:42:38 PM

Where do you find an i7 on a laptop that is even close to llano laptops price wise? I just went looking through newegg and in the same price range the i7 laptops just have the intel integrated graphics card which accelerates very very few things. Even up to about $900 or so the video cards put with the intel laptops are worse then the llano integrated one or the dedicated ones found on the $700 llano laptop models like the hp dv6-6135dx.

Also you are talking about cpu bound tasks which almost nothing is anymore. If you are browsing the web then llano will be faster then an i7 with an integrated intel graphics. If you are using productivity apps like office then they will be so close to the same speed that no human will tell the difference. If you are playing older/simpler games then the integrated card will not even be used and the laptop will last a long time doing that.

The llano laptops will last longer under normal usage, they will last longer under gaming usage while on battery power, they will get much better framerates then the i7+intel graphics get on battery power and even when plugged in they will get better framerates.

However that is also largely irrelevent since they don't compete in the same market segment since the i7s are quite a bit more expensive. Since so many things are GPU accelerated now with more things becoming GPU accelerated every day the intel graphics are just not up to the task. Look at things like the fish demo on intel vs llano.

So for a regular user that needs battery lifespan and also wants a more usable system the llano system sure looks like the better choice.

For my own usage many of the engineering software I have been looking at does GPGPU and with the llano chip I can use that software in class or on the go purely on battery power and not use the dedicated graphics card. The llano GPU is hundreds of times faster at GPGPU work then the intel integrated one. So for engineering software, while on battery power, you can fairly easily smoke an intel system with integrated graphics while also lasting longer on battery power.
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August 1, 2011 10:11:09 PM

i was talking pure cpu load with the i7 but even i5s will be stronger then llano. remember llano's are athlon architecture thus slow clock for clock.

hes an i5 that would be better then it i would assume cause i cant find any really creditable benchmarks for laptops. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

also ill stick to my i7 for cad programs with my dedicated card...
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August 1, 2011 11:59:45 PM

I have an i7-2630QM sitting at home with a discrete Radeon 6770M I bought for $803. That competes with your $700 Llano on price, while blowing it away on performance. Llano does win the battery life award, but I prefer first place over the consolation prize.

But you're right--if it's a hard $700 cap, I cannot find an i5 or i7 (right now) with a graphics card as good as the 6750M. So it's not a bad buy if you're strictly a gamer.

I'd have still taken this i7 laptop when it was $709 earlier this week despite the fact that a 6750M is faster than a GT 540M: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-Te...

You're also right that the normal user won't find the performance to be slow and will appreciate the battery life, so they might offset each other. My only problem with Llano is that it seems to be priced similarly to i5's & i7's, when you can see from their product release slide that it's supposed to be aligned against the i3: http://media.bestofmicro.com/K/3/296211/original/A8-ser...

I love the idea of Llano, but I still think they're charging too much for all their models that lack discrete graphics.

The original subject, "Llano A4 vs A6 vs A8 (Noticeable Diff in Gaming?)": A6 is only differentiated from A8 by the integrated graphics part--A6 should've been triple core instead of quad, so A8's only offer 100MHz cpu speed increases. With a discrete card, the difference between an A6 & A8 is almost nothing. The A4 will do considerably worse in some gaming situations as it is a dual core. Slow dual core phenom II's (2.5GHz) don't keep up with the quad core variants.
Dual Core taking performance hit: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-2-directx-11...
Dual Core vs Quad & Speed Scaling: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/duke-nukem-forever,...
At least in Duke Nukem Forever, a Quad Core @ 2.5GHz doesn't look like it will bottleneck much.

Note: I got that slide from this Llano review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a8-3500m-llano-apu,...
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August 2, 2011 12:02:34 AM

@fables429--What's your budget? We'll help you find the best for that price.

This is the best site I've found for checking on what laptop deals exist right now: http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_3_0

Also, look at slickdeals.net.
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August 2, 2011 1:35:49 AM

Here's the Llano laptop cbrunnem mentioned above with a $75 coupon code for $625 total if you get the graphics upgrade: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3167198
That's the kind of price I was talking about wanting to see Llano at! It's med-high level discrete graphics.
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August 13, 2011 6:16:21 AM

Hey, I just saw this little argument going on and I had to intrude.

I just bought an HP with the bottom-of-the-line Llano, the A4 3300M, about a week ago, then yesterday my sister decided she needed a new computer. We went to Best Buy and since she's not a gamer or anything I went and bought the i3 2310m figuring she could take advantage of the better x86 cores. Her's was a Toshiba and they were both $400 from Best Buy.
Let me just say, that I could not tell the difference between the two as far as performance while opening up a webpage, watching an HD video, or editing a word document, I would call those tasks of a typical user. The only time I saw the Sandy Bridge take advantage of the extra CPU power it has is while encoding a video with Handbrake (that's not a GPU accelerated program). But for most people, you just don't notice, so it's inconsequential... At this point, power's gotten so cheap that a typical user doesn't even need that much.
When you start talking about gaming, I was running Fallout New Vegas on my Llano at medium settings (no aa, of course) on full res (1366x768), and it ran pretty smooth at around 30-40 fps. Although it did drop the occasional frame, but I think that could be fixed or improved with an upgrade to faster memory as integrated graphics is quite dependent on that. The Sandy Bridge on the other hand, ran the game around 15 fps on low settings on the same res.

Sorry to all you Intel lovers, but you just don't need that much CPU power, especially for games. Intel HD 3000 is definitely an upgrade, but it is no match for Llano's graphics.

Also, to the person who said it has an Athlon II core, you seem to have misunderstood what you read. Last time I checked, Athlon II's weren't 32nm. However, I did read that both of the cores have similar performance, which is actually amazing when you consider the relative core sizes and energy efficiency.

Alright, I just wanted to clear all that up before I say that integrated graphics will always be slower because it is dependent on system memory, however, Llano integrated graphics is a huge leap forward from any previous kind of integrated graphics. This is not due to magic, it is due to the fact that AMD has dedicated more than half the chip to a graphics core. The Intel's are much much better for pure x86 power, but for gaming that's not necessary, and since they dedicate a tiny portion of their chip to graphics (relative to Llano anyway) they do not have anywhere near the same graphical capabilities. Neither company nor chip is "better", they just play different roles.

My personal recommendations for you would be, for a lower-price range stick with Llano. If you don't mind spending more, the quad-core Llanos in crossfire with a dedicated card are supposed to be really nice, or if you like to play RTS games (particularly intensive games like Total War) or you think you'll benefit in some other way from extra CPU speed you should get a Sandy Bridge with a dedicated card. Of course, any solution with dedicated graphics is going to be less portable and have a lower battery life.

--EDIT--

Wow, I just now realize that because of all the off-topic stuff people were talking about I missed the point XD, sorry about that.
A6 would definitely provide you with the best price/performance, being the mid-range.
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October 12, 2011 11:03:58 AM

I just bought a Lenovo Edge E525 with an A8 3500M, 320gb 7200rpm HDD, 15.6 LED backlit, 2gb RAM (which i can upgrade more cheaply from local stores than Lenovo) for £400 inc delivery. Ordered directly from Lenovo. The only downside is the 2-3 week delivery time! :o 
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October 13, 2011 11:52:59 PM

sileb13 said:
Hey, I just saw this little argument going on and I had to intrude.

I just bought an HP with the bottom-of-the-line Llano, the A4 3300M, about a week ago, then yesterday my sister decided she needed a new computer. We went to Best Buy and since she's not a gamer or anything I went and bought the i3 2310m figuring she could take advantage of the better x86 cores. Her's was a Toshiba and they were both $400 from Best Buy.
Let me just say, that I could not tell the difference between the two as far as performance while opening up a webpage, watching an HD video, or editing a word document, I would call those tasks of a typical user. The only time I saw the Sandy Bridge take advantage of the extra CPU power it has is while encoding a video with Handbrake (that's not a GPU accelerated program). But for most people, you just don't notice, so it's inconsequential... At this point, power's gotten so cheap that a typical user doesn't even need that much.
When you start talking about gaming, I was running Fallout New Vegas on my Llano at medium settings (no aa, of course) on full res (1366x768), and it ran pretty smooth at around 30-40 fps. Although it did drop the occasional frame, but I think that could be fixed or improved with an upgrade to faster memory as integrated graphics is quite dependent on that. The Sandy Bridge on the other hand, ran the game around 15 fps on low settings on the same res.

Sorry to all you Intel lovers, but you just don't need that much CPU power, especially for games. Intel HD 3000 is definitely an upgrade, but it is no match for Llano's graphics.

Also, to the person who said it has an Athlon II core, you seem to have misunderstood what you read. Last time I checked, Athlon II's weren't 32nm. However, I did read that both of the cores have similar performance, which is actually amazing when you consider the relative core sizes and energy efficiency.

Alright, I just wanted to clear all that up before I say that integrated graphics will always be slower because it is dependent on system memory, however, Llano integrated graphics is a huge leap forward from any previous kind of integrated graphics. This is not due to magic, it is due to the fact that AMD has dedicated more than half the chip to a graphics core. The Intel's are much much better for pure x86 power, but for gaming that's not necessary, and since they dedicate a tiny portion of their chip to graphics (relative to Llano anyway) they do not have anywhere near the same graphical capabilities. Neither company nor chip is "better", they just play different roles.

My personal recommendations for you would be, for a lower-price range stick with Llano. If you don't mind spending more, the quad-core Llanos in crossfire with a dedicated card are supposed to be really nice, or if you like to play RTS games (particularly intensive games like Total War) or you think you'll benefit in some other way from extra CPU speed you should get a Sandy Bridge with a dedicated card. Of course, any solution with dedicated graphics is going to be less portable and have a lower battery life.

--EDIT--

Wow, I just now realize that because of all the off-topic stuff people were talking about I missed the point XD, sorry about that.
A6 would definitely provide you with the best price/performance, being the mid-range.


while i believe everything you say and for the most part its true but at the same time its completely wrong lol. i have ran into games on my i7 2630 that it is the bottleneck(sniper ghost warrior, gta4) and that more cpu power is needed. and to compare intels integrated graphics and amd's is a big stretch. to the best of my knowledge amd just slapped on a previously made and now modified gpu and called it integrated and intel is building a brand new integrated gpu. also AMD has about twice the room to work with to on the chip as there die sizes are much larger.
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December 22, 2011 1:08:55 AM

Since I was facing this same question over the last week, I figured I'd share the results of my research and testing.

Your price for performance varies greatly based on types of applications (or games) run. If the games are multi-core optimized (as many modern games are, such as Duke Nukem for up to 3 cores as mentioned in previously linked article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/duke-nukem-forever,2984-7.html), then clock speed * (minimum of: cores optimized or cores available) is close to performance score. Taking the DN example, an A8 is only worth 3 of its 4 cores, so you'd multiply the 1.8GHz clock speed by 3 and then compare the resulting 5.4GHz 'total clock' to an A4's 1.9GHz clock times its 2 cores, to result in a mere 3.8GHz 'total clock'. In raw CPU availability to the game, the A8 wins here. (Note, I may not be comparing like models price-wise, I was just doing this to show the math)

Less obvious than CPU availability, but very important when evaluating Llano laptop choices, is the GPU option. Discrete graphics wins over like model integrated, but the series of the chipset can make a HUGE difference. For example (and unfortunately I misplaced my reference for this), Starcraft II operates at around 14 fps on a 6520G, but it pulls almost 30 frames on a 6620G at like settings. To narrow your options on this one, get benchmarks for your favorite games on the various available chipsets, and figure out which chipset has the minimum tolerable performance.

As far as dragging Intel elitists' "I get more processing per clock" comments, that wasn't the point of the conversation. Stop bringing it up. But since you went there anyway:
Spoiler
The latest Intel HD graphics chipset series, whether brand new or not, is lagging significantly on ANY other gaming graphics solution. When I was going shopping at Best Buy, Office Depot, and similar stores in my area last week, any solutions with non-Intel HD graphics (outside of the A-Series) quickly out-ranged my $650 budget. Newegg prices are looking the same way. I'll give Intel the top end when paired with AMD or nVidia graphics. I'll give them the low-end if you don't have to do gaming on it. I can't find anything that competes performance wise in the $500-$650 range with my needs.
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December 22, 2011 2:56:39 AM

pmckeen said:
Since I was facing this same question over the last week, I figured I'd share the results of my research and testing.

Your price for performance varies greatly based on types of applications (or games) run. If the games are multi-core optimized (as many modern games are, such as Duke Nukem for up to 3 cores as mentioned in previously linked article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/duke-nukem-forever,2984-7.html), then clock speed * (minimum of: cores optimized or cores available) is close to performance score. Taking the DN example, an A8 is only worth 3 of its 4 cores, so you'd multiply the 1.8GHz clock speed by 3 and then compare the resulting 5.4GHz 'total clock' to an A4's 1.9GHz clock times its 2 cores, to result in a mere 3.8GHz 'total clock'. In raw CPU availability to the game, the A8 wins here. (Note, I may not be comparing like models price-wise, I was just doing this to show the math)

Less obvious than CPU availability, but very important when evaluating Llano laptop choices, is the GPU option. Discrete graphics wins over like model integrated, but the series of the chipset can make a HUGE difference. For example (and unfortunately I misplaced my reference for this), Starcraft II operates at around 14 fps on a 6520G, but it pulls almost 30 frames on a 6620G at like settings. To narrow your options on this one, get benchmarks for your favorite games on the various available chipsets, and figure out which chipset has the minimum tolerable performance.

As far as dragging Intel elitists' "I get more processing per clock" comments, that wasn't the point of the conversation. Stop bringing it up. But since you went there anyway:
Spoiler
The latest Intel HD graphics chipset series, whether brand new or not, is lagging significantly on ANY other gaming graphics solution. When I was going shopping at Best Buy, Office Depot, and similar stores in my area last week, any solutions with non-Intel HD graphics (outside of the A-Series) quickly out-ranged my $650 budget. Newegg prices are looking the same way. I'll give Intel the top end when paired with AMD or nVidia graphics. I'll give them the low-end if you don't have to do gaming on it. I can't find anything that competes performance wise in the $500-$650 range with my needs.

i hate to burst your bubble hear but you can just multiply clock speed like that. just cause a game uses 3 cores doesnt mean it uses all of the three cores clock speed evenly. for instance a game might use 1 core for the games physics engine and another for the geography and the last for sound. obviously the sound isnt going to need as many cycles as the physics would. so your multiplying isnt a good indicator. to make it clearer maybe the physics core is the only one that needs the full 1.8 ghz so the cpu with a higher clock speed could be better with less cores or you could get a cpu thats faster per clock and has comparable integrated graphics at prolly 50% better clock efficiency......... hehmmm(ivy bridge)......
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