The AMD A8-3500M APU Review: Llano Is Unleashed

Game Benchmarks: Anti-Aliasing

Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 engine and AMD’s A8-3500M GPU are both starved for bandwidth compared to the Radeon HD 6630M with its dedicated memory.

In any case, this is the last of our game benchmarks, and it’s clear that the A8-3500M has a colossal performance advantage over the Core i5-2520M when it comes to gaming.

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  • stingstang
    Good job, AMD. You finally made a better cpu/gpu combo than intel in terms of graphics power.
    ....big win there...
    24
  • billj214
    This APU being somewhat low power and good graphics almost deserves to be in a tablet PC since CPU processing is not critical in tablet PC's and graphics is something that can help with media and games.

    Ditto on the "Good Job AMD" definitely on the right track.
    23
  • gmarsack
    This looks like a fantastic solution for notebooks. Can't wait to finally see more of these systems in the wild. :) Good job AMD. I would think this will help boost the company along until Bulldozer arrives. Way to survive! :)
    23
  • Other Comments
  • _Pez_
    HO ! GOD FINALLY I am the first to read this !! Im feeling a Nerdgasm !! :D :D !!
    -25
  • oneblackened
    I now really want a laptop with Llano. Also first.
    -24
  • fstrthnu
    AMD is kind of in a fix here, the more enthusiast gamers won't even bother looking at the Llano computers while this is kind of overkill for casual gamers. MAYBE money-pressed college students or something, but most people will just skip this and either buy a regular gaming computer or build their own using one of the guides from this very site! Going for good graphics in cheap desktops is kind of a futile exercise, the people who will care will just get the more expensive stuff anyways. Notebooks are more understandable, but the prices on the decent gaming desktops are just too good for Llano to be very competitive (and also, the CPU portion will be a letdown for the average person. Noticeably slower than the comparable Intel Core i5.)
    -23
  • vz7
    Do you know when the desktop review for llano will be out?
    3
  • stingstang
    Good job, AMD. You finally made a better cpu/gpu combo than intel in terms of graphics power.
    ....big win there...
    24
  • vz7
    After reading the desktop benchmarks on anandtech I can't say I'm impressed. The top of the line a8 3850 manages to scratch the best intel integrated graphics, which doesn't say much. Its CPU power seems to be a toss up with the i3. I think this hardly justifies the +70 premium (over an i3) that you'd have to spend to get it.
    -17
  • billj214
    This APU being somewhat low power and good graphics almost deserves to be in a tablet PC since CPU processing is not critical in tablet PC's and graphics is something that can help with media and games.

    Ditto on the "Good Job AMD" definitely on the right track.
    23
  • cangelini
    vz7Do you know when the desktop review for llano will be out?


    The NDA is up on the 30th.
    18
  • niceview
    two things:

    1) What happened to the Game Charts results for the Radeon HD 5570, when the games were benchmarked? I thought you made a point to say you were going to compare the APU's 6620G with a discrete card (that has the same number of SPs and same clock). So much for that, unless you thought only comparing the two with a synthetic test was enough. Oh well. Tom's can be such a tease!

    2) I'm just a little disappointed that the APU's graphics power was not able to double Intel's.... Under the best of circumstances, AMD's latest integrated graphics came close to being twice as fast, but i guess that is ok since we are not playing horseshoes. I just thought it would be nice if it had made a nice even doubling, or more. Now, i'm worried IVY BRIDGE will beat it....
    -4
  • niceview
    sorry, i guess that should be:

    we ARE playing horseshoes...

    and i have to give credit where credit is due: props to AMD for almost doubling Intel's HD Graphics in the integrated space....
    8
  • sinfulpotato
    What I find most exciting is the battery life saved. THIS is what will make this chip a winner. When if Sandy bridge is faster your average consumer won't be able to notice... PERIOD. However battery life... is a HUGE win.

    I don't play favorites, AMD needs market share.... FOR OUR SAKE. If Intel and AMD where on the same terms we would see faster progression and SAVE MONEY.
    22
  • gmarsack
    This looks like a fantastic solution for notebooks. Can't wait to finally see more of these systems in the wild. :) Good job AMD. I would think this will help boost the company along until Bulldozer arrives. Way to survive! :)
    23
  • ikyung
    fstrthnuAMD is kind of in a fix here, the more enthusiast gamers won't even bother looking at the Llano computers while this is kind of overkill for casual gamers. MAYBE money-pressed college students or something, but most people will just skip this and either buy a regular gaming computer or build their own using one of the guides from this very site! Going for good graphics in cheap desktops is kind of a futile exercise, the people who will care will just get the more expensive stuff anyways. Notebooks are more understandable, but the prices on the decent gaming desktops are just too good for Llano to be very competitive (and also, the CPU portion will be a letdown for the average person. Noticeably slower than the comparable Intel Core i5.)

    Well, Llano's market is the mobile space. Not desktop. Yes, they are bringing out desktop Llanos, but just like the article said, Trinity is what the enthusists are waiting for. I honestly don't think Llano's aim in the desktop market is for hardcores. I could see Llano's popularity in HTPC, and casual gaming/workstations though. Lower power, GPU over CPU tradeoff, etc. IF AMD releases the right drivers for the APU+Discrete CPU to work together, I see the market being even bigger.
    11
  • striker410
    I suppose we need to stop suggesting i3-2100 and H67 over in the forums then? Go AMD!
    17
  • Anonymous
    How much for the A8 3500M? and it is a 1.5 GHZ chip with turbo to 2.4. I think its price point is more consistent with the I3 2310M @ 2.1 GHZ. Would have like to see you compare it to that instead of a I5 @ 2.5 GHZ
    -4
  • Anonymous
    IMO focusing su much on graphics is kind of stupid. You can make use of them only in two sorts of applications: stupid modern games that aren't worth playing and CADs that can make use of a GPU. All other loads are just indifferent to the graphics performance. I'm really suprised why you folks are so focused on games and just ignore everything else.

    There is no single reason to prefer Llano over Sandy bridge, and I really cannot understand your excitement about it.
    -20
  • cleeve
    SlaughteremHow much for the A8 3500M? and it is a 1.5 GHZ chip with turbo to 2.4. I think its price point is more consistent with the I3 2310M @ 2.1 GHZ. Would have like to see you compare it to that instead of a I5 @ 2.5 GHZ


    AMD didn't supply pricing for the processors, they only supplied pricing for the laptops. Accorsing to the price they gave us, the i5-2520M is fair competition.

    Having said that, does it matter? No matter how you slice it, Llano's GPU will beat Intel HD graphics and Llano's CPU will be beaten by Intel. You'll see different degrees of advantage but this point won't change, not until Trinity at least.
    6
  • cleeve
    just another user...modern games that aren't worth playing and CADs that can make use of a GPU...

    ...There is no single reason to prefer Llano over Sandy bridge, and I really cannot understand your excitement about it.


    You just listed two. :)

    Obviously everyone will have their own priorities, but I think it's safe to say that you will find the majority of people will be more concerned with graphics performance than the ability to encode or render media. That's really what it comes down to; you're not going to notice a difference while surfing the net.
    12
  • sparkle_ftw
    How AMD will still be important to gamers: Use Llano profits from mainstream sales to continue funding and improving production of AMD's discrete gpus. Those kick some serious butt.
    6
  • AppleBlowsDonkeyBalls
    Decent review, though a bit unfair. What's the point of comparing the performance of a CPU that will be in $600 laptops (A8-3500M) to one that will be in $700 laptops (i5 2520M)? The A8-3500M competes with the Core i3 2310M, while the A8-3830MX competes with the Core i5 2520M. Given that, CPU performance for Llano is better than what is painted in the review.

    With Sandy Bridge, I think you're giving up a lot of GPU performance for some additional CPU performance. I think the choice is clear for most users.
    18