AMD A8-3850 Review: Llano Rocks Entry-Level Desktops

Benchmark Results: Productivity

A well-threaded workload favors AMD’s four physical cores over Intel’s dual-core Hyper-Threaded solution, though it’s telling that the A8-3850 and Core i3 run neck and neck. A Phenom II X4 is the fastest option here, though it means giving up significant graphics performance (due to the slow 890GX chipset) at a $130 price point.

Lightly-threaded workloads are going to really punish a quad-core processor with lower frequencies like the A8-3850. This is where Intel’s per-clock efficiency kicks into play, propelling the Core i3 into first place despite its 3.1 GHz frequency.

The 3.4 GHz Phenom II simply can’t get as much work done during each cycle. And naturally, at 2.9 GHz, AMD’s flagship Llano-based chip is in even worse shape.

The same problem affects WinZip 14, which is also single-threaded. At least this time the Phenom II X4 finishes a little closer to the Core i3, though A8-3850 still trails behind quite a ways.

WinRAR is definitely more optimized for threading. However, Intel still takes a first-place finish, followed by Phenom II X4 and A8-3850 in last place.

Finally, we see four cores outpacing two cores plus Hyper-Threading. AMD’s Phenom II X4 takes the top spot in 7-Zip, while the quad-core A8-3850 finishes second. Intel’s Core i3 lags behind in last place, finishing its workload three seconds slower than the fastest Llano APU.

Again, in case you’re worried about the memory throughput of a setup running DDR3-1333, bear in mind that bandwidth affects graphics-bound applications more than anything. You can shave a couple of seconds off a WinRAR-based compression workload using DDR3-1600, but it’s not nearly enough for Llano to catch the Phenom II X4 with its large L3 cache and 500 MHz frequency advantage.

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  • stardude82That's about all the sense it makes then.


    Actually Llano on the Desktop is (IMO) aimed at HTPC a 100% and, off course, notebooks.

    I would really, really like to see more media features with the Llano parts you guys have if it can be done 8)

    Great article as usual!

    Cheers!
    17
  • Good lord reading the comments some of you people are really dense. Do you not understand the target market for these and can take the review in context????? Not everything should be looked at as though you are a custom power cpu/game builder.

    Great review Chris. For the target market AMD is doing a pretty good job here with an old CPU architecture and once they pair this with Bulldozer they should have a killer product.
    16
  • Heh, I love these comments - for $150 more than a $135 AMD CPU you can get a better Intel CPU and AMD GPU!

    No shit, really? I wouldn't have thought so, it's just twice the price!
    16
  • Other Comments
  • Great review! Thanks Toms
    14
  • Another win for AMD!
    13
  • So then what's the point of getting the Turbo Core versions when they are going to be Turbo Clocked slower then the none Turbo Clocked versions...
    1
  • SteelCity1981So then what's the point of getting the Turbo Core versions when they are going to be Turbo Clocked slower then the none Turbo Clocked versions...


    They don't want you to see better performance from a cheaper APU in single-threaded apps by pushing Turbo Core further ;-)
    15
  • i really wanted see some amazing gains in the content creation department what with all that gpu power on chip... oh well games are fun too!
    1
  • I think this would be good for a young kid's PC. It would be enough to run educational software and a web browser. When he grows up to be a gamer it would be time to replace the whole machine anyway.
    12
  • ... it's may be not the greatest APU for desktop... but it will be a powerful thingy in a laptop... the review was nice... but in the gaming department... would be nice to see a standard 15,x'' laptop resolution tests @ 1366x768... or something like that...
    5
  • Actually if you want good DDR3 1600 with aggressive timings, the Ripjaws X series memory that I have does DDR3 1600 at 7-8-7-24 at 1.5v, not all that expensive when it comes down to it either. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231430
    3
  • This makes little sense. An Athlon II X3 445 ($75) and a HD 5570 ($60, on a good day you can get a 5670 for the same price) would provide better performance for the same price ($135) and not have to worry about the RAM you use.

    So is AM3+ going to be retired in favor of FM1 in the near future? Why are there chipset at all? Why isn't everything SOC by now?

    Otherwise this is a very good CPU. If AMD has used 1 MB level 2 caches in their quads when they came out with the Deneb Propus die, they would be much more competitive.
    -2
  • stardude82This makes little sense. An Athlon II X3 445 ($75) and a HD 5570 ($60, on a good day you can get a 5670 for the same price) would provide better performance for the same price ($135) and not have to worry about the RAM you use.

    what about power consumption?
    9
  • crisan_tiberiuwhat about power consumption?

    That's about all the sense it makes then, for mobile and all-in-one units, but for cheap desktops... eh.
    -7
  • stardude82That's about all the sense it makes then.


    Actually Llano on the Desktop is (IMO) aimed at HTPC a 100% and, off course, notebooks.

    I would really, really like to see more media features with the Llano parts you guys have if it can be done 8)

    Great article as usual!

    Cheers!
    17
  • not bad but can you overclock the graphics core
    -4
  • I completely agree with Yuka and was thinking the whole way through how amazing these would be (especially the low TDP versions) in a HTPC.
    10
  • In regards to dual graphics, the only game that it seemed to work on was WoW Cataclysm. What was the cause, drivers? CAPS?

    And I think you guys may have gotten the min and avg FPS scores for the CoD:MW benchmark backwards... How can the min be higher than the average? Maybe you were actually comparing No AA to 4x AA or something, not min and avg FPS?
    2
  • This review need IGP OC. The Llano GPU overclocks like hell.

    600Mhz to 840/900Mhz? No problem at all.
    3
  • On the COD graphs, the minimum and average FPS bars have to be switched...it's impossible to have a "minimum" data point greater than the average.
    3
  • Since when does a 100W CPU and a 6530 need a 850W power supply???

    Anyway, The real show should be bulldozer-based APU's. If they could just get the graphics up to a 5750 level...
    9
  • Great article. This really helps me out since I need to replace 2 laptops in the near future.
    As for a higher end desktop, I am waiting for BD and how it affects the market. That will determine which parts I keep and which parts get put into an HTPC.
    7
  • Definitely looks like a stopgap measure, a product with good execution but no market. Basically, the only people who will buy this are casual/lazy PC gamers - the serious guys would come to sites like this very one to find out that they can get way more for their money than buying Llano. Thing is, at this price point, most people don't even care about games. Like I said on a previous post, any serious, smart PC gamer will build their own or look higher in terms of pricing to get a genuinely strong system.
    -4