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Better With Time? The A8-3870 And Pentium G630, One Year Later
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AMD's desktop APUs, which combine x86 cores and graphics resources, emerged more than a year ago. We take a Llano-based A8-3870 and compare its performance from 2011 to what you get today using new drivers, application versions, and OpenCL acceleration.

Most of the other benchmarks in our current CPU suite turn back similar scores, regardless of whether they were run last year or today. While the apps on the preceding pages are updated to the latest versions to exploit OpenCL and multi-core optimizations, we also ran the other tests as well in the interest of completeness. We updated all of those apps with the latest available versions, since we'll be migrating to a new benchmarking suite anyway.

It comes as no surprise that most apps perform similarly in 2012 as they did in 2012. There are some exceptions, though. 3ds Max, for example, runs slightly faster on AMD's A8-3870 after a more mature driver. Meanwhile, we updated 7-Zip from version 9.22 to 9.28 without seeing a difference. HandBrake 0.95 was upgraded to version 0.98 for this review, and it does in fact deliver a marginal boost on both test systems.

Be careful with Photoshop. If you want to save money by purchasing the older CS 5.1 version, think again! The latest build delivers better performance before even taking OpenCL into consideration. Our older benchmark script, which uses a handful of threaded filters, gets a nice speed-up.

Rarlab, the developers of WinRAR, must have also realized the importance of optimizing for threading. The latest version, 4.2, reduces the processing time by 50% in the case of the AMD system and roughly 35% on the Intel machine, which only has two processing cores.

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  • 24 Hide
    blazorthon , September 10, 2012 5:14 AM
    hapaxogcWhy not compare the AMD to the new Pentium G2120?


    That probably wasn't out when this review was in the works.
  • 18 Hide
    DjEaZy , September 10, 2012 9:54 AM
    ... open standards F.T.W.!!!
  • 16 Hide
    blazorthon , September 10, 2012 5:07 AM
    Is it just me, or does every time the old systems are said to be better, the graph shows the opposite and every time the old systems are said to be worse, the graph says otherwise?
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 10, 2012 5:06 AM
    Why not compare the AMD to the new Pentium G2120?
  • 16 Hide
    blazorthon , September 10, 2012 5:07 AM
    Is it just me, or does every time the old systems are said to be better, the graph shows the opposite and every time the old systems are said to be worse, the graph says otherwise?
  • 24 Hide
    blazorthon , September 10, 2012 5:14 AM
    hapaxogcWhy not compare the AMD to the new Pentium G2120?


    That probably wasn't out when this review was in the works.
  • 4 Hide
    lahawzel , September 10, 2012 5:46 AM
    I think he was more referring to the fact that the Pentium G630 is significantly cheaper than the A8-3870K ($68 vs. $110), hence making the compared processors not on equal grounds.
  • 11 Hide
    blazorthon , September 10, 2012 6:00 AM
    LaHawzelI think he was more referring to the fact that the Pentium G630 is significantly cheaper than the A8-3870K ($68 vs. $110), hence making the compared processors not on equal grounds.


    Not if you factor in the cost of a graphics card. That card was probably omitted here because this isn't about gaming performance.
  • 12 Hide
    jezus53 , September 10, 2012 6:06 AM
    Quote:
    We used MSI’s A75MA-G55 mini-ITX motherboard...


    I think you mean Micro ATX.
  • -3 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 10, 2012 6:12 AM
    1. Read the Adobelink you provided.
    the Mercury Engine in CS6 does not use CUDA! Thats a big win for consumers.

    2. Even though 7zip is highly multithreaded, in real world usage, it does not scale so well. Mostly it uses 35-50% of a quad core. It can use 100% CPU in compressing one big file( > 100MB size).

    3.The reply given by Corel is complete BS. They did not even give an example of usage where winzip would use the GPU.

  • 12 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 10, 2012 8:38 AM
    Article page 4It comes as no surprise that most apps perform similarly in 2012 as they did in 2012.
  • 4 Hide
    ohim , September 10, 2012 8:48 AM
    mayankleoboy11. Read the Adobelink you provided.the Mercury Engine in CS6 does not use CUDA! Thats a big win for consumers.2. Even though 7zip is highly multithreaded, in real world usage, it does not scale so well. Mostly it uses 35-50% of a quad core. It can use 100% CPU in compressing one big file( > 100MB size).3.The reply given by Corel is complete BS. They did not even give an example of usage where winzip would use the GPU.

    Mercury Engine in CS 6 does use CUDA .. what the hell are you talking about there ?
  • 3 Hide
    jijibu , September 10, 2012 9:01 AM
    LaHawzelI think he was more referring to the fact that the Pentium G630 is significantly cheaper than the A8-3870K ($68 vs. $110), hence making the compared processors not on equal grounds.


    AMD has way more powerful GPU and it's strong in multithread operations. Besides those facts, AMD has good overclocking potential :) 
  • 6 Hide
    alidan , September 10, 2012 9:27 AM
    ohimMercury Engine in CS 6 does use CUDA .. what the hell are you talking about there ?


    probably meant cuda exclusively anymore.
  • 18 Hide
    DjEaZy , September 10, 2012 9:54 AM
    ... open standards F.T.W.!!!
  • 3 Hide
    ojas , September 10, 2012 12:14 PM
    mayankleoboy11. Read the Adobelink you provided.the Mercury Engine in CS6 does not use CUDA! Thats a big win for consumers.2. Even though 7zip is highly multithreaded, in real world usage, it does not scale so well. Mostly it uses 35-50% of a quad core. It can use 100% CPU in compressing one big file( > 100MB size).3.The reply given by Corel is complete BS. They did not even give an example of usage where winzip would use the GPU.

    1. It does. Not supporting it would have been a loss for consumers (yes i support open standards too, but at least there's some competition this way. Software should support both imo). anyway link: http://www.nvidia.com/object/adobe-cs6.html

    2. I've seen my CPU use well over that, 80-100%, yes it's a quad core. Depends on your settings, probably, and the files being compressed. I use tweaked "ultra" level compression with LZMA2.

    3. Don't know what to think. No examples, yes, but seemed to be an adequate response. Giving them a benefit of doubt.

    @article:

    Yeah i guess the authors are right...it's already swimming through my head, that if the difference in the price is $40, you'd expect to see this kind of performance delta...then again cheapest Core i3 is $120 on newegg...and no point comparing another SB pentium because you'll get similar results.

    Probably you guys will have to do this again with the G2120! :p 
  • 2 Hide
    rootheday , September 10, 2012 12:15 PM
    why are you using drivers from the beginning of 2012 for this comparison instead of current drivers. For example, why 15.22.54 graphics driver for the Intel system? Sandybridge based Pentiums are supported on the 15.26.12.2761 drivers dated 7/11/2012 and also on the 15.28.0.2792 drivers (which add Win8 support).
  • 9 Hide
    CaedenV , September 10, 2012 12:15 PM
    go AMD! I don't think this speaks much to their hardware division, but speaks volumes about their marketing department, and the company's willingness to work with software companies in promoting open standards (which they take the best advantage of). Definitely a lesson learned from their dealings with nVidia locking them out of the professional market for so many years.

    That being said, this is hardly a fair comparison. A $70 part vs a $110 part is not much comparison at all. Throw a $60 GPU with openCL support and I would love to see how these stack up then.
  • 8 Hide
    ojas , September 10, 2012 12:19 PM
    Oh and, BTW. AMD may have just played a trump card here, going with OpenCL and GPGPU computing. What they couldn't do with raw performance, they've done with smart optimization. The future is perhaps Fusion, below the i5s and i7s at least.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , September 10, 2012 12:25 PM
    Though i dunno. If Intel push this same concept against ARM...AMD is non-existent in the SoC space, afaik.
  • 11 Hide
    CaedenV , September 10, 2012 12:27 PM
    This is why people don't buy new computers. why buy a new machine, when it gets faster over time with OS and software upgrades? Truly this is a strange paradigm compared to the previous 20 years of software always getting bigger and slower. Now software gets more feature-full as well as faster with updates. What a world we live in.
  • -8 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , September 10, 2012 12:55 PM
    how about slapping together a few hunderd ARM cores on a PCIE card, add a x86 to ARM binary converter, and you have a sooper fast co-processor.

    Wait, thats what Intel MIC is
  • 5 Hide
    blazorthon , September 10, 2012 12:56 PM
    mayankleoboy1how about slapping together a few hunderd ARM cores on a PCIE card, add a x86 to ARM binary converter, and you have a sooper fast co-processor.Wait, thats what Intel MIC is


    Intel's co-processors are not using ARM. They use simple x86 cores (based on the Pentium III if I remember correctly).
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