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Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3

Battle At $140: Can An APU Beat An Intel CPU And Add-In Graphics?
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Battlefield 3's single-player campaign mode is almost completely dependent on graphics performance, so our benchmark is a great mechanism for comparing raw graphics potential. In contrast, the multi-player maps (particularly when you get into 32- and 64-player matches) tax host processing a lot more.

Not surprisingly, the Pentium and Radeon HD 6670 push the fastest frame rates. Let's take a closer look at performance over time.

As we expected, performance scales linearly with graphics alacrity in Battlefield 3. The overclocked A8-3870 comes fairly close to the discrete card, but none of these solutions are really ideal, since we had to drop all the way down to 1024x768 at Low details in order to generate playable frame rates. As with Metro 2033, this title demands a more capable combination of components before it's truly enjoyable.

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  • 31 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , February 29, 2012 3:55 AM
    tristan_bIf you paired the apu with a 6670, I'm sure we would see different results.

    Ya, that would also cost a lot more then $140.
  • 24 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , February 29, 2012 3:57 AM
    not surprised here.
  • 21 Hide
    tigrc , February 29, 2012 4:55 AM
    Intel Pentium G620 has TDP of 65W, not 35. G620T has TDP of 35W. :) 
Other Comments
  • 31 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , February 29, 2012 3:55 AM
    tristan_bIf you paired the apu with a 6670, I'm sure we would see different results.

    Ya, that would also cost a lot more then $140.
  • 24 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , February 29, 2012 3:57 AM
    not surprised here.
  • 14 Hide
    jimmysmitty , February 29, 2012 3:58 AM
    tristan_bWell of course the option with a better gpu will win in gaming. A dual core sandy bridge is enough for almost any game on max these days. If you paired the apu with a 6670, I'm sure we would see different results.


    Actually in most games it should act the same if its just the GPU as most games will be bottlenecked by the mid end GPU. If you include the hybrid CFX (If the A8 can work with the 6670) it will be a bit better in some cases.

    The power draw is very interesting. The CPU load on the A8 is almost as much as a mix of CPU and GPU. It could be a sign of the 32nm still not being mature enough. But it does look better than FX by a lot in power draw.

    Still interesting idea. The G620 plus the HD6670 is about $130 vs $140 which means they are about the same in price. The mobos, RAM and other stuff will be about the same. I have said it before, but it still holds true. Llano is great for the modile sector. In laptops it will be the best value for lower end laptops to provide a decent gaming setup. Not maxed but still better than what HD3K can do. But on DT, its mostly pointless as it uses a sub par CPU with a decent IGP.
  • 15 Hide
    Zero_ , February 29, 2012 4:11 AM
    Nice. Something I've always debated to include in my blog (my sig). The G620 + HD6670 always won out in my book. Good to see a confirmation from Toms.
  • 21 Hide
    tigrc , February 29, 2012 4:55 AM
    Intel Pentium G620 has TDP of 65W, not 35. G620T has TDP of 35W. :) 
  • 8 Hide
    ohim , February 29, 2012 5:16 AM
    And yet Tom`s managed to miss out something ... the CPU + video card might be the same price as the AMD APU but the Intel motherboard is 50+$ more than the one used in the AMD system .. at least in my country.
  • 8 Hide
    saturnus , February 29, 2012 5:25 AM
    ohimAnd yet Tom`s managed to miss out something ... the CPU + video card might be the same price as the AMD APU but the Intel motherboard is 50+$ more than the one used in the AMD system .. at least in my country.


    Here too. And they could have used the difference on better memory which is known to bottleneck the Llanos. That would probably have pulled the Llano ahead in all tests, not just power consumption.
  • 12 Hide
    tlmck , February 29, 2012 5:44 AM
    Would have been interesting to see 1866 ram used with the APU. Other sites such as Anandtech have shown it to noticeably boost performance. Conversely, there is no advantage to 1600 speed on the Intel. Stock 1333 would have worked the same.
  • 13 Hide
    BulkZerker , February 29, 2012 5:45 AM
    saturnusHere too. And they could have used the difference on better memory which is known to bottleneck the Llanos. That would probably have pulled the Llano ahead in all tests, not just power consumption.


    Indeed, this was proven by Toms themselves in a previosu review that having some solid memory for a Llano is almost as important as the APU itself.
  • 7 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , February 29, 2012 5:47 AM
    ohimAnd yet Tom`s managed to miss out something ... the CPU + video card might be the same price as the AMD APU but the Intel motherboard is 50+$ more than the one used in the AMD system .. at least in my country.

    ... it's a shame Tom's can't figure out a way to cater these articles to every country out there.
  • -5 Hide
    g4114rd0 , February 29, 2012 6:00 AM
    An educative article, maybe the G630 + HD6570 to improving application performance.
  • 5 Hide
    ohim , February 29, 2012 6:01 AM
    dragonsqrrl... it's a shame Tom's can't figure out a way to cater these articles to every country out there.

    i didn`t implied that they don`t make it for every country .. just pointed out something , and i know you don`t get speed improvements from a high prices MB only more features, i was just pointing out that the current test setup in my country makes the Intel platform 50$ more than the AMD one, and still 4 vs 2 cores no matter how you put it the 4 cores will handle various paralel tasks smoother than the 2 core Intel.
  • 13 Hide
    esrever , February 29, 2012 6:36 AM
    why not test an athlon II x2 and a 6770 in there too?
  • 8 Hide
    Kamen_BG , February 29, 2012 6:45 AM
    Why dont you just combine an Athlon X4 631 with a Radeon 6570? Its a bit cheaper than the APU and will achieve better fps in games.The Athlon can also overclock remarkably well (can go to 4.4~ ghz on air) so it will become better in apps as well.The only downside to that build would be the power consumpion when overclocked.
  • -9 Hide
    peroludiarom , February 29, 2012 7:13 AM
    I will say that its really unproffessional to use 1600mhz DDR3 with Liano, while manufacturer says its support 1866mhz! I recently got 3870K for my frend, and not even 1866 will show much bettter numbers in CPU and GPU, but 1866mhz even bottleneck the APU when you overclock. For best results i was using 2000mhz ddr3 ram.

    Also i'm sick to watch so poor ddr3 bandwidth performance on AMD overclocked processors here! Please start to overclock the memory controller - the whole world already knows this, but not Toms! With PII 555(x4) i got 16,5g/s in Sandra for my everyday overclock, and you show 12-14gb/s for PII 980??

    Also using cheaper MB is already know that bottleneck Overclocking and even standart performace!

    Please Toms, bench again with right settings!
  • 11 Hide
    grumbledook , February 29, 2012 7:17 AM
    Props for putting in the OC results for 3870k since that is a prominent feature of it.
  • 2 Hide
    gondor , February 29, 2012 7:27 AM
    Nice article, precisely what I've been longing for ever since Llano came out. Other websites focused on comparison of "APUs" from both camps (where Intel got soundly trashed in games due to crappy graphics performance) while ignoring the obvious combination that not only allows for better performance but also for lwoer pwoer consumption and - I find it surprising that this wasn't mentioned in the article - more efficient cooling, given that load isn't concentrated under one CPU heatsink but split into two.

    The difference in power draw is huge !

    Oh and based on prices over here in Europe one might be able to squeeze G630 (100 Mhz higher clock) into allotted budget instead of G620. I imagine that to be the case for the US as well.
  • 2 Hide
    Nemo11 , February 29, 2012 7:36 AM
    I am surprised that the review did not include heat and noise benchmarks since both of these configurations would be well suited for a HTPC.
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