AMD Desktop Trinity Update: Now With Core i3 And A8-3870K

Following Up With More Test Data

This story, an update to our AMD Trinity-based A10, A8, and A6 family preview, was originally published on July 2, 2012. It was not condoned, supported, or sponsored in any way by AMD. The piece appears here, unchanged, with the same information presented nearly three months ago.

Shortly after wrapping up our first look at AMD’s Trinity-based desktop APUs, I ordered an A8-3870K and Core i3-2100 from Newegg. Each chip was $120 bucks at the time, and promised to add much needed comparison data to our Trinity-based desktop APU preview.

The A8 is important because it’s AMD’s flagship APU built on the Llano design. Although it only operates 100 MHz faster than the A8-3850 originally used for testing, an unlocked multiplier ratio commands a bit of a price premium. Expect the unlocked Trinity-based parts to cost extra, too.

Intel’s Core i3 is, by far, a more interesting comparison point. Its two Hyper-Threaded cores employ the Sandy Bridge architecture, which we know to be very efficient. But can it stand up to AMD’s twin Piledriver modules in the Trinity-based A10 and A8? Really, that was the question we wanted to answer most.

Core i3-2100 is armed with HD Graphics 2000, so we knew it’d get slaughtered by AMD’s forthcoming APUs. However, the i3-2105 employs HD Graphics 3000—a more capable implementation with two times the number of execution units (12, rather than six). Operating at the same 3.1 GHz core clock rate as the i3-2100, the only reason to buy -2105 over -2100 is built-in graphics. And for that, you’ll pay $135.

How do our results look after adding the A8-3870K and Core i3-2100 to our x86-based tests, along with the Core i3-2105 to our gaming tests?

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • belardo

    And it still doesn't make sense to only reserve the best graphics for the high-end chips. People who want such performance in a desktop or notebook may likely have a dedicated GPU anyway.

    The i3' should have HD graphics 3500/4000.
  • mayankleoboy1
    where are the OpenCL benchmarks ? specially in winzip ?

    if Intel cant run those, then technically its a loss for intel and win for AMD, right?
  • Onus
    This gives me real hope that Piledriver will be a worthwhile chip to put on my 990FX rather than scrapping it for Intel as software becomes more demanding.

    I made myself read the entire article. I consider myself a literate person, but I still cannot find words to properly (and respectfully) express just how physically Beautiful your announcer is.
  • The video review girl is lovely, but being able to see her black brassier pushing her incredible breasts through that see-through shirt made me not pay attention at all to what she was talking about.
  • ojas think you could fix to them to the same clock rate and test one real-world productivity test? And perhaps one game with discrete graphics (maybe i've missed this particular test if you've already done it, if i have, sorry about that)...i mean with the i3 benchmarks for comparison.

    Apart from that, i think Trinity is clearly a win if AMD prices it the same as Llano.
  • JackNSally
    So cheap gaming performance, AMD. Everything else Intel?
  • caqde
    I saw a Trinity Desktop from HP on Walmarts shelves. I just wish the processors and motherboards would show up at places like newegg so I could build them for people.
  • Reynod
    She did a good job getting the point across with the tech jargon.

    I'd like to see her doing some more short videos on various products.

    She has improved with each new video too.

    Good move Chris and team.

  • de5_Roy
    trinity's igpu humiliates intel's sb igpu, like llano's did almost a year back. all three are 32 nm products, so i think the comparison's fair. :) if the igpu was well-scalable, intel should have built a 85/95w sb core i3 with 20-30 eus to be competitive with the apus, at least in terms of igpu performance. if intel once again slaps hd 2500 on core i3s and overprices the hd4k + core i3s, trinity will win in terms of price/performance.
  • vmem
    REYNODShe did a good job getting the point across with the tech jargon.I'd like to see her doing some more short videos on various products.She has improved with each new video too.Good move Chris and team.Agreed, but she is also now completely covered up do to people "complaining". Would a low v-neck really be too much? She is overly covered compared to news anchors