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

Accelerated Video Encoding: APP Vs. Quick Sync

AMD proudly touts the compute potential of Llano’s 400 Radeon cores. Let’s explore how effective they are compared to Intel’s Quick Sync functionality when it comes to video transcoding:

The A8-3500M is certainly assisted by the general-purpose compute capability of its shader cores, going so far as to beat a similarly-clocked Phenom II X4 and Radeon HD 5570, suggesting that the plumbing of the APU is better-optimized for this task.

Having said that, Quick Sync is a lot faster. And the accelerated A8-3500M results can only match the Core i5-2520M handling the job with its processor cores.

The results aren’t altogether surprising. Fixed-function logic is designed to perform one task well, and that’s exactly what Quick Sync does. For as flexible as general-purpose resources can be, don’t expect an integrated graphics engine to ever be as fast or as power-efficient as Quick Sync in an application actually optimized for Intel’s Media SDK.

  • _Pez_
    HO ! GOD FINALLY I am the first to read this !! Im feeling a Nerdgasm !! :D :D !!
    Reply
  • oneblackened
    I now really want a laptop with Llano. Also first.
    Reply
  • 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.)
    Reply
  • vz7
    Do you know when the desktop review for llano will be out?
    Reply
  • stingstang
    Good job, AMD. You finally made a better cpu/gpu combo than intel in terms of graphics power.
    ....big win there...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    vz7Do you know when the desktop review for llano will be out?
    The NDA is up on the 30th.
    Reply
  • 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....
    Reply
  • 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....
    Reply