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Professional Help: Getting The Best Overclock From AMD's A8-3870K

Benchmark Results: DiRT 3

DiRT 3 stands in as a good representative of simulator titles. The A8-3870K can handle it at 1920x1080 with 2x MSAA at the Low detail preset.

DiRT 3 is another title that derives much of its performance from available memory bandwidth. Unfortunately, the overclocked A8-3870K’s best effort falls notably short of the Radeon HD 6670 DDR3.

The only significant difference between this test and the last one is added anti-aliasing (a notoriously bandwidth-dependent effect). It's probable that the APU's shared memory architecture is simply not as well-suited for throughput-intensive details as a discrete card.

The gap between discrete graphics and the APU is even clearer when we look at frame rates over time.

  • buzznut
    This is pretty cool, this addresses most of the questions I would have about gaming with a LLano part. But it seems Trinity is right around the corner so I would still have reservations about recommending it. Except for the fact I just saw one of these quads for $90 at the egg, which does make a compelling case for folks on a tight budget.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    Interesting read. Can't wait to see how much of an improvement the desktop Trinity APU brings seeing Llano is better than what I imagine it would be
    Reply
  • esrever
    Don is the best!
    Reply
  • peroludiarom
    Hi Don, you have wrote great article!
    I have just one question - do you try to overclock the memory controller as well, because its not mentioned in the article? Thanks in advance
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Llano is great, but i am waiting for the die-shrink to reduce power and heat.
    Reply
  • Wife's pentium intel g620 and amd 7750 on budget board and 8 gb budget ram .....only pulls 150 watts max !!!!!!!!lcost less and performs much better. Apu is a epic idea, alas still useless maybe trinity will save the day. Until then the hype and misleading performance promises will still make them money.
    Reply
  • Fokissed
    On page 2 there is a reference to hwbot.com, which seemingly doesn't exist anymore.

    Thanks for catching that, fixed to hwbot.org!
    Reply
  • freggo
    FokissedOn page 2 there is a reference to hwbot.com, which seemingly doesn't exist anymore.
    Makes you wonder how old the article is that a dead domain link made it into the text :)
    Reply
  • csbeer
    "So, we installed it (6670) in the overclocked system and disengaged its on-die GPU."

    I don't get why all these major sites don't test the dual graphics nature of the asymetrical xfire that Llano supports? Marry that APU with a 6570 or 6670 for maximum performance, that's the whole point of the Llano experience imo! I have a Llano notebook and am so hungry for info on other's experiments and results with the APU+DGPU.
    Reply
  • biggerbooger
    Excuse the noob question, but if you had say 2 x 4gb sticks rather than 2 x 2 and you put on a corsair H40 contained water cooler for example could you get much better OC performance? This is looking like a viable option.
    Reply