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AMD A8-3850 Review: Llano Rocks Entry-Level Desktops

Power Consumption

The A8-3850 APU hits a 100 W TDP. In comparison, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is a 125 W part, and the Core i3-2105 is a 65 W component.

Of course, the A8-3850 and Core i3-2105 include graphics. The 890GX chipset adds up to 25 W to the Phenom platform’s maximum power use.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Phenom II X4-based machine uses the most power across a run of PCMark 7 and the common usage performance tests. We’re also not shocked to see the 100 W A8-3850 fall into second place in this lower-is-better measurement.

More interesting is the fact that AMD’s Llano-based APU finishes the test before the Core i3 (despite the fact that Futuremark awards Intel a higher score), and only averages 4 W higher average power use. See? Those TDP numbers can be a little tricky when vendors don’t use the same methodology for rating their parts.

If you chart out the entire run, you get this gem of a line graph. Hard though it might be to decipher, I’ll help out as much as possible.

Most obvious is that the Phenom II X4 and its Radeon HD 4290 take forever to wrap this test up, and the only reason I can come up with is the weak graphics core that stumbles over the 3D components of the benchmark.

Beyond that, it’s clear that the Dual Graphics-equipped setup uses the most power. And while it’d seem AMD’s Phenom II would be the second-most severe offender, it’s actually the Intel Core i3 configuration armed with discrete graphics with the second-highest average.

What’s nice to see is how low the A8-3850 with Radeon HD 6550D graphics and Core i3-2105 with HD Graphics 3000 dip (41-42 W total platform power at idle).