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). 

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  • whatisupthere
    Great review! Thanks Toms
  • Tamz_msc
    Another win for AMD!
  • SteelCity1981
    So then what's the point of getting the Turbo Core versions when they are going to be Turbo Clocked slower then the none Turbo Clocked versions...
  • cangelini
    SteelCity1981So then what's the point of getting the Turbo Core versions when they are going to be Turbo Clocked slower then the none Turbo Clocked versions...


    They don't want you to see better performance from a cheaper APU in single-threaded apps by pushing Turbo Core further ;-)
  • Known2Bone
    i really wanted see some amazing gains in the content creation department what with all that gpu power on chip... oh well games are fun too!
  • ivan_chess
    I think this would be good for a young kid's PC. It would be enough to run educational software and a web browser. When he grows up to be a gamer it would be time to replace the whole machine anyway.
  • DjEaZy
    ... it's may be not the greatest APU for desktop... but it will be a powerful thingy in a laptop... the review was nice... but in the gaming department... would be nice to see a standard 15,x'' laptop resolution tests @ 1366x768... or something like that...
  • Mathos
    Actually if you want good DDR3 1600 with aggressive timings, the Ripjaws X series memory that I have does DDR3 1600 at 7-8-7-24 at 1.5v, not all that expensive when it comes down to it either. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231430
  • Stardude82
    This makes little sense. An Athlon II X3 445 ($75) and a HD 5570 ($60, on a good day you can get a 5670 for the same price) would provide better performance for the same price ($135) and not have to worry about the RAM you use.

    So is AM3+ going to be retired in favor of FM1 in the near future? Why are there chipset at all? Why isn't everything SOC by now?

    Otherwise this is a very good CPU. If AMD has used 1 MB level 2 caches in their quads when they came out with the Deneb Propus die, they would be much more competitive.
  • crisan_tiberiu
    stardude82This makes little sense. An Athlon II X3 445 ($75) and a HD 5570 ($60, on a good day you can get a 5670 for the same price) would provide better performance for the same price ($135) and not have to worry about the RAM you use.

    what about power consumption?
  • Stardude82
    crisan_tiberiuwhat about power consumption?

    That's about all the sense it makes then, for mobile and all-in-one units, but for cheap desktops... eh.
  • Yuka
    stardude82That's about all the sense it makes then.


    Actually Llano on the Desktop is (IMO) aimed at HTPC a 100% and, off course, notebooks.

    I would really, really like to see more media features with the Llano parts you guys have if it can be done 8)

    Great article as usual!

    Cheers!
  • jdwii
    not bad but can you overclock the graphics core
  • fictionforthetame
    I completely agree with Yuka and was thinking the whole way through how amazing these would be (especially the low TDP versions) in a HTPC.
  • RazberyBandit
    In regards to dual graphics, the only game that it seemed to work on was WoW Cataclysm. What was the cause, drivers? CAPS?

    And I think you guys may have gotten the min and avg FPS scores for the CoD:MW benchmark backwards... How can the min be higher than the average? Maybe you were actually comparing No AA to 4x AA or something, not min and avg FPS?
  • Nintendork
    This review need IGP OC. The Llano GPU overclocks like hell.

    600Mhz to 840/900Mhz? No problem at all.
  • frozenlead
    On the COD graphs, the minimum and average FPS bars have to be switched...it's impossible to have a "minimum" data point greater than the average.
  • ChiefTexas_82
    Since when does a 100W CPU and a 6530 need a 850W power supply???

    Anyway, The real show should be bulldozer-based APU's. If they could just get the graphics up to a 5750 level...
  • ChromeTusk
    Great article. This really helps me out since I need to replace 2 laptops in the near future.
    As for a higher end desktop, I am waiting for BD and how it affects the market. That will determine which parts I keep and which parts get put into an HTPC.
  • fstrthnu
    Definitely looks like a stopgap measure, a product with good execution but no market. Basically, the only people who will buy this are casual/lazy PC gamers - the serious guys would come to sites like this very one to find out that they can get way more for their money than buying Llano. Thing is, at this price point, most people don't even care about games. Like I said on a previous post, any serious, smart PC gamer will build their own or look higher in terms of pricing to get a genuinely strong system.
  • flong
    I don't want to be rude, but can somebody explain to me why anyone would spend $135 on this CPU when for $70 more you can get the 2500K - it just doesn't make sense to me.
  • noob2222
    I would be more interested in this for HTPC. not a whole lot of coverage in this review for that matter. Id probably go with the better motherboard setup rather than specific cpu. eyeing the gigabyte board currently.
  • NotANerd
    Great write-up. Made my head swim and my heart sink (just a little). From what I've read both this and BD are stopgap products. The real stuff is Trinity and Komodo. I am looking forward to Trinity since that may be in my price range.

    @flong, Someone would buy Llano if they didn't have the money for and /or didn't want to bother with discrete graphics cards. Average Joe. Exactly who it is aimed at. AMD hit their target.
  • cangelini
    RazberyBanditIn regards to dual graphics, the only game that it seemed to work on was WoW Cataclysm. What was the cause, drivers? CAPS?And I think you guys may have gotten the min and avg FPS scores for the CoD:MW benchmark backwards... How can the min be higher than the average? Maybe you were actually comparing No AA to 4x AA or something, not min and avg FPS?


    Good call Raz--those were supposed to be NoAA/4xAA to match the graph headers--they're fixed now!