Benchmark Results: vReveal On The A8-3850's Radeon HD 6550D
With discrete graphics fully benchmarked, we can switch over to the A8's integrated Radeon engine and compare.
With GPU acceleration enabled, we see a slight advantage from discrete graphics when handling 480p video.
The real shocker is that CPU utilization is almost identical when the integrated and discrete graphics subsystems work on 1080p video. The explanation is simple. A lighter load doesn't tax the Radeon HD 6550D, so you get real-time rendering from the APU. The implication is that you don't even need an add-in card to get these results, creating an opportunity for very mainstream users to see some pretty cool value.
But can the same conclusions be drawn when we test six effects rendering simultaneously?
Not quite. Because we have less graphics hardware to throw at this problem, CPU utilization turns out to be pretty similar whether you're looking at 480p or 1080p video. Turning on GPU-based acceleration clearly helps alleviate the workload, dropping our A8 to about 27% utilization at both resolutions.
However, the performance chart tells the second half of the story. Pushing CPU usage down is great at 480p, where host processing and graphics working together manage real-time rendering of six effects. But at 1080p, the two subsystems are collaboratively stuck at 29% of real-time. That's less than half of what the Radeon HD 5870 was able to do matched up to AMD's APU. For serious compute workloads, the sheer complexity of a discrete GPU is undeniably superior.