AMD LLANO A8-3850 and A8-3500M APU benchmarks analysis

Written by Gionatan Danti on . Posted in Hardware analysis

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Conclusions

I'm quite excited about the Llano class APU, both on the mobile and desktop line.

From a pure CPU standpoint, these APU bring you mostly the same experience common to other K10.5 processors (PhenomII / AthlonII); however, from the above tests, it is evident that AMD wasn't joking about >6% performance improvements thanks to a refined microarchitecture and larger L2 cache. Considering that, from the CPU angle, it was only a slight modification, these kind of improvements are nothing to sneeze at.

Still, there are rooms for otherenhancements, especially on the Turbo core feature side. If it is nice to see core frequencies to rise on multi core workloads also, but the single core tests show too little frequency gain (15-16% in the tested applications). With a more aggressive frequency scaling (up to the announced 2.4 GHz), these APU can be quite more attractive from the CPU side. It's worth note that the platform still in a bit premature state; in the following weeks, BIOS and drivers updates have the potential to significantly change the results above. For example, as Turbo core need some BIOS support to work properly, it's very plausible then a following BIOS update will tune it to ramp up clock frequency more aggressively.

Obviously, these APU are not all about CPU. On the contrary, they are all about giving the user a competent CPU and very good graphics (for an integrated core). While in this article I didn't touch the graphics capability of the integrated Radeon core, there are plenty of review that shows how much this core is faster than current best-in-class competitor. And it is a lot faster.

This is the very reason because I'm very happy with the current Llano APU. They are later than expected, sure; their CPU performance is not top notch, it's true. However, they bring to market an explosive mix of decent CPU, great graphics and very low power consumption. A very tempting combination...

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References:

[1] http://www.anandtech.com/show/4444/amd-llano-notebook-review-a-series-fusion-apu-a8-3500m

[2] http://www.anandtech.com/show/4448/amd-llano-desktop-performance-preview

[3] http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a8-3500m-llano-apu,2959.html

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