Unleashing Llano: AMD A8-3850 APU Review

By on June 29, 2011, 10:59 PM

Following in the footsteps of Brazos, AMD is now ready to unleash its bigger brother. Codenamed "Llano," the new arrival resides in AMD's "Lynx" platform and packs four Husky cores (very similar to what's inside Athlon II processors), along with a robust GPU based on the Evergreen family's Redwood architecture.

As a refresher, the Evergreen GPUs powered AMD's last-generation Radeon HD 5000 graphics cards. Llano's graphics core feature anywhere from 160 to 400 stream processors, which should make them considerably more powerful than any other integrated graphics solution we have seen to date.

AMD has plans to ship many different A-Series APUs, which are broken down into three key families. High-end models will belong to the A8-Series and will be quad-core processors that utilize the Radeon HD 6550D graphics core operating at 600MHz. The A8-3850 runs at 2.9GHz and the A8-3800 does its work at 2.4GHz, but that speed is boosted via AMD's Turbo Core technology and can therefore operate at up to 2.7GHz. The A8-3850 has a TDP rating of 100 watts, whereas the A8-3800 is rated at just 65 watts.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 25

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Guest said:

Holy crap. This thing owns an i7 dirty bridge in games, consumes less power, and I am sure will be cheaper. It looks like ol' chris is getting a new laptop.

Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

Nice review and i'm happy to see AMD making progress. I'm more of an AMD fan myself, although Intel has their good points. But still AMD is Fusion. CPU-GPU Performance, Price, energy efficient

Guest said:

Ohh, the test system clearly uses ddr3-1600... why would the writer/tester emphasizes a8-3850's dominance when overclocking memory to ddr3-1866?

Perhaps the writer/tester should also provide results if the memory is also overclocked for the intel systems... this is one greatly made review but then overshadowed by the obvious bias towards an overclocked amd system.

Guest said:

If you check this you'll se memory speed matters up to 1600. The ultimate overclock to 1866 doesn't bring much, it even scales negatively in the case of CoD.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Better understanding is required before flaming.

This is not an overclocked mode, we did not raise the bus speed or tweak any settings. Furthermore we did nothing that cannot be done with an A8-3850 processor and any A55/A75 motherboard.

AMD knew bandwidth was important and therefore 1333MHz/1600MHz and 1866MHz can be selected by default without "overclocking". What we simply pointed out is users will want to make sure they purchase memory capable of at least 1866MHz with their Llano platform for maximum performance. Seems like good consumer advice to me so I do not see why this needs to be turned into the old fashion, you are being biased rubbish.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I personally think this was a great review! went straight into the details of the chip itself and I have to admit, If these are as cheap as they say they will be, then my next cheap build will have one of these in for sure! thats seriously impressive especially that AMD managed to pull this off, I still have hopes for Bull dozer.

I've been soo close going the Intel Sandy Bridge way for the last 6 months now i've almost made the plunge several times, this warms my heart just a tad to make me wait just a little longer for the FX chips

Puiu Puiu said:

I would like too see how a lower CAS 1600MHz memory fares against the faster 1866MHz memory that has a higher CAS.

The review on toms only uses CAS 8 on both but it does show a good comparison between the different memory speeds.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

AMD is doing amazing, specially considering they are focused to the "bang for the buck" segment (In other words the big segment, yes intel is faster in raw CPU but that is not required for a LOT of people).

Kudos AMD!

edison5do said:

God $amm!!! The thing only cost $135!!!! Oh my god I have My Next Butget Build!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I personally think this was a great review! went straight into the details of the chip itself and I have to admit, If these are as cheap as they say they will be, then my next cheap build will have one of these in for sure! thats seriously impressive especially that AMD managed to pull this off, I still have hopes for Bull dozer.

I've been soo close going the Intel Sandy Bridge way for the last 6 months now i've almost made the plunge several times, this warms my heart just a tad to make me wait just a little longer for the FX chips

Great review Steve,

I have high hopes for FX as well Burty, I committed myself and got an 990 FXA UD-7 while running an 1100T as a placeholder...lets hope the re-spin goes well!

Lionvibez said:

Guest said:

Holy crap. This thing owns an i7 dirty bridge in games, consumes less power, and I am sure will be cheaper. It looks like ol' chris is getting a new laptop.

Holy crap its "owning" Dirty bridge with intergrated graphics hold the presses.

I'm not saying this is not a big win for AMD it is, i'm just amused at the way you wrote that like SB doesn't crush any and everything AMD except for this segment.

Guest said:

so when are these shipping? Either I am blind or the ship date was not in the review. Does anyone know? I "need" them for a budget build project I am wanting to start.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Another socket... AMD and their d*** sockets..

Guest said:

its nice, fine for a budget build or HTPC, but i just can't get excited over it. where the !@#$ is bulldozer AMD?

1977TA said:

Impressive IGP numbers, I can see these in a lot of HTPC's. I noticed there aren't any ITX mobo's available yet. Guess we'll just have to wait! Sandybridge owns though, I can't see anyone using a 2500k for a budget IGP solution. Hopefully bulldozer will be impressive.

Guest said:

@spydercanopus are you really talking about AMD and their sockets? this is AMD's first truly new socket since pretty much the am2 socket back in 2006, sockets am2+ AM3 and AM3+ have all been rehashes of that socket and the chips didnt lost backwards compatibility until the AM3+ socket, and even that is not 100 non backwards compatible. Intel on the other hand hosed nehalem buyers by forcing them to upgrade if they wanted sandy bridge, and hosed 775 buyers by releasing nehalem and its separate dedicated sockets.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

Thanks Steve and TS for the review.

I love seeing new CPU reviews because every new CPU seems to push the bar a little higher, after hanging around TS for about a year and a half, CPUs from 2009 or even 2010 seems old

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Nice review. For me, however, I want to see how Llano functions in the mobile market. I am going to need a new laptop and Intel's 3000 graphics is one of the reasons I've not purchased yet.

Bulldozer is what I am waiting for in a new PC build. I'll just keep waiting.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Route: I think the mobile performance will certainly going to be better than what Intel is offering.

Bulldozer is what I am waiting for in a new PC build. I'll just keep waiting.

Lets hope it will be worth the wait

Note: IMO it will not be as good a CPU as SNB is if it is it will be a huge achievement in itself, and IVB is heading down our way in couple of quarters as well.

Guest said:

very few people with an i7 sandy bridge are using intergrated graphics... and this new amd cpu processing power cant touch anything SB has... and who the hell plays games with an IGPU.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

very few people with an i7 sandy bridge are using intergrated graphics... and this new amd cpu processing power cant touch anything SB has... and who the hell plays games with an IGPU.

Believe it or not many people play games that don't need the latest and greatest dedicated card. Llano will do quite fine for a number of people.

Guest said:

It beats Dirt using IGP only however. Using a dedicated card is another story.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

This will change the mainstream gaming/multimedia laptop market entirely.

Guest said:

Can you please explain how you can achieve 31% better perf in Photoshop when you overclocked the chip by merely 25%? This is technically impossible, unless other factors than clock come into play... I'm a bit irritated that this didn't even strike you as odd in your review!...

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Can you please explain how you can achieve 31% better perf in Photoshop when you overclocked the chip by merely 25%? This is technically impossible, unless other factors than clock come into play... I'm a bit irritated that this didn't even strike you as odd in your review!...

It must be very easy to make you angry. It is not technically impossible because other factors than clock do come into play. We did not find this odd because the memory frequency was boosted by 50% and that will make a huge difference with this processor. The higher memory frequency can also be utilized better by the overclocked FSB, another factor that helps boost the performance beyond what might normally be expected.

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