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Llano GPU Performance vs. DDR3 Speed

Desktop Llano processors feature the same dual-channel memory controller as their mobile counterparts. Their memory support however is far more robust. You get a maximum of four DIMM slots on a desktop Llano motherboard (up from two SO-DIMM slots on a mobile Llano), and the chip officially supports memory speeds up to DDR3-1866 (1600 is the limit for mobile Llano). The added memory bandwidth is most useful in feeding the on-die Radeon GPU.

Across our seven titles we found that on average DDR3-1600 resulted in a 12.6% increase in performance over DDR3-1333 at 1024 x 768. Moving up to higher resolutions only increased the advantage by under 2%. Using DDR3-1866 showed around a 20% increase in performance over DDR3-1333.

Note that this is in stark contrast to Intel's Sandy Bridge, which based on our testing does not seem to gain a lot from faster memory:

Although we're just showing Crysis Warhead here as an example, we couldn't find any tangible evidence of performance scaling with faster memory speeds across any of the other titles we tested as well.

With memory pricing being as low as it is these days, it makes the most sense for someone building a Llano machine with intention of gaming to equip it with DDR3-1866 memory. A quick survey of Newegg shows the cheapest price for a 4GB DDR3-1333 or 1600 kit as $35 while 1866 will set you back $60.

CPU Performance GPU Performance
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  • zac05 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    was waitting for this reviw very badily......

    probabily amd llano desktop version is just a beafed up amd apu mobile version, it has a clear winnig point on its mobile platform ( added advantage of batterylife and graphics performance for relatively lower price than the intel counter part )

    but for desktop its a mixed review....i think the bulldozer family apu..which is the real desktop apu variant must come into picture, for a face to face comparison with the intel counter part ...phew we have to wait another 4-5 months for that i guess.

    a8-3850 would be good for casula gamers....else i3 will provide more performance and lower tdp for others
    Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    -Thank you for the nice review, but would you add image quality (IQ) comparison as well? From what I found around the internet, Intel HD 2000/3000 still lacking competitive/comparable quality of the rendered images. So, it would be better to show what's the actual IQ the user will see even when the frame rate (FPS) looks like it's playable.

    Thanks again.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Yes, that is coming up in a separate review. Give me a couple of hours. Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    -Wow, what a quick reply, thanks!

    -Hmm, Anand said you're covering HTPC scenarios, right? So would that mean video (output) quality only? Or that will include 3D games as well?

    Regards.
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Thanks. very much looking forward to that t, being gaming or video. Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Seconded, a comparison of image quality would be nice. I'd also like to see 1024x768 dropped from testing, who runs that resolution? Looking at a couple of other reviews, the tests were done@ 1680x1050 with good frame rates on Llano. If a game has to be dropped down to 1024 to play then why bother, it's going to look ugly anyway. Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    -In my place, budget/value systems often bundle with second-hand 15" or 17" CRT (sometimes LCD too) to reduce the sale price. So, I think 1024x768 (and 1280x1024) resolutions are still relevant. :)

    Regards.
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    The third world is a dreadful place indeed...
    17 inches *shivers*
    Reply
  • ppeterka - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Hey, you dissin' me? My home rig is 17", my work rig is 2x17", and not gonna change soon. I don't want to. I enjoy life even at sub-HD resolutions too... Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Just kiddin', my laptop is 17" too ... 17" of eye-killing 1920*1200 madness.

    No reason to change, except you can get LED pannels for like 130 euros now .. and damn it's good for the movies.
    Reply

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