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

    Oh and to go further than that ... i3-2100 + CF6950 > i5+6970
    And yet here we are, buying i5-2500k's and saying its THE cpu to get .. lol
    Reply
  • smartarse - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Yeah, that's generally how things are done around here.

    Intel's CPU wins a benchmark by 5%? YOU MUST BUY THE INTEL CPU

    Intel's setup uses 10w less at the plug? Clearly, any respectable human being would think of the planet

    Core iX integrated graphics beat 890GX in 2 of 10 games? YOU MUST HAVE ONE NOW!!!!

    Now, flip that around:

    AMD ties Intel in a real world benchmark you actually use? You still want Intel for it's Sysmark score.

    AMD is more efficient? Who cares about efficiency?

    Llano integrated graphics win by 200%? Meh, we expected more, and graphics don't matter anyways.
    Reply
  • HW_mee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    I had to create an account after reading the review and comments.

    I have a two points that I hope people are open for a discussion about.

    First of all, I believe Anand has missed the point of desktop Llano processors. The target platform seems to be laptops, and it really fits in the laptop market, while the desktop Llano processors seem to get low priority from AMD.
    The desktop processors are useful as they provide a powerful platform at a low cost, which is an indication of the intended market for these parts.

    The target consumer for the desktop parts seems to be OEM's, as they can now get rid of dGPU parts in AMD equipped machines in the 500 - 700$ segment, as this segment often features a Radeon 5450, Nvidia GT 430 or similar low end dGPU.
    One less component to worry about is welcome news at any OEM.

    Looking at Llano as a part for a home build, which I think is what Anand is doing in this review, makes it seem odd. Home build are designed to be very good at one or several points, single threaded performance, gaming, low power etc. The only point where Llano excels is idle power use, which nobody seems to care about, and delivering balanced performance with excelling or being particular bad at anything.

    Second point I think should be discussed is peoples notion of what an average user needs in terms of computing power.

    You guys are very demanding users and seem to expect a lot from the average user.
    Going the list of people i know and their computers specification shows that none of them are even close to needing an i3-2100. the computers have a mix of single core Pentium M and ULV processors in the laptops and the desktops consist of a mix of old Athlons, post socket A, and first gen core processors.
    These people are not even close to really stressing their processor. The two most common complaints from the average users I know is the slow harddrive and crappy Intel IGP.

    I could write a lot more on this, including talk of SSD/dGPU being more useful than a powerful processor, but I think I have rambled enough.
    Reply
  • HW_mee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Anand needs an edit button, just to allow editing for one minute after posting.

    I wanted to edit this part:
    The only point where Llano excels is idle power use, which nobody seems to care about, and delivering balanced performance with excelling or being particular bad at anything.

    to say:
    The only point where Llano excels is idle power use, which nobody seems to care about, and delivering balanced performance without excelling or being particular bad at anything.

    changing with to without makes a big difference :-/
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    And for that ... we have the successor to e-350, the only APU that actually hits the spot. it's what everyone needs as HTPC, PC, laptop, work pc, ... all you like.

    And it's prolly as powerful as an Xbox360 anyway ;)
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    As work PC? Glad you're not ruling my IT department!

    MrS
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    "You guys are very demanding users and seem to expect a lot from the average user.
    Going the list of people i know and their computers specification shows that none of them are even close to needing an i3-2100. the computers have a mix of single core Pentium M and ULV processors in the laptops and the desktops consist of a mix of old Athlons, post socket A, and first gen core processors."

    Ok grandpa, you sound like my 60y/o supervisor.

    "in my day, a horse could get you everywhere you need to go"

    Try running WIndows 7 and Office 2010 on a Pentium M. Not gonna be pretty. Try jumping on a web site with some Java or Flash.

    YOUR point is that, "I never really use my PC except to look at pictures or lightly browse the interent". Well, why are you looking at a new PC for this if your Pentium M can handle it.

    The point of ALL these articles is to decide what is the best available tech on the market right now. No one cares that you still use woefully underpowered machines to run windows 2000 and office 95..
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    You sir . are unnecessarily offensive.

    If MS managed to make Office 2010 heavy enough to be an issue on anything above a p3, it's quite just another episode of "hey we can't code shit, but let's do it anyway, add some duct tape, paint it and sell it".

    The point of the articles is to decide what is the MOST APPROPRIATE tech on the market for a USER's specific NEEDS.

    In that, you sir, fail.

    Most people only use facebook,youtube,gmail (or any webmail,really),some music player, some divx player (yes not everyone watches full HD x264 like me), and a few flash games or stuff.

    Would you seriously state that an i3-2100 is REQUIRED for those tasks ?
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/71?vs=289

    And that Celeron is actually faster than an equivalent Pentium M.

    Are you just stuck in a box? Software today cannot run on 5 year old hardware. Let alone 8y/o.

    =

    MOST people multi-task. You must be of the variety that sits at the computer screen and receives and email notification and thinks, "whoo that is cool, email.. who knew!"

    ==

    OWNED
    Reply
  • HW_mee - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Great, lets try using that Celeron as a comparison point, I guess it is 4 times slower than an i3-2100, heck it is the cheapest Intel processor you could but 3 years ago, but even that is enough for a game of L4D, Fallout 3 or Oblivion.

    If you go cheap today and buy a dual core 2.X GHz, what task will you not be able to complete "fast enough" as an average user? You mention Encoding sound/video, but the average user just downloads that song/movie straight from the Internet.
    Reply

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