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Power Consumption

Both the A8-3850 and Intel's Core i3-2105 are built on a 32nm process and both feature extensive power and clock gating. By virtue of having lower power cores the A8 manages to beat the Core i3 in idle power consumption. Under CPU load however the A8-3850 does consume more power as it simply has more cores that can be loaded up. We also see higher power consumption in 3D gaming, but we do get much higher performance and as a result much better performance per watt.

Power Consumption Comparison
  AMD A8-3850 Intel Core i3-2105
Idle 43.6W 51.7W
GPU Accelerated Video Transcoding 126W 85W
3D Gaming (Metro 2033) 126W 101W
CPU Load (x264 Encode) 123W 87.6W

Final Words

If you're building an entry level gaming PC and have to rely solely on integrated graphics, it's clear that Llano is the only solution on the market today. You easily get 2x the frame rates of Intel's Core i3-2105 and can use that extra headroom to increase resolution, quality or sometimes both. The performance advantage is just one aspect of what Llano offers in this department. You do also get better overall game compatibility, DX11 and GPU compute support although the latter is still missing that killer app.

AMD's dual-graphics (asymmetric CrossFire) is an interesting solution to the argument that you could just buy a cheaper AMD CPU and a low end discrete GPU and get better performance. For example, you could get better performance if you bought a Radeon HD 6570 and an Athlon II X4 640 for $175 vs. a A8-3850 for $135. With dual-graphics in play you could add a discrete GPU to the A8-3850 and have better overall performance (in theory) than the discrete card by itself. In practice, limiting dual-graphics to only DX10/11 titles does hurt some of its potential. In my opinion the better solution here would be more aggressive pricing on the Llano APUs. The Athlon II X4 + Radeon HD 6570 is a better buy (unless you want the power savings of the A8), the only way to truly combat that is for the A8-3850 to drop in price.

If gaming isn't something you're going to be doing then you're better off with Sandy Bridge. And at that point there's no need to spring for the Core i3-2105, the standard 2100 will do just fine.

Compute & Video Transcoding 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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