Processor Graphics Performance

The Sandy Bridge Pentium lineup features the performance equivalent of Intel's HD Graphics 2000. AMD's A6-3650 on the other hand sports a 320 core GPU called the Radeon HD 6530D. How do the two stack up? What about compared to the A8-3850's Radeon HD 6550D? We're about to find out.

We'll start with the A6-3650 vs. the Pentium G850. I didn't include the slower Pentiums because there's simply no point to. The A6-3650's Radeon HD 6530D GPU is on average 2.33x the speed of the Pentium G850 across all of our tests and all resolutions. There's simply no competition and at these frame rates, even at 1024 x 768, I wouldn't consider the G850's graphics playable unless you go to older games or really make the game look terrible.

AMD A6 vs. AMD A8

What about the AMD A6 vs. A8? On average the A8's higher GPU clock and 80 extra GPU cores give it an 18 - 26% performance advantage over the A6's GPU depending on resolution. Both systems here use DDR3-1600 memory and despite memory bandwidth being constrained across the board, the A8's advantage increases with resolution.

CPU Performance & Power Consumption The Processor Graphics Gaming Charts
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  • loeakaodas - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Why intel, why? Do you still ram these chips down our throats, they're so short of features that would be great for a cheap HTPC, but aren't all that attractive if you want to do anything but basic stuff with your machine. Reply
  • Blaze-Senpai - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    And this is aimed at those people that only want to do basic stuff with their machine. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It still makes no sense: a Pentium 850 costs $98 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... an A6-3650 costs $119 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    For $20 you get a real graphic cards which acelerated web browsing and video decoding, so it is actually very useful even for very basic systems.

    I see no value, whatsoever, for entry-level Sandy Bridge, as they have a higher price/performance ratio than most AMD stuff.

    Incidentally, while SB is undoubtedly the finest piece of CPU technology today, at these prices it makes sense only starting from the Core i5-2400, which, basically, outperforms nearly every AMD CPU.
    Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    A G620 plus a discrete low mid range ($70-80) GPU will give you a much better entry level gaming PC than an A6-3650, for not a lot more money. (For about the same price as an A8-3850, which will still be slower for gaming than the G620 system). Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I am not convinced, but you might be right about the gaming rigs. I would argue that a cheap discrete graphic card would CrossFire nicely with tha A6, but that's not the point anyway.

    I was talking, however, about entry-level systems.
    There`s a "Best CPU for the money" update on Tom's hardware today: you can see that the G620 is not even in the picture, in favor of the Athlon II X3 and the G850.
    If I was to play games rarely, I would much rather have an efficient but relatively powerful APU, than having to use an external graphic card: this way I wouldn't have to pay the electricity bill to have my GPU run a screensaver.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Perhaps, but an Athlon II X3 450 plus the same $70-80 GPU would make for an even better entry level gaming PC at the same price. Reply
  • lowlymarine - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Not really. Many games still struggle to hit even two cores efficiently; few if any would benefit significantly from the third. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    For example see Grand Theft Auto IV PC edition. This game is unplayable on a Dual Core pc without a massive overclock, but runs fine on a slow tri or quad core. This was due to Xbox 360 having a tri-core processor (The 360 cpu is also a PowerPC design not x86 but that doesn't really matter.) Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    great article Anand! Reply
  • owned66 - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    most games after 2011
    play very well with multicore systems
    my qx6700 was maxed out at 100% playing bf3

    playing with a 2600 sandy maxes out at 85% equally on all cores and gpu maxed at 100% gpu load

    increasing gpu clocks would increase cpu load which is a good sign of fine tuning
    Reply

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