Llano vs. Sandy Bridge: Finally, Acceptable Processor Graphics

On average the A8-3850 is 58% faster than the Core i5 2500K. If we look at peak performance in games like Modern Warfare 2, Llano delivers over twice the frame rate of Sandy Bridge. This is what processor graphics should look like. While I believe Sandy Bridge was a good start for integrated GPU performance, Llano is my ideal for 2011. Update: We've added results from the latest 2372 driver for the 2500K. Most performance results remain unchanged however a few problematic areas for Sandy Bridge have been addressed as a result. Llano still maintains a significant performance in the majority of cases.

Games that are more CPU bound however do show Llano's weakness. Both Dragon Age and Starcraft II have Sandy Bridge either outperforming or coming very close to Llano in frame rates. Those are most definitely the exception rather than the rule however; for the most part AMD is able to deliver entry-level discrete GPU performance with Llano.

Dragon Age: Origins

Dawn of War II

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

BioShock 2

World of Warcraft


Starcraft II - AT GPU Test

Starcraft II - AT CPU Test

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Mafia II

Civilization V - DX9

Metro 2033

DiRT 2

GPU Performance: Between a Radeon HD 6450 & 5570 Final Words


View All Comments

  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Look at all the graphs on page 4. Then try and guess how much thought was put into deciding which graph should be at the top of the page. Reply
  • basket687 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    You declared that the GPU performance of Llano is on par with the HD 6450, but all discrete graphics cards were tested with an i5 2500k which is vastly superior to Llano in CPU performance and that is an important consideration (especially that games can be pretty CPU limited at the low resolutions you used), so I think that you should test discrete cards with a CPU more comparable to Llano in order to reach a more accurate conclusion. Reply
  • norwayishot - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Good point - I would think its around a 10 fps difference if not more... Reply
  • Seikent - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    yep, the i5 2500k costs way more too. Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Dick-waving is far more important than grammar or missing a few words! Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I was exaggerating a bit. 21.5", 1680 LCD are $120; 26 inchers are around $300.
    Hey, you just made me realize my monitors are actually more expensive than the PC connected to them (E-350, 4GB, 650GB) ! I always overspent on screen s and keyboards, and underspent on PCs... Must be a quirk, sorry to have overgeneralized.

    The iPhone 4 is 960x640, which is indeed not as much, but not that far from 1024x768.
  • seapeople - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    It doesn't matter how cheap xxxx resolution monitors are when the user is just going to set the LCD to 1024x768 anyway so everything "looks bigger".

    When your vision isn't that great, it's a choice between big and fuzzy and small and fuzzy, and I've seen many people choose the big and fuzzy option.

    You think they'd just get better glasses or something...
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    Windows 7 has decent font / icon scaling. It allowed me to move my parents' ancient 21" IBM CRT from 1024x768 to something much higher, while preserving icon and text size. It looks much nicer.

    I had gotten that CRT specifically to be able to use a low resolution / bigger text/icon size without the ugly jaggies of a down-scaled LCD. Now, if it ever finally dies, I now I'll be able to replace it with an LCD. The thing is around 10yrs old, and just won't quit.
  • harshw - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Hope Ganesh gets to do his usual, thorough analysis of the integrated GPU especially w.r.t HTPC applications. I have an aging E5200 on a G45 board that I'm itching to replace. But had to hold off on Brazos, I think the E-350 and its GPU is a tad underpowered. Let's see what the 6550 is capable of ... Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Yet another disappointment from AMD. I see a place for this chip in the notebook market where power saving, space, and lack of upgradability dominate. If the price is right you could have a low to mid price laptop with decent CPU and GPU performance.

    However, to me the desktop part is a total disaster. The highest clocked chip cant even make 3ghz and there is not turbo mode. The only reason this chip can be a success is if they can sell it for the same price as the Athlon II X4 chips. Then you would get the same CPU performance with better graphics.

    Otherwise, just buy an X4 640 and put in a discrete card.

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