CPU Performance: Pretty Much an Athlon II X4

As we found in our look at mobile Llano, the A8 isn't impressive as a general purpose x86 microprocessor. In general the chip is somewhat faster than the Athlon II X4 635 and I'd say it performs more like a 645 based on the numbers I've seen here. Again, nothing to be impressed by but if you're building a value gaming PC it may not matter.

Note that heavily-threaded applications actually favor the A8-3850 to the Core i3 2100 (its most likely target based on pricing rumors) thanks to its four cores. They may not be as efficient as the i3's cores, but you sure do have more of them. We have been discussing this tradeoff with AMD for quite a bit over the past couple of years. You lose out on single-threaded performance but you do gain better performance in heavily-threaded workloads. I had assumed that Turbo Core would partially solve this with Llano but 2.9GHz is going to be the fastest SKU AMD offers and it doesn't ship with any turbo enabled.

SYSMark 2007 - Overall

Adobe Photoshop CS4 - Retouch Artists Speed Test

Cinebench R10 - Single Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R10 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - 1st pass - v3.03

x264 HD Benchmark - 2nd pass - v3.03

7-zip Benchmark

Dragon Age Origins - 1680 x 1050 - Max Settings (no AA/Vsync)

World of Warcraft

Starcraft 2

Introduction GPU Performance: Between a Radeon HD 6450 & 5570
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  • maroon1 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I hope that anandtech use similar DDR3 speed for both intel and AMD setup Reply
  • killerclick - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    It's good enough for the era of PS3 and XBOX360 console ports but AMD is way behind Intel and that gap is growing day by day. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Llano isn't meant to compete with the high-end Sandy Bridge, it's a low-end/mid-range chip, wait for Zambezi to see AMD's answer to the Core i7. Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    what charrts have you been looking at? did you check any gaming performance or multithreaded apps?? Reply
  • milli - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Yes bc we all run 7Zip 24/7 ... right?
    I'd rather have an i3 2100 + HD6450 if the leaked price of $170 is anything to go by. The i3 combo will be much more responsive.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    first of all there are no leaked prices since they refer to SKU that never exist.

    Secondly the A8-3850 has more then CPU power enough, if you want a more responsive system invest in better HD RPM or SSD, general apps perf difference with just a few MHZ and Intel arch is whishfull thinking.

    third: Intel boards have always been more expensive, the FM1 boards have better specs thx to USB3 and you have additional cost of the GPU and powerconsumption. You from a fanboy perspective might think that way (i would never select a 6450 low budget in the first place for a GPU board but anyhow) but OEM think different and focus on general consumers.
    Reply
  • milli - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Well you're talking to a SI here with 14 business experience, so i'm no fanboy.

    My info comes from here:
    http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2011/2011061301_E2-_...
    All the SKU's mentioned there do exist.

    50% performance advantage on a single thread is nothing to scoff at. That's something you will feel no matter your IO. Since we're talking sub-$500 systems, i don't understand you bringing up Raptors or SSD's.

    Actually Intel H61 MB's (with USB3) are very very cheap. Something like the MSI H61MU-E35 costs $80. If you think FM1 boards are going to be a lot cheaper, then you are wrong.
    I hope you know that an A8-3850 has a TDP of 100W. Power consumption? i3+HD6450=92W.
    Reply
  • chiadog - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    170 for the chip is outrageous, given the underwhelming performance in CPU and GPU. If they can drop the price to ~200-220 with the mobo, I'd pick one up for HTPC. The chip seems much more "exciting" on the mobile side, even then it is more of a snooze. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    "50% performance advantage on a single thread is nothing to scoff at. That's something you will feel no matter your IO."

    Really? What are you doing with your computer which actually relies so heavily on its single-threaded performance? Even if you can name something, try to name something which is the sort of application this solution is aimed at. My nearly six years old Athlon 64 X2 4400+ is much slower runing single-threaded stuff than this new chip, but can run all the typical apps fine and only really struggles when I task it with HD video work, work which really could benefit from more than two cores (which the A8-3850 has). In that respect, more cores is what I need, and it provides that.

    Having said that, Ivy Bridge is probably what I'll buy as I build a new box rarely, but when built, is something I expect to last (just like this one). AMDs high-end offering due later this year should be interesting and provide just the push needed to both companies, to make 2012 the ideal year to build a new box (with either an Intel or AMD CPU depending on which I consider best) which will see another few years through.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    Are you serious? Single threaded performance defines the CPU experience for probably 95+% of the apps most people use. I'm talking poorly GPU accelerated flash, firefox, the entire Windows GUI , and most of Microsoft Office for that matter. Try updating a bunch of cells in a complicated excel spreadsheet with a quad core CPU and watch in pain as your spreadsheet (and now every other excel spreadsheet too) freezes up while your CPU chugs along at 25% to update your cells. While complex calculations are multithreaded, it's easy to push excel into single threaded mode with a bunch of dependencies.

    Oh, and once you do have a SSD, watch your CPU usage as you install a bunch of Windows Updates... yep, that's single threaded too for the most part. Apart from high end multi-threaded applications that only a small percentage of users even use, the biggest benefit to a dual core CPU, for example, is making faster threads rather than increasing the number of cores.
    Reply

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