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


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  • starfalcon - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Well there's a few ways to look at it.
    I've played tons of games at 1024x600 resolution, they can still look pretty good.
    Console games run around that resolution sometimes too, so apparently millions of people are fine with it. It's still way above a DVD resolution.
    It's not much of a change to 1366x768 either.
    IGPs are pretty limited on bandwidth so go get discrete to play at 1920x1200 obviously.
    Just my 2 cents.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I dont see why you toss consoles or DVD in the mix here. We're not talking huge but low dpi TV screens where resolutions like this are quite normal but screens that are used for computers. A screen with that resolution would be tiny, compared the standard these days - and nobody would accept that unless its a crapbook. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Keep in mind that these are entry level GPUs here, anything above 1280 x 1024 isn't really going to do too well. Llano at least lets us have a conversation at 1280 x 1024 but for the most part integrated solutions are going to keep you to these types of resolutions. I tried to provide both a reference point to older IGP results (1024 x 768) as well as some perspective for discrete cards (page 3 at 1280 x 1024). As you can see by some of the numbers on page 3, at 1280 x 1024 in many benchmarks we're pretty close to 30 fps already.

    That being said, this is just a preview. If you'd like I'll provide some resolution scaling data in the full review :)

    Take care,
  • Jamahl - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I disagree. There are plenty of cases where the AMD chip is in the 100's. Nobody expects them to run Metro 2033 on high so don't bother using that as an excuse.

    1680 minimum, and medium settings - we'll see who holds on to the fps and who collapses. And for god sake put some decent RAM in the AMD system.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    QFT Reply
  • whoaaaaaaaa - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I have to concur with everyone else, Anand.

    There were a couple of tests where this setup had 80-100 fps.

    I think particular attention ought to be paid to the most popular games in your list, and that's probably Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 + Black Ops and WoW.

    Given that the Llano is a budget desktop chip, who is going to buy one? The semi casual gamer who is probably interested in the Call of Duty franchise or World of Warcraft.

    And in both of those games this APU gets 100+ fps.

    Most screens these days are widescreen, 1366 x 768, 1280 x 720, 1680 x 1050, and 1920 x 1080. I think these are the resolutions to focus on.

    But I really appreciate the review having just discovered this web site last week it's really nice. Keep up the great work!
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    My apologies - I was referencing the data on page 3 which purposefully looks at higher resolution/quality settings. There you're not looking at 100 fps in most situations but more down to earth frame rates.

    I've already begun work on high resolution testing and varying memory bandwidth, our story at the end of the month will focus much more attention on these questions as a result of your feedback :)

    Take care,
  • veri745 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    This would be a perfect scenario for the list older games that you guys were putting together a few months ago.

    Show us some 2005-2008 action at decent resolutions (1366x/1680x)
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Have any specific requests you'd like to see?

    Take care,
  • veri745 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    A couple suggestions

    Empire: TW
    Titan Quest
    Stalker SOC

    In no particular order

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