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


View All Comments

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Thanks for your input :) I'll definitely get some of this in there.

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

    Thanks for your answers Anand. I indeed keep trying to play at non-native resolutions, but for a PC (very close to the screen; as opposed to a console), things get very ugly very quickly.

    I was kinda hoping Llano would be able to play WoW, in a raid 25, lowest settings, on my 1680 screen if not on my 1920... that doesn't seem to be the case ?

    Thanks for you very interesting website, and best regards,

  • Veerappan - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    You're making me feel sad here... my primary desktop at home still uses a 19" 1280x1024 Dell 1905FP. My work desktop was also a 1280x1024 19" until that machine was replaced about 2 months ago.

    My laptops both run 1280x800 as well, which is even less resolution than my desktops.
  • Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    According to StatCounter, a quarter of world population still run at 1024x768 and two thirds (!) at 1280 or below.

  • DanNeely - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    For gaming purposes steam's hardware survey is a better dataset. It has about 26% at 1280x1024 or less, and 17% at 720Pish resolutions (1366x768 and 1400x900) . It's still a large share, but is much smaller than the overall web average.

  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Comparing the Sandy Bridge scores on page 4 with your original Sandy Bridge review it looks like you are reposting your original scores for Sandy Bridge with launch drivers.


    Normally, I don't get too picky about Intel graphics driver updates since they tend to be bug fix focused rather than performance, but the most recent Intel driver update looks to have a new description format and specifically calls out double digit percentage performance increases in a number of games. With it looking like Intel is finally getting gaming serious with their IGPs and now their drivers too, it's disappointing that you didn't use the latest drivers to compare to Llano. Especially when you conclude that the A8-3850's IGP is 56% faster than the fastest Sandy Bridge IGP, if Intel's double digit percentage performance claims are actually realizable, that has a material impact on how significant the IGP difference between Llano and Sandy Bridge is.

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the post - I've updated the results with the new 2372 drivers :)

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

    Looks like a measurable improvement overall for Sandy Bridge with the newer drivers, but only a significant performance increase in Starcraft II and Black Ops.

    Thanks for the prompt response.
  • iwod - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Great Itcommanderdata actually points this out here. Which i just did in the other Mobile Review comment.

    We are comparing ATI Mature drivers to Intel Drivers that can still extract double digit percentage gain in performance.
  • Exodite - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    While it's not surprising to find out that the GPU end of Llano is memory-starved it's no less disappointing. I had expected performance closer to that of a 400 SP-equipped discrete card.

    With the current performance levels it's still impossible for the chip to allow for even reasonable gaming power, being within spitting distance of other IGPs.

    Unless we'll see solutions that add dedicated GPU memory to Llano motherboards I'd still rather buy the i3 2100 as it offers better performance for the majority of the applications relevant in that segment of the market.

    Let's face it... people who buy low-end/midrange chips, AIOs and entry-level graphics aren't going to be doing any amount of work that benefits significantly from multi-threading power or GPU grunt.

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