The Llano Desktop Preview: AMD A8-3850 CPU & GPU Performanceby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 14, 2011 12:00 AM EST
GPU Performance: Between a Radeon HD 6450 & 5570
I grabbed some of our most recent GPU testbed data for the Radeon HD 6450 and the Radeon HD 5570, the latter of which is architecturally most similar to the Sumo GPU in the A8-3850. If you're wondering how much sharing memory bandwidth between the GPU and four CPU cores impacts performance, it's pretty significant. The HD 6450 only has 160 cores compared to 400 on the 6550D, while the 5570 has 400 cores running at 750MHz.
Note that these scores are taken with DDR3-1333, however if we push the memory bus all the way to its limit on desktop (DDR3-1866) you end up with performance that's somewhere between a 6450 and a 5570. AMD's branding makes sense in this case (6550D).
Overall the Radeon HD 6550D in AMD's A8-3850 APU performs a lot like a discrete Radeon HD 6450 card. For a GPU that ships integrated with all high-end A8 APUs, I really can't complain. The real question is how does it stack up when compared directly to Sandy Bridge, which brings us to our next page...
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Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - linkThanks for your input :) I'll definitely get some of this in there.
StormyParis - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkThanks 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 - linkYou'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 - linkAccording to StatCounter, a quarter of world population still run at 1024x768 and two thirds (!) at 1280 or below.
DanNeely - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkFor 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 - linkComparing 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 - linkThanks for the post - I've updated the results with the new 2372 drivers :)
ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkLooks 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 - linkGreat 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 - linkWhile 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.