Power Consumption

Both the A8-3850 and Intel's Core i3-2105 are built on a 32nm process and both feature extensive power and clock gating. By virtue of having lower power cores the A8 manages to beat the Core i3 in idle power consumption. Under CPU load however the A8-3850 does consume more power as it simply has more cores that can be loaded up. We also see higher power consumption in 3D gaming, but we do get much higher performance and as a result much better performance per watt.

Power Consumption Comparison
  AMD A8-3850 Intel Core i3-2105
Idle 43.6W 51.7W
GPU Accelerated Video Transcoding 126W 85W
3D Gaming (Metro 2033) 126W 101W
CPU Load (x264 Encode) 123W 87.6W

Final Words

If you're building an entry level gaming PC and have to rely solely on integrated graphics, it's clear that Llano is the only solution on the market today. You easily get 2x the frame rates of Intel's Core i3-2105 and can use that extra headroom to increase resolution, quality or sometimes both. The performance advantage is just one aspect of what Llano offers in this department. You do also get better overall game compatibility, DX11 and GPU compute support although the latter is still missing that killer app.

AMD's dual-graphics (asymmetric CrossFire) is an interesting solution to the argument that you could just buy a cheaper AMD CPU and a low end discrete GPU and get better performance. For example, you could get better performance if you bought a Radeon HD 6570 and an Athlon II X4 640 for $175 vs. a A8-3850 for $135. With dual-graphics in play you could add a discrete GPU to the A8-3850 and have better overall performance (in theory) than the discrete card by itself. In practice, limiting dual-graphics to only DX10/11 titles does hurt some of its potential. In my opinion the better solution here would be more aggressive pricing on the Llano APUs. The Athlon II X4 + Radeon HD 6570 is a better buy (unless you want the power savings of the A8), the only way to truly combat that is for the A8-3850 to drop in price.

If gaming isn't something you're going to be doing then you're better off with Sandy Bridge. And at that point there's no need to spring for the Core i3-2105, the standard 2100 will do just fine.

Compute & Video Transcoding Performance
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  • AnandThenMan - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    What happened to them, I thought it was stated that they will be up "in a few hours". And what about some DX11 tests, seeing Llano is capable, why not run a few DX11 games to see what it can do? Reply
  • crocin - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Would be interesting to see how this A8-3850(150$?) will fair vs an intel pentium G840 + amd 5670(85$+70$=155$). Simply because these are the 2 options one would have when picking up a system with same money yeah?

    Also, wont this system would make so much more sense, if mobo makers came out with a 20$ motherboard w\o pci-e, hell no old school pci slots either. One 4gb ram slot of speeds upto 1866. Hmmm, that will bring AMD into the win for ultra cheap desktops. Or I am just crazy maybe. :p ANyway, always best part about AT is the technical part and the colorful graphs yey,
    Reply
  • triclops41 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Slap this in a windows version of a Mac Mini and you have the coolest HTPC/portable 720p gaming system around. Almost as good as a PS3 or 360, tiny, quiet and versatile. Reply
  • JoJoman88 - Friday, July 01, 2011 - link

    To me this just will not due for desktop at all. I can see the positives for notebooks and all but unless there is a greater range to crossfire with this is no use to me. Isn't that the problem with PS3 and 360, you are stuck with the video that the unit comes with at the time of purchase. Yes you could just pop in a better Fusion chip later and keep the rest of the system the same,that is better that what you can do with a PS 3 or 360. I have at least 5 AMD video cards that will smoke this thing.

    I know AMD will improve the Fusion line in the future. but they will never come even with the latest separate CPU and video card. Is Open CL really going to be that big of a deal that you will need the feature. I can't see this APU doing Open CL and gaming at the same time. Would, or do games use Open CL/Direct Compute at the the same time as Direct X. Would they not be using the same GPU at the same time and choke the system down.What about multitasking, you couldn't run a Open CL/Direct Compute at the same times as you were playing a DX game at the same time without killing the GPU Right ?!?

    I just don't see what good except as others have said that this desktop stuff is aimed for OEM's to save money and raise the preformance of their lower end computers. I am open to that i'm totally wrong about how this works.
    Reply
  • bhima - Saturday, July 02, 2011 - link

    The Llano APU in a desktop just makes absolutely no sense as a budget gaming system unless you really only want the APU's graphics. Otherwise, if you are planning to actually buy a cheap discrete GPU you'll already surpass Llano's on-board offering with like a $50 board AND you won't be severely bottlenecked by their piss-poor performing CPU. The mobile Llano's make sense, but the desktop ones are just too damn gimped compared to the i3... the lowest performing Intel processor.

    /yawn wake me up when Bulldozer gets here.
    Reply
  • Aone - Sunday, July 03, 2011 - link

    When you did the price calculation of Llano vs. Athlon you forgot to include MB price.
    Llano MB prices are >100$ today.
    And IMO, Phenom X2+d.GPU is much better option for gaming PC than Athlon X4.
    Reply
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  • Idanisi - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    would crossfire work with a nvidia video card? Reply

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