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
POST A COMMENT

99 Comments

View All Comments

  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Don't ask too much of a first rushed-in prototype ;)

    Let's see what it does with a decent memory system, dozer modules and a few other updates, I think we might play Metro 2033 on those ;)
    Reply
  • zondas30 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Hello everyone, i just registered but this site is realy ny favorite for review and i am browsing it alot.
    now on the subject, what i realy think is that these apu's might not be very dominating in theyr performance but they are realy good for gaming and that asymmetric CrossFire thingy is realy one hell of a thing, for people like me that dont have alot of $ to spend on new pc and loves gaming it should be wery good selection, only thing that interests me is that if i could do that asymmetric CrossFire with my old ati radeon hd 3870, i still love it and it is still powerfull for me on 1440x900 resolution. so as i was saying, it might not be dominating in its porformance with programs but it is fantastic thing for gaming.
    Reply
  • ET - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    I'm interested in how desktop Llano compares in performance to laptop Llano, but found it impossible to compare. The difference in resolutions is excusable (though as has been commented, the resolutions in this article are very old and should be replaced), but then you have different sets of games, and when there's an overlap they are ordered differently, and are run with different options, be it DX9 vs. DX10 or low vs. medium, ... It's a real pain. Reply
  • Arnulf - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    First, thanks for your review, I have been eagerly looking forward to it for months now !

    A thought has occured to me when I got to Conclusion section of your article: how does A8-3850 + Asymmetric Crossfire fare compared to similarly priced Athlon/Phenom II + single discrete GPU - whatever RAM APU uses up ?

    Say A8-3850 = $135, HD6670 (the strongest card for Asymmetric Crossfire) = $84 on Newegg, how do these compare to identically priced Phenom II 955BE (= $115) + HD6750 (= $105), assuming one can get FM1 at the same price as AM3 with identical features ? In other words: is Asymmetric Crossfire worth the hassle of upgrading your platform, assuming ideal circumstances (they are going to fix DX9 at some point, I'm sure) ?
    Reply
  • Seikent - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    As you can see in the review, at least for now, the asymmetric crossfire doesn't scale pretty well. That's the cost of being asymmetric. And it doesn't work on DX9.

    So you should be way much better with the 955 + hd6750 combo on the cpu and gpu side.

    In general, Llano doesn't make much sense with a discrete video card because you're already paying for 'integrated' graphics.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    What's wrong with the scores for the A8 at 1024x768? Reply
  • duploxxx - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Great review, solid baseline for initial review, something we can always expect from Anand. Few of your review members dough miss quite a bit training to get to a certain level..... you are to kind to them when you review it before posting :)

    Hope to see a decent review on OC and potential of this chip also combined OC + CF

    one remark, since when does a general users need cpu horse power like SNB 2100, they don't, they would be more then fine with Pentium alike SNB and for the record while benchmarks might show quite a bit of performance difference in single threaded benchmarking apps, common use for browsing, office etc it has 0 added value with this kind of CPU performance.... in atom alike platforms it is more then noticable. Put any unknown user behind either platform compared here for general tasks and they will be fine with both, once you startup any game worth mentioning (even SIMS) they will notice the difference what to choose.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Saturday, July 02, 2011 - link

    But in "common use for browsing, office, etc" then quad core multithreaded performance is almost completely useless. I don't know why people keep bringing up common use office applications as a win for Llano. Reply
  • cacca - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Please do it.
    Put a big NO on direct x10/11 for Intel and let us know the real performance of llano.

    Is starting to be a joke this website

    "... if gaming is going to be the most intensive thing you do on your notebook... "

    I' would like to know if you think that game are NOT the most stressing application for a desktop used by general public, leaving outside workstation for rendering and video encoding.

    In thi review you never put under stress the 2 different solutions, so we could not see the real shorcomings of the 2 platforms.

    no AA is a joke.
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    This.
    +1
    rep.

    Whatever floats your boat, but AT needs to make sponsor money too you know, it's not like they could say "i3-2100 is useless don't buy it".

    Besides, the only way to compare two cpu's for gaming today is the following : which one enables the fastest GPU operation and general game score for a given budget (i.e. core i3-2100 + hd 6950 > core i5 + hd6750).

    As you mentioned, video encoding and rendering should NOT be a relevant part of a review, most people don't do it at all (yes, I download x264, but there's like 15 different people tops encoding these and it serves millions of users).

    And rendering... why not complex HPC-type stuff ? Database benchmarks (even that is MORE relevant than rendering) ? SuperPI ... now that's relevant for a user :) - at least if he participates in LN2 OC Competitions, like everyone and their dog.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now