Processor Graphics Performance

The Sandy Bridge Pentium lineup features the performance equivalent of Intel's HD Graphics 2000. AMD's A6-3650 on the other hand sports a 320 core GPU called the Radeon HD 6530D. How do the two stack up? What about compared to the A8-3850's Radeon HD 6550D? We're about to find out.

We'll start with the A6-3650 vs. the Pentium G850. I didn't include the slower Pentiums because there's simply no point to. The A6-3650's Radeon HD 6530D GPU is on average 2.33x the speed of the Pentium G850 across all of our tests and all resolutions. There's simply no competition and at these frame rates, even at 1024 x 768, I wouldn't consider the G850's graphics playable unless you go to older games or really make the game look terrible.

AMD A6 vs. AMD A8

What about the AMD A6 vs. A8? On average the A8's higher GPU clock and 80 extra GPU cores give it an 18 - 26% performance advantage over the A6's GPU depending on resolution. Both systems here use DDR3-1600 memory and despite memory bandwidth being constrained across the board, the A8's advantage increases with resolution.

CPU Performance & Power Consumption The Processor Graphics Gaming Charts


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  • Taft12 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    People who visit AT are the last holdouts of the desktop PC generation. Reply
  • philosofool - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Businesses and schools. Or, about half the market for computers. Reply
  • alent1234 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    last year i bought a $299 laptop as a gift for someone. it's more than enough for that person.

    i actually wanted to buy them an ipad but my wife said laptop
  • Yowen - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Yeah, for personal use that's fine, but I'd love to run it for the hours that I run my desktop at work and see how long it lasts. So there is still a very sizable market for desktops. Reply
  • averik - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I don't think so. We recently bought 24 G620 Pentiums to replace socket 478 Pentium 4s in 2 highschools.
    The CPU market for doing "basic staff" is quite large, and its impressive that G620 is almost as powerful as the Core 2 E8500 which had a release price of $266.
  • philosofool - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link


    This review is naturally targeted at the single user building his own system.

    If you're a public library or a high school or a medium sized office looking to upgrade 20 computers that are running 9am to 9pm daily, a 35W pentium destroys the competition. A 100W anything is a waste of money because the extra 1300W power consumption bites would cost you quite a lot of money in electricity. The power company charges a lot more when you're consuming a lot of power (like a business) than when you're consuming a little (like a home.)
  • yankeeDDL - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    Guys, please, let't be serious.
    You cannot possibly do considerations on power consumption by looking at a chart showing the power under load, do you?
    If you do, then you should have bought Atoms: at 9W they're for sure much better than any Athlon and G*.
    So why didn't you buy an Atom instead? Exactly, because it's slow.
    What good does it make to use less power, if it takes you longer to do the same thing?
    The G620, under load, consumes about 55% of the Athlon X3, but the Athlon takes 60% of the time that the G620 takes to do the same task (I'm looking at the x264 charts). So the difference between these two, under load, is anecdotal, at best.

    So, I'm sorry for your highschools, but you did not save them much money in electricity. Infact, considering how more expensive the MoBos for SB are, you probably ended up making them pay more.
  • averik - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Cost of Athlon X3 + cheap Asus mboard = Cost of G620 + cheap Asus H61 mboard (about 125 Euros).

    Athlon X3 is a great CPU and in fact I use one at work. But most of the time CPUs are idle. We dont do any x264 work. In fact, i believe the typical hardest daily job of a CPU is to startup windows, antivirus etc.

    In the low badget market you cannot go awfully wrong, so even Athlon X2 is a good choice, but AMDs line is aged. Pentium G*s on the other hand offer comperable performance at same price on a newer platform.
  • yankeeDDL - Friday, September 02, 2011 - link

    respectfully, I disagree.
    From Newegg: Biostar N68S = $40, Ath II X3 440 = $65
    Biostar H61ML = $50 G620 = $75
    Delta: $20 (out of $105, it's ~20%).
    Note: the MoBos are the cheapest I found. The one for AMD also has onboard Video, saving you a few extra bucks if you don't do gaming.

    If you are an extremely "light" user (email + web browsing), then neither the G620 or the Athlon X3 make much sense: Brazos (either the E-350 or the C-50) make a lot more sense, since their power consumption is abismal compared to the other two, and they pack plenty of speed for those tasks. Plus, the on-chip GPU accelerates web content nicely.

    If you add to the mix some casual gaming, Brazos can even handle it, but it won't compare with either the Athlon of the G620. If you trust Tom's hardware, you can see that they recommend the X3 easily, because of the 3rd core, which helps in several scenario, despite the lower efficiency over the 2 cores of the G620.

    I can imagine only some very, very specific scenarios (very limited budget, low PSU capacity, occasional gaming, lots of encryption) where the G620 has a slight edge over the X3, but that's far from average Joe budget PC.
    You're totally right about not going "awfully" wrong with the G620, nevertheless, you do pay the "Intel" brand price over a slightly less performing CPU.
    You're also right about AMD line being aged, but again, if you are looking at G620, you are looking into budget-oriented systems: not something you change every other day, so what is wrong wit being aged? In my view, you can find tons of good combo deals, and maybe even used parts, which could dramatically drop your costs.
    Also, Intel isn't exactly famous for keeping things compatible: it wouldn't be the 1st time that the socket gets quickly outdated (was it really necessary to have a socket 1156 and an 1155?), while AMD's socket gets you covered up to the Phenom II X4, for a dirt-cheap bump in performance.

    That's the way I see it at least. I would love to see the prices of the G620 going below $50: that would be a real deal (and I'm sure would push AMD's prices even lower). Till that happens, for budget, I buy AMD, which gives the best bangs for the bucks.
  • averik - Sunday, September 04, 2011 - link

    yankeeDDL, I agree with many of your points (especially changing sockets). Please note however that best prices or used items are not an option for some buyers.

    The scenario is extremely light use (email, web browsing, ms office, thin-client intranet applications, light educational applications), but the investment has to last for 5-10 years (we are replacing P4s - I know its a shame). I am not sure how heavily threaded the environment will be in then. If it is, then yes, Athlon X3 will perform a bit better. If not, then G620 having better single-thread performance will be better. Both will be old though.

    I also found the case of E350 very interesting - to replace bulkier equipment with ITX motherboards and small cases - so I built one for home and use it daily. My conclusion is something like Brazos will be a good mid-term investment for basic office use if (1) they get 50% better CPU power (graphics are ok) and (2) availability of PSUs for ITX cases gets better - I mean it should be as trivial to find a replacement as a regular PSU is. But sure, thats the way of things to come.

    As for G620 going below $50, I dont have high hopes. Maybe the cheapest Bulldozers (when they appear) will force Intel to do that - but why go for G620 then?

    I really liked reading your comments.

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