The usefulness of desktop Llano will depend on pricing relative to Intel's Core i3 series. We have a system here which excels in iGPU capability compared to Intel, but lacks serious CPU horsepower: it's more like a two legged horse—no matter which legs have been taken away, it's still going to move awkwardly.

Desktop Llano is going to have more success in mini-ITX format, if the iGPU can hold its weight in the standard video playback tests. In ATX or micro-ATX, people are going to be using their own discrete graphics solutions for the most part, and unless you're using a midrange 6xxx Northern Islands GPU to take advantage of the hybrid CrossFireX, you're always going to be lagging behind on CPU performance. So I look forward to examining any mini-ITX that are coming my way.

In terms of ASRock and the A75 Extreme6—it's rough, it needs a polish, but we didn't expect more than that. The DVI/USB issue on the back panel is frustrating, and the BIOS needs a distinct overhaul. But the placement of the numerous fan headers and abundance of SATA 6 Gbps and USB 3.0 are always welcome. There's a lot of PCI slots which makes me think that not a lot of imagination has gone into this, even if the chipset specifications say that up to 3 is possible—it reeks of 'it's in the specs, let's add it'.

There's room for improvement too—ASRock have started placing a new design of ferrite choke on their top models (similar to MSI's SFC), so it should slowly filter down. I was told that it doesn't cost much compared to the older design, and is far more efficient for heat and power delivery, so I'm surprised it's not on the Extreme6 model already.

Look out for a full review in the coming weeks.

Results and Numbers
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  • marc1000 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    this is exactly what NEEDED to be done! now we will sum money & performance from APU + GPU, I guess this could be a very interesting thing for the consumer, if it shows proper scaling!
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Hopefully it works better than on the notebook I tested!
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    well, I was just reading these articles, but after your results, I believe "hope" is the best word to use on the launch of anything amd-branded this year. it was AMD/Ati fierce competition that led the market to the performance race we all love (with the unsuspected launch of Athlon64 and R300 on the perfect time-frame, some years ago).

    anyway, I hope AMD can deliver as much as possible (with Llano and Bulldozer), because this market needs competition.
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I wonder whats up with those USB3 times there Jarred. Nearly a minute to copy only 1.52GB worth of data ? Granted, it is a mix of large, and small files, but I think the ExpressCard USB3 adapter, and external USB3 enclosure I have here does better than that. That, and the setup I have I view as slow. At the very least, I am unhappy with it.

    Seems to me though, that with USB3, and GbE performing the way they do. That something else is afoot, and perhaps this is the best we're going to see for a while. Whats up with that ?
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Well actually I shouldn't say I am completely unhappy with USB3. It is faster for single large files. Say in the size of around 700MB to around 1.2 GB in size. 10-15 second copies isn't too terrible. Also, I needed an external enclosure to put my desktop SATA drives into while not using my desktop. Pretty much a no brainer considering the enclosure cost was not more than the cost of a decent USB2 enclosure. Then, $24 for an ExpressCard adapter was no huge deal.

    Still, while I did not expect 10x speed like advertisers are spouting everywhere. I did expect more.

    So, what exactly is the bottleneck ?
  • peterfares - Friday, June 17, 2011 - link

    The hard drives are the bottleneck, not USB3.
  • knedle - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Actually I had an AM3 motherboard that used hybrid crossfire, but it didn't work as you expect it to work (and lets be honest, I was also disappointed).
    In my case I was hoping that I can crossfire my onboard GPU, with GPU I have in PCIE card, but in reality it just allowed me to switch dynamically from onboard GPU, to expansion card when needed.
  • Galcobar - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Noticed in the comparison chart on the first page the Display Output line refers to "VGA + 1 dedicated/4 shared (HDMI/DVI/DP) from APU" under Sandy Bridge. I could have sworn APU was the preferred term for AMD's Fusion setup.
  • IanCutress - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    My apologies, I turned that part of the table the wrong way round compared to my original notes for some reason. Many thanks for spotting it.

  • lamonf - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    from your own test :
    core i5 2500K = 100%
    A8-3850 = 72%

    and because core i3 is a dual core :
    core i3 = 50%

    You (anand) lack something and you are a one legged biped, mostly the Intel's one ;)

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