The Llano Desktop Preview: AMD A8-3850 CPU & GPU Performanceby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 14, 2011 12:00 AM EST
If you haven't gotten the hint, today is all about Llano. The big story is of course Llano's notebook appearance; however, in the coming weeks you'll be hearing a lot more about Llano on the desktop as well. This is AMD's Socket-FM1, the brand new socket that'll be used for desktop Llano parts:
If you read our Computex coverage, the socket should look pretty familiar. Motherboard manufacturers all over Taiwan are busy readying their Socket-FM1 boards for retail release. In fact, there was so much interest in desktop Llano on behalf of the motherboard manufacturers that a number of Socket-FM1 boards and CPUs made their way off the island as Computex ended.
Existing Socket-AM3 coolers will work on FM1 motherboards
By now you may have already seen a lot of information leaked from AMD's Llano presentations, as well as its desktop strategy. In the past few days performance numbers have been revealed as well. While we're hard at work on our full review of AMD's desktop Llano APU, we wanted to chime in with some thoughts on Llano's desktop performance.
AMD isn't ready to disclose pricing or the entire product matrix for Llano on the desktop, but what we do have is the high-end desktop Llano SKU: AMD's A8-3850.
The 3850 has four cores running at 2.9GHz and doesn't support Turbo Core. On the GPU side it has the full Radeon HD 6550D configuration with 400 shader processors running at 600MHz.
Sandy Bridge's GPU performance is the target, but how much better will AMD do on the desktop? Let's find out.
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Quizzical - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkWhat memory clock speed was used for those benchmarks? A Radeon HD 5570 wouldn't perform like a 5570 either if it were stuck with 1066 MHz DDR3. 1866 MHz DDR3 would presumably be less of a bottleneck.
Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkDDR3-1333, expect to see more testing with higher memory frequencies for our final review :)
dertechie - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkI can't say I didn't expect to see memory bandwidth start to become an issue here.
This may be a problem if it really does end up being bandwidth-heavy and OEMs cheap out on RAM. I fully expect to see some very good OEM builds that complement it with good parts, and some hideous ones that use DDR3-1066 or DDR3-800 and just choke the life out of that GPU.
DanNeely - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkI think you're being a bit overly pessimistic. Between the much smaller number of 1066 (30) vs 1333 (179) desktop memory products listed on newegg (no ddr3-800 at all), and the fact that Dell doesn't offer anything below DDR3-1333 on their cheapest crappiest ddr3 boxes it appears that 1333 is the slowest DDR3 still being produced.
Meanwhile the pricegap for 2x2GB is only ~$5 on newegg for 1333 vs 1600, so if faster ram actually does help performance it's reasonable to expect a decent number of vendors to offer it.
duploxxx - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkit's good to share this information already, provides a lot of information, but I do feel you clearly need to enter in this preview what specs are used. People will go for the first idea always, although the APU is fine, I think it will gain quite some performance on the 1866 mem which is fully supported.
ET - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link1866 memory will have to go down in price significantly to be viable for an entry level PC. Still, it would be interesting to see performance with 1600, which seems to be the new standard.
Tanclearas - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkYeah. The $10 to $20 premium on 4GB of DDR3-2000 memory is just way too much to expect people to come up with...
Sadly though, you're right. Many manufacturers will cheap out on the RAM even if it does severely impact performance.
Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkGiven the importance of memory bandwidth, cant you stick some other speed ram in there and give as an estimate of overall average FPS vs ram speed?
Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkReload page 3 :)
mczak - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - linkAhh nice. 40% more memory bandwidth nets you 20-30% (mostly 20% though) more graphics performance.
Could you throw in some ddr3-1600 numbers? The cpu is still in the value category, ddr3-1866 isn't there yet (but ddr3-1600 is). Though extrapolating from these numbers, I'd expect ddr3-1600 (plus 20% memory bandwidth over ddr3-1333) to offer around a 13% improvement over ddr3-1333 - not too shabby.