Llano vs. Sandy Bridge: Finally, Acceptable Processor Graphics

On average the A8-3850 is 58% faster than the Core i5 2500K. If we look at peak performance in games like Modern Warfare 2, Llano delivers over twice the frame rate of Sandy Bridge. This is what processor graphics should look like. While I believe Sandy Bridge was a good start for integrated GPU performance, Llano is my ideal for 2011. Update: We've added results from the latest 2372 driver for the 2500K. Most performance results remain unchanged however a few problematic areas for Sandy Bridge have been addressed as a result. Llano still maintains a significant performance in the majority of cases.

Games that are more CPU bound however do show Llano's weakness. Both Dragon Age and Starcraft II have Sandy Bridge either outperforming or coming very close to Llano in frame rates. Those are most definitely the exception rather than the rule however; for the most part AMD is able to deliver entry-level discrete GPU performance with Llano.

Dragon Age: Origins

Dawn of War II

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

BioShock 2

World of Warcraft


Starcraft II - AT GPU Test

Starcraft II - AT CPU Test

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Mafia II

Civilization V - DX9

Metro 2033

DiRT 2

GPU Performance: Between a Radeon HD 6450 & 5570 Final Words
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  • Quizzical - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    What 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 - link

    DDR3-1333, expect to see more testing with higher memory frequencies for our final review :)

    Take care,
  • dertechie - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I 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 - link

    I 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 - link

    it'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 - link

    1866 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 - link

    Yeah. 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 - link

    Given 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 - link

    Reload page 3 :)

    Take care,
  • mczak - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Ahh 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.

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