Final Words

There are still a number of unanswered questions about Llano on the desktop. In the coming weeks we'll be looking at HTPC performance, power consumption, and hopefully we'll be able to figure out what the deal is with overclocking AMD's new mainstream APUs.

The question of processor graphics performance is open and closed. Llano offers what I'd expect to be the bare minimum from any processor offering a real performance oriented GPU. All of our bench suite is playable on Llano and its actually possible to drive up image quality settings without sacrificing playability. If you're looking to build an entry-level gaming PC, Llano is most likely going to be on your hit list this year.

It took AMD spending half the transistors of Llano on its GPU to deliver the sort of performance we've been asking for from integrated graphics for over a decade; the question I have is whether or not Intel is willing to make a similar sort of move in its architectures.

Ivy Bridge has already been decided upon; it'll be faster but not a significant upheaval in performance. However Intel does have a history of building upon ideas that AMD introduced before their time (e.g. IMC, x86-64, Fusion), and with Llano we may be given a peek at what's to come in the future.

Llano vs. Sandy Bridge: Finally, Acceptable Processor Graphics
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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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