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AMD Desktop Trinity Update: Now With Core i3 And A8-3870K

AMD Desktop Trinity Update: Now With Core i3 And A8-3870K
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We update our first look at AMD's A6, A8, and A8 Trinity-based APUs with numbers from an A8-3870K, Core i3-2100, and Core i3-2105. The new results give us a much better idea of how the upcoming architecture will fare in productivity apps and games.

Shortly after wrapping up our first look at AMD’s Trinity-based desktop APUs, I ordered an A8-3870K and Core i3-2100 from Newegg. Each chip was $120 bucks at the time, and promised to add much needed comparison data to our Trinity-based desktop APU preview.

The A8 is important because it’s AMD’s flagship APU built on the Llano design. Although it only operates 100 MHz faster than the A8-3850 originally used for testing, an unlocked multiplier ratio commands a bit of a price premium. Expect the unlocked Trinity-based parts to cost extra, too.

Intel’s Core i3 is, by far, a more interesting comparison point. Its two Hyper-Threaded cores employ the Sandy Bridge architecture, which we know to be very efficient. But can it stand up to AMD’s twin Piledriver modules in the Trinity-based A10 and A8? Really, that was the question we wanted to answer most.

Core i3-2100 is armed with HD Graphics 2000, so we knew it’d get slaughtered by AMD’s forthcoming APUs. However, the i3-2105 employs HD Graphics 3000—a more capable implementation with two times the number of execution units (12, rather than six). Operating at the same 3.1 GHz core clock rate as the i3-2100, the only reason to buy -2105 over -2100 is built-in graphics. And for that, you’ll pay $135.

How do our results look after adding the A8-3870K and Core i3-2100 to our x86-based tests, along with the Core i3-2105 to our gaming tests?

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  • 3 Hide
    HEXiT , 2 July 2012 20:48
    finally amd have something to smile about. at 120bux its a great start for sum1 who cant spare the cash for a full on gaming system.
    not only will the system perfom well it finally puts amd on a level footing with intel at the low end which is something that will help keep prices balanced for intel owners 2.. currently intel is a little higher priced than it should be at this price point, so hopefully healthy competition will give us better value.
  • 0 Hide
    muy , 2 July 2012 21:43
    shame they didn't compare it with equal priced phenom 2 x4 cpu's. i'm confident that a phenom ii 965 would outperform any of these chips. and the main reason the lanos lose from the piledrivers is that the piledriver clocks are higher. at the same clock speed the lanos would best the piledrivers in 90 % + of the cpu tests. it seems that these days, amd cpu's are getting worse and worse from a performance per core / clock pov.
  • 0 Hide
    mactronix , 2 July 2012 21:52
    They are testing a speciality piece of hardware designed to do what it does well against something that isn't meant to compete with it. Why no discrete card addition as is usually the case with these reviews ?
  • 4 Hide
    HEXiT , 3 July 2012 01:53
    muyshame they didn't compare it with equal priced phenom 2 x4 cpu's. i'm confident that a phenom ii 965 would outperform any of these chips. and the main reason the lanos lose from the piledrivers is that the piledriver clocks are higher. at the same clock speed the lanos would best the piledrivers in 90 % + of the cpu tests. it seems that these days, amd cpu's are getting worse and worse from a performance per core / clock pov.

    obviously you misunderstand what these apu's are about. there an all in 1 solution. you dont need a gfx card because these systems are capable of performing at a similar level to a entry level gaming pc that will set you back $500 but because the a8/a10 doesnt need a gfx card you dont need a big case, a large psu or a gfx card which will put you at about $300 all in to get the same performance.
    the best part for me is that you can have a teeny box next to your tv and keep all the functionality of windows with none of the noise that goes with owning a desktop. basically this kind of setup can be used as the center of all your home entertainment needs without invading your space or emptying your wallet.
  • 1 Hide
    bah_humbug76 , 5 July 2012 20:50
    That's better AMD! at last your catching Intel up, well done..... i hope all your hard work will not go unoticed.
  • 1 Hide
    markem , 6 July 2012 09:18
    AMD is on a Roll and Intel just lost the Low/Middle CPU/APU/IGP Markets, Intel must be worried knowing that AMD must have its eye on the big prize (High performance and server space).

    I Will buy an AMD APU knowing that the Trinity APU will have an Upgrade path to Kaveri on FM2 Socket
  • 2 Hide
    markem , 6 July 2012 09:22
    Common AMD? Release them Already
  • 0 Hide
    ismaelf10 , 13 July 2012 17:15
    I think Intel is not doing bad things friend