The AMD A8-3500M APU Review: Llano Is Unleashed

Benchmark Results: F1 2010

Now for our second game that has alternate DirectX code paths: F1 2010. Codemasters was kind enough to provide us with a copy of the new DiRT 3, but we had some problems getting the command line benchmark to work properly. F1 2010 remains a very attractive title with a DirectX 11 code path, so we’re happy to use it instead. Let’s begin with DX9:

Medium detail looks great in this game, and the A8-3500M can handle it all the way up to 1920x1080. The Core i5-2520M does surprisingly well also, probably because F1 2010 is known to be CPU-bottlenecked. Nevertheless, the A8-3500M APU wins again.

Overall, the discrete Radeon HD 6630M takes another win though, and Dual Graphics has no effect in this DirectX 9 mode.

Now we’ll try DirectX 11 mode to see if Dual Graphics can deliver increased performance:

Not so. In fact, performance dips below the A8-3500M APU. And what’s more, Dual Graphics causes overt flashing anomalies. Once again, it looks like the Dual Graphics driver needs work. Not that we’d consider Dual Graphics a necessity here. Even the A8-3500M achieves 31 FPS on average at 1920x1080 with nothing but it’s on-die GPU.

The Core i5-2520M has no DirectX 11 capability, so we can’t compare it in this scenario.

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  • Jay_83
    Hmm. Mixed feelings about this one. One the one hand, it's less impressive than I wished for. On the other, it's obvious AMD has done some good work here, in more than one direction.
    Ultimately, We'll have to wait and see what Trinity has to offer to give the final word. Here's hoping Bulldozer throws a serious punch. I'm sure we'd all like to see AMD back in the game, and not just in notebook space.
  • aje21
    If you want us to look at this as the end of entry level discrete GPUs for light gaming, how about comparing it to the GPU running at its real speed? Once you have a real price for an APU+M/B you can put it up against a similar spec/price CPU+GPU+M/B to see how they compare.
    If the transcoding performance was worth having (and supported by Windows 7 in Media Center) then this could be an HTPC route...
  • daglesj
    Chaps, you are wasting your time commenting on the UK version of the article. All the comments are over on the US version.

    Why they cant pull the 'shared' article comments together I dont know.
  • Anonymous
    Seems like the Turbo CORE was simply turned off... Perhaps it needs more than enabling it in the BIOS. Like in case of Cool'n'Quiet, that you has had to enable in Windows, as well?
  • silverblue
    ajaraSeems like the Turbo CORE was simply turned off... Perhaps it needs more than enabling it in the BIOS. Like in case of Cool'n'Quiet, that you has had to enable in Windows, as well?

    Yeah, by selecting Minimal Power Management in XP or Balanced in Vista/7.
  • wild9
    daglesjChaps, you are wasting your time commenting on the UK version of the article. All the comments are over on the US version. Why they cant pull the 'shared' article comments together I dont know.


    I've often thought the same..I wish all the UK and US comments could be combined. I discovered the duality by accident, and also noticed that the UK version of the article has 4 comments, whereas the US had 4 pages. I am grateful for all this tech news..I just wish the comments section could be combined. Also, if they could send the spammers to Mars..that would be a nice bonus.