AMD A8-3850 Review: Llano Rocks Entry-Level Desktops

Benchmark Results: Productivity

A well-threaded workload favors AMD’s four physical cores over Intel’s dual-core Hyper-Threaded solution, though it’s telling that the A8-3850 and Core i3 run neck and neck. A Phenom II X4 is the fastest option here, though it means giving up significant graphics performance (due to the slow 890GX chipset) at a £100 price point.

Lightly-threaded workloads are going to really punish a quad-core processor with lower frequencies like the A8-3850. This is where Intel’s per-clock efficiency kicks into play, propelling the Core i3 into first place despite its 3.1 GHz frequency.

The 3.4 GHz Phenom II simply can’t get as much work done during each cycle. And naturally, at 2.9 GHz, AMD’s flagship Llano-based chip is in even worse shape.

The same problem affects WinZip 14, which is also single-threaded. At least this time the Phenom II X4 finishes a little closer to the Core i3, though A8-3850 still trails behind quite a ways.

WinRAR is definitely more optimized for threading. However, Intel still takes a first-place finish, followed by Phenom II X4 and A8-3850 in last place.

Finally, we see four cores outpacing two cores plus Hyper-Threading. AMD’s Phenom II X4 takes the top spot in 7-Zip, while the quad-core A8-3850 finishes second. Intel’s Core i3 lags behind in last place, finishing its workload three seconds slower than the fastest Llano APU.

Again, in case you’re worried about the memory throughput of a setup running DDR3-1333, bear in mind that bandwidth affects graphics-bound applications more than anything. You can shave a couple of seconds off a WinRAR-based compression workload using DDR3-1600, but it’s not nearly enough for Llano to catch the Phenom II X4 with its large L3 cache and 500 MHz frequency advantage.

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  • aje21
    Had this been better at transcoding it would be a reasonable choice for HTPC with light gaming duties. For the moment it would look like Intel has the better option with i3 and a discrete card.
  • Anonymous
    Discrete Radeon 3850 and 3870 series have around 450-500 GFLOPS. A small coincidence with the naming of the APU (A8-3850)?
  • sam_p_lay
    How is Modern Warfare's minimum framerate exceeding its average framerate?
  • ross_mitchell
    sam_p_layHow is Modern Warfare's minimum framerate exceeding its average framerate?

    Thats a good point. I think that they meant to say maximum framerate or they got min framerate and avg framerate mixed up.