Battle At £105: Can An APU Beat An Intel CPU And Add-In Graphics?

Benchmark Results: Applications

Given single-threaded tests and a very efficient architecture, Intel's Pentium processor beats a stock A8-3870K, despite its frequency deficit.

These programs aren’t heavily threaded and the Pentium manages to beat the stock A8-3870K, although the overclocked AMD APU manages to pull a slight win in both cases. Let’s see what happens in the video encoding arena:

Here’s where AMD’s four execution cores come in handy, and the dual-core Pentium G620 is left far behind. It takes an overclock to 3.6 GHz for AMD's APU to beat Intel's 2.6 GHz entry-level CPU.

3ds Max and Photoshop are both well-threaded, allowing the A8-3870’s four cores to significantly outperform Intel's best effort. Overclocking doesn't help the AMD APU much in Autodesk's application, but it does yield a nice speed-up in our threaded Photoshop filters.

All of these compression utilities perform quite differently. 7-Zip clearly takes good advantage of the APU’s four cores, while WinRAR (which we know to be well-threaded) demonstrates such a huge lead favoring the the Pentium G620 that AMD's overclocked APU still can’t touch it. The WinZip results sit somewhere in between, where the Pentium G620 easily beats the stock AMD processor, but is slightly bested by the overclocked version.

Finally, the ABBYY optical character recognition app is clearly optimized for threading, and the Pentium's dual-core architecture is left behind.

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  • HEXiT
    as an all in 1 solution its a stunning effort. its an almost prefect cpu for a laptop or child's first pc or even a schools pc which is likely where they will end up on oem builds that cost 2-300. which is probably there market. not enthusiast gamers... i can see this apu being a very decent solution in 2nd and 3rd world countries where the cost per dollar of living is so much less. now we see why amd have given up on desktop cpu's in favor of there apu.

    a fairly powerful solution at a very budget price...
  • Anonymous
    No mention of the fact that the Llano can Crossfire with a discrete GPU (infact, the very one you're using on the Intel benchmarks)? That would give customers a good upgrade path.
  • aje21
    Would be more interested in winding the budget back a bit further - for example have the A6-3670K for £88 which would limit you to G530 and 6570 (£36+£54), or the A6-3500 for £64 which would give you the G530 with a 6450 (£36+£30). In fact, for the latter I wonder if we reach the point where the APU would actually start to make more sense even for games (assuming you didn't mind the 720p limit).
  • wild9
    Great article. I'm impressed with how close the gap is between APU and CPU+GPU. It may only be a 'Pentium' and have only two cores vs. AMD's 4, but it's still based on Sandy Bridge..

    All in all I can't really see a bad bad product here; all of them would fulfill most of my gaming needs. As HEXiT mentioned, the cost of hardware can be prohibitive in some regions. I agree that an all-in-one solution would ideally suit those on a tight budget (and those who prefer quieter PC's). The productivity advantage of the AMD chip would probably win me over.

    Note: Shouldn't the Lame 3.98.3 test say "to MP3" rather than "to MPEG4"?
  • jakjawagon
    You need to sort your graphs out. I understand that anything above 60fps makes little to no difference to gameplay, but if we're trying to compare performance at one price point, the more data we have, the better. Cutting your graphs off at 60fps doesn't help anyone.
  • Anonymous
    These kind of things will be good for laptops and school pc's where graphics is not as important and processor speed is more sought after :)
  • fadingfool
    Whatever happened to hybrid crossfire?
  • joedastudd
    I a bit disappointed you OC the A8-3870K, but don't both OC'ing the G620. It seems a little unfair and bias.
  • goozaymunanos
    BF3 figures @ 1024x768 AHAHAHAH!
  • EricLegge
    An AMD APU with inbuilt graphics chip can be run with a low-end AMD Radeon graphics card in CrossFire mode to increase gaming performance very significantly, so why didn't Tom's Hardware add one and analyse the results?
  • Tab54o
    EricLeggeAn AMD APU with inbuilt graphics chip can be run with a low-end AMD Radeon graphics card in CrossFire mode to increase gaming performance very significantly, so why didn't Tom's Hardware add one and analyse the results?

    That's what I want to know and the results are pretty non surprising I mean you have a discreet card vs built in. Stupid comparison. Is still going to cost more for the solution with the external card.