Video Perspective: AMD A-series APU Overclocking and Gaming Performance

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Processors | July 6, 2011 - 08:15 PM |
Tagged: amd, llano, APU, a-series, a8, a8-3850, overclocking

We have spent quite a bit of time with AMD's latest processor, the A-series of APUs previously known as Llano, but something we didn't cover in the initial review was how overclocking the A8-3850 APU affected gaming performance for the budget-minded gamer.  Wonder no more!

In this short video we took the A8-3850 and pushed the base clock frequency from 100 MHz to 133 MHz and overclocked the CPU clock rate from 2.9 GHz to 3.6 GHz while also pushing the GPU frequency from 600 MHz up to 798 MHz.  All of the clock rates (including CPU, GPU, memory and north bridge) are based on that base frequency so overclocking on the AMD A-series can be pretty simple provided the motherboard vendors provide the multiplier options to go with it.  We tested a system based on a Gigabyte and an ASRock motherboard both with very good results to say the least.  

We tested 3DMark11, Bad Company 2, Lost Planet 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dirt 3 to give us a quick overall view of performance increases.  We ran the games at 1680x1050 resolutions and "Medium"-ish quality settings to find a base frame rate on the APU of about 30 FPS.  Then we applied our overclocked settings to see what gains we got.  Honestly, I was surprised by the results.

While overclocking a Llano-based gaming rig won't make it compete against $200 graphics cards, getting a nice 30% boost in performance for a budget minded gamer is basically a no-brainer if you are any kind of self respecting PC enthusiast. 

Source: AMD

Newegg Gears Up With New Llano Processors, Are You Ready?

Subject: Processors | July 6, 2011 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: llano, APU, amd

Newegg recently opened up its Llano inventory to consumers, with both the A6-3650 and A8-3850 now in stock.  The new AMD APUs represent a combination of AMD graphics and CPU, and are an interesting option for low cost systems on both the budget gaming machines using integrated graphics and small form factor HTPC systems.

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Our you ready for Llnao?  Why not join the discussion over in the forums and advocate whether Llnao is deserving of Hardware Leaderboard status?

Source: Newegg

Llano's physical examination keeps on going on

Subject: Processors | July 6, 2011 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: llano, APU, amd

Llano is still very active in the news, as reviewers try to pin down exactly what the capabilities of a true APU are; what does it do well and what does it not do well.  Most reviewers have discovered that AMD's offering is relatively weak at current generation general computation and absolutely amazing as an integral GPU.  Part of the weakness in computational tasks seems to stem from the scarcity of programs that can take advantage of multi-core processors and the almost complete lack of GPU accelerated programs ... that are not graphical in nature.  X-bit Labs takes a very in depth look at the modified Stars core called Husky and the Sumo graphical portion which resembles Redwood.

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"Desktop Lynx platform that includes hybrid Llano processors has finally found its way to the consumers. Let’s take a closer look at it and find out how successful the combination of old Stars processor cores and a high-performance Radeon GPU actually is."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Source: X-Bit Labs

Always someone to ruin the parade, NVIDIA's response to AMD's Southern Island news

Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2011 - 12:36 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, parade, nvidia, kepler, fermi, amd

As is common in the industry, when one company releases news their competitors have to do something to distract people.  Since in this case it was AMD's announcement of the Southern Islands release, it is NVIDIA who feels the need to hold a competing spectacle.  In this case it was news that their new Fermi based 28nm Kepler GPU has taped out ... maybe.  In this particular scenario we have an intentional leak from NVIDIA which was light on details and heavy on spin.  SemiAccurate takes a long look at some of NVIDIA's claims, from the doubling of transistors with no cost in TDP to the probable difference between Tesla branded Fermi and GeForce branded Fermi cards to NVIDIA's claims that switching from 40nm to 28nm is hard and that it is all TSMC's fault. 

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"When SemiAccurate announced that AMD (NYSE:AMD) was aiming for September with Southern Islands (SI), you could almost set your watch to the Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) response. If you are new to the PR game, you will probably scratch your head wondering what we mean by Nvidia response, officially there is silence, but there definitely was a response."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: SemiAccurate

Step into the HTPC arena to witness the battle for iGPU dominance

Subject: Systems | July 5, 2011 - 05:33 PM |
Tagged: htpc, llano, sandybridge; a3850; i3 2100, amd, Intel, APU

In one corner is the $140 AMD A8-3850 and in the other is the $135 Intel Core i3-2100T, with matching motherboards both about $100.  We have seen how the new Llano chips stack up in computation and gaming but their use in HTPC systems is also important and requires different benchmarks.  Bjorn3D takes a look at the two chips ability to properly render Blu-ray at the proper 23.976 fps naturally as well as taking advantage of Direct X Video Acceleration.  Take a look to see how AMD's new APU can handle a role as an HTPC.

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"In addition to being a capable mainstream APU, the Llano and the new Lynx platform have the potential to be a perfect match for a more capable HTPC system. In this article we are taking a look at the HTPC capabilities of the A3850 and a Gigabyte A75 motherboard, and contrasting it to a comparable Intel system with a Core i3-2100T and an ASRock H67 motherboard."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Source: Bjorn3D

Meet Hondo, AMD's soon to arrive 2W TDP Brazos chip for tablets ... and Apache servers?

Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2011 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, ontario, low power, hondo, brazos, APU, amd

Thanks to a leak from AMD, we have new information on their plans for tablets and ultra mobile platforms.  Hondo will be a member of Brazos-T, the planned improvement to the current low power version of Brazos which goes by the name of Desna.  This is not so much a new chip as a refining of Brazos and the Ontario APU, the 1GHz APU will still be made on a 40nm process and sport a DirectX 11 GPU at 276MHz also optimized for lower power consumption and heat production.  The Hudson controller is also being tweaked in the same way, with the chipset's TDP sitting at 1W compared to the ~4W the APU will consume.  It should be capable of playing 720p videos at that power setting, though you can expect a bit more power draw if you are streaming the movie wirelessly.  You can read more about the future of the new fanless APU from AMD at The Inquirer.

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Image from donanimhaber

"CHIP DESIGNER AMD is planning to refresh its Brazos platform in time for Microsoft's Windows 8.

AMD launched its Brazos platform last year, though actual products tipped up earlier this year featuring a dual core processor and a DirectX 11 GPU. However with Windows 8 coming out in 2012, it is a little surprising that leaked slides point to AMD planning a refresh of Brazos, codenamed Hondo. According to the slides, Hondo is designed to operate with passive cooling, and have 2W "app power" usage, about half that of the current Brazos chips."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #160 - Lenovo ThinkPad X1, OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2, Crysis 2 DX11 update, Llano preview and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2011 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: podcast, X1, Thinkpad, revodrive, ocz, nvidia, llano, Lenovo, Intel, dx11, crysis 2, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #160 - 6/30/2011

This week we talk about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2, Crysis 2 DX11 update, Llano preview and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 57:49

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:45 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:02:16 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Review: Thin is In
  6. 0:03:08 Samsung Nexus S 4G Review: Google Bliss.
  7. 0:05:04 Super Fast PCI Express Cable Capable of 32 Gbps Announced By The PCI SIG
  8. 0:08:37 OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB PCIe SSD Review - Seriously Fast Storage
  9. 0:24:23 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  10. 0:25:00 Crysis 2: DirectX 11 free update released
  11. 0:31:45 NVIDIA Releases GeForce GTX 580M and 570M, Brings Optimus to Hardcore Gaming Laptops
  12. 0:34:10 Badaboom, the once NVIDIA only transcoding accelerator, now works with Sandy Bridge
  13. 0:38:40 Llano's dance card is available, pick a date with your favourite new AMD APU tomorrow
  14. 0:41:05 Just Delivered: Cost effective AM3+ Boards.
  15. 0:42:30 Show and tell: Llano CPU and MB
  16. 0:44:26 Free games?
    1. http://www.pcper.com/news/General-Tech/Meet-Medic-Uber-Update-and-TF2-itself-are-freed
  17. 0:48:20 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
  18. 0:50:45 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Bitcoins?  Ken is testing a LOT of GPUs for this!
    2. Jeremy: I guess I'll shout out to Might & Magic entertaining me for 25 SMEGGING YEARS!
    3. Josh: Eyefinity!  It is a lot of fun.  Surprising capabilities from many modern applications.  Even a lot of older ones...
    4. Allyn: RevoDrive 3!
  19. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  20. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  21. 0:56:35 Closing

 

Source:

You seen the processor, now check out the socket FM1 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | June 30, 2011 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: fm1, llano, ASUS F1A75-M Pro, amd, a8-3850, lynx

Along with the arrival of the A series of Llano processors comes socket FM1 motherboards and the AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset.  Legit Reviews focused on the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard, which supports dual channel RAM and has three PCIe slots, a 16x, a 4x and a 1x as well as six SATA 6Gb/s ports which support Raid 0, 1, 10, and JBOD configurations. It also puts the new UEFI BIOS to good use, if you didn't know you were looking at a BIOS you wouldn't recognize it as one.  At a price of $120, this would allow you to pick up an A8-3850 and this motherboard for about the same price as a Core i5 2500k without the motherboard.  Not too shabby.

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"Where the ASUS F1A75-M Pro truly excelled today was the performance of the integrated graphics. Every one of our graphics tests that we compared the Intel HD Graphics 3000 to the AMD A8-3850 with AMD Radeon HD 6550D there was a clear and decisive winner. For our recap of the graphics performance let's start with Total War: Shogun 2 in DirectX 9 mode. The ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull out an average that was 143.4% faster than the Intel system at a resolution of 1280x1024..."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Buy a cheap graphics card and get a free attached CPU, Llano's mixed results

Subject: Processors | June 30, 2011 - 12:20 PM |
Tagged: lynx, llano, igp, amd, a8-3850, 6550d, 3850

Long story short, the new AMD A8-3850 simply can't compete with Intel's SandyBridge processors as an x86 CPU but as an integrated GPU it is better than anything we or The Tech Report have seen before

The actual story is far more complicated for the Llano true quad core processor.  On the CPU side of the APU equation, it can handle the Core i3-2100 which is it's closest competition on the majority of multithreaded tasks, though it falls behind on single threaded applications.  The price war is also on AMD's side as you would need to pair a discrete GPU with the i3-2100 in order to match the graphics performance.  The other very important are where AMD falls is power consumption; sure at idle it uses very little power but when operating at full speed it consumes almost as much power as an i7-2600.

On the GPU side we see better gaming performance than anything else out there, assuming you stick to DX10 and DX11 games as DX9 games can have some issues with Llano.  That holds especially true of Hybrid Crossfire, as when Ryan paired the A8-3850 with discrete Radeon cards he ran into difficulties in some games.  You can read about that in his full review.

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"AMD's "Llano" APU makes a compelling proposition as a laptop chip, but its position on the desktop is more precarious. Read on to find out why—and whether it can overcome that hurdle."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

AMD A-Series Desktop Processors Set the APU Bar

Subject: Processors | June 30, 2011 - 10:51 AM |
Tagged: lynx, llano, igp, amd, a8-3850, 6550d, 3850

AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced availability for the AMD Fusion A-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors. The AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors will enable a high- performance experience for desktop users, including brilliant HD graphics, supercomputer-like performance, and incredibly fast application speeds.

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Both the AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors combine four x86 CPU cores with powerful DirectX®11-capable discrete-level graphics, and up to 400 Radeon™ cores along with dedicated HD video processing on a single chip. Only AMD Fusion APUs offer true AMD Dual Graphics, with up to 120 percent visual performance boost*, when paired with select AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series graphics cards. Consumers can achieve supercomputer-like performance of more than 500 gigaflops compute capacity and enjoy rapid content transfers via USB 3.0.

All A-Series processors are powered by AMD VISION Engine Software, which is composed of AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver, AMD OpenCL driver and the AMD VISION Engine Control Center. With this suite of software, users get regular updates designed to improve system performance and stability, and can add new software enhancements.

With a suggested retail price of $135, the AMD A8-3850 desktop processor operates at 2.9GHz (CPU) and 600MHz (GPU) with 400 Radeon™ Cores, 4MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 100W.

The AMD A6-3650 desktop processor has clock speeds of 2.6GHz (CPU) and 443MHz (GPU) with 320 Radeon™ Cores, 4MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 100W. The suggested retail price of the AMD A6-3650 desktop processor is $115.

In an increasingly digital and visually oriented world, consumers demand more responsive multitasking, vivid graphics, lifelike games, lag-free videos, and ultimate multimedia performance. AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors enable these visually stunning end-user experiences.

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FM1 motherboards for the A-Series APUs are available now from leading original design manufacturers (ODMs), including ASUS, ASRock, Biostar, ECS, Foxconn (Hong Hai Precision), Gigabyte, Jetway, MSI and Sapphire.

AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors are scheduled to be available for purchase through system builders and at major online retailers, including Amazon, CyberPower Inc., iBuyPower, Newegg and TigerDirect beginning July 3, 2011. Additional processors are scheduled to be available later this year.

AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors, and the corresponding FM1 motherboards, were created with desktop consumers and gamers in mind.

Read about the AMD A-Series features and performance here.
Learn about the software advantage with AMD A-Series desktop processors here.

Source: AMD