First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

Summary: The first reviews are in for AMD's new A8-3850 Llano accelerated processing unit (APU), which combines CPU and GPU cores on a single die, and the big question is: Can this $135 chip offer a viable alternative to Intel's lower-end Sandy Bridge processors?The answer: Yes, it can, but with a few caveats.

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TOPICS: Processors
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The first reviews are in for AMD's new A8-3850 Llano accelerated processing unit (APU), which combines CPU and GPU cores on a single die, and the big question is: Can this $135 chip offer a viable alternative to Intel's lower-end Sandy Bridge processors?

The answer: Yes, it can, but with a few caveats.

As you might expect from a solution that emphasizes the GPU as much as Llano does, the A8-3850 smokes the latest Intel Core i3 and even the Core i5-2500 processors on low-level gaming tests, thanks to its integrated Radeon HD 6550D graphics. That's especially true if you get a system equipped with a discrete Radeon card that works in conjunction with the integrated GPU. You also get built-in DirectX 11 support, something you don't get from Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics.

On the other hand, Intel's chips still outperform the A8-3850 on basic computing tasks and CPU-intensive benchmarks. If you're more concerned with media encoding or everyday multitasking, the Core i3 family may be a better bet.

Here are some of the first reviews of the A8-3850:

PC Magazine Hot Hardware Anandtech Tom's Hardware

With its Fusion APUs, AMD's clearly betting that you're going to be relying more on graphics performance for computing circa 2011 and going forward. Is this Llano chip an attractive offering to you for your next desktop build? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topic: Processors

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  • GPU has been important for computing for a while

    GPUs have been important for computing for a while. Windows 7 is very good at utilizing them even. I can definitely tell when a system has a dedicated GPU or at least a non Intel GPU. This is a great bet for AMD to make. I hope that this pays off in sales.
    nucrash
  • INTEL PAID RETAILERS NOT TO STOCK AMD STUFF - GOOD LUCK FINDING LLANO.

    I'd love to try out Llano, but the fact is that Intel got caught (by the Euro Commission raids) bribing retailers not to stock AMD products.

    When you find a cockroach, it means there are thousands more behind the walls. I expect monopolistic bribes to be somewhat similar.

    So, don't expect to find a Llano computer in your local store anytime soon.
    RichardEich
    • RE: First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

      @mgcguy
      You seem to forget that Intel promised to stop what they were not doing, so all was forgiven. Since what they weren't doing was not illegal according to Intel, they didn't do anything wrong, but since they didn't do what they did there was nothing wrong with not doing it.
      HackerJ
    • RE: First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

      @mgcguy And anyways, since when has your friendly neighborhood IT store stocked exactly what you wanted? Which is why I prefer buying online - better choices and prices.
      [deXter]
    • RE: First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

      @mgcguy
      That is part of the reason I build my own.
      Clayman1000x
  • RE: First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

    llano available by telephone now, a8 3850. intresting to note hd5770 from newegg, new is $89.95, add one & scream. probably more than ud4. thinking mains might step up, ud567/9, now what could that be. ssd x2 @ 200,000 iops in mid range cpu, Wow. tears arollin' in. 2 16x pci how about hydra or ssd & dual gpu 6990. man 'o war.AMD Llano A8-3850 2.90GHz (Socket FM1) Processor - Retail Integrated HD 6550D Graphics ... to purchase over the phone) - Customer Care 0844 999 8 999 HE,HE WELL SOME BEST LEFT TO THEbull, 1972 PIN.<br><br>DRASHEK MD
    VONDRASHEK@...
    • RE: First AMD A8-3850 Llano APU reviews appear online: Is it a better choice than an Intel Core i3?

      @VONDRASHEK@...

      In english, please.
      bargeemike
  • I have a CrossfireX (x16, x4 setup) and also; a i3 2120 desktop.

    I was able to buy my i3 2120 for $119.00 to my surprise at a Fry's Retail Outlet; while online they were $149.00. The i3 2120 is the finest CPU going in the second generation 32nm Intel Core processors, period for the average desktop and gamer. As I have a i7 2600k also, and I have had a heck of a time getting along with Ati drivers for their discrete video cards. This being said I would trade my two Radeon HD 6850 O/C cards for two Nvidia 560Ti and would have never been mislead by AMD for sub-par motherboards that support the traditional Crossfire configuration benefit, for a certified SLi motherboard going into the future. I have almost switched entirely away from AMD now. There won't be a next time.
    Rob T.