When AMD introduced its Llano desktop parts it mentioned two different GPU configurations: an on-die Radeon HD 6550D with 400 cores running at 600MHz and a Radeon HD 6530D with 320 cores running at 443MHz. The A8 gets the faster GPU while the A6 gets the slower one. At launch we only had an A8-3850 to test so we could only guess at how fast the 3650's GPU would be. Today we've got more.

In our Sandy Bridge Pentium Review we compared the A8 and A6 Llano APUs. The A8 outpaced the A6-3650 with a Radeon HD 6530D by 18 - 26% percent, on average. The 18% gain was at 1024 x 768 while we saw 24% at 1280 x 1024 and 26% at 1680 x 1050. Given the small price premium for the A8-3850 (~$20) it seems like there's only one good choice for Llano on the desktop today, that is if you care about 3D performance.

Source: The Sandy Bridge Pentium Review

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  • wordsworm - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Not a single review site has done a comparison of the Llano setup using one of the videocards which is supposed to work in crossfire with the APU. I am very curious how the crossfire would work. Would the two GPUs (APU GPU core + graphics card GPU) share the onboard memory or the videocard memory? How would all of that work? How well would the videocard power down when not needed, and how much of a boost would it give the system when needed?
  • Gauner - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link


    There you go.
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    In short -- just like a standard Crossfire setup -- there are enough caveats, gotchas and negative performance impacts to make you want to throw up your hands, say "f*ck it", and use a single GPU.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    No no... though CrossFire isn't without occasional hiccups, they pale in comparison to what you have to go through with Hybrid CrossFire! I've used CrossFire with 3870, 4870X2, 5850, and 5870. You generally need to wait about two months after a major game launches before the CF profile is all worked out and running properly. With Hybrid CF, DX9 games are SOL, and DX10/11 games usually only see a 10-20% performance increase over the dGPU alone. Meh.
  • Gauner - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I think I'm not the only one interested in knowing how the integrated GPU handles games at anything other than the lower settings. I'm thinking of upgrading my computer and having to buy a dedicated GPU really annoys me since I dont play much. If the integrated GPU could do 25+fps in most games at medium quality 720p, it would eliminate the necessity of a dedicated one for me.

    I'm also curious about how the integrated GPU would perform if you underclock the CPU(lowering the multiplier) but overclock the bus to 133 or more. That would mean a 33% improvement in GPU clock speed AND faster access to RAM reducing the bottleneck there, while more or less maintaining TDP thanks to the underclocked CPU.
  • YukaKun - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Well, some of us have it attached to a 1080p TV, so I'd like to see more of 1920x1080 gaming (with and without the dual vga thingy).

    I have an A8, but haven't OC'ed it and just played wow on the TV (it's friggin' awesome btw) with no issues. Plays just fine with medium settings across the board and some things in high. DX11 path also.

    And besides 1080p res, put some massive games in the mix: L4D2, WoW, CS S, SC2 (usually there anyways) and other MMO's. Llano is targeted to the masses, so gotta show masses games, right?

  • Gauner - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Good to know that it can handle most things at medium even in 1080p, that means that for me(I dont really mind playing 720p) it should be enough, and the 150$ I'll afford in the graphic card can be expended in a 5.1 headset and/or upgrading the new screen from a TN to a IPS.
  • YukaKun - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I was quite surprised too. If you're not a hardcore gamer (or at least can live with 30-ish FPS'es) and can live without some (sometimes a lot) eyecandy, then the A8 is very well balanced IMO.

    And on the HTPC front, I underclock it to 1.5ghz through the Catalyst Control Center and it played a 1080p h264 video with no sweat. I even applied filters in MPC-HC and smooth all the way. Got 2 active studio speakers (2 ways: 15W+50W) to accompany the TV and the Asus F1 is amazing. I was quite shocked (in a good way) about the drivers for the VIA sound. It has almost no noise (and you can tell when you have it with active studio speakers).

    Anand could look up for a sweet spot within the A6 or A8 for different approaches. I know the A8 can game a little at 1080p, but maybe 720p is the real deal. And want more Video benchies also: quality, decoding and filtering through MPC, VLC and mplayer :P

  • JMC2000 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Several sites that have benchmarked the A-Series APUs have found that overclocking the bus clock is very limited, since the clocks for PCI-E, SATA and PCI are derived from the base clock of 100MHz. I think one of the Gigabyte FM1 boards has a sort of 'divider' for getting the base clock up to 133.
  • Gauner - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    From what I've found, all boards support bus divider for SATA/PCI-E/PCI, the problem is that some of them do it automatically and doesnt always work correctly. That should be easy to fix in new bios revisions, so it doesnt bother me at all.

    The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that for my intended use(standard internet stuff, programming in .net/php+sql/C++/fortran, and gaming now and then), a A8 with underclocked CPU and overclocked bus to get a few more FPS from the GPU it's the way to go.

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