AMD A8-3850 Llano APU and Lynx Platform Preview

AMD A8-3850 Llano APU and Lynx Platform Preview

A couple of weeks back, we took a look at AMD's Llano mobile platform and we came away impressed. In the mobile space, Llano offers a capable quad-core CPU, with excellent DX11-class integrated graphics, in a very low power-envelope. Those things translate into good performance and solid battery life in a notebook, two highly desirable traits of mobile system.

AMD is now ready with Llano-based products for the desktop. On the desktop, Llano offers similar things. In fact, the underlying technology is identical. But the desktop landscape is very different. Desktops aren't constrained by the limited form-factors and thermal requirements of mobile systems, and as such, Llano has to compete with a much broader range of options. AMD thinks they have struck the right balance between CPU and GPU performance though, and at some very budget-friendly price points. Ultimately, consumers will decide if AMD is on target. In the meantime, we've got the first AMD Llano-based desktop APU, the A8-3850, in the lab, complete with a quartet of A75-chipset based motherboards...

AMD A8-3850 Llano APU and Lynx Platform Preview

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Terrific review Marco, very thorough!

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Yesterday during the HP/AMD training I attended for work they explained to us some of the details about their upcoming APU. It was very interesting and your review was able to show things in much better detail. Thanks for the extensive review and benchmarks.

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"Bulldozer please ! It doesn't make sense for me to explain the flaws or repeat what Marco said in the conclusion. Llano is not for me, its too weak and still cant compete with a dual core Sandy Bridge chip, that says a lot.

"So, a couple of questions though, the AMD A8-3850 doesn't turbo higher than 2.9? Can it be overclocked? And last, to clear a confusion, will Bulldozer Chips have integrated GPUS?"

-Optimus

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"The part that I was most impressed with , was the Cyberlink's Media Show Espresso Encoding test, particularly, the W/O Hardware accelaration against the i5-2500, Yes, it took One full minute, but thats quite impressive considering that the AMD A8-3850 is clocked at 2.9, yet you have to factor in , that the i5-2500 turbos up to 3.7, thats a 800MHz advantage, and the AMD A8-3850 beat the Phenom X4 980 at 3.8. "

-Optimus

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$200 is a pretty attractive price point for a system that can handle modern games. And considering that includes the motherboard, processor and gpu, how much easier could it get to upgrade an older system ( as in my Athlon X2 4400 and 7200 gts).

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thanks for the most thorough review and evaluation.I think that the AMD A8-3850 is going to be very successful.Not going to be a problem using 450W [bronze] PSU with these builds and sure to please mainstream folks.A Multimedia user experience that's expected here is delivered ...at a great price.

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That was a extremely through review. I agree that I think AMD will be able to compete with Intel with these chips. Obviously they concentrated more on GPU performance than CPU performance so if applications are optimized to use the power of the GPU then they will run even better on the AMD chips. It would be interesting to know how much of a limit is created by the software we are running versus the hardware.

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I was just thinking of some of the neighbors [soccer mom & dad types] this affordable platform would be perfect for them and the younger kids in the their home.Especially on a affordable rig built by members in HH  as opposed to 'big box' store.My new neighbor runs landscaping crews he could care less about benchmarks and such.But he would be very interested in an updated modern  affordable pc with multimedia capabilities such that this platform provides at price he can afford.For general family use pc.That's very efficient..Heck could even get his 12 year old step son to build it.

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There is no mention of Eyefinity, does this mean there is no support for it? :( That's quite a deal breaker for me.

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Schmich:

There is no mention of Eyefinity, does this mean there is no support for it? :( That's quite a deal breaker for me.

check out those mainboards [Crossfire -ready] and add a vid card plenty of choice out there for Eyefinity and budget

Note : may have to bump the PSU to 650W but that depends

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Amazing review Marco, great work. I agree with @omegadraco and @rrplay I think amd has a hit here. That is great, average user performance for around 200 dollars. As said above I think some of its success will depend on the software's ability to utilize the gpu in upcoming years. That is going to be the breaking point, do we need more gpu or cpu on these systems.....with all of the media now available I'm with amd and say more gpu. Now onto bulldozer!

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Awesome review Marco!!!

This is a good day for sure. I like AMD's thinking here that if the given CPU is powerful enough, a stronger GPU will make more of an impact for the average user.

Hopefully AMD can gain market share and get back to the good days of competition.

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All that is old is new again. Remember 65W PSUs?

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God no, I don't recall PSUs EVER being that low powered. :) I guess I'm not THAT old! :D

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Well, I'm surprised that they're able to keep up with Intel and provide playable framerates on today's games. I mean multi-threaded it's able to do it within 7 seconds of the Intel processors and Metro 2033 with 20 FPS on this card, plus the fact I can crossfire an additional card, sign me up!

Anyways, good review as always Marco; nice and detailed.

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So I ended up buying one of these A8-3850 APU's and put it into an ASRock Mainboard. I only got to test it out for a few days when my wife's Dell core 2 duo stopped working. I put this A8-3850 in it's place while I repaired the Dell and after 2 days, she said that she wanted to just keep the AMD box. She's becoming a heavy computer user during her master's degree studies. (no, I don't mean she's gaining weight either) She's multitasking like crazy and using that AMD box to good advantage. It's performance is quite good considering the costs to build with it. Adding another Video Card really steps up the performance a lot.

This platform isn't for hardcore gamers, but it's a good all around solution for someone on a budget.

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