AMD A6-3650 Llano APU Performance Review

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A few weeks back, AMD officially launched their Llano-based A-Series Accelerated Processing Units, or APUs, in both desktop and mobile flavors. At the time, we covered the high-end variants of both A-Series offerings; our coverage of the desktop version A8-3850 APU and its companion chipsets is posted here and the mobile A8-3500M is detailed here. If you’re unfamiliar with Llano, we suggest perusing those two articles as they go into much more detail than we will in this piece.

We won’t rehash many of the architectural details, but just for a quick refresher, Llano is AMD’s mainstream, low-power APU that fuses four x86 cores with a DX11-class graphics processor on a single piece of silicon. The current flagship APU in the desktop line-up is the A8-3850, which hums along at 2.9GHz, with 400 active Radeon cores, that operate at 600MHz. The A6-3650 we’ll be showing you here is built using the same piece of silicon, but this lower-end A6-series part clocks in at 2.6GHz, with 320 active Radeon cores, running at 443MHz. Disregarding its operating frequencies and GPU configuration, current A6 and A8 series APUs are essentially identical, as is evidenced by the specifications below...

AMD A6-3650 "Llano" APU
Specifications & Features
Tech / Package 32nm / FM1 905-pin lidded μPGA, 40x40 mm, 1.27 mm pitch
TDP Configurations 65W and 100W configurations
Processor Core “Stars” 32nm HKMG process core (up to 4 cores), 128 KB L1 Cache(64 KB Instruction, 64 KB Data) 1 MB L2/Core, 128-bit FPUs
Memory Up to DDR3 1866
Graphics Core Up to 400 Radeon Cores, DirectX 11 capable, UVD3
Displays Digital Display I/F DP0: Display Port, HDMI, DVI
Digital Display I/F DP1: Display Port, HDMI, DVI
Graphics Features AMD Dual Graphics
Blu-ray 3D
AMD Steady Video
AMD Perfect Picture
DisplayPort 1.1a, HDMI 1.4a
Power Management Multiple low-power states
32-nm process for decreased power consumption
PCIe core power gating
PCIe speed power policy
GPU power gating of Radeon Cores and video decode (UVD3)
AMD Turbo Core technology on select models

Although there will undoubtedly be more Llano-based APUs released in the future, the initial line-up is as follows:

As we’ve mentioned the A8-3850 sits at the top of the stack, followed by the A8-3800. The A6-3650 we’ll be featuring here is the top-of-the-line A6-series part. And the A6-3600 is the entry level chip. These APUs differ in their frequencies and GPU configuration, their TDPs, and in their support for AMD’s Turbo Core technology. The parts with “50” in the model numbers run at full bore, while the standard parts use Turbo Core to temporarily boost operating frequencies to increase performance only when the workload demands it. The use of Turbo Core and their lower clocks result in the non-"50" part's lower average TDP.

We should point out, however, that at this time it is only the A8-3850 and A6-3650 that are available at retail. The other members of the A-Series have yet to ship.

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Though its a great step by AMD, it still feels like the product is lacking the, "oumph" factor. Sure the integrated GPU performance is wonderful, but apart from that, its got nothing special. Most folks can do wonders with an i3 and lets say, a AMD 5450 or the most barebones low end GPU.

The low power is also nothing fantastic.

Its a good honest review, But I dont know, it may receive HH's Stamp of Approval, but it doesnt get Coolice's Stamp of approval. That being said, i'm just a lowly student who doesnt know much about computers =D

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@Coolice - Price out a Core i3 build with discrete graphics. And then price out a 3650 build. You'll see why it then gets the stamp of approval.

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Good performance for an entry level PC. I see nothing wrong with these new AMD APU's at all.

I bought an A8-3850 along with an ASRock F1 board, just to check it out and see if it was  a viable solution. Not long after I had it up and running, my Wife's Dell crapped out (PSU) and I put the AMD A8 box in it's place while I repaired the Dell. Two days later I brought the Dell back and she told me that She was keeping the AMD box, "thank you very much".

No, this is not a democracy, but it's still good. Smile

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Thanks for the great review and I'm looking forward to seeing more Llano notebook reviews in the coming months.

@ realneil ; What does your wife use her computer for mostly? Did you or does she do any gaming with it?

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CDeeter:
What does your wife use her computer for mostly? Did you or does she do any gaming with it?

She's getting her Masters Degree through online studies.

I gamed with it a bit without any discrete card in there and it was OK,......If I turned the eye-candy down a little bit, it played all of MY games at decent rates.

When I added a XFX Radeon HD6870 Black to it, things were pretty cool. I didn't do benches with it, but I noticed that the XFX card worked better in it, than it did in the previous system. (a X-2 Phenom 3.0 GHz.)

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Thanks for the info. I'm thinking of building one of these since it fits into my budget. I'm not what you'd call a hard core gamer but I do want to be able play games.

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It's quite unfortunate that you can't add better discrete cards. There's just a bit of power missing in my opinion. Sure it will fit some people but a little more power would make a huge deal for gaming. You wouldnt have to choose between high resolution with ok framerates and low res thats 100% fluid.

That also, or mainly actually, goes for mobile.

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Another great review Marco things played out as I had imagined, Intel wins on a pure x86 standpoint while AMD wins on the GPU front.

Again I see more users gravitating toward the Fusion APU as CPU speed at this point in the industry is good enough. Eye candy is what it's all about now days with I-Pads and other slates such as Motorola Zoom and such in the market also HP just released one as well.

Still hope Bulldozer can close the gap some on the CPU front but that is going to be tough as Ivy Bridge will be there to greet it.

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These things will game, just not on MAX settings. Add another HD6000 series GPU to it and it will combine with the onboard graphics to really speed things up. If you're a hard core gamer and want the fastest parts you can get, you need to spend some more money than this costs.

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great review. As more of a power user, this isn't necessarily what i'd go for, BUT i definitely cannot wait for their next generation of APU tech.

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