AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano Quad-Core APU Review - HotHardware

AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano Quad-Core APU Review

26 thumbs up

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to DDR3-1600. The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, defragged the hard drives, and ran the tests.


AMD "Entertainment Edition" Memory Kit

We should also point out that while experimenting with the A8-3870K, we put a couple of sticks of AMD Entertainment Edition (8GB, 4GB x 2) through its paces on our test rig. Although this memory is rated for operation at 1333MHz, it had absolutely no problem running at 1600MHz (and somewhat higher). In our time testing the AMD Entertainment Edition memory kit, it proved to be very stable and tweakable, and even higher performing Performance and Radeon Edition kits are coming as well.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head

System 1:
AMD A8-3850
(2.9GHz - Quad-Core)
AMD A8-3870K
(3.0GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus F1A75-V Pro
(AMDA75 Chipset)

2x4GB AMD DDR3-1600
(@ 1600MHz)

Radeon HD 6550D IGP
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64

System 2:
Intel Core i3-2100T
(2.5GHz - Dual-Core)
Intel Core i3-2120
(3.3GGHz - Dual-Core)
Intel Core i5-2500
(3.3GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P8Z68-A Pro
(Z68 Express Chipset)

2x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1600MHz)

Intel HD Graphics
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64

System 3:
AMD Phenom II X4 980
(3.7GHz Quad-Core)

Asus CrossHair V Formula
(AMD 990FX Chipset)

2x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1600MHz)

Radeon HD 6570
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64

Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark suite, recently released this spring. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment. Here's what Futuremark says is incorporated in the base PCMark suite and the Entertainment suite, the two modules we have benchmark scores for you here.

Futuremark PCMark 7
General Application and Multimedia Performance
The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system
Storage
  • Windows Defender
  • Importing pictures
  • Gaming

Video Playback and transcoding
Graphics

  • DirectX 9

Image manipulation
Web browsing and decrypting

The Entertainment test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in entertainment scenarios using mostly application workloads. Individual tests include recording, viewing, streaming and transcoding TV shows and movies, importing, organizing and browsing new music and several gaming related workloads. If the target system is not capable of running DirectX 10 workloads then those tests are skipped. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given an Entertainment test score.

We have a full set of benchmark scores with the AMD A8-3870K overclocked to 3.5GHz (CPU) and 800MHz (GPU), which we have included in all of the charts moving forward.

As you can see, the A8-3870K's higher frequency give it a slight edge over A8-3850, but the chip is still unable to catch the Core i5-2500. Even while overclocked, Intel's chip has the edge.

Article Index:

1 2 3 Next
0
+ -

YAY A8-3870K Black Edition smashes intel's HD graphics but A8-3870K Black Edition losses when it comes to General Compute Performance.

 Nice Review!
 

"It's not only the CPU multipliers that are unlocked though, but the GPU and memory speed multipliers too."  

cool because must of the unlocked black edition come with just the cpu multiplier unlocked only. 
Hardcore gamers/enthusiast  won't buy this product...

Hey wasn't intel the first come come with "k" in its processors? Is Amd Copying it? just wonder reply me for the answer :)

0
+ -

Very decent chip for the price, with a a better cooler and some time, people will be able to push GPU frequency a bit further and squeeze some extra performance. At first I didn't like it or mis-understood the purpose of theses chips, but I respect it. Would have been cool to see how Battlefield 3 runs on this.

0
+ -

yea but remember  pushing it a bit further  means more watts and better performance. What do you mean  ''mis-understood the purpose of theses chips''?  you don't know why is it good or what is different from others?

+2
+ -

OptimusPrimeTime:
At first I didn't like it or mis-understood the purpose of theses chips,

OptimusPrimeTime:
be able to push GPU frequency a bit further and squeeze some extra performance

You answered your own question except for the "It Costs Less" part. Smile

I have an A8-3850 and a A6-3300 APU too. Both have the hybrid crossfire setup with a Radeon HD6670 in each one of them to bolster graphics performance.

They do not game with settings on full for modern games, but if you turn the eye candy down a little, they game acceptably.

They really shine in an office environment and multimedia applications. They're rockin' USB 3.0 and SATA-III capabilities too. They are both installed into ASRock brand Mainboards that have the ability to charge your USB devices, even when the PS is turned off.

With these PC's, you get completely acceptable performance for not a lot of cash, and ~that's~ their value.

____________________________

cowboyspace:
Hardcore gamers/enthusiast  won't buy this product...

It isn't geared towards that market. Before these were introduced, there was a gaping hole in the low cost PC segment. You couldn't get a decent low cost PC with good onboard graphics that could do DX-11 properly. These APU's filled that need perfectly, and as such, they are a success story for AMD. Sales are good and AMD is making money from them.

 

0
+ -

thoughts for a home media server. or even htpc?

0
+ -

stubblep00:
thoughts for a home media server. or even htpc?

Yes,.......I was originally going to sell these two systems and buy better video cards for my gaming boxes with the money,............but I've decided to set one of them up in my wife's office (the A8) for her to use, and the other is going into my bedroom (the A6) as an HTCP box.

They are fast enough and of good quality too.

 

0
+ -

It' a 100W chip, so it may not be ideal for all HTPCs, but if using a chassis that can accomodate a large / quiet cooler, Llano is a good fit. For ultra small form factors, a 35W CPU like the 2100T may be a better fit, although you'd lose some gaming performance, obviously.

0
+ -

Marco C:
It' a 100W chip, so it may not be ideal for all HTPCs, but if using a chassis that can accomodate a large / quiet cooler, Llano is a good fit. For ultra small form factors, a 35W CPU like the 2100T may be a better fit, although you'd lose some gaming performance, obviously.

I've got room in an out of the way place for the case that it's already in. So that's not a problem for me. I used a Corsair H50 cooler for it that has two Cougar Vortex PWM fans on it, so it's mostly quiet too.

I will not be using it for games, and decided to use it since I already have it here. Smile

 

0
+ -

@ realneil Thanks you for your replies :) But i was just making a point for those who doesn't know much about it(novice) i know it isn't geared towards that market, And i have a question can you use an APU and a discrete graphics card together? for better performance? or you have to disable your cpu integrated graphics in order to use the discrete one?

0
+ -

cowboyspace:
i have a question can you use an APU and a discrete graphics card together? for better performance?

Yes, it's one of the selling points.

One of the features that an APU based system brings to the table is an ability to run Hybrid Crossfire. The FM1 Motherboards work in conjunction with the AMD APU's graphic's capabilities to deliver ~better than Intel's~ onboard graphics.

Then, if you add the PROPER discrete Radeon video card into your PCI-E bus, you can enable that card to crossfire with your onboard graphics for a faster experiance. The fastest card that works this way is any Radeon HD6670 DX-11 based card. I'm not sure what the slowest one is,....I just bought a couple of HD6670's for my two systems.

Once you install the discrete card and set the BIOS properly, you can boot into Windows and enable crossfire performance from within Catalyst Control Center, or Vision Control Center.

This is not a full blown gaming solution, but it works pretty good for not a lot of money.

 

1 2 3 Next
Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: