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

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Test Systems and PCMark 7

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.

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