AMD A8-3850 Llano APU and Lynx Platform Preview

HD Media Playback and Encoding

On the video decode side of the equation, we viewed an assortment of HD movie trailer clips and monitored CPU utilization. With a relatively powerful chip like the AMD A8-3850, we didn't expect HD video playback to be an issue but regardless, we looked at CPU utilization playing back the 1080p Flash video clip pictured below. We also fired up an I am Legend movie trailer .mov file with Windows Media Player, an used PowerDVD to play other various formats, while taking note of thread activity in Windows Task Manager Performance Monitor.

Core i5-2500: 1080p Flash Video

Core i3-2120: 1080p Flash Video

AMD A8-3850 APU: 1080p Flash Video

All of the video clips we played back worked flawlessly and exhibited very low CPU utilization in the single-digits or low double-digits. Full-screen 1080p Flash video is notorious for high CPU utilization when using older drivers or Flash Players, but the situation looks good today.  All of the platforms represented here performed very well in our HD Media playback tests, although AMD does offer some video enhancements that Intel does not.

HD Video Encoding Performance
Testing With and Without Intel Quick Sync

Cyberlink's Media Show Espresso is a video conversion tool that imports various video media files types and converts them to other standard video formats for publication, distribution and / or streaming. In this test, we take a 184MB high definition 1080p AVCHD video clip and compress and convert it to a iPhone 4 H.264-encoded .MP4 file. Times are measured in minutes:seconds with lower times representing faster throughput in the video conversion process.

We ran this test both with an without hardware acceleration on all of the platforms and the differences in performance were huge. To put it simply, Intel's Quick-Sync technology rocks. With it enabled, all of the second-gen Core processors ripped though the video in 10 seconds. But even without Quick-Sync though, the Intel chips put up good numbers.  Intel's dual-cores only slightly trailed AMD's quads. What's interesting to note is that the A8-3850's GPU is actually slower to encode video than the CPU cores--at least with the latest version of MediaShow Espresso.

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