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

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Gaming: Metro 2033 and ET:QW

Next, we turned up the graphics workload a notch or two, with Metro 2033, a 3D graphics stress test if we ever saw one, albeit using more relaxed settings.

Metro 2033
DirectX Gaming Performance


Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment, but rather you’re left to deal with life, or lack there-of more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform currently including a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. Since Intel's HD Graphics core only supports up to DX10.1 rendering, we tested the game set to medium quality using the game's DX10 rendering mode with 4X Anisotropic Filtering enabled.

AMD's A8-3870K APU offered about 77% better performance than the Intel processors here, due to the APU's much more powerful integrated GPU. Once again, we also see nice performance gains with the A8-3870K overclocked.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
OpenGL Gaming Performance


Enemy Territory:
Quake Wars

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is Based on a radically enhanced version of id's Doom 3 engine and viewed by many as Battlefield 2 meets the Strogg, and then some. In fact, we'd venture to say that id took EA's team-based warfare genre up a notch or two. ET: Quake Wars also marks the introduction of John Carmack's "Megatexture" technology that employs large environment and terrain textures that cover vast areas of maps without the need to repeat and tile many smaller textures. The beauty of megatexture technology is that each unit only takes up a maximum of 8MB of frame buffer memory. Add to that HDR-like bloom lighting and leading edge shadowing effects and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars looks great, plays well and works high end graphics cards vigorously. The game was tested using its "High" quality preset with 4x anisotropic filtering.

We saw more of the same with our custom ET:QW benchmark. The A8-3870K's integrated GPU smashes Intel's here and shows that there's some nice headroom left for overclocking.

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