AMD Fusion: A8-3500M A-Series Llano APU Review

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HD Media Playback and Encoding

On the video decode side of the equation, we selected an HD movie trailer clip to look at from a resource utilization standpoint. With a powerful chip like the AMD A8-3500M, we didn't expect HD video playback to be an issue but regardless, we looked at CPU utilization playing back this 1080p H.264 QuickTime clip. We fired up the I am Legend trailer .mov file with Windows Media Player, while taking note of thread activity in Windows Task Manager Performance Monitor.

1080p H.264 QuickTime Movie Trailer - I Am Legend - 13% CPU utilization and no sweat

1080P Flash Video, Youtube: Avatar Movie Trailer

We also streamed a 1080p movie trailer on Youtube in full screen mode, a notoriously taxing proposition for ultralight platforms, netbooks and the like.  In the H.264 Quicktime clip, performance monitor showed activity only across two threads and oscillating around 5% CPU utilization.  In the flash video test, the Avatar trailer only consumed about 15 - 17% but did so across 4 active threads.  Regardless, Llano didn't even break a sweat obviously in either of these two HD video playback scenarios.

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 streaming.  In this test, we take a 224MB high definition 1080p AVCHD video clip and compress and convert it to a 720p H.264-encoded .mov file.  Times are measured in minutes:seconds with lower times representing faster throughput in the video conversion process.

The version of the application we used actually does support video transcode processing on AMD GPUs, so what you're looking at here is what Llano's IGP can do, rather than a software conversion on the CPU.  Clearly Intel's QuickSync engine outclasses all other test systems but AMD's Llano processor holds up relatively well versus the higher-end, higher power consuming Core i7 quad core with 8 threads processing the workload. Llano is also able to outpace a similarly clocked, previous generation Intel dual core (Arrandale) that doesn't have QuickSync technology at its disposal.

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