We are beginning to hear more about AMD’s new Llano desktop APUs therefore we thought you would appreciate finding out about the most powerful APU in this series the A8-3850, it has four 2.9GHz cores and integrated Radeon HD 6550D graphics, this GPU features 400 shader processors running at 600MHz, therefore for some buying a separate graphics card will be unnecessary.
Recently AnandTech got their hands on the A8-3850 and put it through its paces with benchmark tests, in CPU tests the A8-3850 performed well, however sometimes struggled to keep up with the Intel Core i3 2100, you can see the benchmark results here. In the Cinebench R10 – Multi-Threaded, x264 HD, and 7-zip benchmarks the A8-3850 outperformed all of the competition, however the Core i3 2100 outdone AMD’s APU in six out of the 10 benchmarks, we were also surprised to see that at times the A8-3850 failed to outdo the AMD Athlon II X4 635.
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When it comes to the APU’s GPU performance the results are pretty impressive, you can see lots of the benchmark results here, however please remember that what we are looking at are the AMD A8-3850 (Radeon HD 6550D) results vs. the Intel Core i5 2500K (2372 drivers) as these both feature integrated GPUs, whilst the others are paired with separate GPUs. Out of the 11 comparative GPU benchmarks the A8-3850 outperforms the i5 2500K in 8 of the tests, AnandTech say that more CPU intensive games such as Starcraft II and Dragon Age prefer the Sandy Bridge offering.
In the wrap up AnandTech say that Llano should suit those of you who are looking to buy an entry-level gaming PC, we just wonder whether people are that worried about saving a few dollars which they would have spent on a separate graphics card. One thing in Llano’s favor is the fact that it fits in with the smaller, faster less and power consumption mentality which technology seems to thrive on today, it certainly shows that AMD are headed in the right direction.
If you are considering purchasing an AMD Llano APU we must tell you that these APUs use a new socket called FM1, we expect to see more and more motherboards featuring this socket soon, one thing which is worth noting is that existing socket-AM3 coolers will be compatible with FM1 motherboards, this may come in handy if you have already bought an expensive cooler.
We have embedded a couple of photos of the pin layout and FM1 socket below. Do you think that new Llano APUs will take off?