AMD A8-3850 - Integrated Graphics the AMD Way


Test Setup

Test Setup

AMD's A-series processors are aimed at the mainstream and with the top model, the A8-3850 going for US$135, we were scrambling to find suitable comparisons from existing AMD and Intel processors. AMD itself says that the A8-3850 will compete directly against Intel's Core i3-2100, which is a Sandy Bridge dual-core processor running at 3.1GHz, with HyperThreading support. It has Intel HD Graphics 2000 along with a lower price of US$125 and a lower 65W TDP. Unfortunately, it's not a model that we have in our lab and hence we had to make do with the Core i5-2400, which is a quad-core 3.1GHz processor going for US$190.

Obviously, it's not the best of comparisons, which is why we also included older processors like the previous generation, Clarkdale, Core i3-550 and 530, which costs around US$125 and US$113 respectively. Since the A8-3850 is based on the Phenom II architecture, we also included a couple of Athlon II X4 processors, which are similar quad-core processors of around the same price range - the Athlon II X4 645 costs $105. Just think of these Athlon II X4 processors as Llano without the integrated graphics.

Check the lists below for the actual test configurations for each architecture. As usual, we'll test all processors with the same discrete graphics card to get a gauge of its general CPU capability, but we will also test the integrated graphics separately. It's the reason why we included an Intel H67 system.


AMD A8-3850 Test Configuration

  • AMD A8-3850 APU
  • ASUS F1A75-V PRO
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 (CAS 7-7-7-20)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 260 O.C (ForceWare 197.45) for discrete graphics tests
  • AMD Radeon HD 6550D (Catalyst driver 8.86) for integrated graphics test, 256MB frame buffer
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps (one single NTFS partition)
  • AMD SATA AHCI driver: 1.2.0.164
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)


Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge) Test Configuration

  • Intel Core i5-2400
  • ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (BIOS: 0602)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 (CAS 7-7-7-20)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 260 OC (ForceWare 197.45)
  • WD Caviar Black 1TB, SATA 6G (Intel 6G)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
  • Intel INF 9.2.0.1015


Intel Core i5/i3 (Clarkdale)Test Configuration

  • Intel Core i3-550 and Core i3-530
  • MSI P55-GD85 (BIOS 1.37)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 (CAS 7-7-7-20)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 260 O.C (ForceWare 197.45)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps (one single NTFS partition)
  • Intel INF 9.1.0.1025
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)


AMD Phenom II X4/X6 Test Configuration

  • AMD Athlon II X4 645 and 635
  • ASUS Crosshair IV Formula (AMD 890FX + SB850, 0702 BIOS)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 (7-7-7-20)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 260 O.C (ForceWare 197.45)
  • AMD Chipset driver
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps (one single NTFS partition)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)


Intel H67 Test Configuration (for Intel HD Graphics)

  • Intel Core i5-2400 and Core i5-2600K
  • Gigabyte H67A-UD3H
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 (CAS 7-7-7-20)
  • Intel HD Graphics (256MB frame buffer)
  • WD Caviar Black 1TB, SATA 6G (Intel 6G)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
  • Intel INF 9.2.0.1015, Intel Graphics Driver - 8.15.10.2266


Benchmarks

The following benchmarks were used to test the CPU and the integrated graphics:

CPU Benchmarks

  • BAPCo SYSmark 2007 Preview (ver 1.05)
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage (ver 1.03.1, 64-bit)
  • Lightwave 3D 9.0 (64-bit)
  • 3ds Max 8 (SP2)
  • Cinebench 11.5 (64-bit)
  • Handbrake 0.9.4
  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage (ver 1.03.1)
  • Far Cry 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2


Integrated Graphics Benchmarks

  • Far Cry 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Blu-ray Playback Testing (Black Snake Moan, Superman Returns) using PowerDVD 10 (ver 2308)

 

8.5
Performance
8
Features
8.5
Value
8.5
The Good
Hits new high in integrated graphics performance
Mainstream pricing
The Bad
Mediocre CPU performance
Dual Graphics feature is disappointing