AMD A8-3850 & Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Review

Introducing AMD's latest APU

AMD A8-3850 & Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Review

Introduction


Integration; a truly vital part of life. Consolidating multiple solutions into something optimal has its benefits in a number of applications. Take a weekend paper for example - chances are there is an interesting article for everyone. Needless to say that the concept of unifying devices in technology is nothing new; as transistor counts rise (at least) in line with Moores' law, we continually see performance improvements appearing in machines that seem to be ever shrinking. Newspapers? Forget it. Amazon's kindle? Getting there but not quite. Today's city worker is reading his Financial Times on a light and ultra thin 1080p capable tablet. Who would have thought it?

While system on chip processor designs are blowing minds in the mobile phone, entry level netbook and tablet segments, a similar evolution is stirring in the world of desktops computers. In 2009, Intel were first to market a processor package which integrates a graphics processing unit under the hood of the Core i3, i5 and i7 range. In turn this has simplified chipsets on motherboards. This however hasn't done much for the consumer. Yes, Intel finally brought full HD capabilities to entry level desktop processors but so what? This is where AMD steps in.

Annoyingly, there is normally a significant gap in performance between integrated graphics processors and many dedicated PCI-Express options; so if it happened that your needs were above and beyond Intel's HD 3xxx graphics or AMD's own 880G, you would be expected to shell out a further 50+ pounds of your valuable funds. However the game has changed with AMD's new platform - meet AMD Llano and the FM1/A75 motherboard platform.

Under the hood of AMD's new "bang per buck" 32nm processor lies something a little different. While the quad core processor design remains largely akin to the 45nm Athlon II processor, the core processor occupies a surprisingly small proportion of the overall die space. This is because the processor package incorporates a Radeon HD 6000 based GPU with 320/400 stream processors; a staggering 5x increase over the preceding motherboard based IGPs.

  AMD Athlon II X4 640
AMD A6-3650AMD A8-3850
Manufacturing Process 45nm 32nm45nm
Core Frequency (CPU/GPU)
3000MHz / N/A
2600MHz / 443MHz
2900MHz / 600MHz
Stream Processors
N/A 320400
L2 Cache
4 x 512kB 4 x 1MB
4 x 1MB
Multiplier Unlocked
Downwards Only Downwards OnlyDownwards Only
Current Price
~£70 ~£85
~£100



Considering the above table, there are currently two Llano processors available today - the A6-3650 and A8-3850. Priced similarly, they differ considerably where the former loses 80 stream processors and a trim of both GPU and CPU frequencies. We suspect that the A8-3850 will be the preferred choice amongst the vast majority.

In a nutshell, for a little more than the cost of its predecessor you can purchase a processor which comes equipped with its own GPU. But what sort of motherboard does one need? Today we will also be examining the Gigabyte A75M-UD2H. Turn over for more...

«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next»

Most Recent Comments

01-08-2011, 05:34:58

tinytomlogan
At last, we are proud to present to you our verdict on AMD's latest APU platform.



Continue Reading

01-08-2011, 05:53:33

SieB
Good review Mul

01-08-2011, 06:43:51

F-alienware
This is going to be a very hard product to review.

Mostly because there is nothing else like it on the market.

I'm a little confused as to why this was pitted against an I5 when the I5 is clearly far more expensive.

103.99 inc for the Llano from Ebuyer, 137 inc for the I5.

The comparissons should be against the I3. Now sure, as a CPU the I3 is faster. However, the GPU aboard the 3850 poos on the I3 and is actually playable at sensible resolutions. Every other review I have read have pitted it like for like, so I can't understand why this has been benched against a CPU that puts another 35% on top of what the 3850 costs.

I can only summise it was because OC3D maybe didn't have an I3 to put it against?

01-08-2011, 08:07:10

AxJaWz
I agree but nice review!

01-08-2011, 09:45:52

jonowee
Oh FFS Gigabyte, I want vomit when I see SATA ports stick straight out of motherboard. Yeah this motherboard has some odd mix of price, IGP, and Crossfire capability.

01-08-2011, 10:03:17

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Good review Mul
Thank you. I haven't published anything since February - glad to have been able to help out a little

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

I can only summise it was because OC3D maybe didn't have an I3 to put it against?
Bingo.

Indeed an i3 wasn't available to compare it with, however I had left hints along the way that the price of the A8-3850 accounts for its inferior core for core and clock for clock (gag) performance. However, I feel that the article was able to highlight what was most important. Entry level multimedia users don't need outright core processor performance - combine an average CPU with a good enough GPU and their most complex needs are satisfied. Intel's Atom + nVidia ION as well as AMD's own FUZION E350 is a testament to this.

I maintain that so long as you build a FM1 system in a cut price fashion, it represents very good value for money. However as I've said in the review, you've got to be bonkers to spend big on a A75 FM1 board.

01-08-2011, 10:10:35

F-alienware
Fair play Mul. Cheers for clearing that up

Yeah the sweet spot ATM seems to be getting the Asrock 50 micro and then getting 2000mhz ram. The GPU on it performs better on faster ram apparently

01-08-2011, 10:12:28

badtaylorx
seems like this could be a really good choice for a young schoolchildren age type family computer?!?!?!?

01-08-2011, 10:14:01

F-alienware
For around 250 you can build an entire computer that can actually play a real game.

When seen for what they are these are cracking little CPUs. I read this in another review....

The Llano APU from AMD is immensely clever. It has, overnight, made all of the entry level gaming GPUs completely redundant.

01-08-2011, 10:53:33

Jaster
As a desktop based APU I think it will fill a market primarily for OEMS and cheap system vendors. The interesting point about these APU's is not really in the desktop environment. I think the cheap laptop market is where these APU's will excel. For the OEM's like Dell HP/Compaq etc its a bit of a no brainer, offering the customer a better media experience for the same cost. Maybe i'll then get one day at work without some idiot wondering why he can't play WoW on his new Dell with all the settings on full....I pray for that day....

01-08-2011, 11:10:03

F-alienware
Yup, a cheap gaming laptop that can actually run games.

01-08-2011, 11:12:37

Ya93sin
While the performance won't set the world alight, at least if you were a casual gamer, you could pretty much run most games at medium with a dose of AA.

Nice review

01-08-2011, 11:14:07

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

For around 250 you can build an entire computer that can actually play a real game.

When seen for what they are these are cracking little CPUs. I read this in another review....

The Llano APU from AMD is immensely clever. It has, overnight, made all of the entry level gaming GPUs completely redundant.
Each to their own I suppose. I feel that from an integration perspective, Llano is definitely a big deal. However from a performance per pound standpoint (as a platform) I don't appear to share the same enthusiasm that other reviewers do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaster View Post

As a desktop based APU I think it will fill a market primarily for OEMS and cheap system vendors. The interesting point about these APU's is not really in the desktop environment. I think the cheap laptop market is where these APU's will excel. For the OEM's like Dell HP/Compaq etc its a bit of a no brainer, offering the customer a better media experience for the same cost. Maybe i'll then get one day at work without some idiot wondering why he can't play WoW on his new Dell with all the settings on full....I pray for that day....
Absolutely ^^

01-08-2011, 11:37:57

F-alienware
TBH Mul and no offence here, I didn't expect OC3D to really care much for it. It's not bleeding edge and it doesn't seem very exciting.

So I wasn't expecting it to get rave reviews. However, when you consider it's basically a Phenom 2 with a 6750 strapped on it for 100 and can actually run games such as Left 4 Dead and so on then it's quite the revolution.

Sure, I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole in a desktop. Put into a laptop however? well, if you get the screen res right then you have a potential technology that could take on Alienware's M11X for half the price.

It just needs to be seen for what it is, which is hard when you're into powerful hardware. And, I truly feel that if people expected Bulldozer to be this Intel crushing massively cored beast then they are in for a horrible dissapointment. Price to performance Bulldozer will absolutely nail it. Intel Extreme beater? don't think so.

01-08-2011, 13:22:07

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

TBH Mul and no offence here, I didn't expect OC3D to really care much for it. It's not bleeding edge and it doesn't seem very exciting.

So I wasn't expecting it to get rave reviews. However, when you consider it's basically a Phenom 2 with a 6750 strapped on it for 100 and can actually run games such as Left 4 Dead and so on then it's quite the revolution.

Sure, I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole in a desktop. Put into a laptop however? well, if you get the screen res right then you have a potential technology that could take on Alienware's M11X for half the price.

It just needs to be seen for what it is, which is hard when you're into powerful hardware. And, I truly feel that if people expected Bulldozer to be this Intel crushing massively cored beast then they are in for a horrible dissapointment. Price to performance Bulldozer will absolutely nail it. Intel Extreme beater? don't think so.
I think we have a misunderstanding here!

I completely understand where you're coming from, but bear in mind that I certainly wasn't knocking the processor for what it is! I can definitely see a good "non high end" product when I see it - after all, the vast majority of my reviews on this website in the last 12-18 months are Intel Atom, AMD 785G/880G/890GX, Intel H55/H57 Integrated, AMD FUZION E350 based.

As I've said already, the level of performance it delivers for the amount of integration applied, it really is a big deal. Really my biggest objection is this - many of the motherboards are just too expensive!

A large proportion of FM1 motherboards cost 80+. For a platform (which as you rightly say) is ideal for laptops and lower cost machines, the pricing is simply outrageous. Manufacturers are faffing around with over specifying motherboards when they should be simple, reliable and cheap. Don't forget, 80 will buy you a AMD Bulldozer ready motherboard - remember Bulldozer is AM3+, not FM1. Certainly not everyone needs a bulldozer processor, but if you don't need one, why are you spending just as much on a motherboard? Pair the A8-3850 with a ~50 board with plenty of SATA and USB and the Socket FM1 platform is a winner.

But if you're spending close to 100 on a motherboard, Llano is simply a no go - at least for those who don't need a particularly compact desktop. For similar money, you'll have a Bulldozer ready motherboard, an Athlon II X4 based processor and a Radeon HD 65xx based card - it'll perform similarly, perhaps better due to the dedicated video memory. In the mean time, the upgradability of your system improves greatly.

I hope that clarifies what I hoped to convey.

01-08-2011, 16:28:47

Lollipop
It's brand new tech. People want to squeeze as much money out of it as they can until people realise it is not worth so much money

01-08-2011, 17:52:05

F-alienware
Yup I'm with you on the cost of the boards Mul, but I don't think that's AMD's fault tbh. Just companies jumping on the cash cow and pulling the teets. Mind you, it's kinda stupid tbh. A good board for this CPU is just a waste of money and sense. If you disable the GPU you're left with a correctly priced Phenom 2. Why would you throw away your free GPU lol.

I really hope that some one does come up with a 3850 based laptop with a nice small screen (10", say) so I can get one. I've wanted a laptop that can run games like L4D for bloody ages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollipop View Post

It's brand new tech. People want to squeeze as much money out of it as they can until people realise it is not worth so much money
^ that, yes.

01-08-2011, 19:02:37

Ya93sin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

Yup I'm with you on the cost of the boards Mul, but I don't think that's AMD's fault tbh. Just companies jumping on the cash cow and pulling the teets. Mind you, it's kinda stupid tbh. A good board for this CPU is just a waste of money and sense. If you disable the GPU you're left with a correctly priced Phenom 2. Why would you throw away your free GPU lol.

I really hope that some one does come up with a 3850 based laptop with a nice small screen (10", say) so I can get one. I've wanted a laptop that can run games like L4D for bloody ages
I have an Acer Ferrari One netbook, its a dual core 1.2GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, hybrid GPU (HD3200) with 334MB dedicated memory), it plays L4D. 11.6" too

02-08-2011, 06:08:01

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

Yup I'm with you on the cost of the boards Mul, but I don't think that's AMD's fault tbh.
Agreed.

02-08-2011, 06:32:26

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ya93sin View Post

I have an Acer Ferrari One netbook, its a dual core 1.2GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, hybrid GPU (HD3200) with 334MB dedicated memory), it plays L4D. 11.6" too
I nearly got one of those but chose the bike haha. I live 2 miles from the sea and being an avid fisherman the choice was simple

Thing is mate, right now you can get a Dell 15" laptop for 350 on PC world with a dual cored Pentium in. Thing is, not only are those dual cored Pentiums about 70 but they then have to pay for a GPU to put with it..

I seriously reakon that they could bash out a 10" laptop with the Llano in for less than 300, if not 250. And for that kind of power pushing, say, 800x600 it would probably be able to run any game.

02-08-2011, 08:31:43

Lollipop
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

I nearly got one of those but chose the bike haha. I live 2 miles from the sea and being an avid fisherman the choice was simple

Thing is mate, right now you can get a Dell 15" laptop for 350 on PC world with a dual cored Pentium in. Thing is, not only are those dual cored Pentiums about 70 but they then have to pay for a GPU to put with it..

I seriously reakon that they could bash out a 10" laptop with the Llano in for less than 300, if not 250. And for that kind of power pushing, say, 800x600 it would probably be able to run any game.
Hybrid xfire anyone? on a 1366x768 screen that would be overkill

02-08-2011, 08:46:31

F-alienware
It doesn't work too well sadly. Been tried, failed. Same as Hybrid SLI. Both were done and then disabled due to being rather poo

02-08-2011, 09:52:41

Ya93sin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

I nearly got one of those but chose the bike haha. I live 2 miles from the sea and being an avid fisherman the choice was simple

Thing is mate, right now you can get a Dell 15" laptop for 350 on PC world with a dual cored Pentium in. Thing is, not only are those dual cored Pentiums about 70 but they then have to pay for a GPU to put with it..

I seriously reakon that they could bash out a 10" laptop with the Llano in for less than 300, if not 250. And for that kind of power pushing, say, 800x600 it would probably be able to run any game.
I got mine simply becase it was way better than what my school offered me (I've been using it for the last two years now). The HDD degradation is horrific though

I'm probably going to ditch it when it breaks down, or maybe use Ubuntu on it to preserve its life. Completely erasing the disk may be an option. I'm sure this stuff will get cheaper anyway

02-08-2011, 10:02:12

F-alienware
Does it use the memory drive thing then?

Yeah my Asus EEE thing had a 4gb one in and it degrades pretty darn quick Sad part is they're likely not TRIM capable nor could it be implemented

02-08-2011, 10:32:59

Ya93sin
I might just replace the disk with a new one if I cba. Needs a bloody good clean though, the CPU hits 70degC with ease, and this is an AMD
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.