AMD A8-3850 & Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Review

Conclusion

AMD A8-3850 & Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Review

Conclusion


Time to wrap up! Thoughts?

Let us start with the processor. On face value, what we have here is a package with performance that is roughly comparable to the AMD Athlon II X4 series that precedes it. For a 2011 release, this is arguably a little mediocre for a quad core processor but then again its list price reflects its performance accordingly. As already shown, the A8-3850 APU really comes into its own in games and other GPU accelerated media. Needless to say, you will need to pair your Core i3/i5 processor with a Radeon HD 6500 series graphics card or similar in order to outpace the AMD Llano APU. Moreover, one could expect further gains in multimedia performance by overclocking the integrated GPU. At around £100, the processor itself represents good value for entry/middle range multimedia and home theater desktop computers.

Next up is a final word on Gigabyte's A75M-UD2H. As a Micro ATX solution, it is ideal for those who wish to build a compact multimedia/home theater computer. Its performance was certainly in line with our expectations and on the whole it delivered as promised. Its overclocking abilities appeared somewhat limited in our sample; this could be a significant consideration for many of you.

In terms of price, the A75M-UD2H sits at around £85, which is about average for current FM1 socket releases. We do however find this quite alarming.

Today, if you wanted to build a low cost Intel Core i3/i5 machine, you would be looking at Intel's H61 and H67 chipset families, where motherboards are priced from £40 and £60 respectively. Admittedly the offerings towards the lower end of the price spectrum aren't particularly feature rich but for many, CrossfireX, elaborate heatsinks and power management is not all that necessary. The message that I hope to convey is that in purchasing a Socket FM1 system, you are buying into AMD's budget and mid-range platform. As such, you would be mad to spend 990FX or P67 money in this category. Do not forget that the A8-3850's GPU is compensating for the quad core processor's limitations; introduce dedicated graphics cards and Sandy Bridge processors will eat Llano for breakfast.

Overall, there is a lot to like about both the A8-3850 and the A75M-UD2H. As a whole, you can expect it to have an edge over a basic Core i3/i5 system for certain home usage such as video/basic gaming. However do not lose sight of the platform's limitations. AMD Fusion is certainly not a one size fits all solution for all.

 

The Good
- Excellent integrated GPU performance
- Good motherboard layout
- Processor pricing

The Mediocre
- Motherboard pricing
- Core Processor Performance

The Bad
- None

 

AMD A8-3850

 

Gigabyte A75M-UD2H

Thanks to AMD and Gigabyte for the samples on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.

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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
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