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AMD Llano APU Review - Slow CPU, Fast GPU 184

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the welcome-to-the-doldrums dept.
Vigile writes "Though we did see the fruits of AMD's Fusion labor in the form of the Brazos platform late in 2010, Llano is the first mainstream part to be released that combines traditional x86 CPU cores with Radeon-based SIMD arrays for a heterogeneous computing environment. The A-series of APUs reviewed over at PC Perspective starts with the A8-3850 that is a combination of a true quad-core processor and 400 shader processors similar to those found in AMD's Radeon HD 5000 series of GPUs. The good news for the first desktop APU is that the integrated graphics blows past the best Intel has to offer on the Sandy Bridge platform by a factor of 2-4x in terms of gaming. The bad news is the CPU performance: running at only 2.9 GHz the Phenom-based x86 portion often finds itself behind even the dual-core Intel Core i3-2100. On the bright side you can pick one up next month for only $135."
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AMD Llano APU Review - Slow CPU, Fast GPU

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  • Slow? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @09:42AM (#36621946)

    This new AMD product specifically targets the budget user with occasional gamings. It allows entry level gaming, for the price of a very cheap CPU + GPU at lower TDP. It's also a better solution than a CPU + Discrete graphics because it already gives you entry level gaming without taking up a PCI-E slot; at the same time allows for asymmetrical CrossFire so in case you want to get a high end CPU you can see a benefit (in DX10 & DX11 titles)

    This new APU from AMD shoots down any budget graphics Intel has to offer whilst giving you more CPU power to do anything Atom does.

    At the end of the day, Core i3 + HD3000 costs more and has a higher idle power usage.

    IMO the title should read: "Brilliant new budget gaming APU from AMD!"

  • Re:Who buys AMD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @10:07AM (#36622244) Journal

    If you don't need that kind of performance, then that extra $100 is wasted.

    My server currently runs on an AMD. For one, it was the lowest energy using quad core I could find (45W). For two, at the time, it was cheaper than most Intel quad cores. And used less power than all but their lowest end dual cores.

    Then again, my gaming rig is an i7 and my notebook is a Core2 Duo.

    So, to answer your question: when it is the right tool for the job.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @10:27AM (#36622514)

    It's just not. Maybe it's "slow" compared to the newest chip, but, if you want to pull that crap, the newest chips are "slow" compared to a new Cray.

    If you're doing things on a regular basis that are CPU-intensive, then, sure, you need speed. But 99% of applications aren't even going to stress a quad core @ 3ghz.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @10:55AM (#36622888)
    Bulldozers wont have on-die graphics like these Llano (Bobcat) CPU's until mid to late 2012 at the earliest.

    What should be noted and what isnt well understood is that these "APU's" coming out from AMD are all Bobcat chips. Bobcat is a design directly targeting Intel's Atom market. The review here is for the King of the Bobcat's, the high powered variant weighing in at 100W peek built on the 32nm processes. The low power bobcats only have 80 stream processors (5.9W, 9W, and 18W variants) instead of the 400 stream processors (100W) that this thing has at are on the 40nm process.

    All the Bobcat modules have only 2 ALU's and 2 FPU's, and only a 1-channel memory controller, so it is no surprise that it has trouble competing with the i3's. What is surprising is that never-the-less, its competing with the i3's.

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