AMD A8-3850 Llano Desktop Processor (APU) Review

The GPU Benchmark

I think this part is the most interesting – I’ve prepared the benchmark comparing the Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB DDR5 will be compared against the A8-3850, and also the CrossfireX setup benchmark where the Radeon HD 6670 works with the A8-3850. 🙂 Oh by the way, the A8-3850’s onboard GPU is the HD 6550D.

And to make things more interesting, the CrossfireX setup of 6670 + 6550D = 6690D2 😀

Here are the GPUs

AMD A8-3850 Llano Desktop Processor (APU) Review

AMD A8-3850 Llano Desktop Processor (APU) Review

*720p = 1280×720, 1080p = 1920×1080

Normally I’ll summarize at the end of the benchmarks but not this time – you’ll see that I’ve included the 1080p benchmark for the 6690D2, that’s because I was so impressed with the combination that I decided to do the 1080p tests just for it. FYI the benchmarks were all done in 720p ONLY as it doesn’t make sense to even use the 6670 nor the 6550D on Full HD resolution. As you can see below, they’re practically crawling (unplayable) at 720p with no anti-aliasing.

Lost Planet 2

Graphic Detail : 0xAA, all other settings high.

Setup Resolution Average
HD 6550D 720p 9.5
HD 6670 720p 19.7
6690D2 720p 21.7
6690D2 1080p 17.3

The crossfire setup allowed the system to perform close to what the HD 6670 does at 720p.

Alien Vs Predator

Graphic Detail : 0xAA

Setup Resolution Average
HD 6550D 720p 12.3
HD 6670 720p 37.6
6690D2 720p 54.2
6690D2 1080p 28.7

While the HD 6670 was way ahead of the HD 6550D, their combined power brought even more framerate for 720p resolution and made 1080p just barely playable!

Unigine Heaven 2.0

Graphic Detail : 0xAA 4xAF

Setup Resolution Average
HD 6550D 720p 11.7
HD 6670 720p 23.5
6690D2 720p 32.9
6690D2 1080p 21.0

That’s nearly a 10 frame boost, from barely playable to playable at 720p. The 6690D2 also made it 1080p framerate quite comparable to say the 720p performance of the HD6670.

Operating Temperature

Stress test was done using Lavalys Everest, stressing the unit for about 5 minutes at around 25°C. What surprised me was that the processor actually shows 9c on HWMonitor. I couldn’t believe either, not sure if it’s just the motherboard’s reading issue but it really does show 9°C. I couldn’t even get an idle X3 to go below 20°C with water cooling!

AMD A8-3850 Llano Desktop Processor (APU) Review

Anyway operating temperatures are good, it was only about 64°C on full load. 🙂 The 9°C screenshot was taken when the room was about 22°C. At 25°C the reading shows the processor temperature fluctuates between 12°C and 22°C.

Not Smooth Sailing

Scary? Nah, don’t be. I just want to share a bit about my experience with the Llano’s installation / setup. The A8-3850 worked flawlessly with my MSI motherboard right out of the box, just load the drivers and it’s all smooth sailing.

I’ll just put it simple – use the Catalyst 11.6b driver if you intend to CrossfireX. Don’t ever use the drivers from the CD 🙁 Because of them, I’m sleep-deprived (2 hours of sleep over the past 48 hours) and had to delay the article by a day. Probably my writing sucks more than usual by now, considering I’m almost a zombie.


If you’re looking for a new system, this is a good candidate, especially those who loves playing computer games (and don’t mind the lower details) but stuck with a tight budget. The A8-3850 and board comes to only about RM 800 but you get performance about the higher-range Athlon II X4 processor but you do get a little more cache out of it. There’s also the A6-3650.

Besides that, there’s also the on board GPU which is pretty much the price of a graphic card that’s around RM 200 – 250 range – eg the Radeon HD 6570. If you already have a HD 6450, HD 6570 and HD 6670 – you can CrossfireX it to get a boost in graphic performance. This is perhaps THE selling point that makes AMD’s APU offering more attractive than Intel’s i3 processors. Furthemore the APU such as this A8 is a true quad-core.

On the down side – the A-Series works on the new FM1 socket. It’s good for those of you going for a new computer but for the rest of us who are already users of AMD based systems, you’re better off upgrading your processor to something like the X6 1100T. If not, wait for the Bulldozer that’s said to be using Socket AM3+.

goldfries recommended

I must say
a) they do remind me of Audi cars
b) they also remind me of the ATi Radeon HD 3xxx series graphic card some 5 years back.

goldfries rated this product :

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  1. Hi, i think the A8-3850 got a locked CPU multiplier at x29? anything higher than x29 might be fake result caused by this board. i saw some can get 11000MHz at CPU-Z haha…. fake world record.

  2. can u give me the step to enable the crossfire… mine seem can’t shows the crossfire tab… been using the latest CCC n driver… then uninstall n try this 11.6b still no luck

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