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[G3D] AMD A8 3870K Review

post #1 of 26
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Back in June 2011 AMD released their first ever consumer targeted APUs, with good success. We are now six months on from that release and AMD have decided that they should release a K model Black Edition series unlocked processor, allowing you to more easily squeeze some performance from both the GPU and CPU harbored inside that APU.

Now, before we start off, I want to make it very clear here, the A8 (Lynx) processors are entry level to mid-range targeted processors (well -- APUs). So we are looking at reasonable up-to okay CPU performance versus a rather kick ass integrated GPU, and all that for very interesting prices. Today's tested A8 3870K Black Edition APU for example will cost roughly 125 EUR.

Based on the Lynx APU architecture there are currently three APU models to be found in the A8 series; the A8-3850 is rated at 100W running at 2.9GHz. The second model is the A8-3800 rated at 65W, 2.7/2.4GHz (Turbo Core).

The new third model is the 3870K BE, rated at 100W running at 3.0 GHz. These APUs have a 4MB L2 cache and pack 400 Radeon (shader) cores with that embedded GPU running at 600MHz with what AMD calls a Radeon HD 6550D.

400 shader cores. That's really a huge leap in performance for integrated graphics alright. Also, for those that immediately noticed it, correct -- these processors do not have a shared L3 cache. Anyway, we'll talk all about the features and architecture over the next pages of course.

The 3800 and 3850 have locked multipliers, meaning that overclocking them is very difficult. However, the 3870K BE has unlocked multipliers, that means we can boost the processor performance a bit, but also the internal GPU.

Now the performance and overclocks will by far not be as grand as say the Phenom II / FX processors show, but every bit helps of course. And for just a few EUR more we could see an increase in performance of up-to a third.

Seems like a pretty dang good budget CPU.
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post #2 of 26
I think its awesome that this can almost keep up with a phenom 975 clock for clock... ( I said almost, I know the 975 is still better, even with the 3870 has a 100mhz advantage) but at $145, with a great iGPU, thats impressive... APU's FTW! thumb.gif
post #3 of 26
Thats only because they are gimping it to keep up BD sales. They said they wanted focus on Llano long before BD launched and now it feels the other way.
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post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdoublejj View Post

Thats only because they are gimping it to keep up BD sales. They said they wanted focus on Llano long before BD launched and now it feels the other way.

True, even with the unlocked parts it doesnt look like Llano reached its full potential... Hopefully Trinity keeps APUs interesting. Even gimped, I love my 3870k... Then again I am not a hardcore gamer.
post #5 of 26
This is not a Phenom 2 as it lacks L3 BTW. Don't see why they didn't just shrink Phenom 2.
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post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BizzareRide View Post

This is not a Phenom 2 as it lacks L3 BTW. Don't see why they didn't just shrink Phenom 2.

Im sure they had their reasons, and I am sure everyone will soon accept that and look to the future, instead of what could have been thumb.gif
Edited by RedSunRises - 1/18/12 at 1:58am
post #7 of 26
From what I have seen the CPU portion is weaker than Sandy Bridge, but the GPU part is better. AMD is on the right track with these APUs. I can see the GPU/CPU market going away in 10 or so years, replaced by APU's. For now I think APUs are perfect for Workstations. I can see them overtaking that market much sooner.
post #8 of 26
sleepysmileyanim.gif
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerPowered View Post

From what I have seen the CPU portion is weaker than Sandy Bridge, but the GPU part is better. AMD is on the right track with these APUs. I can see the GPU/CPU market going away in 10 or so years, replaced by APU's. For now I think APUs are perfect for Workstations. I can see them overtaking that market much sooner.

To be honest i cant see that happening.
Nor do i want it to.

 

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post #10 of 26
Wonder what it's like overclocked with a HD 6670 using the asymmetric crossfire capability.
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