Making integrated graphics a playable reality.
For reviewing the AMD A8-3850 I was provided with a Gigabyte A75M-UD2H motherboard to test it on. The motherboard in itself is a pretty impressive mini-ATX socket FM1 board in its own right, but today I’m just looking at the processor. So on the board went a pair of 4GB G.Skill RipJaws X DDR3-2133MHz memory sticks, our WD VelociRaptor 300GB HDD, a Zotac GTX 580 AMP! Edition (for comparisons) and a Noctua NH-U9B heatsink since we weren’t provided with the stock cooler. For comparisons, the only thing that comes close to price of the AMD A8-3850 is the Intel Core i3-2100.
While I have run benchmarks on just the A8-8350 APU alone, for proper comparisons with the Core i3-2100 I have plugged in the GTX 580. The below benchmarks are done in order to simulate CPU benchmarks between these two main competitors. Do keep in mind that the Core i3-2100 is running at 3.1GHz, a 6% increase compared to the A8-3850 is running at 2.9GHz. The lack of L3 cache is also hurting the Lynx processor a bit.
Both these tests simulate real-world computer usage, and it’s not surprising to see the Phenom II based A8-3850 lose out to the Sandy Bridge Core i3-2100. However the lead isn’t much, with a mere 4% increase in PC Mark but a sizeable 8% lead in Geekbench in favour of the Core i3.
I ran all tests thrice to ensure there were no inconsistencies, and indeed 7-zip results show the A8-3850 having a massive 26% leap over the Core i3-2100.
It seems that the multithreading on the Intel CPU is more effective than that of the AMD APU, giving he former a 13% increase. Clock speeds still play a big role here, so let’s not forget the 6% speed boost the Core i3-2100 has over the A8-3850. Interestingly when I ran this benchmark with the integrated GPU, I received a result of 3.41, a 16% increase over the Core i3-2100.
Once again the 3MB of L3 cache and 200MHz extra core clock speeds give the Core i3-2100 the edge in 3DMark 11.
It’s interesting to see the CPU score on Passmark for the A8-3850 having a 65% increase over the Core i3-2100, although the latter does have a superior lead in memory bandwidth, and strangely 2D, to balance things out.
One the biggest features of the Lynx processors are their extreme coolness. Ideally I would love to have had stock heatsinks for both of these CPUs, but as it were, we’re out of stock heatsinks in the Tbreak office. I know the Noctua NH-U9B is one hell of a CPU cooler, but do keep in mind that it isn’t the behemoth like its big brother, the NH-D14. The U9B was designed for small HTPC, and despite it’s dual-fan design, is still a relatively modest cooler. Then there’s the Intel XTS-100H cooler that you normally get with their high-end CPUs like the 980X, so what cooled the Core i3-2100 was an equally competent heatsink.
The end result is undeniable though, the AMD A8-3850 is an extremely cool running CPU. Even when overclocked, the maimum temperature never went beyond 42°C!