AMD A8-3870K Black Edition Review

By on February 2, 2012
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The fusion APU’s flagship flexes its muscles.

Good: Fast stock performance, Unlocked multiplier, Runs cool
Bad: High overclock depends on performance motherboards of which there aren't many
Price: AED 600
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Late last year I reviewed the AMD A8-3850 APU, which the first high-end Llano based offering from AMD, giving desktop users a taste of how successfully integrated graphics can work with a quad-core processor. And while the performance in multi-threaded applications was decent, as were the onboard graphics, the chip still felt somewhat lacking compared to the direct competition, which is the Intel Core i3-2100.

So today I’ll be looking at the new flagship APU from AMD, the Llano A8-3870K. Apart from having a 100MHz increase over the A8-3850, the ace up the A8-3870K is the fact that it has unlocked core multiplier. Of course, given that the Llano APUs aren’t being targeted towards the hardcore gamer, you won’t find high-end motherboards geared towards overclocking. As such, currently overclocking the A8-3870K is only possible on those motherboards who have an updated BIOS which supports switching the multiplier.

Outside of the unlocked multiplier, the A8-3870K has the same HD 6550D GPU with 400 Radeon cores running at 600MHz speed as the A8-3850. Now one of the coolest things about the Llano APUs is that they are targeted mostly towards HTPC users and the extremely budget conscious gamer who doesn’t want to play Battlefield 3 at Ultra high settings. As such, if the built-in HD 6550D GPU isn’t enough, you can pair it with an AMD Radeon HD 6670 graphics card for asymmetrical CrossFire where both the Llano APU’s integrated HD 6550D and the discrete HD 6670 work in tandem.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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