Wednesday, May 11th 2011

AMD A-Series APUs Tested Against Sandy Bridge CPUs at Gaming on IGP

What happens when you pit Intel's "Visually Smart" Sandy Bridge processors against Radeon-enriched AMD Fusion A-Series accelerated processing units? They do terribly at gaming on integrated graphics. Surprise! That is notwithstanding the fact that AMD is pitching its A-Series Fusion APUs to be a lot more than CPUs with embedded GPUs, they're pitched to be processors that make lower-mainstream graphics pointless, and to alter the software ecosystem to be more GPGPU intensive, so applications could benefit from the over 500 GFLOPs of computation power the 400 stream processor DirectX 11 GPU brings to the table.

A leaked presentation slide shows AMD's performance projections for the A-Series GPU, tests included GPU-heavy DirectX 10 titles such as Crysis Warhead and Borderlands; as well as DirectX 11 ready titles such as Dirt 2. AMD's quad-core A8-3850, A8-3650 and A8-3450 were included alongside Intel's dual-core Sandy Bridge Core i3-2100, and quad-core Core i5-2300, Core i5-2500K. The Atom-competitive E350 Zacate dual-core was also in the comparision, perhaps to show that it is nearly as good as Intel's much higher segment Core series processors at graphics.

30 frames per second (FPS) is considered "playable" limit by some tech journalists, but AMD created a range between 25 and 30 FPS to define what's playable. Each of the three A-Series chips scored above 25 FPS in every test, while the A8-3650 and 3850 reached/crossed the 30 FPS barrier. Going by the test results, AMD certainly achieved what it set out to, which is to use its immense GPU-engineering potential to lift up its CPU business. The A-Series APUs should make a formidable option for home desktop buyers who require strong graphics for casual gaming, cost the same as Intel's dual-core Sandy Bridge, and give four x86-64 cores for the same price. AMD's new A-Series Fusion APUs will launch in early June.Source: DonanimHaber
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50 Comments on AMD A-Series APUs Tested Against Sandy Bridge CPUs at Gaming on IGP

#1
Fourstaff
Oh god, I can't believe this is happening ...
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Fourstaff
Oh god, I can't believe this is happening ...
I know, I've been seen levitating farm animals here, too.
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#3
WhiteLotus
They'll be good in a HTPC if you have no graphics card I guess. Or straight out the box computers like Dell may benefit from these.
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#4
devguy
At what resolution were the playable frame-rates rendered?

But regardless, I believe these will impact the laptop market most of all. It's amazing how many nice laptops have a "powerful" Intel Core i5/i7, and have no discreet graphics chip alongside them (either due to heat or price). While these APUs will still likely be behind Nehalem in CPU performance, let's be honest in that for >80% of potential computer purchasers, the performance a Phenom II offers is more than sufficient!

In desktop land, if you say buy a Sandy Bridge prebuilt and later decide you wanna do some gaming, then go buy yourself a PCIe graphics card and install it. No problem. However, in laptop land, if you don't buy your laptop with gaming in mind from the get-go, you're screwed, and have to buy a new one. The Llano chip helps to rectify such problems.
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#5
yogurt_21
by: devguy
At what resolution where the playable frame-rates rendered?

But regardless, I believe these will impact the laptop market most of all. It's amazing how many nice laptops have a "powerful" Intel Core i5/i7, and have no discreet graphics chip alongside them (either due to heat or price). While these APUs will still likely be behind Nehalem in CPU performance, let's be honest in that for >80% of potential computer purchasers, the performance a Phenom II offers is more than sufficient!

In desktop land, if you say buy a Sandy Bridge prebuilt and later decide you wanna do some gaming, then go buy yourself a PCIe graphics card and install it. No problem. However, in laptop land, if you don't buy your laptop with gaming in mind from the get-go, you're screwed, and have to buy a new one. The Llano chip helps to rectify such problems.
my guess is 720P.
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#7
mamisano
Hmm, the second slide indicates the A series APUs will be 25, 35, and 45 watts? Can that be correct??
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#8
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: TheLostSwede
Looks fake, there's no i5-2300k....
I take that's 2500K. AMD press decks are typo-prone.
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#9
T3RM1N4L D0GM4
:shadedshu useless comparison... do want cpu bench NOW

:mad:
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#11
blibba
What does the nomenclature mean?

Is the A8-3650 an 8 core at 3.65GHZ? I presume not...
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#12
cadaveca
My name is Dave
I do bleive Fusion is quad CPU with onboard 6550 GPU? I am very interested to see how Crossfire performance works with discrete GPUs...will we get decent Tri-Fire perforamnce now, or will this be restricted to a single discrete VGA?
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#13
Fourstaff
by: blibba
What does the nomenclature mean?

Is the A8-3650 an 8 core at 3.65GHZ? I presume not...
I don't think AMD has released the naming scheme yet.

by: cadaveca
I do bleive Fusion is quad CPU with onboard 6650 GPU? I am very interested to see how Crossfire perforamance works with discrete GPUs...will we get decent Tri-Fire perforamnce now, or will this be restricted to a single discrete VGA?
I am not sure which model number it corresponds to, but 400 stream processors correspond to 5570 in 5xxx generation speak, or 6450/6470/6550/6570 depending on how they rescale the graphics card naming system. We will get to play with crossfire though.
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#14
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: Fourstaff
I don't think AMD has released the naming scheme yet.
I think they have...

http://www.techpowerup.com/145064/AMD-Llano-Fusion-APU-to-Feature-Radeon-HD-6550-Graphics.html
Llano's embedded GPU carries the AMD Radeon SKU of HD 6550. It will feature on AMD's Fusion A8-3550 and A8-3550P APUs, is DirectX 11 compliant, has 400 stream processors, and a core clock speed of 594 MHz. It uses memory shared from the main memory, but in all likelihood, AMD might work on SidePort-based memory support.
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#15
devguy
by: blibba
What does the nomenclature mean?

Is the A8-3650 an 8 core at 3.65GHZ? I presume not...
No octal cores in the Llano lineup. But I agree it is confusing how they named them, why not A2/A3/A4 for dual/tri/quad? But whatever...

And whether the suffix refers to clock speed remains to be seen. However, I doubt it because having a prefix that makes little sense and a suffix that makes perfect sense makes no sense. :cool:
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#16
Jonap_1st
ohh well, this will decrease boring thread like : "how can i play crysis on my laptop?"

:o

by: T3RM1N4L D0GM4
:shadedshu useless comparison... do want cpu bench NOW

:mad:
useless??

some of us already knew that sandy bridge do well better than Llano on cpu's performance. but the point AMD making this APU is to make balance between general processor execution as well as 3D geometry processing.

some people do want play a game on playable framerates on their laptop or desktop with IGP, that we already know some of SB's laptops and their desktop IGP line-up still struggle to do it..
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#17
D4S4
at first i was skeptical about integrating gpus into cpus, but then it struck me - assign physical simulation to them and make at least me happy.
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#19
meirb111
real test is the price for amd

real test is the price for amd's apu if a quad apu with 400 shaders will cost less than a quad cpu+6570 for example it could be very successful
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#20
OneCool
I would like to see a dual socket motherboard four these APUs.

Dual quadcore (or 8 core!!!) CPUs and Crossfire the built in GPUs?


That sounds like it would sell
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#21
Jizzler
by: OneCool
I would like to see a dual socket motherboard four these APUs.

Dual quadcore (or 8 core!!!) CPUs and Crossfire the built in GPUs?

That sounds like it would sell
+1!

You sir, are my new friend!
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#22
HalfAHertz
Darn it AMD I just lost a bet! I was betting that DNF would come before the Fusion APUs!
Heh joking aside congratulations to the AMD team. I know a lot of people were waiting anxiously for these :D
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#23
Easo
Another reason for Intel to kill their crappy gpus...
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#24
Assimilator
by: AMD]... buyers who require strong graphics for casual gaming...[/quote]Yes because Plants vs Zombies requires a high-end DX11 GPU! No offense AMD
I do bleive Fusion is quad CPU with onboard 6550 GPU? I am very interested to see how Crossfire performance works with discrete GPUs...will we get decent Tri-Fire perforamnce now, or will this be restricted to a single discrete VGA?
[H] posted a review of 6990 + 6970 (essentially 6970 tri-fire) a while back and they found it scaled excellently, beating out GTX 580 SLI in a number of scenarios and at a much lower price point.
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#25
Fourstaff
by: Assimilator
Yes because Plants vs Zombies requires a high-end DX11 GPU! No offense AMD, but unless these CPUs are able to compete with Sandy Bridge in terms of performance, no-one is going to give a hoot about how good the integrated graphics are.
.
Actually, I think they might have a winner here. Cheap integrated package in a mITX package + weak graphics card for crossfire can make the consoles sweat. Also, if they manage to use the stream processors properly, this processor might become a beast in media encoding and other massively multithreaded tasks.
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