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Written by Hank Tolman   
Friday, 01 July 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU Processor
A-Series APU Desktop Platform Definition
Closer Look: AMD A8-3850 APU
Processor Testing and Results
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11
PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests
SiSoftware Sandra
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
Video Game Benchmarks
Video Transcoding Tests
Overclocking, Power, and Temperature
AMD A8-3850 Final Thoughts
AMD A8-3850 Processor Conclusion

AMD A-Series A8-3850 Processor Review

Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
Product Name: A8-3850
Part Number: AD3850WNGXBOX
Price as Tested: $140 at Newegg

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by AMD, Inc.

When AMD merged with ATI in 2006, they immediately began working on combining discrete level graphics onto the die with an x86 CPU, thus forming an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). In 2009, AMD expanded on that effort by launching VISION with the intent of shaping the performance of a PC to fit the needs of the user. Five years after the merger, AMD's design has come to fruition in desktop form. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is taking a look at the AMD A-Series A8-3850 APU.


AMD's idea for the need of an APU with discrete level GPU capabilities comes from the high level of demand for media computing. According to YouTube, in April 2011, over 35 hours of video were uploaded every minute with a total of more than 13 million hours of video uploaded during 2010. Those videos don't just get uploaded, of course. They get watched, millions of times. Other media hosting sites have seen similar growth and online TV watching has blossomed as well. Netflix and Hulu are staples in my house, and I know I'm not alone.

AMD isn't the only CPU manufacturer with this idea. Six months ago, we all remember the Intel Sandy Bridge launch. The Sandy Bridge platform also integrated a GPU and a CPU onto the same die. While this had outstanding performance value where media is concerned, other types of PC usage, such as gaming, provided a little more than the Intel HD Graphics could handle. Sure, on low settings, many mainstream games were playable, but even upgrading to a very low-end discrete graphics card increased the playability substantially. With the A-Series platform, combined with the A75 or A55 Fusion Controller Hub (FCH) to make Lynx, AMD purportedly offers discrete level graphics in their on-die GPU. In the A8-3850 we are looking at today, that amounts to a Radeon HD 6550D.

While AMD is running six months behind the Intel launch of their combined GPU/CPU platform, they have included some features that you won't find with the Sandy Bridge. For one, the A-Series APUs are DirectX 11 ready. This is pretty much a must-have if you are going to say that your product is capable of mainstream gaming. Another feature that a lot of us were wondering about when Sandy Bridge was released was native USB 3.0 compatibility. Intel left if off Sandy Bridge; AMD included it in Lynx. Not that it was all that difficult to find a third-party controller, of course. The A-Series also includes AMDs UVD3 and the ability to pair a discrete graphics card with the APU graphics.


The A-Series APUs and Lynx platforms are being priced to compete monetarily near the very bottom end of the Sandy Bridge line. The A8-3850 is set for an MSRP of $135, which is right between the i3-2100 and i3-2105 Sandy Bridge CPUs. As long as the A55 and A75 motherboards are priced in the H67 range, these two platforms will compare nicely in price. In this article, we will compare the A8-3850 with an A75 motherboard to the i3-2100 and an H67 motherboard to see just how the price/performance ratio pans out between these platforms.



# RE: AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU ProcessorSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-07-01 00:25
hahaha the A8-3850's overclocked result in 3D Mark 11 is 1337, made me lol anyhow.

Great review, would of liked it more if you gave more details about your overclocking e.g. multipliers of cpu gpu RAM and how the reference clock affects them etc
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# MultipliersHank Tolman 2011-07-06 08:20
You can't change any of the multipliers. The only thing you can increase to overclock is the base/reference clock. Everything else is locked.

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# RE: AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU ProcessorDoug Dallam 2011-07-01 00:45
Very in depth review and I'm sure it took a lot of work. I tested my 920 in a couple of the sames test just for fun and thought I'd post them here. Note that I didn't test it fairly since I didn't shut anything running down, like Winamp streaming music, several network softwares I have running, 2 virus type scanners, Speedfan, and several more programs.

My 920 is running at 3.8Ghz.
ZLib 237.7
Queen 42591
PhotoWorxx 52680
AES 44529
Julia 12480
Mandel 6069
Sin Julia 5171
Cinebench 5.68 All Cores (Reported 3.62Ghz for some strange reason)

So if I understand correctly, even if the onboard APU isn't powerful enough, you can now add a cheaper card on top of that and the GPU power increases overall? So you could buy an all in one CPU/APU and then add a cheap vid card and perhaps nearly high end graphics capability (Or more modestly, that's the trend)? That's pretty impressive. I will not be sorry to see the days of the must have 500.00USD video card gone.
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# crossfirekiv 2011-07-01 01:00
The thing I'm most curious about is how well the crossfire scales. How far will pairing it with a 6670 get it? Could it meet or exceed the 6700 series? I'm sure we'll see some nice in depth performance and cost analysis concerning this soon.
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# RE: crossfireFarnsworth Worthington 2011-07-01 02:23
I had the same thoughts. If one of these APUs, plus a budget AMD graphics card, could perform well in Crossfire, that would be a nice new option for building a cheap gaming rig.

It's a great idea (in theory) to have integrated graphics on a cpu these days, since modern tower heatsinks provide so much cooling oomph.
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# RE: RE: crossfirekiv 2011-07-01 02:42
And usually at a fraction of the noise of a hairdryer style GPU heatsink too! But of course those loud coolers on the high end cards are dissipating FAR more heat than a CPU does. CPU max is 120-140W, while top tier graphics has to deal with 250-350W, or even more!

Though I know you were talking about cheap cards and cheap graphics, so that's all irrelevant. APU's may see some interesting Overclocking profiles, especially if the Bios options become more developed later on. I think people will be most concerned with overclocking with the purpose of improving memory bandwidth to the GPU, as that seems to be the biggest bottleneck on these chips currently.
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# RE: RE: RE: crossfireFarnsworth Worthington 2011-07-02 09:09
Indeed. I am glad we mostly agree, but I do want to point out that while many CPUs only generate ~125W stock, tower heatsinks aren't for cooling stock CPUs, but rather CPUs overclocked and drawing ~1.5V, which seriously boosts their power usage.

It's not for no reason that many tower heatsinks advertise the ability to handle 200-250W.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: crossfirekiv 2011-07-04 00:17
Ah yes, excellent point! I did forget the added thermal load from overclocking, which those massive coolers are specifically designed for.
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# Radio Show HostComputer Ed 2011-07-01 05:00

Pared with a 6570 the 3DMark 11 score nearly doubles which puts it pretty close to a 6770. I am hoping to try it with a 66770 before the show Sunday.
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# RE: Radio Show Hostkiv 2011-07-01 17:33
Thanks for the info, let me know if you find out about that 6670 pairing. From the specs I read, the 6670 has the same core count but higher clock speed as the 6570? Might be enough to definitely enter the 6700 territory though.
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# x58 staying aliveReSeRe 2011-07-01 07:57
Somehow on the funny side, for a lot of enthusiasts/heavy users, the comparison with 1366skt procs it's always welcomed.
With at least an i7-920 almost everyone can breath silently today and more, it's a solid anchor/pov for everything new on performance side.
And i'm always happy when the monopol spectre fades away.

my last 4 CPU's were 4400x2, FX60, i7-950 and now i7-990X (i'm a little gearslut, i know). My point: don't be an absolute fan of one brand no matter what. Depend of your needs, don't ignore the alternative.
I'm building my own and others PC for maybe 15 years and with a few gaps,i offer both intel and amd solutions, except high end workstations/ultragaming rigs.

if u choose wise, one platform could be trusful for more than 4 years.
For example u need to know two thing to stay in the line: CPU and GPU.
- For CPU, first pick one middle, in the budget, and in one year or more seek for the top CPU of the platform which ussualy cost u less than new mainstream CPU and will perform better than next-gen middle for another 1-2 years.
- for GPU, pick the mainboard with BOTH SLI and XFire. buy 1st one card u can afford, than go dual. Even if u'll choose the second step to go with one more powerfull card from the copmetition, u'll eventually can go dual with 2 top GPU across 2 generation. sometimes 3. And it works.
- Yeah, the RAM, don't go under 6Gs today and PSU, at least 750W GOOOOD brand.

so i really hope AMD will be ok in high end CPU's new generaton.
more the choices, better for us.

BTW, good review.
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# lianoanikhtos 2011-07-01 11:23
for the review why is not there a graph with radeon 5570 to see how comperable are the results from something from the amd side??
most sites show that a8-3850 is a bit slower than the 5570 so have something in mind
what a joke release??
an envelod of 100watt??? clearly it eliminates it as an htpc solution.
and since the scores are somewhere the athlon II x4 640
you can use the previous plattform with athlon II x4 620e with an envelop of 45 wat leaving you 55 watt for a gpu. thus not needing to buy a mobo if you are already a holder of an mad system.
a cpu of 45 and a gpu of 55 will means you can go to entirely passive solutions to both. or a an almost silent for the cpu.
so why to have one item that you have to upgraqde both when you can have 2 diferent to upgrade????

so far the assymetric crossfire apu +gpu works unter dx11 and dx10
and dx9 you get worse score than the apu alone!!!!! (maybe amd should look at this and fix it with some new drivers????)

it is a product that is not having any space to breath
since you can go to better alternates even at the amd side
mobo+apu=200 dollars more or less
now there is i3-2100 junior out there 2core/4 thread with a tdp35 watt so how a8-3850 can beat that contestor??? paired with a discrete card??

tdp suks, perfomanse something we have seen nothing spectacular
a product we could do without
as an amd user the last system was from amd i can say i am really disapointed for the outcome of amd is that what amd offer to hit intel?!?!!?!?

what is the market this product aims for??
the a8-3800 with 65 tdp could be discuseed for the lower tdp but i see it will be blown away with intel copmpinations both in tdp and perfomanse :-(
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# RE: lianoPinakio 2011-07-01 14:31
The only joke is what you're saying.

A8 3850's CPU part is faster than Athlon IIx4, clock to clock, by at least 6%.
Athlon IIx4 640+ Radeon HD5570 = 95W+39W = 134W,Llano A8 3850 = 100W with much lower idle power consumption(~44W). No one buys those 'e' or 'T' suffixed under performing parts simply for one obvious reason - PRICE! That junior i3 you mentioned, has a tag of $134 and has the abysmal GPU (HD2000) performance as usual. There is a huge market for entry level budget constrained gaming boxes, Llano will sale like hot-cakes there with a little price-drop. You want a silent, ULV HTPC solution? Go buy a Bobcat system!
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# really 6%anikhtos 2011-07-01 15:21
as far for clock to clock for 6% is not to be seen as anandtech at their review the average diference was 0.5% when compared clock to clock only in one area it showed the magic 6% as amd said. so the 6% is a marketing ballon
well lets see i3 2100 junior 134$ mobo as low as 40$= 174$
a8 115$ mobo 100$+ = 215$ so that leaves you room to buy a gpu 40$
the mobo manufacters got it wrong you do not make 100-150$ mobo for the low end you make 50$ mobo for that cpu and maybe a model at 100$ for the more enthusiast who do not mind to pay some extra so liano need cheaper mobo and a price drop if it wants a share of the market
but the problem remains a8 needs it is own mobo due to his socket
why entrap yourself to a socket of midle to low powered machines when you can go to an am3 solution or am3+ solution now and be ready for bulldozer??? a matx mobo for amd can be found for 40-50$ thus freeing you with some money for the cpu so you can have the mobo and the energy efficient athlon at the same cost you will get today the a8 and his mobo. if you already had a system you can moove you gpu or pay 50-60$ more to get a 5570 and you have the same system as perfomanse with better options. to upgrade.
bobcat is nice but zotac has a mobo out with su2300 thus making it a better option than bobcat.
ion2 is more or less equal to bocat igpu
but su2300 is superion to bobcat in power
power consumption small diferense not that huge and even at idle su2300 wins. so bobcat!?!?!? again it will play role if amd or mobo manufacters drop the price so the bobcat will be more attractive due price only.
thats the only thing left to amd nowdays the complete cheaper but intel is hammering amd hard even at that sector nowdays.
if amd had released liano before intel cpus now we would talk what a failure the intel launch is
but now intel beat amd and he compare her to intel and she looses badly :-(
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# RE: really 6%kiv 2011-07-01 17:46
I do hear that AMD will be phasing out AM3 fairly rapidly though. I expect we will soon see some clearance pricing on Athlon II and Phenom II as soon as Bulldozer is officially launched. AMD's plan is to have Bobcat for low, Llano for middle, and Bulldozer for high, and plans to get rid of the old models fast.

But as you point out in terms of socket compatibility, this chip is not marketed to people who have an existing AM3 platform, its for new consumers. The socket is a necessary evil at this point, since the AM3 socket is not designed for the extra data needed to deal with the GPU. That said, I would definitely not pay $150 for a Llano motherboard. I'd pay $100 at maximum.
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# RE: AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU ProcessorMACK 2011-07-04 00:02
Thanks for the great review. Especially, appreciated the inclusion of the comparison setups.
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# why not?realneil 2011-07-04 17:36
I decided to order up this CPU and an F1 board next week. I have 4GB of DDR3-1600 HyperX RAM laying on the shelf along side a XFX Radeon HD6870 Black video card. We'll see how it all goes together for me. The thing is that if it doesn't turn out to be a keeper, I can sell it without a discrete GPU with it and not lose anything for the trying. I think it will work out to be a nice little gamer.
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# RE: AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU Processorbiny 2011-07-06 20:19

Performance: 8.50
Construction: 9.00
Functionality: 9.50
Overclock: 8.50
Value: 8.50
Final Score: 8.25 ?????out of 10
AMD Phenom-II X4-975BE Final Thoughts?????
ĦĦĦĦĦAMD A8-3850 Lynx Final Thoughts!!!!!

I think the LLANO APUS 65W TDP ,with Turbo Core 2,for HTPC,buros,workstati ons,etc,are the most interesting of use.
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# RE: RE: AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU Processorkiv 2011-07-06 20:50
Indeed, that is odd stuff.
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# RE: RE: AMD A8-3850 Lynx APU ProcessorOlin Coles 2011-07-06 22:02
Fixed. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
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