Desktop Llano Lineup
The first batch of desktop Llano processors that is currently coming into the market includes four APU models with four x86 computational cores inside. Just like the mobile Llano APUs, they don’t have a marketing name and are assigned A8 and A6 series numbers. A8 series includes higher-end APU models with a Sumo graphics core featuring 400 stream processors, while the A6 series includes slower modifications with lower clock frequencies and “lighter” graphics core with only 320 stream processors.
It means that until dual-core Llano processors from A4 series come out, APUs are classified based on their graphics core capacity. The table below shows the base characteristics of the Radeon HD 6550D and Radeon HD 6530D graphics accelerators used in Llano APUs:
Here is the complete list of currently available Llano processors for the desktop Lynx platform:
We can clearly see that there are significant differences in the specs not only between the two different APU series. Two models within each series are, in fact, two totally different products with dramatically diverse heat dissipation levels. The highest-performing models have 100 W TDP, but at the same time there are models with 65 W TDP and Turbo Core support. The clock frequency of the energy-efficient processors has been reduced by about 20-25% below that of their 100 W counterparts, but the features and frequency of their graphics cores remain the same.
The first thing that catches your eye is that Llano’s clock speeds are obviously lower than the frequencies reached by the latest Athlon II and Phenom II processors. And it means that Llano are slower processors, which major advantage will be not the performance of x86 cores, but the performance of their graphics core. So, it makes sense to upgrade from a Socket AM3 to a Socket FM1 platform only for the sake of achieving better energy-efficiency and not in an attempt to boost the performance.
In the mobile segment new Llano processors are positioned as competitors to Core i3 and Core i5 based Sandy Bridge platforms. As for the desktop market, things are a little less rosy here: Llano definitely won’t be able to compete against Core i5 here because of their low clock frequencies and K10 microarchitecture developed back in 2007. Therefore, in the desktop segment AMD’s pricing strategy is to make the top A8 Llano processors an alternative to junior Core i3 models, which are dual-core CPUs, as you know.
The above described four Llano APU models won’t be the only ones. As we get closer to the back-to-school season AMD will roll out lower-cost dual- and triple-core A6 and A4 series processors with 65 W TDP, which will have 320 and 240 stream processors in their graphics cores. Namely, Llano family will expand aggressively into the lower-end price segments. As for the high-end segment, AMD has no plans to introduce Lynx platform there.