Testbed Configuration and Methodology
To ensure that reviewers get the best experience with the new Lynx platform AMD distributed samples of their top-of-the line A8-3850. However, we thought that this processor would be not the most appealing choice because of its very high power consumption. Luckily, we got our hands on the second model, too – A8-3800, which became the star of our today’s test session.
A8-3800 is very interesting for several reasons, but most importantly, it can be compared against Intel Core i3 processors not only in price, but also in power consumption. In other words, it is A8-3800 and not A8-3850 that should be regarded as the direct competitor to dual-core Sandy Bridge CPUs. This was the reasoning behind our decision to compare A8-3800 against two Intel dual-core CPUs with two different HD Graphics core modifications inside: Core i3-2100 (with Intel HD Graphics 2000) and Core i3-2150 (with Intel HD Graphics 3000). Also, we ran some tests on a cheaper and slower Sandy Bridge CPU – Pentium G850.
Keeping in mind low clock frequency of the A8-3800 processor, we decided to take the slowest Athlon II X4 we could find. That is why Athlon II X4 630 will represent the previous-generation AMD CPUs in our today’s test session.
As a result, we used the following hardware and software components in our tests:
- AMD A8-3800 (Llano, 4 cores, 2.4/2.7 GHz, 4 MB L2, Radeon HD 6550D)
- AMD Athlon II X4 630 (Propus, 4 cores, 2.8 GHz, 2 MB L2);
- Intel Core i3-2100 (Sandy Bridge, 2 cores, 3.1 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics 2000);
- Intel Core i3-2105 (Sandy Bridge, 2 cores, 3.1 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics 3000);
- Intel Pentium G850 (Sandy Bridge, 2 cores, 2.9 GHz, 3 MB L3, HD Graphics);
- ASUS Crosshair IV Formula (Socket AM3, AMD 890FX + SB850, DDR3 SDRAM);
- ASUS P8Z68-V Pro (LGA1155, Intel Z68 Express);
- Gigabyte GA-A75-D3H (Socket FM1, AMD A75)
- Memory: 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1600 SDRAM 9-9-9-27-1T (Kingston KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX);
- Graphics cards:
- AMD Radeon HD 5570;
- AMD Radeon HD 6450;
- AMD Radeon HD 6570;
- AMD Radeon HD 6970.
- Hard drive: Kingston SNVP325-S2/128GB.
- Power supply unit: Tagan TG880-U33II (880 W).
- Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64.
- Intel Chipset Driver 188.8.131.520;
- Intel Management Engine Driver 184.108.40.2065;
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.5.0.1027;
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 220.127.116.11.2361;
- AMD Catalyst 11.6 Display Driver.
We studied Llano’s performance in two ways. First we tested this processor in a system equipped with a discrete AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics card. The second part of our test session was dedicated to the performance of Lynx platform as an integrated one. Therefore, in the second part of our tests we didn’t use Radeon HD 6970 any more, but compared the integrated core in our Llano processors with inexpensive graphics accelerators including AMD Radeon HD 5570, HD 6450 and HD 6570.