AMD Fusion A8-3850 Platform Review - Benchmarking

Submitted by skipclarke on 24 November, 2011 - 03:26

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With our standard set of benchmarks, we look to compare different GPU options at "max settings". At face value, the isn't the marktet for the the A8-3850. Even considering this outlook, we have run the A8-3850 in position to the current AMD discrete GPU platforms.

Our goal is to provide you with a comparison of the current APU platform to the discrete offerings and build a framework for comparing future APU releases. Witht that in mind, I've run tests to compare to the E-350.

Additionally, I've loaded an AMD Radoen HD 6970 into the A8-3850 to see how it compares to our current platform, the Intel i7-920. Below are some slides from a recent AMD presentation that outline the A8 APU architecture, and how they see it fitting in with the competition. These are a good point of reference as you go through the following pages.


System Specs

Tests were done with the 11.10 Driver, on my existing test bed. The A8-3850 was tested with 8GB of RAM (with 1GB allocated to the GPU). The E-350 had 4GB of RAM (with 1GB allocated to the GPU).

  • Windows 7 SP-1
  • EVGA X58 Tri-SLI Motherboard
  • Intel i7 920 at 4x2.67GHz
  • 12GB G.Skill DDR3 RAM
  • 2x Samsung 320GB T-Series HDD (one for the OS and games; one for swap file and FRAPS)
  • LG Super Multi Blu (HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Player)
  • Onboard audio
  • Corsair HX1000
  • My Open PC Doma Pro PCI Case
  • Logitch K340 Keyboard & Performance MX Mouse
  • Ergotech Heavy Duty Triple Desk Stand
  • Dell U2211H IPS 16:9 1920x1080 Display

Hardware Tested

I only have AMD hardware tested for comparison in this review. This is not for lack of wanting to test NVIDIA hardware in Surround, but NVIDIA has not yet decided to support the WSGF with hardware for review and benchmarking. Considering that the WSGF is a hobby that just supports itself, I cannot justify spending the money needed to test NVIDIA cards.

Most of my time is spent working on the site (or other projects), and much of my "play time" is spent benchmarking. Cards would basically only be used for testing, and I cannot reconcile purchasing cards that would only be used for testing. It's simply not a good ROI.

Resolutions Tested

I tested both 1600x900 and 1920x1080 in widescreen.

Games Tested

I've taken this opportunity to work in new games to my game selection. New games since the HD 6990 benchmarks are noted with an asterisk.

  • Aliens vs. Predators
  • Battle Forge
  • DiRT 2
  • DiRT 3*
  • F1 2010
  • Far Cry 2
  • HAWX (only at 2xAA)
  • HAWX 2*
  • Heaven 2 (DX9, DX10 & DX11)
  • Just Cause 2
  • Mafia II
  • Metro 2033*
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat Benchmark Tool
  • Total War: Shogun 2*
  • Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II*

As always, all games are tested at max settings (unless otherwise noted), with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled. We tested some of these titles as part of our review of the Mainstream 5000-series cards. Where available, we include these numbers as well.

I have simplified the graphs to only include cards of similar performance. It really doesn't do any good to see the massive performance increase in a Radeon HD 6990 as it's not comparable to any of the Mainstream cards we are testing here.

Simplifying the graphs made them much more readable and user friendly.

Future Testing

I am have just finished an FX Bulldozer build, which will allow me another CPU vs. CPU comparison.