AMD Vision A8-3850 APU & Asus F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Review

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A couple of weeks back, AMD released the notebook portion of their Llano platform, dubbed ‘Sabine’, which we explained in detail over here.  This left many people wondering when the desktop variant of Llano would be released, and how it would perform compared to the latest offerings from Intel.

Today we are going to examine the top-end ‘Lynx’ APU, the A8-3850, and compare it to Intel’s i3-2105 CPU.  The Lynx platform has a completely redesigned socket, named FM1, meaning the APUs aren’t backwards compatible with existing motherboards.  So we will also be looking at one of the first Lynx motherboards to market, the Asus F1A75-M Pro. This is a Micro-ATX model that is perfect for a small-form factor PC and should let us achieve a reasonable overclock.

The key feature of the Lynx platform is the powerful GPU that is integrated into the APU, promising solid ‘out of the box’ performance without having to add a discrete graphics card.  But, for those who require a little more graphics grunt (and there will be many), you can still add a discrete graphics card alongside the APU.  In our tests we will be looking at how the APU performs both on its own and when combined with a discrete graphics card.

We will also be keeping a watchful eye on the power consumption of the Lynx test system as this is another key area of interest.  AMD have employed some clever power gating technology which is able to shut down individual cores when they are not required, so they don’t consume power.  This re-enforces our belief that the Lynx platform will be perfect for those looking to build a low-power HTPC.

AMD are releasing four different A-Series Lynx APUs today which are detailed in the table above.  The two A8 APUs feature the Radeon HD 6550D graphics with a clock of 600 MHz whereas the two A6 APUs have lower clocked 443 MHz Radeon HD 6530D graphics.  The four APU’s do have a number of common features, though, including DirectX 11 support, Blu-Ray 3D support and OpenCL acceleration.

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AMD Vision A8-3850 APU & Asus F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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13 Comments
  • Mal
    June 30, 2011
    #1
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    Seems brilliant for a high end media center. wouldnt even need a discrete card in most cases.

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  • 92837323
    June 30, 2011
    #2
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    Interesting idea to watercool it…….. wonder how far the hardcore overclockers will get it.

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  • Tommy
    June 30, 2011
    #3
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    A low end video card would work wonders in that system the way it can be combined. would have liked to see a few more discrete cards in the line up for curiousity.

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  • Eartha
    June 30, 2011
    #4
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    I think that Asus board will sell very well, depending on the price. seems pretty loaded if they can get it out around the £100 pp.

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  • Iain
    June 30, 2011
    #5
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    ATI are really saving AMd lately. GPU power FTW.

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  • Rufus
    June 30, 2011
    #6
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    quad core really does help. are there plans for a 6 core version at some stage? with their power saving techniques, it could be really efficient at idle then have some serious power when needed.

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  • Paul
    June 30, 2011
    #7
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    Power consumption is great. I think you might actually be able to get away without a discrete card with this, for a while anyway. If you wanted to game at 1080p and maybe only drop some settings.

    Direct X 11 titles might prove too much, but its a hell of an improvement. hopefully we start seeing these in laptops. and battery life should still be good.

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  • Colin
    June 30, 2011
    #8
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    People also underestimate the importance of the GPU, which is growing significantly more key as the operating systems develop. the GPU will at some stage handle a huge portion of windows rendering tasks. AMD are miles ahead of intel in this regard, thanks to buying ATI. Intel need to buy nvidia. what do they do instead? buy mcafee.

    madness.

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  • Leo Bien Durana
    June 30, 2011
    #9
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    I’ve already added this one to my ever growing wishlist. Lovely review, btw.

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  • Lee Franks
    June 30, 2011
    #10
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    Need the whole system price to really be sure, but looking good so far

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  • faith
    June 30, 2011
    #11
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    @Lee: Couldn’t agree more, low price on one component is not enough.

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  • Darren Flynn
    August 18, 2011
    #12
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    I recently built my sister a Llano based system, it was the A6-3650 version though, Gigabyte motherboard, 4gb Ram a 500gb HD, DVD writer, 19inch flat panel monitor a case with 450w PSU and keyboard/ mouse…£320 including delivery from Aria.

    Installed Black Ops on it, and it played OK, at 1366 * 768 resolution with no AA. Would maybe need to knock off one or two other settings to get it playing perfectly. Windows scored the system a 4.5, but oddly that was down to Windows own 2d performance, everything else was around 5.9 (HD) up to 6.4 (3d gfx) (processor got a 6.1

    All in all for the price I was impressed with it. For a do a bit of this and a bit of that computer, which wouldn’t really be used for 3D and video editing these systemsa re great. (without monitor / keyboard / mouse it was only about £230!)

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  • AMD A8-3870K and Sapphire HD6450 FleX Review | KitGuru
    February 12, 2012
    #13
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    [...] have already looked at the on die HD6550D graphics performance in our previous review, however I still believe that the enthusiast audience generally interested [...]

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