AMD may not be able to compete against Sandy Bridge at the top end of the market but the new AMD Lynx platform certainly shows that they can compete in the mainstream market, where the volume sales happen.
We put the AMD Vision A8-3850 APU up against the similarly priced Intel Core-i3 2105 processor and found that the two offer a closely matched level of CPU processing performance but the difference in graphics processing power was huge. In our tests, the A8-3850 APU was able to handle many of the leading engines at 1080p, which is truly astonishing for an integrated GPU. The Intel HD3000 graphics processor in the Core-i3 2105 CPU just couldn’t keep up and isn’t ideal for powering modern game engines.
Another advantage of the A8-3850 APU is that it can be easily overclocked. We managed to achieve a stable overclock of 3.5GHz (20%) with the Asus F1A75-M Pro motherboard without much effort. This reaps real world benefits as we documented improved frame rates throughout all games and a decent boost in all the benchmarks. Those who crave even more graphics performance can add a discrete GPU into the system to enable dual graphics mode. Enabling Dual Graphics improved gaming performance considerably, boosting framerates by over 75% with our specific tests. Remember, the discrete GPU can be added at a later date, leaving the path open for future proofing.
The AMD Lynx platform also has connectivity capabilities that aren’t even present on some of the highest-end Intel Sandy Bridge motherboards. Such as support for six SATA 3.0 connections and four USB 3.0 connections (only with the A75 FCH).
Even though the overall power consumption of the Intel system was slightly lower, the AMD A8-3850 has a higher TDP of 100W rather than the Intel’s 65W. AMD have engineered considerably more graphics power into the overall design, which is more than worth the few extra pence on the electricity bill over the course of a year.
As always, price is a very important factor to consider when judging a product in this sector. AMD advise us that the Vision A8-3850 APU will be hitting the market at around $135 which makes it very competitively priced indeed. It dominated the benchmarks and highlighted the strong graphics capabilities, even at high resolution with decent image quality settings. We don’t yet have the final pricing for the Asus F1A75-M Pro motherboard but we can’t imagine it would differ much in price from the $130 Asus P8H67-M Evo motherboard that we used to test the Intel Core-i3 2105.
We think that the Lynx platform is perfect for those who want to build a powerful HTPC or everyday PC on a budget. The Vision A8-3850 APU is capable of playing the latest games without struggling and can perform all those menial every day tasks without adding much to your electricity bill.
- Discrete Graphics Performance
- Great value
- Easy to overclock
- Friendly on the electricity bill
- Dual Graphics support
KitGuru says: An impressive platform that offers amazing performance at a great price