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

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


  • None

KitGuru says: An impressive platform that offers amazing performance at a great price

Rating: 9.5.

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  • Mal

    Seems brilliant for a high end media center. wouldnt even need a discrete card in most cases.

  • 92837323

    Interesting idea to watercool it…….. wonder how far the hardcore overclockers will get it.

  • Tommy

    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.

  • Eartha

    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.

  • Iain

    ATI are really saving AMd lately. GPU power FTW.

  • Rufus

    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.

  • Paul

    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.

  • Colin

    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.


  • I’ve already added this one to my ever growing wishlist. Lovely review, btw.

  • Lee Franks

    Need the whole system price to really be sure, but looking good so far

  • faith

    @Lee: Couldn’t agree more, low price on one component is not enough.

  • 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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