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

Intel sparked controversy after they took the decision to lock their latest Sandy Bridge i3 chips so they can’t be overclocked.  But the AMD has a different philosophy and leaves the A8-3850 APU unlocked so we can squeeze a little extra performance from it.

AMD achieves the standard CPU clock speed of 2.9 GHz using an APU frequncy of 100 MHz and a CPU multiplier of 29x.  The graphics clock is also based on this APU frequency so it’s overclocked when you bump it up a little.  The CPU multiplier can only be adjusted downwards from 29x so we chose to stick with this and increase the APU frequency as far as possible.  If you like, you can also reduce the CPU multiplier and increase the APU frequency further.  Even though you will end up with a similar CPU clock speed, the graphics core speed will be increased more because it has it’s own independent multiplier.

So how much did we manage to squeeze from the A8-3850?

As you can see we achieved a stable overclock of 3.51 GHz using an APU Frequency of 121 MHz and a multiplier of 29x.  The graphics multiplier is fixed at 6x so the GPU was clocked to 726 MHz.  To achieve these frequencies we increased the voltage by 0.5V to 1.45V.  We did manage to achieve slightly higher stable clock speeds but not without putting over 1.5V through the chip which may well be risky long term. We try to aim for safe long term 24/7 clock speeds. Memory speeds increased to 1978mhz.

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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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