AMD A8-3850 Quad Core Desktop APU (updated July 10)

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System Power Consumption vs. Competing Platforms

On our motherboard testing configuration, power consumption was similar to the Core i5-2500K and HD 5450 combination when idle and playing H.264 video. When synthetic tools were used to stress the CPU (Prime95 for Intel and CPUBurn for AMD), the A8-3850 system used about 50% more power. The relative energy inefficiency of AMD's K10 architecture rears its ugly head; it appears that the die shrink to 32 nm hasn't helped much in this department.

When FurMark was added to the mix to push the GPU, the system consumed 24W more, more than twice that of the i5-2500K HD 5450/HD 3000 configurations. This is expected, considering how much faster HD 6550D is in 3D applications.

System Power Consumption vs. Competing CPUs

Our CPU testing configurations feature a discrete graphics card, the GeForce 9400GT, to isolate the CPU from the IGPs.

On discrete graphics the A8-3850 was impressive, using less power than even the i3-2100, one of the most frugal chips on the market. It was particularly thrifty during video playback where it fell the i3-2100 by 9W, and beat out its Athlon/Phenom II X4 cousins by a massive 15~16W.

Encoding video with HandBrake, the A8-3850 fell in line with the Athlon II X4 635 and Phenom II X4 840. CPUBurn pushed it to X4 955 levels, though this is a synthetic test and isn't relatable to most applications.

CPU Performance

In Photoshop, the A8-3850 draws close to the 3.2 GHz X4 840, suggesting it is a bit more efficient per Hz than standard X4's.

In NOD32, the A8-3850 performs as one would expect, tying the X4 635 for last place.

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