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

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CPU Performance, Power Consumption, & Value Analysis

After completing our benchmark suite, the A8-3850 system had used approximately 30.7 watt-hours of power, about 5% more than the X4 640. CPU performance was very similar but the APU used bit more energy in some of the tests.

We derived our average system power consumption by assuming that half the time our test system would be on low load (an average of the power consumption when sitting idle and playing H.264 video) and the other half would be spent on heavy load (the average power consumption of our five measured benchmarks). With this usage pattern, the A8-3850 consumes the least of the mainstream X4 lineup, about 0.5W less than the X4 630. [Editor's Note: Most research studies on typical PC loads over long periods indicates that 90% of the time, idle or very low CPU load is the norm. Our assumption is heavily skewed to a very demanding user.]

To arrive at our performance per watt score we divide the overall CPU performance by the average power consumption and adjust it so the best CPU scores 100 points. The A8-3850, thanks to its excellent energy efficiency on low load, slips past the X4 640 despite its slightly poorer benchmark results.

The A8-3850 fares less well when we take into account its performance per platform cost. With mediocre CPU performance and a higher price than most of the X4 chips on the market, it falls on its face. Note that these figures are for reference only, as they completely ignore the value of the GPU. For that we need to make some adjustments to our data.

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