Triple-core Llano CPU caught in the wild

Well, it looks like all that talk about a triple-core A-series APU wasn’t just idle speculation. A fellow by the name of bminggann on Chinese forum ZOL has posted pictures and details about a purportedly genuine triple-core Llano processor. He’s run 3DMark on the thing and even tried his hand at a little overclocking.

The part has "A6-3500 Series" and "AD3500" laser-etched on its heat spreader. According to the forum dweller, the silicon beneath has a 65W TDP, a 2.1GHz base clock speed, a 2.4GHz Turbo speed, and Radeon HD 6530D integrated graphics with 320 stream processors running at 443MHz. In other words, it sounds like an A6-3600 with one core disabled, pretty much confirming what we heard last week.

The 3DMark scores aren’t terribly exciting, but Mr. bminggann apparently managed to push the CPU to about 3.6GHz… with a little help in the voltage department, since his CPU-Z screenshot reports a 1.552V core voltage. We’re talking about a 65W chip, though, so there could be some overclocking headroom for folks who don’t mind sacrificing energy efficiency.

More exciting, as the forum post points out, is the possibility that some motherboard BIOSes will let users unlock one of the A6-3500’s cores, as they do today with triple-core Athlon II and Phenom II offerings. Those are all quad-core chips with one core disabled, so there’s always a chance one ends up with a perfectly functional fourth core—without paying full price for it.

Comments closed
    • MethylONE
    • 8 years ago

    I think future proofing is something that will never happen. No matter what the level of hardware we will continue to pile up code to max it out.

      • mesyn191
      • 8 years ago

      Those “old” quad core C2D’s and PhII’s still offer pretty good performance in modern mutli threaded apps even at stock speeds. Remember even Sandy Bridge offers only around 30% more performance per clock on average vs. C2D, and around 10% more performance per clock vs Nehalem.

      Personally I’m still using a 2.6Ghz C2D that I got quite a while back, I don’t plan on upgrading until BD is out to see how that is. I might just go the i5 2500K route still if BD sucks but who knows, BD could still be decent.

    • clocks
    • 8 years ago

    Llnao is rather slows to begin with. Personally I wouldn’t have any interest in a gimped version.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      I dont think its slow, but its slower compared to Intel CPU. To balance the graphics/stream compute is better.
      Using 3 core also gives 25% extra bandwidth to the other 3 cores. And it makes no difference with 99% of the software out there.

      For web browsing I think llano will be better (faster/smoother) in the longrun because of features like webGL.
      Also 2 years from now when DirectX app, opencl, AMP accelerate more tools/games, llano advantage will grow.

      So I would be more inclined to buy a llano vs a sandy bridge laptop on a performance perspective… unless its for an ultra portable.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        If AMD is still looking for Llano’s advantage to grow two years from now, it will have failed.

          • sschaem
          • 8 years ago

          The concept here is ‘future proof’ . Buy a computer to use today, get a sandy bridge,
          plan to use the same computer a year from now, llano is a better prospect.

          Just look at webgl and also the upcoming version of flash. This will flip the advantage to llano.
          Will Flash be dead in two year? maybe, but what will replace it ? a CPU only framework ? not likely.

          Same goes with web browser… the next gen is not going back to be pure CPU hogs.

          I keep my computers ~5 years, and I gave this some thought.
          If I had to pick between an i3-2105 or A8-3850 (exact same price) I would go with the AMD solution.
          If I was only going to keep the system a year, I would pick the Intel solution.

            • clocks
            • 8 years ago

            The problem is, at least currently, the price difference between Intel and AMD is not that big. I just bought a 2630qm with GT525 discrete graphics for about <$100 over what the A8-3500 laptops are selling for. I guess maybe part of that is llano is still new, and maybe we will see better deals in coming months. For now, for an extra $80-$100, I will take an 8 threaded Intel CPU over llano no contest.

            • UberGerbil
            • 8 years ago

            Where (CPU or GPU) something gets processed is irrelevant; what matters is absolute performance and performance per watt. If Flash runs without dropping frames and doesn’t make your machine unresponsive, what do you care which part of the die is active? If Sandy Bridge runs WebGL mostly on the CPU but uses less total power than Llano does when offloading it mostly to its IGP, you’d rather have Sandy Bridge in your laptop — now and tomorrow. It’s possible you’ll see better performance in the future for graphically-intensive tasks; but we see that today in games already. If that’s your priority, then Llano indeed may be a better choice today and tomorrow. But for ordinary tasks, I don’t see the future-proofing. Sure, your next-gen browser may not be a “pure CPU hog” by offloading to the IGP… which may mean your CPU graph drops from 6% usage to 3%, so what? And if the overall power usage goes up, then what?

    • Ryhadar
    • 8 years ago

    I really liked AMDs triple cores from the Phenom II line (even some Phenom I’s after the TLB bug was fixed). If price were an issue with a build, but there were scenarios where a quad core would be more beneficial than a dual core I’d immediately look at the X3’s. They offer(ed) great value and performance.

    I’m hoping these triple core APUs follow the same legacy.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      I have no problem with a triple core, and this chip would do fine for 90% of the computer users i know.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        So would 90% of other chips.

      • ET3D
      • 8 years ago

      I agree. 3 cores can be a sweet spot in terms of price vs. performance. A cheaper CPU than the 4 cores with 320 GPU cores would be nice when the next step down is 160 GPU cores. Could be a nice low end gaming HTPC CPU.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 8 years ago

        Many existing games are dual-threaded. One thread is running the graphics engine just as fast as it can (100% usage on one core). The other thread is handling everything else that the game does. Having a 3rd processor core can let your system handle background stuff that the OS and other applications are doing without sapping game performance.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This