Dual-core Llano chips arrive on the desktop

You know how those two Llano duallies were supposed to show up by year's end? Well, they did—a lot sooner than the rumor mill let on. AMD made the announcement this morning, and the A4-3300 and A4-3400 are already available on Amazon for $84 and $89, respectively.

Here's how these two new APUs compare to their siblings:

Model CPU
A4-3300 2.5GHz 2 65W 1MB 6410D 160 443MHz
A4-3400 2.7GHz 2 65W 1MB 6410D 160 600MHz
A6-3500 2.4GHz/
3 65W 4MB 6530D 320 443MHz
A6-3600 2.4GHz/
4 65W 4MB 6530D 320 443MHz
A6-3650 2.6GHz 4 100W 4MB 6530D 320 443MHz
A8-3800 2.7GHz/
4 65W 4MB 6550D 400 600MHz
A8-3850 2.9GHz 4 100W 4MB 6550D 400 600MHz

Not content with ditching two CPU cores, these two newcomers have less than half the number of graphics ALUs as the flagship A8-series parts. The amount of L2 cache per core looks to have been halved, as well, since there's only 1MB per chip.

Also, for what it's worth, both A4 offerings only support memory speeds up to 1600MHz, while the rest of the A series has AMD's blessing for DDR3 speeds up to 1866MHz. As we discovered in our testing, however, higher memory speeds have only a marginal effect on Llano's performance. Considering the markup on DDR3-1866 memory, you're probably better off putting that money toward either a faster processor or a discrete graphics card.

These two A4 chips are currently marked up a bit, by the way. AMD calls for a "suggested retail price" of $75 for the A4-3400 and $70 for the A4-3300. At those prices, even a pair of slow cores and diminished graphics performance doesn't sound so bad. For reference, Intel's cheapest Sandy Bridge desktop processor, the dual-core Pentium G620, currently retails for $77.99.

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