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

speed

CPU

cores

TDP L2

cache

Radeon

HD IGP

GPU

ALUs

GPU

speed

A4-3300 2.5GHz 2 65W 1MB 6410D 160 443MHz
A4-3400 2.7GHz 2 65W 1MB 6410D 160 600MHz
A6-3500 2.4GHz/

2.1GHz

3 65W 4MB 6530D 320 443MHz
A6-3600 2.4GHz/

2.1GHz

4 65W 4MB 6530D 320 443MHz
A6-3650 2.6GHz 4 100W 4MB 6530D 320 443MHz
A8-3800 2.7GHz/

2.4GHz

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.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 8 years ago

    When I first read the specs of these and/or the mobile dual cores I was pretty disappointed. The GPU is so cut down as to give it no advantage over the competition for programs that can use the GPU and that is the whole point of ‘Fusion processors.’ A dual core with 320+ shaders and decent clock speeds could make a really nice ultra compact home system or laptop chip, but 160 shaders is just too cut down. What a shame…

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    The TDPs don’t make much sense.

    Both @ 65 watts:
    A4-3300 2.5GHz 2 core 1MB with 160 ALU @ 443 MHz
    A8-3800 2.7GHz 4 core 4MB with 400 ALU @ 600 MHz

    Huh? That A4-3300 should be able to keep it down at least to 45 watts or something. Sheesh.

    And I haven’t yet bothered to complain about the naming scheme, so here ‘goes:

    Why is the dual core called an “A4”? Why not “A2”?
    Why isn’t the quad core called an “A4”?
    Dumb.

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      This could be more evidence that this is a way of dealing with yield issues. A chip that misses the TDP target for a 4-core gets 2 cores disabled to keep it under 65W.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Why are quad-cores called both A6 and A8? Why are both tri-cores and quad-cores called A6?

    • just brew it!
    • 8 years ago

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like maybe they’re having some yield problems. These two new chips sound like a way for them to ship otherwise defective chips for revenue, by disabling the defective cores and/or rendering pipelines.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Or, after 5+ months, they are now mass producing the native dual-cores at a large enough volume for the borked spares to cover desktops.

      It would be very strange for them to further disable cache on the good cores after they already had 2MB to pick from on a native quad-core.

    • Peldor
    • 8 years ago

    The G620 has a list price of only $64, so the markup seems about even.

    Really though I have to expect that these Llano duals are outclassed by the SB Pentiums. Looking at Anand’s benchmarks, the Pentiums give a fair chase to the A6. I don’t really see how these have a chance at 1/2 the cores, 1/4 the cache, and no more clockspeed. I expect the gaming graphics for the A4 is still better than SB, but it may be a moot point (slideshow vs fast slideshow).

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 8 years ago

    I’d like to see some TR benchmarks of the whole Llano desktop lineup. The review only tested the 3850. Would be interesting to see what the impact of the turbo speeds is in real-world situations.

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    So furmark and prime95 side by side will turn out 65W on the A4-3300 or A8-3800?

    If you guys need some idea to run benchmarks, could you use the same test platform and swap CPU to compare rated TDP with actual? (heat and isolated cpu power consumption)

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    A bit irritating considering Bulldozer is keeping everyone twiddling their thumbs waiting and now AMD announces these plain vanilla chips instead.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      Which are what most of the consumer/business space tend to use.

      My workstation is actually a dual core 775 wolfdale with a radeon 3450 (GO DELL) for CAD and stuff (and it’s new(ish) with win7 pro key on it – running XP though).

      People that purchase the PC’s in large companies generally don’t know what the employees use them for and buy whatever is the least expensive.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        This. I “love” it how the companies buy new stuff and install old sh*t OS on them just because that’s the only one that’s validated to work with said company’s internal sh*t software.

          • just brew it!
          • 8 years ago

          Believe it or not, “power users” where I work are issued HP workstations with XP 64-bit as the OS. The majority of users are still running good ol’ 32-bit XP SP3.

          A few of us in the software group have migrated to Linux, but most of the other users don’t have that option for various reasons. We’ve also (finally!) rolled out a couple of Win7 desktops. But neither of these alternatives are officially sanctioned by corporate IT — they’re still XP all the way!

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            you and every other company on the xp front.

            • Ethyriel
            • 8 years ago

            It kind of surprises me, really, Win7 group policy is awesome. I’m a Linux guy through and through, but damn are all those options nice for managing the sheeple. We’ve been using Win7 for portables for over a year now, and will start migrating desktops in a couple months.

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            You’ll get no argument from me. I’m just the sort-of-part-time-IT-guy at a satellite R&D office (my main responsibility is software development). Corporate keeps saying they’ll roll 7 out to the masses “soon,” but IIRC it has been almost a year since they started saying that.

            I’m not particularly keen on doing a rogue Win7 rollout to lots of desktops before corporate makes it official, because once I do that those machines become *my* problem!

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 8 years ago

            Our IT foiks started the rollout of Windows 7 Enterprise and Office 2010 last month. Our local IT guy is despairing of getting all of the machines at our site upgraded from XP and Office 2000 by the corporate deadline.

            The machines on my desk are both Dell Optiplex 755 desktops with Core 2 Duo E6550 processors. These systems are infinitely more usable than the craptastic Intel Atom based thin clients that the idiots at corporate IT mandated be installed for all of our “non-power users”. Those things [b<]really[/b<] suck. We lose between one and three million dollars per year in lost productivity compared to the old desktops that those thin clients replaced. We've saved about $80,000 in hardware and some small immeasurable amount of IT support time (which are salaried personnel anyway).

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            In our office we’ve got the gamut from ancient Prescott P4s to reasonably current stuff. My desktop is a Phenom II X4 (one of the few AMD based systems in the office, and definitely not corporate issue). The only Atoms are a couple of netbooks that people take on trips, a SFF box that gets used only to burn CDs and make CF cards to distribute software updates to our customers, and a nettop that was essentially a failed experiment at using an Atom as a lab bench system (its performance running Python scripts is absolutely abysmal, and this is a show-stopper for us).

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]We've saved about $80,000 in hardware and some [b<]small immeasurable amount of IT support time[/b<] (which are salaried personnel anyway).[/quote<] And there it is. Those guys have zero visibility to (or responsibility for) 'customer' productivity. They make the decisions based on how different options cut their own work. Draconian virus scan policies are my favorite pet peeve Using Atom for work? What a disgusting thought..

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