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    Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    £15 cheaper than the A8-3850. Find out if it's money well-spent.
    Read more.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    It's all very well saying it "beats" the Intel chip, yes it does in heavily threaded benchmarks, 4 cores vs 2 cores really should win!

    However how many people buying a Fusion are going to be doing any Cinebench? I think the iTunes MP3 rip is a more representative benchmark of the likely uses of this system! And if they really want to video encode then Intel's Quicksync will spank AMD's 4 cores, yes you need certain software but it's worth it and will probably pick up more support.

    The Intel chip, with a lower end motherboard and discrete card would be my choice, yes it'd probably cost a touch more for that, but it'd probably feel quicker as most things still rely on 1 or 2 cores (MS Office, web browsing etc), you really should benchmark something in that area as well, people do use their PCs for more than just casual gaming and Cinebench!

    Coupled with the need to buy 1866MHz or CL8 1600MHz RAM to get the best out of Llano...

    From Scan:
    i3 2100 + GA-H61M-S2-B3 + Asus HD 5570 + 4GB DDR3 1333MHz = £204.96
    A6 3650 + Gigabyte GA-A75M-S2V + 4GB Corsair DDR3 1600MHz CL8 = £202.88

    OK the Intel config there gives up SATA3 and USB3, but it gains much better graphics performance. Idle power draw would be a little higher, but load probably about the same...

    Swings and roundabouts... but for a cheap PC I'd still take the i3, most PCs in this price range are going to be office, internet etc and if you want to turn them to gaming you can get a discrete card in there without it necessarily costing more and then get yourself much better performance in the tasks actually being done...

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/403?vs=289

    Edit: Intel is £220.11 for a USB3 supporting motherboard.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    It's all very well saying it "beats" the Intel chip, yes it does in heavily threaded benchmarks, 4 cores vs 2 cores really should win!

    However how many people buying a Fusion are going to be doing any Cinebench? I think the iTunes MP3 rip is a more representative benchmark of the likely uses of this system! And if they really want to video encode then Intel's Quicksync will spank AMD's 4 cores, yes you need certain software but it's worth it and will probably pick up more support.

    The Intel chip, with a lower end motherboard and discrete card would be my choice, yes it'd probably cost a touch more for that, but it'd probably feel quicker as most things still rely on 1 or 2 cores (MS Office, web browsing etc), you really should benchmark something in that area as well, people do use their PCs for more than just casual gaming and Cinebench!

    Coupled with the need to buy 1866MHz or CL8 1600MHz RAM to get the best out of Llano...

    From Scan:
    i3 2100 + GA-H61M-S2-B3 + Asus HD 5570 + 4GB DDR3 1333MHz = £204.96
    A6 3650 + Gigabyte GA-A75M-S2V + 4GB Corsair DDR3 1600MHz CL8 = £202.88

    OK the Intel config there gives up SATA3 and USB3, but it gains much better graphics performance. Idle power draw would be a little higher, but load probably about the same...

    Swings and roundabouts... but for a cheap PC I'd still take the i3, most PCs in this price range are going to be office, internet etc and if you want to turn them to gaming you can get a discrete card in there without it necessarily costing more and then get yourself much better performance in the tasks actually being done...

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/403?vs=289

    Edit: Intel is £220.11 for a USB3 supporting motherboard.

    I agree with your statement. However is it not better to buy from AMD as intel are a big evil monopolistic corporation that would price fix without competition from AMD?

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Its a fair comparison, but you get a more powerful set up with the AMD and for less money... Fair enough some apps that run faster on a single or dual core might be slightly faster for the intel set up, but if you were buying a new set up, you'd go with what has more future support. 4 cores has more of a future than 2...

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    1) The Llano system would be quieter due to having only one fan instead of two.

    2) How high will that i3 overclock?

    3) System builders are falling over these parts because of the integration.

    4) Crossfire with only 1 pci-e slot, the intel system will never have that.


    When you add it all up, it's actually a shoo-in for the AMD system.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    I've built both - albeit with the A3850 - and personally I think the AMD system is great - motherboard is cheap (!), very quiet and performance is great for most folk even before you consider that the onboard GPU is actually GOOD too. I've been very pleasantly surprised by it (and I have an i7 monster) in all honesty. It's certainly useful for the HTPC crowd too given you'll end up with an extra slot free (very handy) on a uatx system and so is probably my default choice if i'm asked to build one for a friend (i've done a few ranging from atom/ion systems to i3s).

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    It's all very well saying it "beats" the Intel chip, yes it does in heavily threaded benchmarks, 4 cores vs 2 cores really should win!

    However how many people buying a Fusion are going to be doing any Cinebench? I think the iTunes MP3 rip is a more representative benchmark of the likely uses of this system! And if they really want to video encode then Intel's Quicksync will spank AMD's 4 cores, yes you need certain software but it's worth it and will probably pick up more support.
    Considering that Quicksync is still lower quality than CPU only encodes it is not really comparable. On top of this the software which actually uses Quicksync is not free AFAIK. In 7-zip which is quite commonly used the Llano A6 and A8 are faster too.
    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    The Intel chip, with a lower end motherboard and discrete card would be my choice, yes it'd probably cost a touch more for that, but it'd probably feel quicker as most things still rely on 1 or 2 cores (MS Office, web browsing etc), you really should benchmark something in that area as well, people do use their PCs for more than just casual gaming and Cinebench!

    Coupled with the need to buy 1866MHz or CL8 1600MHz RAM to get the best out of Llano...

    From Scan:
    i3 2100 + GA-H61M-S2-B3 + Asus HD 5570 + 4GB DDR3 1333MHz = £204.96
    A6 3650 + Gigabyte GA-A75M-S2V + 4GB Corsair DDR3 1600MHz CL8 = £202.88

    OK the Intel config there gives up SATA3 and USB3, but it gains much better graphics performance. Idle power draw would be a little higher, but load probably about the same...

    Swings and roundabouts... but for a cheap PC I'd still take the i3, most PCs in this price range are going to be office, internet etc and if you want to turn them to gaming you can get a discrete card in there without it necessarily costing more and then get yourself much better performance in the tasks actually being done...

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/403?vs=289

    Edit: Intel is £220.11 for a USB3 supporting motherboard.
    The H61 motherboard you chosen is not that great. It lacks USB3.0 which more flash drives are using(people will notice the speed difference),lacks SATA3.0 and ACHI which is noticeable when used with SSDs(these are becoming cheaper and cheaper) and only has two RAM slots which limits memory upgrades.

    On top of this your two prices seem way off. You seem to want to make the AMD system look as expensive as possible.

    OK,lets start with the cheapest two socket 1155 and FM1 systems on Scan.

    Cheapest H61 based system



    I chose the GDDR3 version of the HD5570 since the DDR2 as you know is much slower.

    Total price: £204.51

    Cheapest FM1 based system with A6-3650



    It has two RAM slots too but has 4 USB3.0 and 6 SATA3.0 ports. Most H67 motherboards are limited to 2 USB3.0 and 2 SATA3.0 ports.

    Total price: £181.21

    Cheapest H67 based system



    The motherboard only has two RAM slots.

    Total price: £218.98

    FM1 based system with A8-3850



    Higher end motherboard with USB3.0,SATA3.0,4 RAM slots and VRM cooling.

    Total cost:£197.22

    H67 system with equivalent motherboard to A8-3850 system



    Total price: £235.78

    If you remove the HD5570, the Core i3 2100 with the higher end H67 motherboard is around £187.12, which is around the same price as the A6-3650 with the higher end A75 motherboard.

    On top of this the cheaper A55 based motherboards will be released in the next few months which will lack USB3.0 and SATA3.0 ports too. This will make the Llano systems even cheaper.

    I have a Core i3 2100 myself but for a general purpose build I would recommend one of the Llano chips instead.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-08-2011 at 07:56 PM.


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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    I agree on the bang for buck - you get a lot of toys on the AMD boards which shouldn't be discounted (i'm using USB 3.0 for a drive dock for backups for example). As for the 'number of cores' arguement - it's silly to even go there - four is better (open taskmanager, count the processes) to spread load and although we can all pull out specific use cases where software doesn't take good use of 4 vs. 2 cores or is heavily throttled by data wait it's rare most of us see it. About the most intensive use I see of my system is actually (oddly enough) True Image - which will ram all four cores for backup compression (and yes it's measurably faster). The missus will use dbPowerAmp for MP3 encoding occasionally and again, this will use four cores quite happily. But that's about it for specific use cases - the rest of the time the systems juggling threads core to core and avoid saturation - which is a good thing.

    I've no affinity to any manufacturer - I just went for the AMD kit because:

    a: it seemed a lot for the money
    b: it sounded interesting and I like trying stuff for myself

    ..and remember, this 'ere llano is a general purpose system. Well, OK, a Facebook system. I think AMD have hit the market segment brilliantly here - and what's wrong with that?
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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Can I just say I've been very impressed by the manner of the Llano reviews on Hexus. It's important that these chips are reviewed and compared on their own merit, not with what some other cpu might perform like with an additional cost.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    If you are interested in the IGP performance, I think comparison to the Core i3-2100 is not the right comparison point. The Core i3-2105 is more interesting - it has the same HD3000 graphics as the 2500K and 2600K (as well as all mobile Sandybridge) without pushing you up to the price points of the 2500K/2600K.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Scan doesn't have any but the i3-2105 is £114 at ebuyer compared to £90 for the A6-3650. The A8-3850 is £104 so that would be a fairer comparison.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    The HD3000 IGP is a minor improvement over HD2000 compared to Llano's IGP - if something doesn't work on the HD2000, the HD3000 probably won't make any difference.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Oh don't get me wrong the Llano chips are good, and they suit many people, they are OK at everything rather than good at anything, whereas the i3 is better at simple tasks but falls down on heavier tasks...

    I didn't try to make the Llano look expensive, I used nearly the cheapest motherboard but I included higher end RAM, which many a review has proven is needed to get best out of the IGP, the i3 systems however show little benefit from higher spec RAM (i5 or i7 show some benefit).

    The point I'm trying to make is that for similar money you CAN get an i3 system with superior gaming performance (discrete 5570) that will also do better on simple tasks such as office/internet.

    Point taken that the i3 won't overclock, the Llano will a bit.

    However for a more rounded system Llano might suit... I would say Llano is the chip for the power user with a tight budget, i3 is the chip for my parents.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Look at CAT's build - he also used 1600 RAM with Llano. Besides, even with the same RAM the IGP still significantly outperforms the Intel IGP.
    About the reason for the speedup, it's essentially a discrete GPU so it benefits from a fast framebuffer in the same way.

    Yes the individual cores on the i3 are faster and no-one is disputing that, but seriously are they going to make any difference to these 'simple tasks'? Even a Pentium 4 vs SNB won't make a lot of *real* difference on office applications, maybe a few points in 'real-world' benchmarks. Tasks which need more processing power are deliberately made multithreaded for that reason, for example, transcoders, compression utilities and even web browsers.

    I'd find the i3 processors a lot more appealing if they included the AES instruction set, you know, the lower end processors which would benefit far more from hardware acceleration than the high end on which a normal AES task (e.g. disk encryption) would barely stress the CPU anyway. It's the reason why low-power CPUs like Geode and Nano implement some sort of crypto engine.
    Last edited by watercooled; 05-08-2011 at 12:16 PM.

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Look at CAT's build - he also used 1600 RAM with Llano. Besides, even with the same RAM the IGP still significantly outperforms the Intel IGP.
    I picked CL8 stuff, the lower latency would help, it was also sort of so it would fit more in line of using 1866MHz, which would be best!

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    About the reason for the speedup, it's essentially a discrete GPU so it benefits from a fast framebuffer in the same way.
    Well yes, so hence the most comparable config for i3+discrete is Llano+Good RAM - the fairest speed comparison, without handicapping the Llano...!

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    I'd find the i3 processors a lot more appealing if they included the AES instruction set, you know, the lower end processors which would benefit far more from hardware acceleration than the high end on which a normal AES task (e.g. disk encryption) would barely stress the CPU anyway. It's the reason why low-power CPUs like Geode and Nano implement some sort of crypto engine.
    Totally agree.

    I think QuickSync is of more benefit than people think as well, a lot of normal user's transcodes are for things like Youtube, putting on the phone... where quality isn't so important. Archiving your DVD/Blu-ray collection to a NAS is rather more a power user's activity. I use QuickSync for movies on my phone, it's really not bad, hell of a lot better than CUDA!

    At the end of it all both Intel and AMD have good budget line ups now, and they both have upsides... for a tight budgeted power user Llano is definitely attractive, but for an office PC I think the i3 has the edge... not everything is very well multithreaded. And I DEFINITELY notice the difference between a P4 and a modern CPU with recent versions of MS Office or OpenOffice!!

    It might well swing even more towards AMD with the Bulldozer fusion chips... lets hope they get them to us on schedule :-)

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    Re: Reviews - AMD A6-3650 APU review - best chip below £100?

    The fairest comparison would be to equip them both with the same RAM TBH, besides lower latency makes next to no real difference. The faster RAM makes little difference when comparing to SNB. SNB IGP also benefits from faster RAM BTW.

    I still say it's unlikely you'd notice the difference, if you had the same HDD on both - but between 2 modern CPUs? I doubt it...

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