Sunday, July 3, 2011

Desktop Llano Lineup

The first batch of desktop Llano processors includes four APU models with four x86 cores inside. Just like the mobile Llano APUs, they don’t have a marketing name and are assigned A8 and A6 series numbers. A8 series includes higher-end APU models with a "Sumo" graphics core featuring 400 stream processors, while the A6 series includes slower modifications with lower clock frequencies and “lighter” graphics core with only 320 stream processors.

Here is the complete list of currently available Llano processors for the desktop Lynx platform:

There are significant differences in the specs not only between the two different APU series. Two models within each series are, in fact, two totally different products with dramatically diverse heat dissipation levels. The highest-performing models have 100 W TDP, but at the same time there are models with 65 W TDP and Turbo Core support. The clock frequency of the energy-efficient processors has been reduced by about 20-25% below that of their 100 W counterparts, but the features and frequency of their graphics cores remain the same.

Llano’s clock speeds are lower than the frequencies reached by the latest Athlon II and Phenom II processors. And it means that Llano are slower processors, which major advantage will be not the performance of x86 cores, but the performance of their graphics core. So, it makes sense to upgrade from a Socket AM3 to a Socket FM1 platform only for the sake of achieving better energy-efficiency and not in an attempt to boost the performance.

In the desktop segment, AMD’s pricing strategy is to make the A8 Llano processors an alternative to junior Core i3 Sandy Bridge models. The A8-3850's main competition will be the US$134 Core i3-2105. This is a fairly new part which has the same CPU clock as the i3-2100 but a fully enabled HD Graphics 3000.

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