AMD A6 3500 APU review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 01/24/2012 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
It's good to test value products every now and then here are Guru3D.com, and sure granted .. this was the slowest processor we tested in a while and ranking at the bottom most of the time, ok -- CPU performance is getting slaughtered.
But obviously is has everything to do with both the product but also the fact that our benchmark suite was updated over time to show the effects of multi-core and multi-threaded performance.
So once you test a product with only three cores, performance will quickly drop in the benchmarks.
Why am I stressing that fact you might wonder ? Because I need you guys to understand what this product is all about, it is an entry level APU offering you a fair enough PC experience when it comes to desktop usage, internet, email, playing music, playback videos and so on .. for all these functions this little APU serves just fine. Even in Windows 7 the operating system feels fast en responsive enough.
Combined with the 320 Shader processor based graphics core you reap more benefits when you relate that to multi-media, movie playback and even a little gaming (albeit low level).
So once you realize where this product sits in the market, then surely you'll agree with me that the 70 EUR you need to fork out for it is just a really fair amount of money for what you receive in return.
Now before you start asking and emailing me .. yes ! There are four CPU cores inside this APU. AMD simply disabled one. This happens with a lot of products. With GPU's it happens all the time, but even the top of the line Intel Core i7 3960X with it's six-cores really .. is an eight core processor.
It has everything to do with market segmentation (making a product available for every budget) and also wafer yields ... that 4th core might actually be disabled because it wasn't working 100%. By disabling it you get perfectly functional three CPU core APU.
The A6 triple core processor's power envelope is okay. With use of the integrated GPU (no dedicated graphics card installed) we noted down 38 Watts in idle and roughly 85 Watts when we stress the APU's processor cores, that's okay really and I am talking about the power envelope of the entire PC measured at the wall socket power draw. The dynamic shifts when you add a dedicated graphics card, obviously.
Heat levels of the APU are a non-issue as well, obviously we always recommend a proper cooler. But expect a thermal envelope of 30~40 Degrees C with a decent cooler and heavy APU stress.
So who should buy an A6-3500 APU ? Well, I can tell you who shouldn't buy it, that would be professional desktop users, mainstream gamers, enthusiast users and prosumers. But the ones that simply need to build a cheap PC for internet, simple desktop work, a spreadsheet or two, word, simple gaming and audio/video playback, well it's for these guys where the A6 series APU's can make sense.
So while evaluating this APU, please relate the processor (well APU) where is needs to be -- entry level .. I know that is hard to grasp on a technology website like Guru3D.com really is, but then do realize that for merely 70 EUR you receive a whole lot of fun with Fusion. Coz really, in this price bracket the A6-3500 simple does not disappoint.
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We look at entry level hardware, for a great deal you get some processor power and actually quite some decent GPU power all harbored inside that processor. We'll go even weirder though, as today we'll be testing a triple core APU, yes that is an APU with three physical CPU cores activated, instead of the four you expected. This three CPU cores product was actually announced back in August already but now finally seems to be available in good volume in the stores, at the nice price of only 70 EUR here in the Netherlands.