Back in June 2011 AMD released their first ever consumer targeted APUs, with good success. We are now six months on from that release and AMD have decided that they should release a K model Black Edition series unlocked processor, allowing you to more easily squeeze some performance from both the GPU and CPU harbored inside that APU.
Now, before we start off, I want to make it very clear here, the A8 (Lynx) processors are entry level to mid-range targeted processors (well -- APUs). So we are looking at reasonable up-to okay CPU performance versus a rather kick ass integrated GPU, and all that for very interesting prices. Today's tested A8 3870K Black Edition APU for example will cost roughly 125 EUR.
Based on the Lynx APU architecture there are currently three APU models to be found in the A8 series; the A8-3850 is rated at 100W running at 2.9GHz. The second model is the A8-3800 rated at 65W, 2.7/2.4GHz (Turbo Core).
The new third model is the 3870K BE, rated at 100W running at 3.0 GHz. These APUs have a 4MB L2 cache and pack 400 Radeon (shader) cores with that embedded GPU running at 600MHz with what AMD calls a Radeon HD 6550D.
400 shader cores. That's really a huge leap in performance for integrated graphics alright. Also, for those that immediately noticed it, correct -- these processors do not have a shared L3 cache. Anyway, we'll talk all about the features and architecture over the next pages of course.
The 3800 and 3850 have locked multipliers, meaning that overclocking them is very difficult. However, the 3870K BE has unlocked multipliers, that means we can boost the processor performance a bit, but also the internal GPU.
Now the performance and overclocks will by far not be as grand as say the Phenom II / FX processors show, but every bit helps of course. And for just a few EUR more we could see an increase in performance of up-to a third.
So before we dive a little deeper into the performance of the processor I wanted to quickly talk about the APU and the technology behind it. Next page please.