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AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650: staking it on the APU
by Guillaume Louel
Published on August 28, 2011

Our GPU tests were carried out on different platforms but we have tried to keep CPUs with performance levels as close as possible to prevent them from having too much of an impact on our graphics tests.

Far Cry 2

We started with what is today a fairly old graphics engine, the one used in Far Cry 2. The latest patch was installed, as with all the other titles, unless otherwise indicated. We used "Medium” mode in DirectX 9, as Low is too limited graphically speaking.

There are several points to make here. First of all let's take the very poor 890GX performance. The chip built into this motherboard, a ‘Radeon HD 4250’ is a dated DirectX 10.1 GPU, which didn't really evolved when moving over to the 800 series generation. Next come the HD 2000 and 3000, still under the threshold of what you need to make the game playable. They make the HD 6550D look like a rocket in comparison. Even though its scores are rather low, you can play smoothly at 1280x720 without anti-aliasing, but not beyond, in spite of the fact that this couldn't be said to be a demanding graphics mode. Under the same conditions the A6-3650 offers 20% lower performance, with the game on the limit of what's playable. Dual Graphics mode gives you around ten frames per second more than the graphics card alone, which can be significant.

Dirt 3

We used DirectX 11 Low mode for Dirt 3. The Intel HD 2000/3000 and the 890GX don't support this API and therefore didn’t feature in this test.

The first good news is that although Dirt3 wasn't perfectly smooth, it was at least playable at 1920x1080 using the A8 and almost playable with the A6, which was however much more at ease at 1920x720. APU. Note that while Dual Graphics does have an impact at 1920x1080, at 1280x720, performance is down on what you get with the graphics card on its own. Given that performance levels are already very high, this isn’t too much of a problem.

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