We also tested a few actual games on the APU to see how well it fares in practice. In general we believe that Llano is very well suited for little less demanding games, which are played more casually. This is in line what the expectations that AMD has for Llano without any discrete graphics added to the mix. For example we had a good experience with MMOs like Guild Wars or World of Warcraft. But also current games like Dirt 3 ran reasonably well. More demanding games like Metro 2033 didn’'t work that well at all and likely required dual graphics with the addition of a discrete card.
While the GPU inside the A-series APU is quite capable, you have to make a few compromises regarding visual quality. We found that the optimal resolution for the APU is 1280x720 for gaming with high quality settings. If you want to go higher, you'd have to reduce visual quality settings to achieve playable framerates. Of course these things also depend a lot on personal preference. Just keep in mind that AMD can deliver a decent discrete GPU option starting at around $99.99 for the Radeon 6770.World of Warcraft
We set the resolution to 1280x720, all the settings to the highest possible setting (High or Ultra respectively), except Shadows, which was set to 'Good'. We also enabled 4xAA and 8xAF. We used the Troll intro scene displayed after creating a fresh troll character as a benchmark sequence and used Fraps to measure the frames per second.
As you can see Llano is more than capable of delivering good performance in WoW in the graphics setting we used. Just consider that in crowded cities or raid content, the figures would go down a bit, so having some headroom is always a good idea. As with the other benchmarks we can see good scaling with memory. Especially the jump from DDR3-1333 to DDR3-1600 is quite prominent.Dirt 3
We set the resolution to 1280x720 and all the detail settings to High respectively Highest. 4XAA was enabled as well. We used the built-in benchmark test as a performance measure.
The A8-3850 delivers a very good show here. It might not be the most demanding game, but Dirt 3 still is a very recent title that can make use of DirectX 11 features. Again, DDR3-1600 delivers a lot of extra performance, while DDR3-1866 only has a minor incremental impact.
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