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AMD refreshes line-up of A-series performance APUs

by Alistair Lowe on 20 December 2011, 14:45

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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Just in time for the New Year sales, AMD has announced a complete refresh of its A-Series APU line-up. Though not the introduction of a new architecture or a reduction in manufacturing process sizes, AMD has still managed to squeeze that crucial amount of extra performance from the new line-up; with indications that the new products will take the price brackets of their predecessors, the new APUs are looking to offer good value for money.

Taking the place of current front-runner, the AMD A8-3850, is the AMD A8-3870k, sporting an increased clock raising the quad-core design from 2.9 to 3.0GHz and featuring an unlocked multiplier for the over-clocking community. The design remains within the same 100 watt power envelope and sports the same 600MHz 400-core HD 6550D integrated graphics core, though now also with an unlocked multiplier, allowing both the CPU and GPU cores to be fine-tuned, with AMD claiming possible frequency increases of up to 500MHz on the CPU and 200MHz on the GPU.

On the lower end of the spectrum, matters are a little less clean-cut, the new A4-3305 remains the same speed as the existing A4-3300 APU, however has half the cache and 80 less GPU cores, however these are clocked to run 149MHz faster, making performance comparisons quite the challenge; it's looking like the 3305 may be able to run at a lower voltage than the 3300 and so whilst still claiming a 35 watt TDP, the reality may be that AMD has been able to cut power usage by reducing GPU cores and cache. The new A4-3320M looks to sit around the spot of the existing A4-3310MX, offering comparable performance thanks to an increased Turbo Boost frequency from 2.5 to 2.6GHz whilst keeping a slightly lower base clock of 2.0GHz as opposed to 2.1GHz, thus remaining within the 35 watt TDP range as opposed to the 45 watt TDP of the 3310MX. We agree that it's perhaps a smart move at the low-power end of the line-up to focus on performance-per-watt as these chips will likely see themselves placed in notebooks where good thermal performance and average power consumption are paramount.

The full line-up is as follows:

AMD A-Series Desktop APUs
A8-3870K Four CPU cores, 3.0 GHz CPU base (unlocked), 100W TDP, 400 Radeon cores, 600 MHz GPU base (unlocked), 4 MB L2 cache
A8-3820 Four CPU cores, 2.5 GHz CPU base (2.8 GHz Turbo Core), 65W TDP, 400 Radeon cores, 4 MB L2 cache
A6-3670K Four CPU cores, 2.7 GHz CPU base (unlocked), 100W TDP, 320 Radeon cores, 600 MHz GPU base (unlocked), 4 MB L2 cache
A6-3620 Four CPU cores, 2.2 GHz CPU base (2.5 GHz Turbo Core), 65W TDP, 320 Radeon cores, 4 MB L2 cache
A4-3420 Two CPU cores, 2.8 GHz CPU base, 65W TDP, 160 Radeon cores, 1 MB L2 cache
AMD A-Series Notebook APUs
A8-3550MX Four CPU cores, 2.0 GHz CPU base (2.7 GHz Turbo Core), 45W TDP, 400 Radeon Cores, 4 MB L2 cache
A8-3520M Four CPU cores, 1.6 GHz CPU base (2.5 GHz Turbo Core), 35W TDP, 400 Radeon Cores, 4 MB L2 cache
A6-3430MX Four CPU cores, 1.7 GHz CPU base (2.4 GHz Turbo Core), 45W TDP, 320 Radeon Cores, 4 MB L2 cache
A6-3420M Four CPU cores, 1.5 GHz CPU base (2.4 GHz Turbo Core), 35W TDP, 320 Radeon Cores, 4 MB L2 cache
A4-3330MX Two CPU cores, 2.2 GHz CPU base (2.6 GHz Turbo Core), 45W TDP, 240 Radeon Cores, 2 MB L2 cache
A4-3320M Two CPU cores, 2.0 GHz CPU base (2.6 GHz Turbo Core), 35W TDP, 240 Radeon Cores, 2 MB L2 cache
A4-3305M Two CPU cores, 1.9 GHz CPU base (2.5 GHz Turbo Core), 35W TDP, 160 Radeon Cores, 1 MB L2 cache
E2-3000M Two CPU cores, 1.8 GHz CPU base (2.4 GHz Turbo Core), 35W TDP, 160 Radeon Cores, 1 MB L2 Cache



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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“A8-3520M - Four CPU cores, 1.6 GHz CPU base (2.5 GHz Turbo Core), 35W TDP, 400 Radeon Cores, 4 MB L2 cache”

Looks like an excellent mobile chip, would love to see one in a slimline 13" chassis sans optical drives.
35W TDP might prevent that, it's at the higher end for a mobile chip. You normally only get sub 20W chips in that territory. Got to wonder why the dual core / 160sp chips are up at the 35W end though: If they can do quad core / 400sp chips in a 35W envelope you'd think they could get a chip cut back that heavily into a much lower TDP…
Scaryjim I think the E2 series might be salvaged A8 quad cores. Of course the other explanation is they are simply much lower binned chips which means there are greater yields.
I guess, although they should still be able to cut the TDP: Sempron 140s are harvested X2s, and when you disable the second core you get a ~ 20W power draw reduction (or rather when you enable the second core you get a 20W power draw increase!) which makes sense given they have 45W and 65W TDPs respectively. Llano must have a lot of leakage in the inactive chunks of silicon if they can't manage any reduction in TDP when more than half the die is turned off! ;)
Look at the Athlon II X4 631 - it has the same TDP as a Llano A6-3650. Having said that the Athlon II X4 had a relatively high TDP too as you can get 95W Phenom II X4 and X6 CPUs. Perhaps by setting the stock voltage higher they can validate most rejected parts with the higher TDP.

I can remember in one review the 65W A6-3650 triple core has the same CPU and GPU power consumption as a A4-3400 dual core. The A4-3400 is clocked 600MHZ higher per core although it has 2MB less L2 cache and 160 shaders less in the IGP.

It would be interesting to see how far the A4 and A6 can be undervolted though.