AMD A8-3850 & Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Review


AMD A8-3850 & Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Review


Time to wrap up! Thoughts?

Let us start with the processor. On face value, what we have here is a package with performance that is roughly comparable to the AMD Athlon II X4 series that precedes it. For a 2011 release, this is arguably a little mediocre for a quad core processor but then again its list price reflects its performance accordingly. As already shown, the A8-3850 APU really comes into its own in games and other GPU accelerated media. Needless to say, you will need to pair your Core i3/i5 processor with a Radeon HD 6500 series graphics card or similar in order to outpace the AMD Llano APU. Moreover, one could expect further gains in multimedia performance by overclocking the integrated GPU. At around £100, the processor itself represents good value for entry/middle range multimedia and home theater desktop computers.

Next up is a final word on Gigabyte's A75M-UD2H. As a Micro ATX solution, it is ideal for those who wish to build a compact multimedia/home theater computer. Its performance was certainly in line with our expectations and on the whole it delivered as promised. Its overclocking abilities appeared somewhat limited in our sample; this could be a significant consideration for many of you.

In terms of price, the A75M-UD2H sits at around £85, which is about average for current FM1 socket releases. We do however find this quite alarming.

Today, if you wanted to build a low cost Intel Core i3/i5 machine, you would be looking at Intel's H61 and H67 chipset families, where motherboards are priced from £40 and £60 respectively. Admittedly the offerings towards the lower end of the price spectrum aren't particularly feature rich but for many, CrossfireX, elaborate heatsinks and power management is not all that necessary. The message that I hope to convey is that in purchasing a Socket FM1 system, you are buying into AMD's budget and mid-range platform. As such, you would be mad to spend 990FX or P67 money in this category. Do not forget that the A8-3850's GPU is compensating for the quad core processor's limitations; introduce dedicated graphics cards and Sandy Bridge processors will eat Llano for breakfast.

Overall, there is a lot to like about both the A8-3850 and the A75M-UD2H. As a whole, you can expect it to have an edge over a basic Core i3/i5 system for certain home usage such as video/basic gaming. However do not lose sight of the platform's limitations. AMD Fusion is certainly not a one size fits all solution for all.


The Good
- Excellent integrated GPU performance
- Good motherboard layout
- Processor pricing

The Mediocre
- Motherboard pricing
- Core Processor Performance

The Bad
- None


AMD A8-3850


Gigabyte A75M-UD2H

Thanks to AMD and Gigabyte for the samples on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

01-08-2011, 09:53:33

Good review Mul Quote

01-08-2011, 10:43:51

This is going to be a very hard product to review.

Mostly because there is nothing else like it on the market.

I'm a little confused as to why this was pitted against an I5 when the I5 is clearly far more expensive.

£103.99 inc for the Llano from Ebuyer, £137 inc for the I5.

The comparissons should be against the I3. Now sure, as a CPU the I3 is faster. However, the GPU aboard the 3850 poos on the I3 and is actually playable at sensible resolutions. Every other review I have read have pitted it like for like, so I can't understand why this has been benched against a CPU that puts another 35% on top of what the 3850 costs.

I can only summise it was because OC3D maybe didn't have an I3 to put it against?Quote

01-08-2011, 12:07:10

I agree but nice review!Quote

01-08-2011, 13:45:52

Oh FFS Gigabyte, I want vomit when I see SATA ports stick straight out of motherboard. Yeah this motherboard has some odd mix of price, IGP, and Crossfire capability.Quote

01-08-2011, 14:03:17

Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Good review Mul
Thank you. I haven't published anything since February - glad to have been able to help out a little

Originally Posted by Z0mB13 View Post

I can only summise it was because OC3D maybe didn't have an I3 to put it against?

Indeed an i3 wasn't available to compare it with, however I had left hints along the way that the price of the A8-3850 accounts for its inferior core for core and clock for clock (gag) performance. However, I feel that the article was able to highlight what was most important. Entry level multimedia users don't need outright core processor performance - combine an average CPU with a good enough GPU and their most complex needs are satisfied. Intel's Atom + nVidia ION as well as AMD's own FUZION E350 is a testament to this.

I maintain that so long as you build a FM1 system in a cut price fashion, it represents very good value for money. However as I've said in the review, you've got to be bonkers to spend big £££ on a A75 FM1 board.Quote

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