Testing Different Memory Speeds on AMD’s A8-3850 Llano APUWed, Jul 13, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
We are very happy that the readers of Legit Reviews wrote in and asked us about how memory performance scales with clock frequency on AMD’s A-Series APU. We learned a good deal about this platform by doing more memory specific testing and we are happy to report back that we found no stability or performance issues on our test platforms at any of the clock frequencies and even with 16GB of memory stuffed into this platform.
We found that the memory bandwidth ranges from 13GB/s to 16GB/s with typical dual channel memory kits on our AMD A8-3850 APU and Gigabyte A75-UD4H motherboard. This difference doesn’t sound that great, but a 3GB/s increase when dealing with 13GB is a very nice 23% performance increase. Most of this performance gain is seen when moving up from a 1333Mhz to a 1600MHz memory kit is where you’ll see the largest performance jump. For example 2x4GB 1333MHz CL8 memory kit was able to hit ~12.7GB/s memory bandwidth, but the 2x4GB 1600MHz CL8 memory kit has ~15.0GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is a very nice 18% improvement over 1333MHz. Loading up all of the boards memory slots with four memory modules rather than just two modules did result in a slight performance boost that was noticed in nearly all of the benchmarks that we ran. Some areas like video encoding offered minimal performance gains though, so if you just surf the web and rip a video here and there a super fast 1866MHz memory kit isn’t necessary.
We also saw over a 20% gain in performance in gaming benchmarks, so if you ever plan on playing games with an A6-3650 or A8-3850 APU then you’ll most certainly want to invest in a 1600MHz or 1800MHz memory kit. Since the AMD A-Series APU and A75 chipset are all about being budget friendly, you’ll want to get a memory kit at a good price too.
The Lowest Priced 8GB (2x4GB) Memory Kits on Newegg Today:
- 1333MHz: Crucial CT2KIT51264BA1339 at $56.99 shipped
- 1600MHz: ADATA XPG Gaming Series AX3U1600GC4G9-2G at $54.99 Shipped AR
- 1866MHz: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL at $69.99 Shipped
At this time the best bang for your buck clearly a 1600MHz memory kit as it performs much better than a 1333MHz kit and actually costs less after a rebate. The 8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 1866MHz memory kit that we used for this review normally retails for $84.99, but is available in a Newegg Shell Shocker deal right now at a great price of $69.99 shipped. If you want to get the most performance from this platform running 1866MHz is the best method, but you’ll have to pay a premium for memory that fast. Not too many surprises to be found here. As you might have guessed having memory at higher clock speeds and having more memory in the system resulted in faster performance numbers!
The AMD A8-3850 APU is an impressive little processor that certainly won’t break the bank. For example if you wanted a budget beater system you can get away with a processor, micro-ATX motherboard and a 8GB 1600MHz memory kit for under $260:
- ECS A75F-M2 FM1 AMD A75 motherboard – $62.98
- AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz APU – $139.99
- 8GB ADATA XPG Gaming Series 1600MHz memory – $54.99
Grand Total: $257.96 shipped after two rebates
We hope that this review helped you figure out what the best memory speed is for this platform! We enjoy listening to reader feedback and when we can we will do our best to running the benchmarks that you request!
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD A8-3850 APU in our test system performed better when we increased the memory clock frequency and we were happy to see 20% gains in the gaming benchmarks.