What happens when you pit Intel's "Visually Smart" Sandy Bridge processors against Radeon-enriched AMD Fusion A-Series accelerated processing units? They do terribly at gaming on integrated graphics. Surprise! That is notwithstanding the fact that AMD is pitching its A-Series Fusion APUs to be a lot more than CPUs with embedded GPUs, they're pitched to be processors that make lower-mainstream graphics pointless, and to alter the software ecosystem to be more GPGPU intensive, so applications could benefit from the over 500 GFLOPs of computation power the 400 stream processor DirectX 11 GPU brings to the table.
A leaked presentation slide shows AMD's performance projections for the A-Series GPU, tests included GPU-heavy DirectX 10 titles such as Crysis Warhead and Borderlands; as well as DirectX 11 ready titles such as Dirt 2. AMD's quad-core A8-3850, A8-3650 and A8-3450 were included alongside Intel's dual-core Sandy Bridge Core i3-2100, and quad-core Core i5-2300, Core i5-2500K. The Atom-competitive E350 Zacate dual-core was also in the comparision, perhaps to show that it is nearly as good as Intel's much higher segment Core series processors at graphics.
30 frames per second (FPS) is considered "playable" limit by some tech journalists, but AMD created a range between 25 and 30 FPS to define what's playable. Each of the three A-Series chips scored above 25 FPS in every test, while the A8-3650 and 3850 reached/crossed the 30 FPS barrier. Going by the test results, AMD certainly achieved what it set out to, which is to use its immense GPU-engineering potential to lift up its CPU business. The A-Series APUs should make a formidable option for home desktop buyers who require strong graphics for casual gaming, cost the same as Intel's dual-core Sandy Bridge, and give four x86-64 cores for the same price. AMD's new A-Series Fusion APUs will launch in early June.