The Lynx platform by AMD should do well with mainstream consumers that want a system that does everything they want it to do and without sucking down a bunch of power or draining their wallet.
The multiplier is locked on the A8-3850 and the only way to overclock is by the reference clock known by most as the FSB or AMD users HTT. The reference clock starts at 100 and there is no hypertransport, northbridge frequency to deal with in the bios. The reference clock however raises the APU frequency and the memory frequency which does have a multiplier. We raised the voltages to 1.52V and achieved a overclock of 3.712Ghz just shy of a 30% overclock.
The problem really lies with the 2.9 GHz clock speed that the top end A8-3850 is tagged with, well below the speed of the most recent quad-core Phenom II parts from AMD that reached as high as 3.7 GHz. Because of the combination of a new 32nm process technology and that Llano is the first "true" Fusion part with standard CPU and GPU technology, AMD obviously had more problems getting this part to the speeds it wanted. Quite simply they ran out of time even after several delays and HAD to get something out into the market for OEMs to dabble in.
If you're building an entry level gaming PC and have to rely solely on integrated graphics, it's clear that Llano is the only solution on the market today. You easily get 2x the frame rates of Intel's Core i3-2105 and can use that extra headroom to increase resolution, quality or sometimes both. The performance advantage is just one aspect of what Llano offers in this department. You do also get better overall game compatibility, DX11 and GPU compute support although the latter is still missing that killer app.
All in all, I was pretty pleased with the AMD A8-3850. While not a game changer for the overclocker, it was not designed to fit this purpose. It was developed to bring strong video playback and decent mainstream gaming for a minimal cash outlay and it does just that. If you are looking for a second processor (without breaking the bank) for an HTPC, workstation or maybe that build for a special loved one, then the A-Series may just be what you are looking for.
AMD really seem to have their fingers on the pulse of the mass market, though; they look to have developed an exceptional platform that sets a new segment, because it's leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Atom from Intel is great, but it's a bit long in the tooth these days and is really beginning to age. The i3 2120 is a fantastic processor for the money and stock for stock it looks great. With such limited overclocking potential on the non "k" series Sandy Bridge CPUs, though, the stock performance you get is pretty much all you're going to get.
quote: When you can spend a little bit more and get a discrete card that blows away any IGP solution...
quote: The bad is if your someone who buys discreet graphics your now paying extra for the chip with a part you dont have any need for.