AMD A8-3820 Review

Mid-range laptop processor released in 2011 with 4 cores and 4 threads. With base clock at 2.5GHz, max speed at 2.8GHz, and a 65W power rating. A8-3820 is based on the Llano 32nm family and part of the A8 series.
Price 100%
Speed 56%
Productivity 53%
Gaming 69%
Category Laptop
Target mid-range
Socket Compatibility FM1
Integrated Graphics
Cooler Included Yes
Overclock Potential 0 %
Year 2011 Model
Price 85 USD
Number of Cores 4 Cores
Number of Threads 4 Threads
Core Frequency 2.5 GHz
Boost Frequency 2.8 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 2.8 GHz
Power Consumption 65 W
Manufacturing Process 32 nm
L3 Cache 4 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB
Price-Value Score 100 %
Speed Score 56 %
Productivity Score 53 %
Gaming Score 69 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 66.7 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 33.3 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 16.7 %
Overall Score 28/100

The A8-3820 is one of AMD's mid-range Laptop processors. It was released in 2011 with 4 cores and 4 threads. With base clock at 2.5GHz, max speed at 2.8GHz, and a 65W power rating. The A8-3820 is based on the Llano 32nm family and is part of the A8 series.

The AMD A8-3820 marks yet another blast from Team AMD, ramping up the intensity of the AMD vs Intel processor war. Still, though, there’s more than just core counts when it comes to a mainstream processor, as single-core performance needs to be on point, especially if you’re hoping to play the best PC games.

AMD's K10 series has landed, upping the ante with Intel in its high-stakes game for desktop PC market dominance with a well-rounded lineup of new chips that push mainstream platforms to higher core counts and more raw compute than we've ever seen. As a result, Intel's commanding presence in the enthusiast space is threatened in a way we haven't seen in over a decade.

As the higher-priced version of the A8-3800, the A8-3820 has higher base and Boost frequencies of 2.5 and 2.8 GHz, respectively. That's an increase in base frequency and a bump to boost clocks, but the real advantage should lay in the higher Package Power Tracking (PPT) envelope, which is a measurement of the maximum amount of power delivered to the socket. The A8-3800's PPT tops out at 65W, while the motherboard can pump up to 142W to the A8-3820 at peak performance. That opens up much more aggressive boost behavior, on both single and multiple cores, that could widen the performance gap beyond what we see on the spec sheet.

As we've seen, gaming remains an advantage for Intel, so if squeezing out every last frame is all you care about, Intel's processors are a good choice. Much of that performance advantage will be less noticeable when gaming at higher resolutions, or if you pair the processors with a lesser graphics card.

Value seekers who aren't afraid to press the Precision Boost Overdrive button and have sufficient cooling should look to the A8-3800 for roughly equivalent performance to the A8-3820, particularly if gaming factors heavily into the buying decision. That could save you money, reinforcing our decision to give the A8-3800 an Editor's Choice award.

If you're mostly playing games on your PC, you will be happy buying either processor. Both proved to be solid options and are evenly matched with a slight advantage to the Intel chip if you don't tune up the Core i5 processor. The base performance we showed for the A8-3820 can be achieved with $90 memory, while the Core i5-3427U will require $110 - $120 memory in order to enable the frame rates shown here. It’s not a big cost difference and right now with anything less than an RTX 2070 or Vega 64 you’ll more than likely become GPU limited.

One of the nice things about the AMD A8-3820 processors is that the retail boxed models come with a CPU cooler. So, you can pick something like the AMD A8-3820 up for $85 and don’t need to spend any extra money on CPU cooling.

The AMD A8-3820 retail boxed processor comes with the traditional ‘pancake’ CPU cooler. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done on this processor which is rated at 65W TDP. You do not need to have an aftermarket cooling solution unless you want to.

That said, AMD still lags behind in frequency when the Core i5-3437U operates at 2.9GHz at any given moment and 2.9GHz when push comes to shove.

If extended overclocking and boost frequencies are trivial matters to you, AMD also offers the A8-3800 at $130. It’s still outfitted with 4-cores and 4-threads, but clocks in at a slower 2.4GHz and maxes out at only 2.7GHz.

The A8-3820 clocks up to 2.8Ghz just as it promises on the box, and with AMD’s software you can take one of the cores all the way up to 2.9GHz. However, don’t expect to get much beyond that without seriously upgrading your cooling solution and manually tweaking voltages behind the operating system level.

There’s a saying that two heads are better than one and, well, 4-cores are better than 2. The extra processing power of the A8-3820 puts Intel’s processors to shame, including both its closest competitor and a much higher-spec part.

Intel's Core i5s are a staple of the high-volume mainstream market. They make up the most popular brand for mid-range-oriented builds by far. AMD is looking to shake that up with true 4-core processors that sell for even less than 2 cores. As if a resource advantage wasn't already compelling enough, A8 also enables unlocked multipliers. Intel is ill-prepared to fend off such a combination.

The 4-core A8-3820 is AMD's first A8 processor that doesn't feature simultaneous multi-threading, so it only schedules 4 threads at a time, like Core i5-3437U. Still, when it's up against Intel's 2 cores, the A8-3820 boasts a notable resource advantage.

AMD arms A8-3820 with a 2.5 GHz base frequency that jumps as high as 2.8 GHz under lightly-threaded tasks. The A8-3820 also offers a 2.5 GHz clock rate with all cores active. Meanwhile, Intel keeps its Core i5-3427U operating at a static 2.8 GHz clock rate.