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.

Which GPU to Pick for AMD A8-3820

Below is a comparison of all graphics cards average FPS performance (using an average of 80+ games at ultra quality settings), combined with the AMD A8-3820.

Graphics Card Price Cost Per Frame Avg 1080p Avg 1440p Avg 4K
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB $ 1,499 $ 14.6 102.6 FPS
151.7 FPS
113 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB $ 699 $ 7.8 89.4 FPS
132.2 FPS
98.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB $ 499 $ 7.3 68.4 FPS
101.2 FPS
75.3 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN RTX 24GB $ 2,499 $ 39.8 62.8 FPS
95.9 FPS
71.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB $ 1,299 $ 21.2 61.2 FPS
93.4 FPS
70 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB $ 699 $ 12.6 55.5 FPS
83.9 FPS
62.6 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN V 12GB $ 2,999 $ 56.4 53.2 FPS
81.2 FPS
62.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB $ 699 $ 13.3 52.5 FPS
78.5 FPS
58 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB $ 759 $ 15.4 49.2 FPS
74.9 FPS
55.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB $ 499 $ 10.2 48.9 FPS
72.3 FPS
53.8 FPS
NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB $ 1,199 $ 24.9 48.2 FPS
72.3 FPS
55.1 FPS
AMD Radeon VII 16GB $ 699 $ 14.5 48.2 FPS
71.7 FPS
52.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB $ 399 $ 8.5 47 FPS
69.8 FPS
51.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB $ 499 $ 10.8 46.3 FPS
67.5 FPS
50.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB $ 400 $ 9.1 43.8 FPS
62.8 FPS
46.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB $ 349 $ 8.1 43 FPS
64 FPS
46.8 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB $ 499 $ 11.9 41.8 FPS
61.2 FPS
44.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB $ 350 $ 8.5 41.3 FPS
57.8 FPS
42 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB $ 279 $ 6.9 40.6 FPS
59.9 FPS
43.7 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 4GB $ 1,499 $ 38.3 39.1 FPS
56.5 FPS
44.1 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB $ 499 $ 12.8 39 FPS
58.1 FPS
42.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB $ 409 $ 10.6 38.7 FPS
56.7 FPS
41.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB $ 999 $ 26.6 37.6 FPS
54.5 FPS
39.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB $ 279 $ 7.6 36.8 FPS
54 FPS
39.4 FPS
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB $ 399 $ 10.9 36.6 FPS
54.3 FPS
39.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB $ 399 $ 11.2 35.6 FPS
51.7 FPS
37.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6GB $ 229 $ 6.6 34.7 FPS
50.9 FPS
37.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB $ 649 $ 19.8 32.7 FPS
47.7 FPS
34.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB $ 220 $ 6.7 32.7 FPS
47.9 FPS
35 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB $ 279 $ 9 31 FPS
44.1 FPS
31.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY X 4GB $ 649 $ 21.9 29.7 FPS
45.4 FPS
34.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB $ 160 $ 5.6 28.5 FPS
41.6 FPS
30.4 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 8GB $ 199 $ 7.1 28.2 FPS
40.1 FPS
28.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB $ 549 $ 19.5 28.1 FPS
40.5 FPS
29.8 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB $ 229 $ 8.3 27.5 FPS
39.1 FPS
27.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4GB $ 649 $ 24 27 FPS
40.5 FPS
30.3 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK 6GB $ 999 $ 38.1 26.2 FPS
37.5 FPS
28.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 FURY 4GB $ 549 $ 21.4 25.6 FPS
38.2 FPS
28.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB $ 254 $ 10 25.5 FPS
36.5 FPS
26.7 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 4GB $ 169 $ 6.7 25.3 FPS
36 FPS
25.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390X 8GB $ 429 $ 17.4 24.6 FPS
36.6 FPS
27.1 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB $ 170 $ 7 24.2 FPS
34.8 FPS
25.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB $ 329 $ 13.8 23.8 FPS
33.8 FPS
25.7 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB $ 400 $ 17.3 23.1 FPS
34.1 FPS
25.5 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 390 8GB $ 329 $ 14.3 23 FPS
33.4 FPS
23.3 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB $ 169 $ 7.4 22.7 FPS
33 FPS
23.6 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB $ 149 $ 6.9 21.7 FPS
31.5 FPS
23 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB $ 179 $ 8.9 20.2 FPS
29.6 FPS
21.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380X 4GB $ 229 $ 13.5 17 FPS
24.6 FPS
18.3 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 285 2GB $ 249 $ 16.3 15.3 FPS
22.2 FPS
15.5 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 380 2GB $ 199 $ 13.1 15.2 FPS
21.9 FPS
15.5 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB $ 169 $ 11.3 14.9 FPS
21.7 FPS
15.8 FPS
AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB $ 279 $ 18.9 14.8 FPS
21.6 FPS
14.9 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB $ 199 $ 13.6 14.6 FPS
21 FPS
15.2 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB $ 169 $ 13.3 12.7 FPS
18.3 FPS
13.1 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB $ 99 $ 8.4 11.8 FPS
16.7 FPS
12 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2GB $ 159 $ 13.8 11.5 FPS
16.4 FPS
12.2 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB $ 149 $ 13.2 11.3 FPS
15.4 FPS
11.6 FPS
AMD Radeon R7 265 2GB $ 149 $ 13.3 11.2 FPS
14.9 FPS
11.2 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB $ 140 $ 13.5 10.4 FPS
14.8 FPS
10.7 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB $ 149 $ 14.9 10 FPS
12.7 FPS
9.6 FPS
AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB $ 79 $ 9.6 8.2 FPS
11.8 FPS
8.4 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 2GB $ 79 $ 10.1 7.8 FPS
11.2 FPS
7.8 FPS
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