Watching technology combine and condense is really fascinating, especially in my line of work. When I'm not reviewing or being a husband/wife, I work as a sleep technologist. One of the main conditions that I deal with is sleep apnea. The main treatment for this is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. The original CPAP machines that were built used modified vacuum motors and were gigantic. They remained loud and big until around the mid 90s, when they became more mainstream. Humidifier chambers used to be a separate setup and now they are built into the machines. The popularity pushed the technology and now there are machines that can literally fit in the palm of your hand, with a built in humidifier. They are also so quiet that you get more noise from the mask vents, and your breathing, than from the machine itself..
The same can be seen with AMD's technology. Their latest Fusion technology has taken old large technology, and advanced it to be a more efficient all in one solution. Motherboards are loaded with Fusion Control Hubs that have combined all southbridge functionality, while the APU chips combine CPU and GPU, as well as northbridge functionality. This allows for a more compact, all in one solution that ensures complete compatibility and, with the use of Radeon cores on the APU, superior graphical capability. The Brazos platform was released to appeal to the micro users, while the Lynx platform is more for the mainstream users.
The A8-3870K APU is the latest release from AMD. The A8-3870K offers quad core performance with 3.0GHz speed. This Llano APU comes with a 100MHz speed bump over the A8-3850, so the stock performance won't differ tremendously. The key difference, however, is the unlocked multiplier. The unlocked multiplier offers easier overclocking as seen with AMD's other "Black Edition" processors. All prior Llano APUs have locked multipliers, therefore overclocking requires more trouble. All of the same features seen on the A8-3850 are seen on the A8-3870K. The Radeon 6550D has been integrated, which offers 400 shader units and runs at 600MHz. This is the best Radeon that can be attained on a Llano APU. There is still support for dual graphics as well as memory up to 1866MHz.
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