AMD A8-3870K Black Edition APU review

The makings of a low-cost gaming media centre

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Product features

  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification


  • Asymmetric Crossfire
  • Decent onboard graphics for 720p, almost 1080p friendly


  • Old architecture
  • Core i3 still faster with discrete GPU

Not to be outdone by new graphics releases AMD is going back to the APU drawing board with the new AMD A8-3870K processor.

While its flagship FX processors are failing to shine it does seem a little on unfair on AMD that at the other end of the market it has a chip which really ought be cleaning up.

Its Llano Fusion APUs, which combine a multi-core CPU and a Radeon graphics part on one die, are actually rather good.

They may be based on an older processor architecture, but quad core examples like this A8-3870 hold their own against Intel's similarly priced dual core Core i3s in CPU benchmarks.

When it comes to 3D tasks like gaming, the on board HD6550D is simply in a different league to Intel's laggardly HD Graphics 3000 cores.

AMD a8 3870k

How could they get better? We'd like a chunky price drop, but that's not going to happen.

Instead, AMD has introduced 'Black Editions' of the chips, recognisable by their 'K' suffix. Just like Intel chips with a K moniker, they come with an unlocked multiplier which makes them more suitable for overclocking.

Now, you might think that anyone who wants to overclock a chip will be looking at something a little more high-end than these very basic processors, but the entire raison d'etre for overclocking is to turn something cheap into an unexpected powerhouse.

An unlocked, gaming-capable hybrid chip for just over £100 sounds like the stuff hardware hackers' dreams are made of. But does it deliver on that promise?

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Thermal Design Power100 W
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelHD 6550D
Product FamilyA8
Clock Speed3 GHz
Processor SocketSocket FM1
Brand NameAMD
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification72.7°C
Width40 mm
Depth40 mm
L2 Cache4 MB
Product SeriesA8
ManufacturerAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc
Product ModelA8-3870
Product NameQuad-core A8-3870 3GHz Desktop Processor
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part NumberAD3870WNGXBOX
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

AMD's Accelerated Processing Units (APU) combine a multi-core CPU and discrete-level GPU on a single power-efficient chip enabling vivid HD entertainment, blazing-fast Internet browsing and accelerated media applications.

With desktop PCs based on VISION Technology you can enjoy rich, smooth performance in a quiet-running, energy-efficient system. Experience smooth, skip-free HD playback and discover impressive speed and performance in everyday applications.

Process Technology32 nm
Package Contents
  • Quad-core A8-3870 3GHz Desktop Processor
  • AMD-qualified Heatsink/Fan with Thermal Interface
  • Installation Manual
  • Case Sticker
  • Certificate of Authenticity
Limited Warranty3 Year