AMD A8-3850 With Radeon HD 6550D Running On Linux
Lastly, with the most demanding Unigine Heaven test, the Radeon HD 6550D graphics on the A8-3850 were slaughtered, as were these other low and mid-range graphics cards. The Radeon HD 6570 was only slightly faster, but worth noting is the much better performance of the GeForce GT 240 compared to the Radeon hardware.
While the Radeon HD 6550D may not be the front-runner compared to the discrete AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, its performance overall was admirable for being an integrated graphics processor. The AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU with Radeon HD 6550D graphics is certainly enough for handling popular open-source games on Linux, compositing with your favorite window manager, and other modest OpenGL workloads. Using the proprietary Catalyst driver also allows OpenCL and XvBA to be utilized, which will be the focus of later Phoronix tests.
While the Catalyst Linux driver is working great, there's many Linux consumers that won't touch the binary blob. For those wanting to use the open-source Linux driver, you may be waiting a bit. Llano Fusion support isn't provided "out of the box" in any modern Linux distributions, but it should be by the time there are the major Linux distribution updates this fall, e.g. Fedora 16 and Ubuntu 11.10. Until then, you're left building the Linux kernel, Mesa, and xf86-video-ati DDX. Right now though the Radeon kernel DRM has problems, in at least this A8-3850 + GA-A75M-UD2H configuration, causing the display to not function correctly. Hopefully that will be worked out soon and that the Gallium3D Llano support is in good standing.
Stay tuned for the next round of AMD A8-3850 "Llano" benchmarks looking at the computational performance under Linux.
If you enjoyed this article consider joining Phoronix Premium to view this site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits. PayPal or Stripe tips are also graciously accepted. Thanks for your support.