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Recently, we analyzed the ASRock QC5000-ITX motherboard, which brings an on-board AMD A4-5000 CPU. In this article, we will compare its performance to other two low-cost, low-TDP CPUs, which we tested recently: the Sempron 2650 “Kabini” from AMD and the Celeron J1800 “Bay Trail-D” from Intel. Let’s see if the A4-5000 is faster than its competitors.
It is hard to say whether the AMD A4-5000 is a direct competitor to the Sempron 2650 and to the Celeron J1800 or not, since it has four processing cores, while the other two are dual-core CPUs. The A4-5000 comes soldered on motherboard, like the Celeron J1800, while the Sempron 2650 uses a socket, being sold separately from the motherboard. However, all of them are low-cost, low-consumption processors, and they are SoC (System On a Chip) CPUs, which means they include in the chip the processing cores, the memory controller, the video controller, and also the chipset.
Figure 1 unveil the AMD A4-5000 CPU that comes on the ASRock QC5000-ITX motherboard.
Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.
[nextpage title=”The Reviewed CPUs”]
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.https://www.facebook.com/
|CPU||Cores||HT||IGP||Internal Clock||Turbo Clock||Base Clock||Core||Tech.||TDP||Socket||Price|
|A4-5000||4||No||Yes||1.5 GHz||No||100 MHz||Kabini||28 nm||15 W||FCBGA769||USD 73**|
|Sempron 2650||2||No||Yes||1.45 GHz||No||100 MHz||Kabini||28 nm||25 W||AM1||USD 40*|
|Celeron J1800||2||No||Yes||2.41 GHz||2.58 GHz||100 MHz||Bay Trail-D||22 nm||10 W||FCBGA1170||USD 60**|
* Motherboards can be found starting at USD 31
** The price includes the motherboard, since this CPU is soldered to the motherboard
Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and states the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate.
Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.
|CPU||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||Memory Support||Memory Channels|
|A4-5000||2 MiB||No||Up to DDR3-1600||One|
|Sempron 2650||1 MiB||No||Up to DDR3-1333||One|
|Celeron J1800||1 MiB||No||Up to DDR3-1333||Two|
Below we have a quick comparison of the video engine of the CPUs.
|A4-5000||Radeon HD 8330||11.1||500 MHz||128|
|Sempron 2650||Radeon R3||11.2||400 MHz||128|
|Celeron J1800||Intel HD||11||688/792 MHz||4|
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable device was the CPU being tested and the motherboard, which had to be replaced to match the different CPU sockets.
In order to see if the installation of an external video card could improve the A4-5000’s performance, we repeated the test with an XFX Radeon R4 240 Core Edition video card installed and the embedded GPU disabled. We used an entry-level video card since there is no sense in installing a high-end video card with such an inexpensive system.
- Motherboard (A4-5000): ASRock QC5000-ITX
- Motherboard (Sempron 2650): ASUS AM1M-A
- Motherboard (Celeron J1800): ASRock D1800M
- CPU Cooler: Intel/AMD stock
- Memory: 8 GiB DDR3-2133, two G.Skill Ripjaws F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZH 4 GiB memory modules configured at 1333 MHz
- Boot drive: Kingston HyperX Fury 240 GB
- Video Card: integrated
- Video Monitor: LG Flatron W1942S
- Power Supply: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Video resolution: 1440×900 60 Hz
- AMD driver version: 14.9
- Intel video driver version: 126.96.36.19908
- Intel Inf chipset driver version: 188.8.131.526
We adopted a 4% error margin. Thus, differences below 4% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 4% should be considered as having similar performance.
[nextpage title=”PCMark 8″]
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure the computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, which includes web browsing, photo editing, video editing, group video chat, media transcoding, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s analyze the results.
The A4-5000 achieved a score 21% higher than the Sempron 2650 and 5% higher than the Celeron J1800 in the Home test. With a discrete Radeon R7 240 video card installed, the performance was 9% higher.
On the Creative benchmark, the A4-5000 achieved a score 31% higher than Sempron 2650 and 9% higher than the Celeron J1800. Installing a Radeon R7 240 video card made no difference in this test.
On the Work benchmark, the A4-5000 was 13% faster than the Sempron 2650 and 8.5% slower than the Celeron J1800. Again, installing a Radeon R7 240 video card did not affect the performance of the reviewed CPU.
We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using not only more than one CPU (i.e., more than one core) but also the SSE4 instruction set.
We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into a .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile.
The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
On DivX encoding, the A4-5000 was 76% faster than the Sempron 2650 and 11% slower than the Celeron J1800. The installation of a Radeon R7 240 video card didn’t affect the performance in this test in a significant way.
[nextpage title=”Media Espresso 6.7″]
Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
Here the A4-5000 was 5% faster than the Sempron 2650 and 27% slower than the Celeron J1800. With the R7 240 video card installed, however, the performance was 92% higher than with the embedded GPU of the A4-5000. This happens because this program uses the GPU for processing, as already mentioned.
DVDShrink is an old but still very useful program to “shrink” video DVDs that have more than 4.7 GiB of data to fit single-layer DVD media. We used it to compress the DVD of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” DVD to 4.7 GiB. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
In this test, the A4-5000 was 72% faster than the Sempron 2650 and 27% faster than the Celeron J1800. The use of a video card did not change the performance results here.
[nextpage title=”Far Cry 3″]
Far Cry 3 is based on the Dunia 2 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we played the same mission three times, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at the lowest possible settings, using 800 x 600 resolution, and overall image quality at “low.”
The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.
The performance of the A4-5000 was 136% higher than the Sempron 2650 and 73% higher than the Celeron J1800. The installation of the Radeon R7 240 video card improved the framerate in 23%.
However, this test shows that even with an external video card, none of the three processors are powerful enough for decently running a “heavy” game such as Far Cry 3.
3DMark is a program with a set of three benchmarks: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate, and Fire Strike.
The 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark measures DirectX 9 performance and it is aimed at low-end computers. The 3DMark Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance, running at 1280×720 resolution. The 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed at high-end gamer PCs, barely running in both tested systems, so we did not include it in this review.
On the Ice Storm Extreme benchmark, the A4-5000 was 34% faster than the Sempron 2650 and 44% faster than the Celeron J1800. With the Radeon R7 240 video card installed, the performance of the A4-5000 increased 31 percent.
On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the A4-5000 was 38% faster than the Sempron 2650 and 54% faster than the Celeron J1800. With the Radeon R7 240 video card installed, the performance increased 92 percent.
Nowadays, even at the low-cost market, every CPU manufacturer offers several different products, which makes picking the best option for cost-conscious customer a hard decision.
Nevertheless, our tests have shown some very interesting results. First, there are applications where a four-core processor has a clear advantage over dual-core ones. If you need some performance at one of those tasks at the smallest cost (and power consumption) possible, the A4-5000 is better than the Sempron 2650 and the Celeron J1800. On the other hand, some applications do not take advantage of the extra cores, but they do take advantage of higher clocks.
Other tasks are likely to run faster with a discrete video card installed, and clearly none of the GPUs embedded in the three tested CPUs came near the performance of the Radeon R7 240, which is a low-end video card. Therefore, the A4-5000 processor, as well as the other CPUs included in this test, is not recommended if you plan to play recent games.
Finally, if you are intending to build an inexpensive computer with a very low-power consumption, the AMD A4-5000 is a good deal. Mainly if you run programs that may take advantage of the four cores provided by this CPU.