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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game APU A4-4020 Dual-Core APU A6-3500 Triple-Core
Cyberpunk 2077 261% 167%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 386% 259%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 249% 158%
FIFA 21 237% 149%
Grand Theft Auto VI 493% 338%
Far Cry 6 469% 321%
Genshin Impact 173% 102%
Hitman 3 386% 259%
Watch Dogs Legion 386% 259%
Mafia: Definitive Edition 288% 187%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the AMD APU A6-3500 Triple-Core is significantly better than the AMD APU A4-4020 Dual-Core when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The APU A4-4020 Dual-Core was released over a year more recently than the APU A6-3500 Triple-Core, and so the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The APU A6-3500 Triple-Core has 1 more core than the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core. However, while the APU A6-3500 Triple-Core will probably perform better than the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core, both CPUs are likely to struggle with the latest games, and will almost certainly bottleneck high-end graphics cards. This should not affect games that are a few years old, and even the latest games should at least be playable on very low settings, as only recently have game developers begun to harness the power of multiple cores.

The APU A6-3500 Triple-Core has 1 more threads than the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The APU A4-4020 Dual-Core and APU A6-3500 Triple-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core has a 1.1 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the APU A6-3500 Triple-Core is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The APU A6-3500 Triple-Core has a 2048 KB bigger L2 cache than the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core, but neither of the CPUs have L3 caches, so the APU A6-3500 Triple-Core wins out in this area with its larger L2 cache.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

Both the APU A4-4020 Dual-Core and the APU A6-3500 Triple-Core have the same TDP of 65 Watts, and were created with the same manufacturing size of 32 nm, which means they will affect your yearly electricity bill about equally.

The APU A4-4020 Dual-Core and the APU A6-3500 Triple-Core both have an on-board GPU, which means that they will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card.

For an in-depth GPU comparison, click on the GPU comparison icon that you can find throughout Game-Debate:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU Codename-Llano
MoBo SocketSocket FM2Socket FM1
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date01 Mar 201408 Aug 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs3
CPU Threads2vs3
Clock Speed3.2 GHzvs2.1 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.4 GHzvs2.4 GHz
Max TDP65 Wvs65 W
Lithography32 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature70°Cvs71°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size96 KBvs384 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs3072 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsRadeon HD 7480DRadeon HD 6530D
Base GPU Frequency723 MHzvs443 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX11vs11
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewAPU A4-4020 Dual-Core is an entry-level CPU based on the 32nm, Piledriver architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), initially clocked at 3.2GHz, which may go up to 3.4GHz and 1MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Core and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Radeon HD 7480D, with 128 Shader Processing Units, clocked at 720MHz, which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 65W.

Its performance is below the average and so most demanding games will not run optimally.
APU A6-3500 Triple-Core is a performance CPU based on the 32nm, Lynx architecture.

It offers 3 Physical Cores (3 Logical), initially clocked at 2.1GHz, which may go up to 2.4GHz and 3MB of L2 Cache.

The processor integrates average Graphics called Radeon HD 6530D, with 320 Shader Processing Units, clocked at 443MHz, which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 65W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.