AMD's A8-series Llano APU pushed to 4.9GHz

AMD's A-series accelerated processing units, better known under the codename Llano, look to have some serious head for overclocking if the results gained by a Japanese team of enthusiasts is anything to go by.

Armed with little more than an AMD A8-3850 processor, which runs at 2.9GHz by default, a Gigabyte GA-A75-UD4H motherboard, and a cooler that runs on liquid nitrogen, the team were able to push the clock speed to just below 5GHz.

Using the esoteric cooling technique - which requires that an open-top reservoir is kept topped up with liquid nitrogen from a nearby dewar - the team were able to convince the operating system to boot with the APU running at an impressive 4.906GHz.

That speed, achieved using a core clock of 169.2MHz and a core voltage of 1.792V, will be out of the reach of most. The team was also, however, able to push the same combination to a speedy 3.6GHz using a much more reasonable air-based cooling system.

The figures show that enthusiasts who don't mind voiding their warranties with a little high-performance tinkering could find a lot to like in the mainstream APU line-up from AMD. While those seeking to get the most performance out of their systems will add a discrete graphics card into the mix, AMD's APU technology can -in selected configurations - use the on-board graphics capability of the A-series to further boost framerates.

It's early days for the APU concept, however. While manufacturers are keen on the idea of being able to leave a dedicated GPU out of the mix and still being able to offer reasonable 3D acceleration and GPGPU compute power, the concept has yet to prove itself in the marketplace.

Photographs of the overclocking experiment - which show some pretty frosty processors after the liquid nitrogen has been drained - are available over on the Japanese-language site PC Watch.