Jakmal, your synthetic test sounds reasonable at least, and I tend to agree that only the A8s are going to be in league with i3/i5. The earliest benchmarks suggest that on some tests, their CPU horsepower isn't even enough to do that, but we'll see what the more comprehensive testing shows.
Seems like that A8-3800 is really the HTPC chip of choice (I've said this before). I know some people go i5 for HTPC, but generally most go i3 for lower power and no discernable performance losses in most tasks (re-encoding is probably the most obvious counterexample). I'd think the AMD 3800 would fall into a similar bucket vs. the 3850.
There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.