Conclusions and Final (initial) Thoughts

Let’s tackle the issue of performance from a component stand point.  The dual-core Bobcat processor in the Zacate APU from AMD is much faster than the dual-core HyperThreaded Atom D510 processors and is about on par with the performance of the Penryn-based dual-core Celeron SU2300 CULV part.  Obviously the in-order architecture of the Atom CPU family is starting to show its age and I have to wonder if Intel doesn’t have something else up their sleeve to compete with the obviously fundamentally better design of the Bobcat core. 

AMD E-350 1.6 GHz APU Brazos Platform Preview - Zacate APU Benchmarked - Processors 52 

The 80 stream processors / 2 SIMDs found in the AMD E-350 blow away any graphics performance you might get with the integrated solution on the D510 and the best the Atom designs have to offer today.  The Radeon HD 6310 is also faster than the graphics solution found in the NVIDIA ION chipset, sometimes by a notable margin, making the CULV+ION combination that much less impressive in the light of the power efficiency that the AMD Brazos platform provides.


The performance of the E-350 is impressive but even more so is how much better the power efficiency looks with the Brazos platform compared to these Intel offerings.  Intel’s CULV+ION platform not only uses more than twice as much power at idle than AMD’s offering but also requires 30% or so more power at peak performance while still falling behind in many benchmarks.  The Intel Atom D510 platform with its integrated graphics does have a good showing in terms of power consumption but at the levels of performance it provides, that is all it can gather credit for. 

AMD E-350 1.6 GHz APU Brazos Platform Preview - Zacate APU Benchmarked - Processors 53

One of the biggest keys to longer battery life in mobile machines is the idle numbers and with an idle consumption rate of just over 9 watts, the AMD E-350 is 75% better than even the plain vanilla Atom D510.  These results bode very well for the Brazos platform being a hit in the ultra-mobile space later this winter.

Pricing and Comparisons

We don’t have many details on pricing of the AMD Brazos platform and the accompanying APUs, but we were told time and time again that we should expect systems well under the $500 price mark.  And as I said on the first page of this preview, the goal is get systems for the standard netbook pricing of $399 or so on the market very soon with AMD APUs. 

Final (initial) Thoughts

While this is really only a preview of the AMD Brazos platform and its Zacate/Ontario APUs, we are eager to get our hands on real-world examples of the technology being implemented for consumer products.  The MSI netbook we saw in our first look at the Bobcat architecture last week was very compelling and with an estimated ACTUAL battery life of 10+ hours, I can see the technology racing into eager consumers hands. 

AMD E-350 1.6 GHz APU Brazos Platform Preview - Zacate APU Benchmarked - Processors 54

Our first look at the results from AMD’s Fusion technology development has impressed us and we couldn’t be more eager for the new year to arrive.  For AMD, this might just signal a landslide movement into the ultra-mobile market that they desperately need. 

Further Reading

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