Performance and Initial Thoughts
We are going to save the entire performance evaluation for another day, but I thought I would include a couple of quick tests that I ran on the Toshiba C655D with the AMD E-240.  Here are a few results with some commentary mentioning previous scores from our AMD E-350 preview

Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook - Mobile 15
SiSoft Sandra 2011 – CPU Arithmetic

In our E-350 preview from late last year, the dual-core variant of the Zacate architecture scored 9.29 / 7.53 in the Dhrystone / Whetstone results.  Obviously having one less core to work with as well as running at a slightly slower clock speed is keeping the scores from this Toshiba machine fairly low.

Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook - Mobile 16
SiSoft Sandra 2011 – Multimedia

Again the results from the single-core AMD APU are just about half the results from the E-350: 15 / 12 / 6 respectively. 

Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook - Mobile 17
CineBench 10 – Single thread

The single threaded performance of the E-350 comes in at about 1154 – just a bit faster than the result we see in the slower clocked E-240 though with a dual-core result nearing 2200, obviously multi-thread applications are going to see a performance hit.  The Intel CULV platform we tested previous scores about 1300 but compared to the Atom D510, which scored under 700 points, the AMD Zacate E-240 is still a better option. 

Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook - Mobile 18
3DMark Vantage – Entry

There three components of this test; let’s first look at the CPU score.  At 899, the Toshiba notebook scores just less than half of the E-350 reference platform (score, 2004).  The GPU scores are very close though: 4351 versus 4247!  So while the CPU performance of this platform is much less with the lack of a dual-core processor, the GPU performance is relatively stable.  That is good news for GPU-accelerated decoding and other GPGPU applications but bad news for any gaming a user might want to do on this 1366×768 screen. 

Initial Thoughts

There is a lot to consider when looking at a machine like the Toshiba C655D using the AMD E-240 APU including the performance, usability and battery life.  We have already shown a basic look at performance and as you should expect with a single-core variant of the Zacate platform, the speed of the machine doesn’t quite live up to the expectations we had.  Considering we are using a 15.6-in screen with room for a large-ish battery, that is disappointing.  However, performance compared to most of the Atom-based netbooks/notebooks will likely paint this Toshiba in a better light. 

Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook - Mobile 19

Usability is pretty good – I wrote this short preview ON the notebook and spent the better part of the day using it.  The keyboard was impressive for such a low cost laptop though the mouse buttons could use a little work.  The screen is decent and is more than reasonable considering the cost.  I did notice slowdowns when running 1080p Flash video (though it did play) but AMD assures us that Flash 10.2 will improve GPU acceleration on their APUs.  (I know Flash 10.2 is out, but only for 32-bit platforms.  This notebook ships with a 64-bit version of Windows 7.)  The single core did struggle with several browsers open with one or more of them running some higher bit-rate video. 

Testing battery life completely will be the goal of Matt when he does his review, but so far, with a rated battery life of “up to 5.4 hours”, my early use shows that to be pretty accurate.  Using the notebook with half brightness, Wi-Fi on with multiple browsers and web apps open, after about 1.5 hours of use the battery indicator says I have 75% life remaining.  If the math works out, that is just under 6 hours of total battery life for web browsing / general usage; pretty good for a 15.6-in laptop.

Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook - Mobile 20

Also worth noting in my testing that even while running 3DMark Vantage, the Toshiba C655D has never gotten even remotely warm to the touch.  Nor are there any loud fans running the whole time.  The promises from AMD of a very cool computing environment with longer battery life that most Atom platforms seems to be met with this machine, even if the performance delta from Intel’s options is less than I would have liked. 

There is more coming soon from PC Perspective on this notebook; check back in the next week or so for the full review!   If you can’t wait for the review and want to check out the Toshiba C655D right now – you can find it at Best Buy for $349 today.

Further Reading

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