Power Consumption
With systems like these it is very important to take power consumption into the equation, but there are some caveats this time around.  First, these are in no way identical systems and a precise apples-to-apples test is nearly impossible to create based on the combinations and platforms available on the market.  Secondly, the AMD APU test platform was just that: a test platform that wasn’t finalized hardware though the new MSI E350 motherboard we are reviewing is.    

MSI E350IA-E45 AMD Brazos Fusion APU Platform Review - Motherboards  1

I was kind of surprised to see this, but considering we are looking at the first generation of real-world implementations, I guess I shouldn’t have been.  While the reference system was drawing only 9.3 watts at idle, the retail motherboard was at 15.6 watts; that’s more but in real-world usage not a big deal.  It still falls under the Atom D510 system and the Intel CULV+ION combo.

MSI E350IA-E45 AMD Brazos Fusion APU Platform Review - Motherboards  2

That 6 watt difference at the idle power levels between the reference and MSI systems shows up here as well with the E350IA-E45 pulling a maximum of 25.9 watts while utilizing both CPU cores to their capacity.  This does put the Fusion APU platform OVER the power consumption of the Atom D510 and nearly to the level of the Intel CULV option.

MSI E350IA-E45 AMD Brazos Fusion APU Platform Review - Motherboards  3

Obviously this ~6 watt offset is related to the specific MSI implementation of the platform as it shows up again here in our Left 4 Dead 2 testing.  Keep in mind when looking at these power graphs that engineers have had years now to tweak and learn about the Atom and Intel CULV platforms but are just getting started with the APU lineup from AMD.  I would expect the power consumption levels to get a bit lower as more products are released but even as it stands today the E350IA-E45 is sipping power compared to the systems we are used to testing.

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