Pairing an Intel Atom processor with an NVIDIA Ion2 GPU has become a popular way to power an inexpensive and low powered PC, often an HTPC. That changed when AMD finally managed to get the Zacate APU into the market and manufacturers like Zotac were suddenly given a choice as to which company they used to build their nettops and HTPCs. Zotac’s ZBOX AD02-Plus U is based around the E350 APU and Bjorn3D pits it against the Sapphire Edge HD Intel D510. Check out the performance comparison here.
With computer components being integrated, systems are getting smaller, yet the performance is getting better. Both Intel and AMD integrated memory controllers onto the CPU die, and the latest Intel Sandy Bridge comes with native on-die integrated graphics. The need for a large system with various chips is no longer needed–small and integrated is definitely the trend.
Intel spearheaded the Atom platform where a very small processor is powerful enough compare to a desktop processor from 3-4 years ago, yet consumes only a fraction of the power. AMD’s latest Zacate APU is their answer to the Intel Atom platform. Like the Atom processor, the Zacate APU is designed for low power consumption with decent performance. The Zotac ZBOX retails for $339.99 on Newegg."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- How to build your own computer: Ask Ars DIY Series, Part II
- How to build your own computer: Ask Ars DIY Series, Part III—cases
- ASRock E350M1 @ iXBT Labs
- $599 Gaming PC Built and Tested @ Tweaktown
- Dell Precision T1600: Workstation Class @ AnandTech
- Apple iMac 27-inch (Thunderbolt) Review @ TechReviewSource