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ASRock's E350M1: AMD's Brazos Platform Hits The Desktop First

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a b À AMD
January 14, 2011 4:18:53 AM

now they need some devs to take advantage of that apu to see its full potential as a processor.
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January 14, 2011 4:27:10 AM

Ironic of how Nvidia quality is worse than AMD.
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January 14, 2011 4:27:19 AM

This is an awesome processor ...

Chris ... did you manage to overclock it at all?

Give it your best shot ... call crashman in with the liquid nitrogen if you need to mate !!

Really impressive stats for such a small piece of silicon.
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6
January 14, 2011 4:29:38 AM

So the Brazo is great for media and hard processing I assume. If someone came to me and asked for a good platrom to watch Blu-Ray...I would say get the Brazo APU for them, right?
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January 14, 2011 4:38:34 AM

Nice, things are starting to look good for AMD, and i hope it stays that way as they start unveiling their mainstream and highend processors, because i'm really fed up with intel dictating crazy prices.....
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January 14, 2011 5:03:32 AM

reynodThis is an awesome processor ... Chris ... did you manage to overclock it at all?Give it your best shot ... call crashman in with the liquid nitrogen if you need to mate !!Really impressive stats for such a small piece of silicon.


Didn't get a chance to mess with overclocking. If this is something you guys want to see, I might try to push it a little harder over the weekend.
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January 14, 2011 5:08:07 AM

cangeliniDidn't get a chance to mess with overclocking. If this is something you guys want to see, I might try to push it a little harder over the weekend.


Yeah that would be much appreciated, these little chips are so much faster than Atom, let's see if you can get them to perform similarly to a Dual-Core CPU at 1.8GHz
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January 14, 2011 5:10:41 AM

Alright, I'll see what I can do. A shiny new video card landed this afternoon, so that's going to monopolize the bench for much of the weekend ;) 
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January 14, 2011 5:15:14 AM

Yes integration is the key to higher performance, lower power consumption and lower price (affordability this is what people really wanted).
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January 14, 2011 5:23:53 AM

can you also run gaming benchmarks with a 5670 or similar plugged into the PCIe slot ? Just to have a look how the limited memory interface will bottleneck ...

also what happens with the intgrated graphics core when you plug in a discreet GPU ? you gave so much detail about this in the sandy bridge review but totaly skip it for Fusion ...

the board got me interested. I am trying to buy a small "workstation terminal" ... something to code OpenGL/OpenCL on a budget. Seems this is what I am looking for.
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January 14, 2011 5:29:38 AM

haplo602can you also run gaming benchmarks with a 5670 or similar plugged into the PCIe slot ? Just to have a look how the limited memory interface will bottleneck ...also what happens with the intgrated graphics core when you plug in a discreet GPU ? you gave so much detail about this in the sandy bridge review but totaly skip it for Fusion ...the board got me interested. I am trying to buy a small "workstation terminal" ... something to code OpenGL/OpenCL on a budget. Seems this is what I am looking for.


Clearly the focus here was on Brazos' place in the Fusion infrastructure (hence the effort to test video decode/encode). Again, I'll look into adding more performance data with discrete graphics as well, though!
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January 14, 2011 5:59:06 AM

about F*** time AMD, good show
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January 14, 2011 6:01:08 AM

yeah overclocking would be good and see how it compares with overclocking of similar playforms
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January 14, 2011 6:29:50 AM

Biased; it's awesome all-around. Netbooks aren't going to sport 1680x1050 displays. I'd refer people to the site though they don't understand how to objectively interpret biased reporting.
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January 14, 2011 6:32:06 AM

I get a -1 rating for making a criticism by the site's software the moment I post, I recommend others test the system to if they don't believe me; choose negative reaction of course.
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January 14, 2011 6:35:22 AM

johnbilickiBiased; it's awesome all-around. Netbooks aren't going to sport 1680x1050 displays. I'd refer people to the site though they don't understand how to objectively interpret biased reporting.


Netbooks != nettops. This is a motherboard, which goes into a system on a desk/in an entertainment center. Sorry, your princess is in another castle...
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January 14, 2011 8:19:07 AM

Sure do reynod--those were the days, weren't they?
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January 14, 2011 8:35:14 AM

sparky2010Nice, things are starting to look good for AMD, and i hope it stays that way as they start unveiling their mainstream and highend processors, because i'm really fed up with intel dictating crazy prices.....

More like ridiculous prices, i understand them having "top" processors but i don't understand their pricing scheme. I am hoping AMD can pull it together with these processors as well because it will mean Intel will have to get it together as well.
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January 14, 2011 8:41:32 AM

I was hoping for better performance per watt :( 

I really would like a tegra 2 notebook with a proper and supported OS.
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January 14, 2011 8:42:55 AM

johnbilickiBiased; it's awesome all-around. Netbooks aren't going to sport 1680x1050 displays. I'd refer people to the site though they don't understand how to objectively interpret biased reporting.


That does not mean that it would be unfeasible to pipe out a HDMI output from a Brazos class netbook, allowing you to view HD content on an HDTV at 1920x1080. The monitor capability in that situation wouldn't be a limiting factor.

And if you are going to counter with "Who would do that?" I would. I hook laptops, netbooks, desktops, and all sorts of other gizmos up to TV's. Having that level of power in a small form factor for low cost would be more than welcome.
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January 14, 2011 10:43:23 AM

The shear fact that Brazios can play L4D at 1680x1050 all is amazing! My 690G barely clocks 20fps at 800x600. Amazing how far IGPs devloped in 3-4 years!

Chris, can we see a 1.6Ghz shootout? I would appreciate if we could see clock for clock how efficient Brazios is, compared to AMD's own K8 and K10.5 Athlon dual-core series.
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a b À AMD
January 14, 2011 10:47:23 AM

Very interesting, and promising. I do hope to buy a laptop this year, and long battery life plus a little gaming ability are in my requirements.

Just as interesting though, is that "shiny new video card." GTX560?
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January 14, 2011 10:58:57 AM

This looks to be quite interesting, it seems to be a great thing for netbooks and laptops where people don't want the 600+$ ones to play games on medium settings. I bought a 400$ laptop with integrated Radeon graphics almost 2 years ago, and seeing this performing as good as it does makes me want to buy it. I'm not a huge gamer, but being able to play games on low to medium settings at a laptops/netbooks max resolution would be something everyone wants.
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a c 331 À AMD
January 14, 2011 11:26:14 AM

Maybe we will end up with a Netbook that you can actually do some casual gaming on.
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January 14, 2011 12:03:10 PM

Well if we assume that 3dMark06 roughly represents the power consumption during gaming, 4 1/2 hours on battery gaming is very impressive given most laptops get around 1 hour. Add that to the 1.5kg chassis we saw floating around at CES and I think we've found a winner for mobile gaming!
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Anonymous
January 14, 2011 12:19:28 PM

It does what it's supposed to do really well: web browsing, watching video, light gaming... The video encoding and other rendering type benchmarks are outside the scope of what this processor is meant for, nobody with an ounce of sense is going to buy a netbook CPU to do that sort of thing with.

I think ICC compiled synthetic benchmarks should stop being considered a valid test-bed, they've been thoroughly disgraced.
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January 14, 2011 12:52:14 PM

I too would love to see if/how the E-350 overclocks. Also, there is a celeron U3400 out there and I have not seen any benchmarks on it. I get the feeling intel could easily lower the price on that part to crush this market segment... assuming they'd even need to lower the price.
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January 14, 2011 1:00:11 PM

I think it`a great platform for HTPC, even fanless is possible. Asus has two models coming up - http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=qSoDxhM5mAk1F607&... - this one should be a good mainboard for a miniATX HTPC. Waiting for Zotac & Co to release more miniITX versions, with wifi, USB 3.0, etc. onboard before a purchase.
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January 14, 2011 1:07:02 PM

It's good to see that AMD has managed to make something that concentrates on what a low power nettop/netbook should do, the everyday things: web / light gaming (which was impressive). I'm interested in the applications that 4x PCIe offers for media centers.
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January 14, 2011 1:18:48 PM

All these tests are great and all, but I'm looking at having a pc running dual duty as a upnp media server & htpc,, fusion APUs seem to be something with best price / lowest power consumption,, how well do they run XBMC and say AIRVIDEO at the same time or say play a movie with XBMC and stream a file to a remote media streamer? this is the kind of stuff I do on a daily basis with my main comp, but it is a "beefier" system as it is set up to do gaming as well with a much higher power draw than what a fusion system can do.

Also, I have the 785 chipset which they say can do 1080p all day long, i found that quite untrue when i took out my video card, i initially had some stuttering, so i shut off alot of other programs i would normally run with the vid card in, then it seemed to work OK, but then when system started streaming to remote player the issue popped up again,,, also i should mention that i am playing moves on a 720 panel so i'm not even pushing equipment to full potential
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January 14, 2011 1:36:53 PM

reprotectedIronic of how Nvidia quality is worse than AMD.


For a long time, ATi had superior image quality. Both companies have cheated at points. Swings and roundabouts, in the end.
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January 14, 2011 1:40:26 PM

Are you sure this is the first Fusion...
HP is selling the Pavilion dm1z series on their site right now with an AMD fusion E350 processor. What board are they using in that?
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January 14, 2011 1:42:07 PM

Looks like a great Nettop unit. I've been telling people to stay away from Atom, but now I've got a clear alternative for them.

While those numbers looked good, it would be nice to see a couple of those benches at 720p, especially the marginal games like CoD and L4D. There are a bunch of those TV's out there, and this looks like it would be perfect for them. Seems like just about anything would work smoothly at that setting, but a chart or two would have been nice.
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January 14, 2011 1:57:42 PM

I also don't understand all the squabbling about power. You seem to understand that the E350 is higher than the Celeron or Atom because it has the graphics cores so there is literally no reason to have those numbers there unless you include the gpu's needed to run those other systems.
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January 14, 2011 2:05:56 PM

nevertellI was hoping for better performance per watt I really would like a tegra 2 notebook with a proper and supported OS.


tegra 2 is based on ARM ISA.Brazos is x86. ;) 
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January 14, 2011 2:19:56 PM

sandmanwnAre you sure this is the first Fusion...HP is selling the Pavilion dm1z series on their site right now with an AMD fusion E350 processor. What board are they using in that?


I don't think that's actually available yet, besides pre-orders. That said, HP can't be the only manufacturer offering portable Fusion products.
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January 14, 2011 2:26:36 PM

silverblueI don't think that's actually available yet, besides pre-orders. That said, HP can't be the only manufacturer offering portable Fusion products.

Says the build date is January 26th. 12 days, just like most other products on their site.

I was wondering since they are just testing this board if another manufacturer is pushing their boards out to OEM first and this ASRock is just the first available at the consumer level. I know HP tends to favor ASUS at the motherboard level.
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January 14, 2011 2:33:35 PM

Yes, but I hear there are Brazos desktop boards already out in the wild. Not had any luck finding any yet in the UK, though...
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January 14, 2011 3:26:13 PM

Finally, the perfect match for my 42" TV and gaming on the go!

Cheers!
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January 14, 2011 3:46:16 PM

I would be interested in a few more media benchmarks such as:

  • AVC and VC-1 CPU usage with hardware acceleration turned off (some poorly encoded video don't work well with HA and must be decoded through software)
  • HD HQV score comparison, even though it's subjective
  • HD flash video testing with and without hardware acceleration

    Good article though. I am eagerly awaiting Asus' E35MI-I Deluxe fusion board to be released. :) 
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    January 14, 2011 4:00:35 PM

    Yeah! it trashed atom completely.
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    January 14, 2011 4:33:40 PM

    Why did they disable MVC on UVD3, or is it a different UVD3? Did they expect that anyone who wanted 3D-Blu-ray woud just get an expensive upgrade card or an Nvidia card? Maybe they just didn't want to compete with their higher end PCs. Or can it be enabled through some other means?
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    January 14, 2011 5:07:19 PM

    why not compare the AMD processor to the Atom D510?
    The 330 is a generation old processor.

    In fact, a comparison to the N550 might have been nicer!
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    January 14, 2011 5:28:39 PM

    There seems to be something wrong with the blender chart. It says 1:25 for the Athlon II, but the bar length is showing the double of that...
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    Anonymous
    January 14, 2011 6:02:22 PM

    I think your next test should be integrated CPU(APU) M-itx motherboards. Take a host of newest atoms against this and whatever other integrated motherboads you can find and see which one would do best as a nettop/htpc.

    Bet that new video card is the 6990... can i have it when your done?
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    Anonymous
    January 14, 2011 6:37:10 PM

    Does this motherboard support ECC RAM?

    If not, is that a limitation of the board, or of the Fusion platform?

    If ECC is supported, this could be a big deal for low-cost firewalls and NAS devices.
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    January 14, 2011 6:58:23 PM

    That's a pretty cool little CPU and that board can actually make a useful net top (unlike atom even with ion). I wonder how the netbooks are going to look. Looking forward to what Lano can do and of course also waiting for bulldozer :D .
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    a b À AMD
    January 14, 2011 7:18:43 PM

    cangeliniDidn't get a chance to mess with overclocking. If this is something you guys want to see, I might try to push it a little harder over the weekend.

    Another vote from me for "something I'd like to see" :) 
    Nice review.
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