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AMD Shows Off More CPU/GPU Fusion in Zacate

By , Benjamin Kraft, & Uwe Scheffel - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 37 comments

AMD pits its Zacate up against Intel HD in a Core i5.

Even though it's the Intel Developer Forum, that's not going to stop AMD from taking advantage of the gathering of techies. AMD has its own suite for people to stop by, and the company is showing off some of its Fusion technology. Also shown at IFA, AMD has a Zacate platform on demo, which is based on Bobcat.

There will be two variations of the platform based on this APU. Ontario is the 9-Watt version aimed at netbooks and similar devices. The other is Zacate, featuring an 18-Watt TDP, meant to compete in the same segment as Intel’s current CULV-CPUs (Pentium, Core 2, Core 2 Duo). In both cases, the APU will contain two x86 cores and a DX11 compatible graphics unit (rumored to be a derivative of the Redwood family). It’s possible we will also see single-core versions of these chips. The APU uses a BGA package and is soldered directly onto the motherboard. Thanks to its very compact dimensions, that makes it ideal for especially small computers such as HTPCs using the ITX form factor in AMD’s opinion.

AMD Zacate

The demo consisted of three main parts, namely a game demo, some GPU accelerated applications, and HD video playback. First, we were shown City of Heroes running quite smoothly at 1366 x 768. Then AMD moved on to some HTML5 demos. On the first run, these were launched in the current version of Internet Explorer 8, running as choppy as one would expect. Then, the same demos were repeated using the latest preview version of Internet Explorer 9 with GPU acceleration enabled, which resulted in silky-smooth frame rates. We were also shown a short H.264 movie at 1080p, with Zacate once again having no trouble producing smooth playback. As a side note, the APU’s heatsink barely got warm to the touch during any of these tests, which bodes well for its use in mobile devices.

AMD Zacate HTML5

As far as AMD is concerned, the hardware is ready for action and will ship to OEMs during the fourth quarter of 2010. We should see several systems based on the new APUs at next year’s CES in January.

With contributions from Uwe Scheffel and Benjamin Kraft from Tom's Hardware Germany.

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  • 31 Hide
    scook9 , September 16, 2010 2:31 PM
    Thank god...we need something to kill the atom....it has ruined so many netbooks :( 
  • 28 Hide
    digiex , September 16, 2010 2:13 PM
    I foresee that it will trample Atom in the ITX versions.
  • 25 Hide
    kamen , September 16, 2010 2:46 PM
    ares1214Anandtech proved it, the i5 520m in this video had the wrong drivers which cost it a LOT of performance. But still, good job AMD.

    In that Anandtech article it goes on to say that Amd allowed Anandtech to force install new intel drivers and add extra benchmarking software of its own choice and the Amd chip still beat the Intel by a wide margin. This chip is the Zacate duel core chip and it is beating an Intel i5 m520. I can't wait to see how badly it beats the Culv line of cpu's it is really meant to compete with. Zacate's little brother "Ontario" (single core) should be a Atom smasher in the netbook form factor. Here's that Anandtech link.

Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    digiex , September 16, 2010 2:13 PM
    I foresee that it will trample Atom in the ITX versions.
  • 7 Hide
    da_syentist , September 16, 2010 2:15 PM
    and for mainstream pc ..... (wired voice at the end, that clearly is not shot at the same time) lol
  • 22 Hide
    radiumburn , September 16, 2010 2:15 PM
    OO looking good AMD

    I have happy pants!!
  • 10 Hide
    ares1214 , September 16, 2010 2:29 PM
    Anandtech proved it, the i5 520m in this video had the wrong drivers which cost it a LOT of performance. But still, good job AMD.
  • 31 Hide
    scook9 , September 16, 2010 2:31 PM
    Thank god...we need something to kill the atom....it has ruined so many netbooks :( 
  • 2 Hide
    nforce4max , September 16, 2010 2:36 PM
    Screw ITX this is the best thing for Tablets and laptops. Yet they refuse Tablets -_-
  • 25 Hide
    kamen , September 16, 2010 2:46 PM
    ares1214Anandtech proved it, the i5 520m in this video had the wrong drivers which cost it a LOT of performance. But still, good job AMD.

    In that Anandtech article it goes on to say that Amd allowed Anandtech to force install new intel drivers and add extra benchmarking software of its own choice and the Amd chip still beat the Intel by a wide margin. This chip is the Zacate duel core chip and it is beating an Intel i5 m520. I can't wait to see how badly it beats the Culv line of cpu's it is really meant to compete with. Zacate's little brother "Ontario" (single core) should be a Atom smasher in the netbook form factor. Here's that Anandtech link.

  • 0 Hide
    kamen , September 16, 2010 2:48 PM
    ...or here it is.
  • 5 Hide
    hellwig , September 16, 2010 3:02 PM
    I know that board in the picture is some kind of development setup, but I'm perplexed by its hugeness. What kind of crazy things can they do with that board?
  • 16 Hide
    eyefinity , September 16, 2010 3:32 PM
    schmichAs many sites state it's sad how AMD keep tweaking their benchmarking previews. This time with anything from bad drivers on the Intel laptop to making the competition render harder things. On one video I saw the Intel laptop render a completely different area of the map. On another they spin the Intel 360degrees and mention the FPS at its lowest points whilst only showing the AMD in one specific direction.Zacate is a nice chip so why do they do this lowly thing, that's more big Intel's job of not being fair and square.


    It's not AMD's fault if intel's drivers don't work!
  • 4 Hide
    Parsian , September 16, 2010 3:46 PM
    man this is impressive. Just look at the size of that thing and thats CPU+GPU... Things getting smaller in words does quite actually hit you until you actually see it. I thought ATOM when it came out was small
  • 0 Hide
    Stifle , September 16, 2010 4:06 PM
    Does not look as if AMD will need to branch out to the smart phone market any time soon.
  • 2 Hide
    mcvf , September 16, 2010 4:30 PM
    I like what Anandtech did, their real-world benchmark on the place tells me more than anything else. Now I can feel comfortable that new chip will beat Intel chip by 55% on most titles (on others by larger margin). Moreover, we know how it does in some today's game titles - this says more that thousands words. That is something one can consider if there will be equal availability of both solutions.
  • 5 Hide
    helldog3105 , September 16, 2010 4:45 PM
    I went to Anandtech and read their updated performance article. It seems that even with updated drivers, the Intel i5 520M wasn't able to graphically compete. That being said, there were no performance benchmarks on the actual CPU performance. A processor at 1.6GHz is more than likely going to not compete super well with a 2.4GHz in raw computational power. I'm guessing that with the Zacate setup there is some serious offloading on the the integrated GPU, or APU, is that what they call it? Still, the performance graphics-wise is very heartening. Especially when you consider this is for the 500 range of notebooks, and under including the 9w little brother which is going to try and challenge Intel's Atom chip in the netbook arena. Low end notebooks could prove to be interesting in the near future. I await the Llano and Bulldozer TDP and performance numbers. If they perform well, AMD will definitely look more appealing to companies, such as Apple. Which is something I wouldn't mind seeing, even though it will still be Apple stupid expensive.
  • 0 Hide
    saturnus , September 16, 2010 4:50 PM
    It is indeed good to see that AMD is catching up by Q2 next year when Bulldozer have launched Intel will not be performance leading in any single market segment. In the ultra low power end they're beat by ARM based chips, and at low power and up they will be beat by AMD.

    I bet that Intel will still come at a price premium for some time though.
  • 14 Hide
    mikem_90 , September 16, 2010 5:08 PM
    helldog3105 A processor at 1.6GHz is more than likely going to not compete super well with a 2.4GHz in raw computational power.


    As I keep telling people, its not how fast you spin your wheels, its how much power you put to the road. Remember the old Pentium 4's and AMD Athlon X2s? The AMD ones were 1Ghz slower yet ran rings around the Intel offerings.

    All clock speed is a slice of time. What you do with it depends on what is under the hood.
  • 3 Hide
    Marco925 , September 16, 2010 5:50 PM
    I like the use of a Canadian Penny, More than likely that was done in markham
  • 2 Hide
    reprotected , September 16, 2010 7:36 PM
    Finally a gaming netbook coming out :D 
  • 5 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 16, 2010 8:05 PM
    Atom's doomsday clock has begun ticking. Tick...tock...!
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