AMD Fusion: Brazos Gets Previewed: Part 2, Performance

AMD gave us an opportunity to go hands-on with its upcoming Brazos platform--the only preview you'll see before this technology surfaces in retail notebooks. Is it fast enough to compete with the Nehalem-based competition, and cool enough to trounce Atom?

One week ago, we went over the details on Brazos and Zacate. Today, we are finally allowed to go release our benchmark numbers. If you haven't read our earlier coverage, it's a good time to go back and go over all the nitty gritty details on Brazos, Zacate, and Ontario.

A quick recap:

Bobcat: The processing architecture behind AMD's upcoming Zacate and Ontario APUs.

Brazos: AMD's 2011 platform for the ULV Zacate/Ontario APU + SB750 southbridge. It effectively replaces the high-end parts of the Nile platform.

Test Hardware
Processors
Intel Atom D525 (Dual-Core, 1.8 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 (Dual-Core, 1.3 GHz)
Simulated Intel Core i3-330UM (Dual-Core, 1.2 GHz)
Intel Core i3-350M (Dual-Core, 2.26 GHz)Intel Core i3-540M (Dual-Core, 2.53 GHz)AMD Athlon II Neo K125 (Single-Core, 1.7 GHz)
AMD E-350 (Dual-Core, 1.6 GHz)
Memory
4 GB DDR3-1066
4 GB DDR2-8004 GB DDR3-10664 GB DDR3-10664 GB DDR3-13334 GB DDR3-1333
4 GB DDR3-1333
Graphics
Nvidia Ion2
Intel GMA 3150
(Optimus)
Intel GMA 4500MHD
AMD Radeon HD 5450, 1 GB DDR2
650 MHz/800 MHz
Intel HD Graphics
Nvidia Quadro NVS 3100MAMD Radeon HD 4225
AMD Radeon HD 6310
500/1066 MHz
Notebook
Asus eeePC 1215N
Asus UL20A
Desktop System
Dell Vostro 3300
Lenovo Thinkpad T510Asus eeePC 1215T
-
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX
Direct X11
Graphics Driver260.99 (Nvidia)
8.14.10.2117 (Intel)
8. 14.10.2117 8.7828. 14.10.2226
260.99
8.782
8.789


Because we were dealing with notebooks, we often have no way to control memory timings. Given that platforms often ship with memory specific to that product line, we tried not to alter memory module configurations.

Benchmarks and Settings

Video Encoding

Cyberlink MediaExpresso 6

Version: 6.0.1026.32053, Convert 1080p 16 Mb/s H.264 video file to MPEG-2 352x288 6 Mb/s

Applications

WinRAR 3.93

Version 3.93 (64-bit), Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Version 11.00.200.049, Transcribe Audio 14.1 MB Wav Recording (Duration: 11:12)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64-bit)
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates filters
Norton Antivirus
Version: 18.1.0.37, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memories, TV and Movies, and Productivity benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646

SiSoftware Sandra 2010

CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/Multimedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark

Games
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
3.4.0
Fair Quality Setting, No AA / 2xAF, 4xAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1280x720, 4 minute sequence, Fraps
Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark
Ultra High Settings, 4xAA / 16xAF, 1366x768, Built-In Benchmark
DiRT 2
Modified Medium Setting, 2xAA 1366x768, In-Game Benchmark, Steam Version
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62 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • tsnorquist
    killerclickWho the hell plays games on a netbook? Another spectacular fail for AMD.


    Probably not a lot of people, but when netbooks have the capability to play at acceptable levels for the masses, they will be great.
    22
  • frederico
    If an Intel processor and an AMD processor were exactly the same - 9 out of 10 'normal' people would choose the Intel

    The only people "in the know" are in the enthusiast segment of the market, which is a very small slice really.

    Its a constant uphill battle for AMD, but then again, if they didn't exist, we'd all be paying through the nose for slower processors
    18
  • K2N hater
    fredericoIf an Intel processor and an AMD processor were exactly the same - 9 out of 10 'normal' people would choose the IntelThe only people "in the know" are in the enthusiast segment of the market, which is a very small slice really.Its a constant uphill battle for AMD, but then again, if they didn't exist, we'd all be paying through the nose for slower processors

    The average user either picks Intel or Apple. And when the user picks Apple the CPU manufacturer is absolutely out of question.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • ares1214
    Looking extremely impressive AMD, where as before you were a full gen behind, now id just say half gen. Make BD a big success, and you will most definitely get back in the game, however i doubt it would be enough to take the lead.
    8
  • Anonymous
    did you realize that sometime it's as fast as the i3 with 2,2ghz?
    7
  • frederico
    If an Intel processor and an AMD processor were exactly the same - 9 out of 10 'normal' people would choose the Intel

    The only people "in the know" are in the enthusiast segment of the market, which is a very small slice really.

    Its a constant uphill battle for AMD, but then again, if they didn't exist, we'd all be paying through the nose for slower processors
    18
  • vaughn2k
    Hope it will come sooner than later...
    1
  • Anonymous
    I don't like when Tom's trow at us many facts from the AMD crowd to brainwash our mind. I don't like when the game is to convince the community to buy something who is not proved again.

    "The new AMD Fusion developer "trust fund" is actually a great way to start chipping away at the current CPU-heavy mentality." Yeas and we are also GPU-heavy mentality too!!!
    -18
  • killerclick
    Who the hell plays games on a netbook? Another spectacular fail for AMD.
    -30
  • tsnorquist
    killerclickWho the hell plays games on a netbook? Another spectacular fail for AMD.


    Probably not a lot of people, but when netbooks have the capability to play at acceptable levels for the masses, they will be great.
    22
  • gxpbecker
    Nifty, an the best thing about AMD making high end competition for intel is price drops lol, if AMD can pull it off.
    1
  • hannibal
    Even more interesting would be a tablet that can be used to play games!
    So it could mean that we can read e-mail, read e-books watch movies and internet pages and even play with tablet-PC. Netbook is just one step ahead... Yep it is not the same as Nvidia 460, even 350 or amd 5650 from the low end (gaming), but the resolution would be smaller, so it would be possible.

    Let see what we get when this is really out.
    All in all it gives people a choice. Need more CPU and very rarely GPU power... take intel... If you don't need so much CPU power, but need GPU power chose AMD. It's good to have altenatives!
    5
  • K2N hater
    fredericoIf an Intel processor and an AMD processor were exactly the same - 9 out of 10 'normal' people would choose the IntelThe only people "in the know" are in the enthusiast segment of the market, which is a very small slice really.Its a constant uphill battle for AMD, but then again, if they didn't exist, we'd all be paying through the nose for slower processors

    The average user either picks Intel or Apple. And when the user picks Apple the CPU manufacturer is absolutely out of question.
    11
  • theholylancer
    Umm people whom play wow needs a quick fix in between other things?


    Those kind of people would indeed like a extremely portable gaming device, hell if they have a deal with some sort of internet on the go then maybe I will take the bus + subway and not drive to work.


    On other news you guys used 3.4.0 wow?! Patch 4.0.1 dropped in 12 of OCT and you can't get on the official servers w/o updating, are you guys using a private server?! Or even better a blizzard sanctioned low lat testing server?!!!!
    -3
  • burnley14
    sireangelusdid you realize that sometime it's as fast as the i3 with 2,2ghz?


    But against what is soon to become Intel's "old line." With the release of Sandy Bridge and a whole new architecture, AMD is going to need to have solid performance, at least enough to match Intel's previous offerings.
    3
  • eyefinity
    ares1214Looking extremely impressive AMD, where as before you were a full gen behind, now id just say half gen. Make BD a big success, and you will most definitely get back in the game, however i doubt it would be enough to take the lead.


    You mean a half gen ahead? Cuz this stomps atom into dust and intel has nothing close.
    3
  • eyefinity
    burnley14But against what is soon to become Intel's "old line." With the release of Sandy Bridge and a whole new architecture, AMD is going to need to have solid performance, at least enough to match Intel's previous offerings.


    Intel's "old line" is mostly on the same 32nm process of Sandy Bridge so it's not like intel has some huge miracle coming up, just a few percent more. They still have nothing close to this performance per die size and watt.
    1
  • ScrewySqrl
    theholylancer On other news you guys used 3.4.0 wow?! Patch 4.0.1 dropped in 12 of OCT and you can't get on the official servers w/o updating, are you guys using a private server?! Or even better a blizzard sanctioned low lat testing server?!!!!


    It waw probably run when 3.4.0 was the latest version, over a month ago.
    1
  • Darkerson
    Ive been a big fan of AMD and Im really rooting for them. Besides loving the great price/performance ratio they offer, I have high hopes for them and really hope BD and their other offerings are well embraced. We all know what will happen if AMD were to somehow stumble and fail. You think Intel's prices are expensive now...
    5
  • digiex
    As long as it will trash atom... It will!
    7
  • thejerk
    Highlighting the name of the item being reviewed in the graphs would be a good thing. Or, place them in the same order for comparison's sake.
    1
  • falchard
    AMD has a better graphics chip then Intel, its a total shock.
    0
  • kelemvor4
    Wow, what a disappointment.
    -4