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Power Consumption And Pricing

ASRock's E350M1: AMD's Brazos Platform Hits The Desktop First
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Power is where our performance numbers get put into context. Remember, I threw a pretty wide net here, looking for the best way to quantify what AMD’s Brazos platform could do.

  • I used a low-power desktop processor with integrated Radeon HD 4250 graphics for the folks wondering just how much better one of AMD’s current 45 W parts perform. There’s also the comparison between Radeon HD 4250 and Radeon HD 6310.
  • I used a Celeron SU2300-based Mini-ITX board with Ion graphics for the folks who’re already using Intel’s ultra-low voltage mobile processors on the desktop. There’s also the comparison between Radeon HD 6310 and Ion.
  • I used an Atom 330-based Mini-ITX board with Ion graphics because Atom is E-350’s natural competition. Remember that the dual-core 1.6 GHz Atom 330 isn’t much slower than the newer Atom D510 at 1.66 GHz, and the pounding Atom takes here isn’t going to be mitigated by an incrementally faster clock and more efficient platform architecture.


The Athlon II-based config is unquestionably the fastest, but its idle and the E-350’s load figures barely overlap. They’re in completely different leagues.

AMD’s E-350 is actually more power-hungry than Intel’s 10 W Celeron SU2300 and 8 W Atom 330. No surprise there. But the average power numbers separate all three platforms by less than 4 W. Now, yes, the two Intel-equipped boards have Wi-Fi cards. But you also have to remember that they’re armed with Nvidia’s Ion chipset, while the E350M1 uses AMD’s A50M “Hudson” FCH. Zacate’s 18 W TDP includes graphics. This isn’t the case for Celeron or Atom.

Interestingly Celeron uses more power under load and less power at idle than Atom. So, both Intel-based platforms average about 28 W across the PCMark Vantage run. The Zacate-based setup averages 32 W.

Pricing

Now, when you look at the power chart and the PCMark Vantage benchmarks, the Celeron/Ion combo would seem to have a modest advantage over AMD’s latest and greatest. But then you have to take pricing into consideration.

Zotac’s IONITX-P-E currently sells for about $200. Its Mini PCI Express card can be found for roughly $20, so we’ll call that $180 for the motherboard and processor. ASRock is planning to sell the E350M1 for $110. That’s 61% of the Celeron board’s price, even if you factor out the wireless module. The E350M1 offers better gaming performance too, thanks to its Radeon HD 6310 graphics. Ion simply can’t keep up.

Comparing AMD’s Zacate APU to Atom is even easier. You’ll pay $190-ish for the IONITX-L-E, and it too includes wireless networking. In every discipline, the Brazos platform destroys it, including (and especially) price. The only compromise is a <4 W average power consumption disadvantage across a PCMark Vantage run.

The desktop platform I built was more anecdotal than anything. We already knew its performance would far exceed E-350, as would its power use. The price is up there, too, though. The 880GITX-A-E sells for $115 on its own, while the Athlon II X2 240e sells for $75 or so.

At the same time, with those numbers in mind, an 880G-based Mini-ITX setup is actually your best bet for performance/$, so long as your enclosure is capable of handling the higher power numbers. The Zotac board doesn’t offer PCI Express expansion, so its options are limited in a gaming context, but Blu-ray movies play back smoothly thanks to the integrated GPU’s UVD2 logic.

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  • 16 Hide
    cangelini , January 14, 2011 6:35 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...
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , January 14, 2011 4:18 AM
    now they need some devs to take advantage of that apu to see its full potential as a processor.
  • -2 Hide
    reprotected , January 14, 2011 4:27 AM
    Ironic of how Nvidia quality is worse than AMD.
  • 6 Hide
    Reynod , January 14, 2011 4:27 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.
  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , January 14, 2011 4:29 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?
  • 3 Hide
    sparky2010 , January 14, 2011 4:38 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.....
  • 6 Hide
    cangelini , January 14, 2011 5:03 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.
  • 7 Hide
    joytech22 , January 14, 2011 5:08 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
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , January 14, 2011 5:10 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 ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    dEAne , January 14, 2011 5:15 AM
    Yes integration is the key to higher performance, lower power consumption and lower price (affordability this is what people really wanted).
  • 0 Hide
    haplo602 , January 14, 2011 5:23 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.
  • 2 Hide
    cangelini , January 14, 2011 5:29 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!
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , January 14, 2011 5:59 AM
    about F*** time AMD, good show
  • 1 Hide
    lashton , January 14, 2011 6:01 AM
    yeah overclocking would be good and see how it compares with overclocking of similar playforms
  • 16 Hide
    cangelini , January 14, 2011 6:35 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...
  • 2 Hide
    Reynod , January 14, 2011 8:11 AM
    Good point about the mobo Chris.

    Yes we would ove to see some overclocking if possible ...

    This kinda takes me back to the days of Dothan ... remember this landmark article Chris ...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dothan-netburst,1041-6.html
  • 1 Hide
    cangelini , January 14, 2011 8:19 AM
    Sure do reynod--those were the days, weren't they?
  • 1 Hide
    i_am_aronman , January 14, 2011 8:35 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.
  • -3 Hide
    nevertell , January 14, 2011 8:41 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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