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ASRock E350M1: Enter Brazos

ASRock's E350M1: AMD's Brazos Platform Hits The Desktop First
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ASRock’s E350M1—its first Brazos platform—looks a lot like the first Intel Atom-based motherboard I ever picked up, but more modern. It has one passive heatsink and one lower-profile heatsink cooled by a fan. In the early Atom days, that active sink would have covered the chipset. Here, it sits atop the 18 W Zacate APU, while the FCH gets away with passive cooling.

Right above the processor and chipset are two DDR3 memory slots. The E350M1 will take up to 16 GB of memory, but remember that both slots feed a single 64-bit channel. At 1066 MT/s, you’re looking at up to 8.53 GB/s maximum, regardless of whether you drop in one module or two.

The Mini-ITX board boasts a single PCI Express x16 slot for upgrades. Don’t expect miracles from it—there are only four second-gen lanes coming from Zacate, feeding that slot. Then again, you probably wouldn’t want to buy anything beyond a mid-range discrete card, given the probability of a processor bottleneck.

Four internal SATA 6Gb/s ports and one back-panel eSATA connector take advantage of most of Hudson’s storage connectivity. The I/O panel also plays host to six USB 2.0 ports (another four are accessible through onboard headers). Gigabit Ethernet is enabled through a Realtek RTL8111E controller tied in to one of the FCH’s four PCIe links. And the integrated graphics engine drives two display outputs simultaneously, letting you pick between VGA, single-link DVI, and HDMI. Anyone not getting audio output over HDMI can tap into analog 7.1-channel output or digital output via TOSLINK.

Like its latest P67-based platforms, ASRock arms the E350M1 with a UEFI. The setup looks identical to what Thomas covered in his recent P67 Motherboard Roundup, with settings naturally altered to match the Brazos platform’s unique capabilities.

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Top Comments
  • 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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