The Brazos Round-Up: Eight AMD E-350-Based Motherboards

Power, Heat, And Noise

AMD would like the E-350 to be your efficiency champion, and it appears that Zotac would like to be your E-350 efficiency champion. Jetway’s IPC-based solution is runner-up, while Asus’ fully-loaded board beats Gigabyte’s half-loaded model.

Things should get even more interesting when we look at heat, since several of today’s motherboards are passively cooled.

Industrial applications often require a system to be heat-tolerant, so Jetway’s superior cooling comes as no surprise, even though there is a trade-off in noise. The Foxconn AHD1S-K runs so hot that we actually had to lower our office temperature to prevent thermal throttling, which is a performance-destroying feature that could occur when this part is placed within the confines of a small case. Zotac appears to have the best silent cooler, though much of that enhanced cooling surely comes from the same low voltage that caused it to use the least amount of power in our consumption charts.

We’re certain that many builders are choosing these platforms for use in low-energy media players, for which they will also want low noise. Jetway’s IPC-oriented cooling fan is ill-suited for living rooms, though it might be perfect for the industrial environments it was designed to address.

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  • gameworm
    The Zotac board actually is available on Newegg

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500068

    Only problem is that it is $160 instead of $130

    Otherwise very nice roundup. I've been thinking of using one of these for a server/NAS.
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  • vaughn2k
    Wow! AS-rocks!
    2
  • noob2222
    Odd timing for the roundup, Llano just came out, these will be discontinued asap.

    Not good for much save storage, but that wasn't tested. Would have much rather see an A8 board roundup since they are on newegg now. Picked up one myself for my htpc/storage setup.
    -4
  • Mathos
    noob2222Odd timing for the roundup, Llano just came out, these will be discontinued asap.Not good for much save storage, but that wasn't tested. Would have much rather see an A8 board roundup since they are on newegg now. Picked up one myself for my htpc/storage setup.


    Uh no, Brazos is bast on the Bobcat core which is a low power version of Bulldozer. These are meant for ultra portables and netbooks, nettops, ultrathin notebooks and the likes.

    Llano is the entry level desktop APU until they switch from Stars cores on those to the newer bulldozer cores.
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  • noob2222
    mathosUh no, Brazos is bast on the Bobcat core which is a low power version of Bulldozer. These are meant for ultra portables and netbooks, nettops, ultrathin notebooks and the likes.

    And yet this roundup is .... desktop boards.

    And brazos has nothing in common with bulldozer.
    -3
  • BulkZerker
    mathosUh no, Brazos is bast on the Bobcat core which is a low power version of Bulldozer. These are meant for ultra portables and netbooks, nettops, ultrathin notebooks and the likes. Llano is the entry level desktop APU until they switch from Stars cores on those to the newer bulldozer cores.


    noob2222And yet this roundup is .... desktop boards. And brazos has nothing in common with bulldozer.



    Net TOP. Meaning a low power ITX board. Brazos is merely a stopgap till AMD has the tooling to kick out tons of BD cores. Though I will agree this roundup is a bit late it is at least thorough.
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  • cangelini
    gamewormThe Zotac board actually is available on Newegghttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813500068Only problem is that it is $160 instead of $130Otherwise very nice roundup. I've been thinking of using one of these for a server/NAS.


    Good call--that board only recently became available, after this story was scheduled to be published. We've since updated the conclusion and price chart to reflect the market as of July 4th, 2011.

    Cheers,
    Chris
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  • GaMEChld
    BulkZerkerNet TOP. Meaning a low power ITX board. Brazos is merely a stopgap till AMD has the tooling to kick out tons of BD cores. Though I will agree this roundup is a bit late it is at least thorough.


    Brazos is NOT a stopgap, it is meant for very low power applications. It's basically AMD's take on Atom style devices. Bulldozer is not meant to scale to this low power envelope. That's why there are already plans for Brazos successors. Ontario/Zacate will be replaced by Khrishna/Wichita. Llano will be succeeded by Trinity, which is Bulldozer based. Zambezi is supposed to be succeeded by something called Komodo, which I haven't read much about.
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  • silverblue
    Trinity and Komodo are both Enhanced Bulldozer. As such, Trinity will not be using Zambezi cores.
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  • Anonymous
    Well, aside from a few bits about Brazos being a stop-gap based on Bulldozer being wrong, the basic premise of "odd timing for a Brazos roundup" holds true.

    Llano for laptops is out-freaking-standing, Llano for desktops is amazing for cheap OEM-built desktops and small form-factor HTPCs. TBH, it shouldn't excite much of anyone else, nor was it intended to replace Phenom II + dGPU for enthusiasts.
    1
  • killerclick
    These CPUs and graphics are pitiful for a desktop system. Might as well buy a cheap laptop and hook it up to whatever display you want. You can buy a Toshiba P6200 with 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, DVD RW, webcam, wireless, bluetooth and W7HP 64bit for less than $400.
    -4
  • jsowoc
    When you ran an Atom board comparison, you included performance data for an old Pentium (or Athlon; don't remember). This was very helpful, as I'd get a feel for how good/bad is 5 minutes for your workload. Of course, this was just an anchor point, and would be excluded from any value/efficiency graphs.

    Does anyone else feel the performance graphs would be more meaningful with a typical Atom and a cheap Athlon X2 as points of reference?
    4
  • denial_
    These are not design to be purely performer, we all know that. Their purpose is to compete with the Intel Atom processors.
    1
  • hatethisbull
    For all the data that's included in the chart, it's quite astonishing that there's nothing to distinguish which boards use SO-DIMMs and which ones use DDR3-1333. Most users are going to care a LOT more about this than whether or not there exists an internal parallel port connector.

    All of these setups are about twice as expensive as they should be. By the time you add all the trimmings to build up a complete system, you're spending nearly what you would for an economy desktop where a $100 WD TV or $200 pre-built Atom machine would be a much better investment. Wrapping a $10 chip in a $165 board just makes zero sense. In fact, I'd be very interested in seeing a detailed cost-breakdown on one of the more expensive boards - I just can't understand how they could possibly be valued so highly.
    2
  • popatim
    I would have liked to see how these perform as an HTPC. Can the handle BD at 1080i? How is websurfing? Can they place facebook games that my grandkids love... usefull things like that. We already know these cant game or handle intensive apps so why waste time benching these...
    Perhaps a future article.
    4
  • boggie6868
    Nice round up!!

    I really would love to use the AMD APUs for a lower power server application.

    Only problem is that the boards are all 4x PCIE and single nic. Come on! Let see something with dual nics and 8x PCIE.

    Yea yea yea Llano here now, but hell I've love to have an E-350 with a board like this. Its all about the power consumption baby!
    1
  • GaMEChld
    silverblueTrinity and Komodo are both Enhanced Bulldozer. As such, Trinity will not be using Zambezi cores.


    The name "enhanced" Bulldozer had me guessing. I wasn't sure if the cores would actually be different in Trinity, or if it was the same BD cores "enhanced" with graphics. Did you read anything more detailed on it?
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  • GaMEChld
    jsowocDoes anyone else feel the performance graphs would be more meaningful with a typical Atom and a cheap Athlon X2 as points of reference?


    Well I always appreciate more data, so yes.
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  • GaMEChld
    silverblueHere's a helpful document...http://phx.corporate-ir.net/Extern [...] BlPTM=&t=1

    VERY nice find!
    1