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Zotac FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series

The Brazos Round-Up: Eight AMD E-350-Based Motherboards
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Also known as model FUSION350-A-E, Zotac’s E-350 motherboard takes the opposite approach to added features compared to Sapphire. Bluetooth is not present, but a mini Wi-Fi card is included in a vertical mini PCIe slot. The firm also ditches the I/O panel VGA connector, instead adding a DVI-I-to-VGA adapter in its installation kit.

Exclusive to the FUSION350-A-E is a DisplayPort output, which is something we expected on more products, since AMD was one of the interface’s first major backers. HDMI is also available to assist HTPC builders.

Zotac doesn’t fool around with PCIe x16 slots limited to four-lane wiring, but instead smartly uses an open-ended four-lane slot. The open end allows a PCIe x16 graphics card to fit, and the four-lane transfers match those of its competitors.

A USB 3.0 internal header is found along the FUSION350-A-E’s top edge, making this one of only two boards in this comparison to support the newer interface on a case's front panel.

Four of the A50M chipset’s six SATA 6Gb/s ports are found internally, and one more is directed to eSATA. Since most ITX cases support only three drives, this design covers the drive needs of most builders.

It makes sense, then that Zotac also includes three SATA cables. That beats all but the hard-to-find ECS model. A VGA adapter and two Wi-Fi antennas round-out the FUSION350-A-E kit.

FUSION350-A-E

The FUSION350-A-E has a default 1.4% overclock over AMD’s reference frequencies, but does not allow manual overclocking. The AMD-recommended DDR3-1066 limit is also in place.

The only overclocking-oriented adjustment in FUSION350-A-E UEFI is over-voltage for memory.

Display all 37 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    gameworm , July 4, 2011 4:40 AM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    vaughn2k , July 4, 2011 6:11 AM
    Wow! AS-rocks!
  • -4 Hide
    noob2222 , July 4, 2011 6:14 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    Mathos , July 4, 2011 6:18 AM
    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.
  • -3 Hide
    noob2222 , July 4, 2011 6:28 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    BulkZerker , July 4, 2011 7:53 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , July 4, 2011 8:29 AM
    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
  • 2 Hide
    GaMEChld , July 4, 2011 9:30 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , July 4, 2011 12:16 PM
    Trinity and Komodo are both Enhanced Bulldozer. As such, Trinity will not be using Zambezi cores.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 4, 2011 2:13 PM
    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.
  • -4 Hide
    killerclick , July 4, 2011 2:25 PM
    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 Hide
    jsowoc , July 4, 2011 3:57 PM
    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?
  • 1 Hide
    denial_ , July 4, 2011 5:23 PM
    These are not design to be purely performer, we all know that. Their purpose is to compete with the Intel Atom processors.
  • 2 Hide
    hatethisbull , July 4, 2011 5:30 PM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    popatim , July 4, 2011 7:30 PM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    boggie6868 , July 4, 2011 9:02 PM
    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!
  • 0 Hide
    GaMEChld , July 4, 2011 9:24 PM
    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?
  • 0 Hide
    GaMEChld , July 4, 2011 9:26 PM
    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.
  • 3 Hide
    silverblue , July 4, 2011 9:33 PM
    Here's a helpful document...

    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9Njk3NDJ8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&t=1
  • 1 Hide
    GaMEChld , July 4, 2011 9:36 PM
    silverblueHere's a helpful document...http://phx.corporate-ir.net/Extern [...] BlPTM=&t=1

    VERY nice find!
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