Low-Power Gaming: AMD's E-350 Vs. Intel Atom D525 And Ion 2

Conclusion: Inconsistent Gaming Ability, But Often Rewarding

After testing 15 games, what have we learned? Mainly, only six games are completely unplayable on both platforms. Nine of the games—a slight majority—are playable at 720p on at least one of these platforms.

That’s where we see some difference between the E-350 and D525/Ion 2:

The data for this chart is taken only from the playable game titles. And the really important thing to note here is the blue bar—minimum frame rates. AMD’s E-350 achieves more than three times the minimum frame rate of the D525/Ion 2 combo, on average. This means that, when things get tough, the E-350 remains more playable. The Atom D525/Nvidia Ion 2 combo has a harder time keeping things smooth.

Now, we’re not declaring AMD’s E-350 a true gaming APU—far from it. If gaming is a high priority for you, stay the heck away from both of these platforms. They aren’t built for it, plain and simple.

But if you’re looking for a new low-budget nettop or notebook, and gaming is a secondary concern, you may find this information useful. Of the two platforms we tested here today, AMD's E-350 has more potential to play a couple of new titles, and it looks like it can better handle the vast majority of previous-generation games. There are a lot of golden oldies out there that are worth a second look for nostalgia’s sake, or even a purchase from the bargain bin if you missed them the first time around.

  • tacoslave
    so the gpu's in modern consoles are around the same as the e-350? since these gpus are mainly cpu bound? Also should have put counterstrike fun and not demanding.
  • Can they make a video game that features a Monopolistic Chip Company who threatens and bribes computer manufacturers to be zombies?
  • ujaansona
    Aamusing... ;)
  • ujaansona
    OOPS It's not "Aamusing"
    It's Pointless To Compare Them...
  • warjunkieltu
    Why are you guys not testing some good quality freeware first person shooters, that could run smoothly on those low end PCs? For example:
    Urban Terror (my favorite one), Open Arena, Alien Arena? Or at least Quake live?
    Cause it's ridiculous to test all those latest shooters on such low end machines...
  • silverblue
    I was just thinking about reinstalling either of the Star Trek: Armada titles now I've moved to Windows 7, just to see if it removes the stuttering I experienced in XP. Good to see one of those titles here.

    Good review; was kinda wishing for the HL2:LC or some previous-gen UT titles though. :)
  • nevertell
    You could've tried overclocking them :D
    But seriously, the ION seems to be bottlenecked by the cpu.
  • rolli59
    Low end graphics! How about testing them with popular MMOG for addicts that travel, but like the portability of netbooks!
  • vaughn2k
    Diablo 2? and Warcraft 3?
  • gondor
    Thank you for including older titles in your comparison ! I hope you'll be able to include even more of them in any future tests to give each major game engine of the era a fair chance :)