ASRock's E350M1: AMD's Brazos Platform Hits The Desktop First

Benchmark Results: Integrated Gaming

Despite its significantly slower processor, AMD’s Brazos platform cruises right past the Athlon II X2 240e-equipped 880G platform’s Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics engine. The 80 stream processors built into the E-350 help offset the two power-conscious Bobcat cores running at 1.6 GHz.

And while the Celeron/Ion combination proves to be more potent than Brazos in many desktop applications, it’s simply outclassed by both of AMD’s graphics solutions.

If you were wondering how CPU-limited World of Warcraft can be, compare the Celeron and Atom numbers. Both platforms enjoy the benefit of Nvidia’s Ion chipset. However, because Atom lags so far behind, it’s only able to achieve half of the frame rate—which is nowhere near playable at 1680x1050.

Update (1/16/2011): After a number of requests for gaming numbers with a Radeon HD 5000-series card dropped into the E350M1's four-lane PCI Express slot, I re-ran all three of these titles using a 5750. 

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, AMD's Radeon HD 5750 achieved 45.37 FPS, more than doubling the integrated Radeon HD 6310's performance. Given the ratio of 720:80 ALUs, the discrete card seems fairly clearly bottlenecked by its host platform.

Call of Duty: MW2 gives us an even more constrained performance picture, clocking in with 18.88 FPS (compared to 12.1 from the integrated engine). The upgrade is certainly not worthwhile there.

In Left 4 Dead 2, the discrete card achieved 39.55 FPS, more than doubling the previously-recorded result.

If you were serious about playing Call of Duty, you could probably dial in more viable quality settings than what we’ve tested here to help push frame rates higher. The important takeaway is that the performance story doesn’t change. AMD’s E-350 APU is faster than an Athlon II X2 240e/880G combination, a Celeron SU2300, and an Atom 330. Once again, we also see the hit you incur shifting from Celeron to Atom using the same graphics engine.

Another game, another victory for AMD’s on-die graphics. Just for kicks, I dialed everything down to 1280x768, using Medium quality settings, and managed a fairly modest 32 FPS. That’s not great in the living room, but it could make Left 2 Dead 2 playable on a netbook.

If you’re concerned about the fact that we only ran the 880G-based platform with a single DDR3 memory module (rather than utilizing its dual-channel capability), don’t be. The graphics core isn’t overly bandwidth-starved. Dropping a second 4 GB DDR3-1333 module into the board only bumped frame rates up to 14.21 (up from 13.8).

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  • iam2thecrowe
    now they need some devs to take advantage of that apu to see its full potential as a processor.
  • reprotected
    Ironic of how Nvidia quality is worse than AMD.
  • Reynod
    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.
  • dogman_1234
    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?
  • sparky2010
    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.....
  • cangelini
    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.
  • joytech22
    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
  • cangelini
    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 ;)
  • dEAne
    Yes integration is the key to higher performance, lower power consumption and lower price (affordability this is what people really wanted).
  • haplo602
    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.
  • cangelini
    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!
  • apache_lives
    about F*** time AMD, good show
  • lashton
    yeah overclocking would be good and see how it compares with overclocking of similar playforms
  • johnbilicki
    Biased; 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.
  • johnbilicki
    I get a -1 rating for making a criticism by the site's software the moment I post, I recommend others test the system to if they don't believe me; choose negative reaction of course.
  • cangelini
    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...
  • Reynod
    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
  • cangelini
    Sure do reynod--those were the days, weren't they?
  • i_am_aronman
    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.
  • nevertell
    I was hoping for better performance per watt :(

    I really would like a tegra 2 notebook with a proper and supported OS.
  • GaMEChld
    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.


    That does not mean that it would be unfeasible to pipe out a HDMI output from a Brazos class netbook, allowing you to view HD content on an HDTV at 1920x1080. The monitor capability in that situation wouldn't be a limiting factor.

    And if you are going to counter with "Who would do that?" I would. I hook laptops, netbooks, desktops, and all sorts of other gizmos up to TV's. Having that level of power in a small form factor for low cost would be more than welcome.
  • amdfangirl
    The shear fact that Brazios can play L4D at 1680x1050 all is amazing! My 690G barely clocks 20fps at 800x600. Amazing how far IGPs devloped in 3-4 years!

    Chris, can we see a 1.6Ghz shootout? I would appreciate if we could see clock for clock how efficient Brazios is, compared to AMD's own K8 and K10.5 Athlon dual-core series.
  • Onus
    Very interesting, and promising. I do hope to buy a laptop this year, and long battery life plus a little gaming ability are in my requirements.

    Just as interesting though, is that "shiny new video card." GTX560?
  • dalta centauri
    This looks to be quite interesting, it seems to be a great thing for netbooks and laptops where people don't want the 600+$ ones to play games on medium settings. I bought a 400$ laptop with integrated Radeon graphics almost 2 years ago, and seeing this performing as good as it does makes me want to buy it. I'm not a huge gamer, but being able to play games on low to medium settings at a laptops/netbooks max resolution would be something everyone wants.