Skip to main content

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

Zotac FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series

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.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    Wow! AS-rocks!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • silverblue
    Trinity and Komodo are both Enhanced Bulldozer. As such, Trinity will not be using Zambezi cores.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply