I hate to keep things from you all, but last week I was diligently working in a room at AMD’s new campus in Austin, Texas. You see, AMD wanted to give us more time with the Brazos/Zacate platform we tested at IDF ahead of its official launch. It’s too early for production worthy OEM systems and AMD wasn’t too keen on these reference platforms leaving its offices so it did the next best thing: fly us out to test the systems on AMD’s campus.

The rules were simple. We couldn’t run anything that would harm the system, but other than that we were free to bring whatever we wanted and test however we wanted. AMD dropped by our private room to check to see if we needed anything but other than that, it was all hands off.


The Brazos test platform

While I’d love to share performance data with you today, I can’t. You’ll have to wait another week or so for that. What AMD is allowing us to talk about are the specific configurations AMD’s first Fusion APUs will ship in and general impressions from the testing. Specific benchmarks are off limits unfortunately.

The platform felt final as far as stability goes. I didn’t encounter any crashes during my several hours of non-stop testing. Performance is also indicative of what will ship early next year. The system felt quick (very 11-inch MacBook Air like if you catch my drift) but you have to keep in mind that Zacate and its lower powered sibling Ontario will be used in systems priced between $299 - $549.

Meet the Brazos
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  • meksta - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    So everyone besides Intel sits still? What a pointless comment. Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    What a pointless reply. Mino's reply assumes that Atom will remain in-order, which it will NOT. Atom will be redesigned for out-of-order in 2012. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    For most of (if not all of) the Ontario market life Atom WILL remain in-order. That is a public information from Intel itself. Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    why? Intel hates atom. It kills their higher margin CPUs. They want that for phones and tablets, not full blown PCs.

    If anything, AMD is the only reason Atom will improve. Heck, Intel's atom is so lame that on their own Meego platform, they can't even provide decent video drivers because the video card portion is 3rd party.

    Oh no! What will happen if someone like AMD or nvidia got their hands on their video tech through their open source drivers!
    Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Who said we were talking about "full blown PCs"? Obviously Atom is only meant for small devices like netbooks. Ontario Bobcats are aimed at a similar market.

    Also I fail to see how Intel "hates" Atom. Why would they develop it in the first place? Why would Intel be pushing Atom SoCs to market so hard? Your comment makes no sense.

    Intel LIKES Atom and they are trying to use Atom to take away some of ARM's marketshare.
    Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Future Atoms will be mostly SoC designs, while the Bobcat platforms are not. Zacate Bobcats will compete with Celeron and Pentium models anyways, not Atom. Ontario Bobcats will compete with Atoms. While Bobcat will have a per-clock advantage over Atom, it remains to be seen how Bobcat will perform when compared to Celeron and Pentium systems.

    We're not just talking about a 500 Mhz clock difference here though. The Intel Z560 Atom already runs at 2.13 Ghz, although it is a single core design. The Atom D525 dual core runs at 1.8 Ghz. That is a clock difference of 600-800 Mhz compared to the Ontario Bobcats.
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Calm down fanboi. Your quest is to protect your damsel Intel from harm to her reputation. We get it. Reply
  • krumme - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Atom D525 is 13W TDP, 87mm2 and more expensive packaging than zakate. Get the facts dude, zakate is cheaper than Atom and as you say near core 2 speed. Wellcome the the new wold. As zakate is cheaper than Atom, Intel can not use core i whatever or something more expensive, because they will loose tons of money doing so. Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Facts? Nice assumptions you have there. Can you show us all *FACTUAL* proof that Zacate is cheaper than Atom? If you can't, I would stop listing your assumptions as "facts". Reply
  • iwodo - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    He is referring to 87mm2 and 75mm2 die size. Smaller Die Size means Cheaper. Reply

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