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Almost There For Mobile Gaming

While the E-350 at least brings netbooks into the era of genuine usability and the Radeon HD 6310 is definitely a step up from the Nile platform's IGP, you'll see that unfortunately CPU performance isn't quite there yet.

In all cases the HD 6310 acquits itself fairly well compared to the other integrated parts, but CPU performance takes its pound of flesh. Bumping settings down can improve the situation (usually these lower-powered parts will hit bandwidth limitations at 720p and can come into their own at around 800x600) and at that point you're liable to see a substantial improvement over the Nile platform's Mobility Radeon HD 4225, but at the end of the day we're still pretty heavily processor limited.

Jarred's working on some additional gaming tests for his E-350 review, but the general rule of thumb is that you'll want to look at slightly older games (or very undemanding current games). As an example, the original Half-Life 2 runs reasonably well at 1366x768 and medium quality settings; move to the later episodes, however, and performance starts to drop into the 20s and teens—and don't even try bumping the shadow quality above "Low". Maybe now would be a good time to rediscover some of the gaming gems from before 2007?

Fusion-Powered: Application and Futuremark Performance Genuinely Portable AMD is Here
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  • ganeshts - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Not only is AMD late to the party, it is trying to come in after closing time!

    With the tablet craze about to take off following the year of the iPad, I am not even sure people want to throw away their money on anything so anaemic and running Windows...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Boo! Down with the naysayers! I'm honestly not really interested in tablets. They're fun gadgets to show things to people, but typing on them sucks. Add a separate keyboard, and now you're lugging around a laptop equivalent (that's still slower than any netbook, only with a somewhat optimized OS).

    Brazos finally makes netbooks viable as an overall computing platform. 7+ hours of battery life, performance that's substantially better than Atom (particular Atom on its own), and a reasonable cost. Maybe you'll get some decent HTPC setups with Brazos now... though honestly, I think for serious HTPC stuff like you test, you'll need something clocked quite a bit higher than the E-350's 1.6GHz.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    I concur, I'm not interested in tablets running a mobile OS and ARM either.
    I've actually got myself a convertible netbook running Windows 7, I use it more in a laptop mode than a tablet mode.
    I've got friends with an iPad and they say crazy things like: "It's changed my life!" (Really? It's just an over-sized iPod.)

    The annoying part about Tablets I find is how bloody awkward they are to hold when you are sitting at something like a table where they can't hold themselves up and typing is well... Slow.

    I say bring on Fusion, more performance at the low end is a good thing, just wish these manufacturers would start putting decent screens in mobile PC's.
    Reply
  • mgl888 - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    +1

    Tablets feel more like amusement devices at the moment. Without a keyboard and your standard applications, you really can't get much "work" done.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    A 5 inch tablet is so much more carryable and hence useable than a netbook, it's not even funny. The only netbook that really is worth any consideration is the insanely priced sony Z/V/P? series...the one with the 1600x768 screen.
    Cheap computing isn't really worth the trouble...
    And as long as I need a separate bag to carry my on-the-go computer, it's really a no-go.
    Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Eh? A 5 inch tablet is almost insignificantly more usable than my 4 inch phone. It is redundant. Reply
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Actually, 5 inch is quite a bit larger than the 4" phone. It is the largest universally pocketable size I found, and I actually have a non-smart-phone (S40 based) so that some software issue won't shut me out from telephony (bodged firmware update still did exactly that even on the S40....) and so that I wont have to hold a giant screen thing to my ear, and have access to my organizer/internet while on the phone....
    Plus, my 5" tablet has suport for keyboard via bluetooth or usb, it has a mini-hdmi output which goes up to 720p, all of which is quite hard to find on a 4" phone.
    And the screen surface is almost 50% larger. (20% in the diagonal should be 44% of the area) This makes reading much more comfortable. Also, the relaxed size and lack of 3G allow a higher power envelope for the SoC resulting in better performance.
    Reply
  • acsa - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Amusement? It is very annoying to hold a tablet all the time during playing, movie watching, browsing, reading while sitting on any comfortable furniture. Even a 5 lbs brick on the lap is better. But even for sharing anything with others (also working thogether), while sitting at a desktop, a "standing-up" netbook/notebook is still much more comfortable. Of course, the are specific areas where the interface itself is very useful but at recent stage of software services I don't see many. And partial it is useful for portability if you have a lot of other luggage always carrying with you by foot. But that's again rare. Maybe where lack of cars and public transport is significant ;) Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Until "pickable" apps are written for tablets, they won't really do much. The issue is whether developers will figure out how to data model "pickable" apps. RDBMS will do that, but most developers aren't smart enough. Reply
  • Powerlurker - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    That's probably true, but I don't see how that's too big of a problem. Most consumers don't go home and type reports in their free time. Reply

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