AMD Updates Brazos with E-450, E-300 and C-60 APUsby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 22, 2011 12:01 AM EST
When AMD first introduced its Brazos platform at the end of last year it promised annual updates to the platform. Today we get the first official update to the platform. Although not a major architectural or process change, the Brazos refresh is significant nonetheless.
At the top we've got the AMD E-450, a part we previewed at Computex. The E-450 replaces the E-350 and brings with it higher clock speeds. The two CPU cores see a mild increase from 1.6GHz to 1.65GHz, while the 80-core Radeon HD 6320 GPU creeps up from 492MHz to 508MHz. Neither sounds too impressive, but the E-450 has a new trick up its sleeve: AMD Turbo Core. Similar to Llano, if there's available TDP the GPU cores in the E-450 can turbo up to 600MHz. In GPU bound games the E-450 can be up to 22% faster than the E-350.
The E-450 also adds official DDR3-1333 support (up from 1066). When combined with the faster GPU you might see significantly better gaming performance out of the E-450. Don't expect to get anywhere near Llano's performance, but AMD notes a 36% increase in 3DMark Vantage performance.
Next up is the E-300, this replaces the single-core E-240. The E-300 has two Bobcat cores, which means the refreshed E-series APUs are all dual-core parts. The CPU clock drops a bit down to 1.3GHz, as does the GPU clock (488MHz) but overall performance should go up as nearly any usage model these days will prefer two similarly clocked cores to one.
The final update in AMD's Brazos refresh is the 9W C-60. The C-60 replaces the C-50 before it. Both feature two Bobcat cores, but the C-60 adds AMD Turbo Core support - this time on the CPU and GPU. The C-60 runs at the same 1GHz clock speed as the C-50, but it can turbo up to 1.33GHz. The GPU on the other hand can turbo up to 400MHz from its 276MHz stock speed.
The refreshed Brazos parts are still built on the same TSMC 40nm process and retain the same 18W/9W TDPs. The update to enable Turbo Core is likely only a mild change to the chip and associated BIOS. The higher clock speeds and across-the-board dual-core (E-series) come courtesy of yield improvements. In addition to the extra performance, all refreshed Brazos APUs gain multimode DisplayPort support (DP++). The ++ simply means that you can carry HDMI and DVI signals over the DP connector, allowing OEMs to build systems with only a single DP output and provide passive dongles for single-link DVI and HDMI out.
The AMD E-450, E-300 and C-60 are available from PC OEMs starting today. No word on when we'll see availability in the channel.