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  • duploxxx - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    what a lousy comment:

    On the other side of the charts—literally—is AMD’s E-350. We know it’s not meant to compete with Sandy Bridge (or even Arrandale or Core 2 Duo), but keep in mind that the cheapest price for such a laptop is going to be around $450. On average, the i5-2520M lays the smack down hard and ends up roughly four times faster than an E-350. Ah, but the E-350 has a much better IGP, right?

    you could have also put some higher rated atom's here,Tthey all would have performed even worse for the same price. Its OEM who are pushing this price higher of the Brazos,

    Watch the HD3000 scores and how they will be demolished by the LIano A8 series within a month the acer with P520 provides already a good idea about that besides the fact that it will have 4 cores at a much higher turbo frequency. The only thing that will be left is the higher single and dual core turbo mode for intel,.Afterall the i5M is exactly what should be compared with AMD A8M series, not a brazos......
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Exactly, which is why I mention Llano oh... about nine times in the article, and point out that it should double the Brazos IGP performance with a CPU that "is a huge step up in performance from Bobcat." As for Atom: "There’s little (well, nothing really) to recommend an Atom netbook over a Brazos alternative at the $300 to $350 price bracket." Elsewhere I make fun of netbooks (Atom) for being, "slow, often poorly built, slow, too small for many to use comfortably, and above all really slow."

    The point with the SNB vs. E-350 comparison is that lots of people rip on Intel's graphics as being unfit for just about anything. The reality is that if we take the same mindset, Bobcat is just as bad because the CPU is such a massive bottleneck that it can only muster average graphics performance that's slightly faster than Arrandale. In reality, without the CPU bottleneck (or RAM bandwidth bottleneck) I suspect HD 6310M would be slightly faster than HD 3000. But when SNB offers about twice the graphics performance and four times the CPU performance and 80% of the battery life, yeah, those are items worth mentioning. It's also about 50% more expensive, of course.

    A balanced approach is the best for laptops, and that's my complaint with a lot of systems. Sandy Bridge is at least fast enough on the GPU side that the only people who won't be happy are serious gamers--casual gamers can get by. Brazos is also somewhat balanced, but the Bobcat core isn't enough even if it beat Atom--it's less than half the CPU performance of an Athlon II P320 for instance, and you will notice that when installing programs, loading applications, booting Windows, etc. Right now, Brazos needs more CPU, Danube needs more battery life and less power/heat and a better IGP, and gamers need a discrete GPU. Llano could easily take care of all three items.
  • crazyape995 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I think the point duploxxx might be trying to make is that you intentionally compared Sandy Bridge against the E-350 to make it look bad.

    I understand the comments about AMD graphics being better than Intel's, but those were directed specifically at the Atom platform.

    AMD's E-350 destroys anything Intel's Atom platform can do, even with Nvidia's help. But what sets me off is how you don't hesitate to put it against Intel's flagship processors, but nowhere do I see Atom's results in the benchmarks.

    The chart looks like it was devised specifically to make the E-350 look like the worst chip available. And no amount of explainations/disclaimers change that.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Fact: There are $600+ E-350 laptops available. Regardless of whether or not they should exist, they do exist, and as such it's a fair comparison. I didn't include Atom because it's not even remotely in contention -- and if I had C-50 results I wouldn't include those either. If people don't understand that we selected 12-15 laptops for the charts out of our catalog of over 80+ reviews, I'm not going to apologize. Use Mobile Bench and make your own comparisons.

    The conclusion talks a lot about the strengths of Brazos and AMD, but some people have a history of being strong AMD advocates in our comments. Every time I/we suggest that AMD might not be the best choice, they have to post a rant about how we're paid off or blind/stupid/[insert pejorative]. Read our Brazos reviews and you'll see we focused a lot of good attention on the platform, though we didn't hesitate to call out the weaknesses.

    Simply put, E-350 is not good for current games, and it's not particularly fast in general applications. It's fine for multimedia and basic office work, it gets good battery life, and it doesn't cost a lot. If that's what you want, it's a great solution. Personally, there are too many things I like to do that are sluggish on E-350 (i.e. casual browser games like Bejeweled Blitz come to mind).
  • derricker - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    "The conclusion talks a lot about the strengths of Brazos and AMD, but some people have a history of being strong AMD advocates in our comments. Every time I/we suggest that AMD might not be the best choice, they have to post a rant about how we're paid off or blind/stupid/[insert pejorative]. "

    Has it occurred that it's too obvious in front of everybody's eyes and that you particularly are not doing that great of a job in trying to deny the blatant bias in favor of intel??

    The rudeness of your replies comes as a surprise for me here at anand, seeing a heavily biased articled in favor of those who pay the bills, that's yesterday news.
  • TypeS - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    There's no rudeness in his post and it's quite clear the bias towards AMD that you and the other two posters who are attacking Jarred have. Seems Jarred has a point made about AMD fanboys and comments.

    Learn to be more observant and aware before you make such biased and unfounded accusations. It's OEMs like Sony who are placing Brazos into a regular notebook form factor and pricing it within striking distance of the ASUS notebook. The point that should come across is that if you start looking at some unbalanced (perhaps even overpriced) E-350 options out there, its worth an extra $100 for overall better performance.

    There's no Intel bias here. And AMD fanboys need to face reality, AMD has a brief moment in the spotlight with K8 but Intel has been 1 or 2 steps ahead ever since Conroe. Even when comparing appropriate alternatives (based on SKUs), Intel wins.

    But you'll find lots of articles where the writers here Anandtech praise AMD, maybe not as much in the CPU market but quite often a lot in the GPU market where they immensely improved and given nVidia a lot of smackdowns that no one expected woujld come.

    So take your defensive AMD fanboyism out the door and learn to be more observant and open-minded.
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    To be reality is , don't trust the benchmark. it's not going to benefit you anything. It's only let Intel earn 86% in the market.
    i trust the benchmark , review . now i suffer in Dell N4110. it's doesn't perform well.
    I would said , value of money is most important. when u buy the new notebook , you can save RM3-400 ,why you need to buy Intel? it's wouldn't last you up to 3 years. your model will just out of date in another 9months.
    I will go back to AMD after i can let go this Dell N4110.
    To be frank to whole world ,80% PC user wouldn't notice the speed different in his work space. you can't notice the speed different in 80% time you turn on your computer , you wouldn't notice the different when u doing autoCAD , sending email , log in facebook . but only thing u notice is when u loading the program. (just because this reason we let Intel earn 80% in market.)
  • erple2 - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - link

    Do you also believe that the Moon Landings were a staged hoax because the Astronauts gave up swearing to things that they were actually at the moon?

    It's not obvious in my eyes at all. If you want to be rude, go ahead. I think that Jarred (and most of Anandtech) has been quite unbiased towards either camp. Just because your team doesn't win out on every (reasonable) comparison, doesn't imply any kind of bias at all.
  • ET - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Jarred, I agree with your reasoning for including the E-350. Some people are blinded by AMD fanboyism, it seems. I have a preference for AMD, but I think your comments are right on the money. I bought a Thinkpad X120e because I think that AMD did a great job reinvigorating the small form factor. At 15.6" the E-350 has more competition and the premium for Intel based solutions is lower, so I think it's a good idea to give buyers an idea of how it compares in this form factor.

    That said, I think it would have been interesting to see how the i3-2310M version of this laptop compares.
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    i would tell u , u wouldn't notice you are using E350 or core i3 2310. i totally dislike my Dell N4110 core i3 2310 . because the battery life is just 3hours .(normal price is RM1899 from Dell website , i buy promotion price from dealer , RM1.6k with HD6630 , 4GB , 500GB 7200rpm) E350 is about 6 hours & price is just RM1099. of course i wouldnt go for that model , because i need to play game , i need some model at least with HD6470.
    in fact currently Llano notebook is going crazy . pair with 6650 but only help the benchmark about 10% & the price is nearly to the core i5 model. core i5 2410 + GT540 RM2299. Llano sell RM 1800.
    Dell i5 2410 + HD6470 is selling RM1899.
    i would agree the price if AMD Llano w.o the HD6650 & the price is selling RM1.4k with 5-6 hours battery life
    USD 1 = RM3
    in fact i using C50 to complete all my office work with 8hours battery life . but i think i can't do it with Atom. if not why most of my friend sell it after 2 week?
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    I'm totally with you here, Jarred.

    In this review and in the Brazos review it was made very clear that you can totally forget about Atom. And there's a reason you don't include a Pentium 1 laptop from 1995 in these reviews.

    And the i5-25xxM being about 4 times as fast as Brazos in CPU intensive tasks is certainly worth mentioning. You have to say it, because it's ******* true. Whether this matters to someone or not is an entirely different qeustion and up to everyone individually. I think you really made this totally clear.

  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    be frank , CPU not your sport car. you hardly notice the different in your 80% of time while you using it for work.
    I would said we happy to see the technology improve , but we better make up our mind to look at value of money.
    RM1.4k for Llano , within another 3-4 months time vs RM2k core i5 or RM1.4k core i3 2310. what do u think? core i5 only help u fast loading the program. core i3 can't handle the game. Llano A3400 will handle both easily. of course if you keep look at benchmark , u unable to sleep even you have a Core i7. i just throw my intel extreme cpu.
  • lenghui - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I agree with you, Jarred. I am a AMD fan, but the includsion and comparison of E-350 is valid and does not take away anything from your well written article. Keep up the nice work! Reply
  • tuskers - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Fact-check: a simple search on Amazon for "E-350" can get you a 15.6" laptop for $357.70, as of this posting. Not exactly "around $450" or "$500 for similar components" as the article claims. And that's without even really looking for an affordable one. On the other hand, nothing in retail channels comes up for $600 on Amazon.

    In the article you artificially creep the price of what you're testing down, and creep the price of an E-350 solutions up, in order to make your claims that they're worth comparing. They're different segments: the E-350 was invented to be an ultraportable chip, and you're comparing it to a mainstream (or even desktop replacement) chip.

    People don't choose the E-350 because it's has a good graphics chip-- it merely has a good graphics chip for its market segment, compared to intel's CULV/UM, Atom, and Atom/Ion solutions.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Sony YB pricing is coming down, and it looks like the MSI X370 should start selling in the US for around $550 as well. And really, E-350 shouldn't ever go to $500, let alone $550, which is the point I have been making.

    So now Acer has a 15.6" E-350 system for $335 or whatever. Great. Twice the price gets you more than double the performance, and Acer's 15.6" designs have NOT impressed me in the past. Is it cheap and fast enough for some people, yes. You're still getting what you pay for.

    Acer Aspire 5253-BZ602:
    AMD E-350
    HD 6310M
    250GB 5400RPM HDD
    15.6" 1366x768 LCD
    2x1GB RAM (so if you want to upgrade, you throw out a 1GB SO-DIMM)
    6-cell battery (quoted battery life of just 3.3 hours... not sure what they ran for that test though)
    Win7 Home Premium

    For that much money, sure, it's a fair price, but as I've said this is what I felt netbooks should have been from day one. Atom just sucks too much, and while there are performance compromises with E-350 it's at least going to handle multimedia content. If I'm going to actually use a laptop on a daily basis, I'll save up and spend more money on a good quality device. Just because something is really cheap doesn't make it a great bargain.
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    in fact , battery life is because except Asus giving you 56wh in common, non of them give you this high capacity battery pack . Acer will only provide you 48wh , to avoid hurt his flagship timeline 66wh ,claim can go up to 8 hours.
    currently i using Dell , 48wh. i3 2310 only can last 3hours.
    my friend K43U , E350 last 6 hours office work. 4 hours in facebook game. (i recommend him to buy it, but i fall in the Intel trap) i need to sell my N4110 fast , just 2 days using it. i hope to see Llano base notebook sell at RM1.4k without the HD6650
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    infact Malaysia are selling RM1499 for HP DM1 , Asus K43U is just about RM1099. currently Malaysia ringgit is grow up , USD 1 convert to RM 3 (before this is RM3.8) you keep telling the fake answer , USD 600 ,it's RM1800 .(pervious is RM2.4k ) we can buy Core i5 with HD6470 RM1899 from Dell ,even Timeline 4830TG for RM2449, but not the E350. in fact i just get my brand new Dell N4110 ,core i3 2310+ HD6630 just RM1600.
    currently Acer 5560G , is selling RM1800 A3400 + HD6650.
    I dont think the 2310 (or even core i5) cpu is so good to keep battery life go long. in fact is only the Asus quality factory given 56wh instead of 48wh battery to extend the battery life. Currently my Dell N4110 hardly get even 3h10mins when setting 30% brightness , wifi on , power saving mode.
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    Dell N4110 core i3 2310 , HDD 500GB 7200rpm , HD6630 , 4GB . 14" LCD. this model you should do a review & tell whole world the Dell had a worse design ever . they put the 7200rpm HDD at the left palm rest area ,after 5mins turn on , it's start cook my palm. battery life even just 3hours 10 minutes.(HD3000 only) ,idle upto 5hours. power saving mode , 30% brightness , wifi & bluetooth on. only start maxthon 3 browser , no back ground program , no antivirus , no firewall. (this model seem like cant only turn on wifi)
    in air condition room you wouldn't notice that much about the left palm area heat issue. but i wonder how much lousy engineer work inside Dell.
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    actually i dont mind you put the E350 , i like to know more review before i do a purchase. but in term of battery life the major reason not the CPU ,but the factory who willing give u the 56wh above battery pack.
    i buy Dell major reason is the person who doing promotion to sell it at RM1.6k . but the core i3 2310 not perform as what i read in most review. i read the Toshiba intel B940 can acheived 5h28mins . most of the review also show core i3 2310 will go up to 4-5 hours. but in fact it's just 3hours.
    now 2h15mins -56% , but in fact starting battery drop so fast , & it's doesn't me 4h 30mins even i just unplug the adapter.
  • fic2 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    "lots of people rip on Intel's graphics as being unfit for just about anything"

    Lots of people rip on Intel's graphics because until Sandy Bridge they weren't fit for anything.
  • mino - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    2 non-Intel participants:

    a) A netbook/ultraportable platform (with not a SINGLE other result from a system at its TDP level)

    b) A single, low-end P520, in a chart overflowing with mid-range, high-end and even extreme-class Intel chips and ZERO comparable Celerons/Pentiums.

    Sure, this is not bias. It is a professional editorial-level PR campaign.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Take your fanboy rantings elsewhere. Reply
  • ekerazha - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    2011? No USB 3.0? Asus... seriously? Come on... Reply
  • phatboye - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    don't blame ASUS for the lack of USB 3.0 blame Intel for not including it in the chipset Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Yes and that is a BIG disappointment. Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    So, Newegg has a HD6850 on sale right now for 140! After promo code. I know this has nothing to do with this article but I want as many people who might care to know as possible. That's a REALLY good price for that GPU. It's a Saphire GPU.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Nice try Reply
  • SteelCity1981 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    AMD or an Nvidia discrete graphics mobile chip solution for gaming is the only way to go. Reply
  • starfalcon - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    But not for that long. Reply
  • SteelCity1981 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Not for long? yeah it will be a long time. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Llano's IGP have the potential to be moderately faster than the current entry level mobile IGPs. On paper it's the equivalent to a 6630-6730M. Having to share the DDR3 memory with the CPU will probably hold it back somewhat, but it very much has the potential to a viable part for light gaming systems. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    "to be moderately faster than the current entry level mobile IGPs"

    Is that a joke or what ?

    Llano has the potential to challenge the mid-range mobile GPU market with even its cheapest version running circles around any other IGP/APU around.
  • kevlno3 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    Pls dont comments when you not read review. Mino , i 100% support you. Llano is the IGP is same speed as HD5650 ,HD6550 or even HD6630. it's not HD5470 or even HD3000 can be compare.
    it's totally complete solution for value of money best buy. but Intel keep creat the high benchmark score to blur the consumer . try to make people feel regret if you pay such money to buy the low end Llano. in fact , i was totally disappointed with Intel. Core i3 2310 can't perform well. i even felt lag when i play in war craft 3 frozen throne in battlenet during 3 vs 3. i can't find my pointer. it's normally lag will make u have this problem.
  • biostud - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    both s and b models :) Reply
  • jonup - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Just from curiosity, does dropping from dual channel to single channel have any significant effect on the performance of the modern laptops/desktops? Many manufactures have been shipping their laptops with odd RAM capacities 3GB/6GB, which has been a turnoff for me, but it appears to be a good marketing gimmick for those who have no clue.
    Thank for the nice laptop reviews you guys put out there!
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    The manufacturers I think bundle the smaller capacity DIMM for free so sell that and get a matching stick from NCIX or something.

    The way the asynchronous dual channel(Intel Flex Memory) works is only half of the greater capacity DIMM is transferring data simultaneously with the smaller DIMM.


    4GB + 2GB

    4GB stick: 2GB Dual channel + 2GB Single channel
    2GB stick: This is doubled up with half of the 4GB stick

    So in theory your max bandwidth is like 1.5 channels. Measured bandwidth is between single and dual channel too, but the complexity of splitting the greater capacity puts performance closer to a single channel in some applications.
  • mino - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    It does not work that way. In any mixed config the IMC falls back to a single-channel-like operating mode. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    It would be nice if you at least tried to do some research before making completely false statements. Flex memory works exactly as IU2k describes, with basic details here:

    Pretty much every Intel CPU/chipset since the P45/X38 has supported flex memory. All you have to do is check ARK:

    Quote: "Intel Flex Memory Technology -- Facilitates easier upgrades by allowing different memory sizes to be populated and remain in dual-channel mode." Don't confuse limitations of older chipsets and AMD's (older) IMC with current implementations.
  • silverblue - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    ...that Brazos isn't clocked higher nor operates on a dual channel memory bus. It would be amusing to expect a 500MHz GPU sporting a bandwidth limitation with a mobile part which is 650MHz and, with Turbo, 1.3GHz, and utilises a dual-channel bus, and that's well before we factor CPU performance into things.

    For what it does, Brazos is excellent, but people really shouldn't think of it as competition for Sandy Bridge. It's really not meant to be anywhere near close to it in terms of performance or price, and it's a shame that some manufacturers seem to have forgotten that. Unfortunately, as said before, Brazos machines may encroach on CULV territory...
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    An error and few points I'd like to make:

    "Even the U41JF can’t match the K53E for efficiency, despite underclocking the i3-380M to 700-900MHz (instead of the normal 933-1200MHz) and having a smaller 14” LCD."

    i3-380M is a 2.53GHz part. Why are you testing an underclocked version on the battery life test again?

    "What really impresses me is that you can get similar battery life (in light workloads) with either the dual-core or quad-core SND parts,"

    Huh. Equalizing to battery capacity:

    DC(QC) min/WHr

    Idle: 7.66(6.63) +15.5%
    Internet: 6.43(5.86) +9.7%
    H.264 playback: 4.77(3.66) +30.3%

    10-15% increase in battery life is not identical. Also, the screen on the QC system is larger, but sports a more efficient SSD drive. If the Hurry up and Get Idle works well, it would be better on the QC thanks to the SSD.

    "Ah, but the E-350 has a much better IGP, right?"

    I'm not sure whether that's a question or a statement. While the E-350 has a HD5450/5470 core, its severely bottlenecked by memory subsystem, in addition to having it share with the GPU, before the CPU differences.

    "The result is better battery life, but compared to Arrandale it’s not a huge change in two of our tests."


    Idle: 7.66(6.64) +15.3%
    Internet: 6.43(5.29) +21.6%
    H.264 playback: 4.77(3.07) +55.3%

    While Idle and Internet battery life isn't big as H.264, 15-20% battery isn't something minor. In fact, if you look back to Core 2 vs Core Duo and Penryn vs Merom comparisons, the battery gains are equal to 2x for the ones back then.

    Overall I think the DC Sandy Bridge is being underrated on the review. The asynchronous RAM is a bit of a sore to look at too. Last benchmark I put the bandwidth figure at somewhere between single and dual channel, and Intel documents indicate increased latency when transferring between sticks.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Our battery life testing has always targeted maximum battery life while still being able to complete all tasks. So with Core 2 Duo, Athlon II, Core i-series, etc. we've always set minimum CPU and maximum CPU to 0%, and enabled any special power saving features as applicable. (I should note that there are exceptions to the above: Atom, Brazos, and CULV/ULV have always been tested at 0/100% CPU settings, mostly because they are already slow--particularly Atom. The laptop needs to be able to play our H.264 video without stuttering or dropping frames.) On the ASUS U41JF, if you use the "Battery Saving" Power4Gear profile, it automatically underclocks and locks the CPU to run at no more than 900MHz. Running stock instead of underclocked reduces battery life by 5-10% as noted in the U41JF review. Finally, as I point out, it's interesting that for SNB, 0/0% actually reduces battery life compared to 0/100% CPU in two of the three battery tests--this is not the case with Arrandale.

    Regarding power efficiency: 10 to 15% better efficiency is "similar" in my book. The 30% difference in H.264 is a lot more pronounced, true. As for SSD vs. HDD, SSDs really don't use that much less power at idle, and often even under load. Look at the ASUS U30Jc with an SSD comparison: SSD wins by 7% at idle, HDD wins by 3% in the Internet, and the H.264 is a tie (0.3% difference). The 17.3" LCD vs. 15.6" LCD is going to be more than a 5% difference I'd bet, and the K53E actually has an LCD that appears to use very little power. The same applies to the comparison with Dell's E6410: 15-20% isn't massive in my book, but 55% certainly qualifies. It's better, yes, but not a huge change.

    Your E-350 comment is already addressed in the text if you don't take just one piece of the paragraph: "Ah, but the E-350 has a much better IGP, right? Well, maybe it’s better, but it’s certainly not faster than Intel’s HD 3000 when it’s bottlenecked by the CPU...." I suppose I can add "and memory bandwidth" for you though.

    Anyway, what individuals think of DC vs. QC Sandy Bridge is a matter of opinion. I was more impressed by QC, and if I could get QC over DC in the form factor I want that's what I'd do. Dell's XPS L502x for instance gives you both options, and with a moderately large 15.6" chassis the quad-core is an easy sell for me. Others might be more impressed with the dual-core stuff, but we've had dual-core Arrandale for a year and increasing battery life by 20% with 15-20% more performance is still "incremental" in my book.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    "What about AMD’s Fusion E-350 platform? If the 3DMark results hold in our actual gaming tests, Intel’s “horrible” HD 3000 IGP offers over twice the performance of the HD 6310M. In fact, even an Arrandale IGP would come within 10% of the E-350 results in 3DMark. It’s not that we love Intel or want them to pummel AMD, and we understand that the E-350 competes in a lower price bracket. Still, many people like to get carried away in discussions of how much better AMD’s graphics are compared to Intel’s IGP. That’s certainly true when you’re looking at discrete GPUs, and compatibility is still better with AMD and NVIDIA drivers, but the latest SNB IGP changed the status quo."

    What is this nonsense? You claim to understand that the E-350 competes in a lower price bracket. But it is obvious you simply cannot comprehend that there is a difference between a $50 part and a $225 part. Sandy Bridge is too expensive to ever change the status quo. That product line is so expensive that it changes nothing. Except you are paying the price of a discrete gpu, plus a hefty markup, to have an integrated gpu. Intel will not lower those prices even when llano blows it out of the sky for half the price.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Did you even read the whole conclusion? Where I repeatedly cede the sub-$600 territory to AMD? And I only mention Llano nine times throughout the review. Obviously nonsense.... Except, $600 SNB is now a viable alternative to what used to be $900 laptops. The U30Jc is slower in every regard than the current i5-2xxx CPUs -- the 310M can't keep up with HD 3000, and Arrandale can't keep up with SNB. So yes, that's "changing the status quo". Integrated graphics no longer suck quite as bad, to the point where HD 5470 is dead and so is G 310M. Reply
  • JPForums - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    H.264 content is a place where Sandy Bridge excels, however, and with only a 10 minute difference between the 11.6”-screen HP dm1z and the 15.6”-screen ASUS K53E it’s pretty clear that’s one metric where SNB is more efficient.

    SNB is probably more efficient at H.264 decode, but one fact makes it a little less than clear. Ironically, you point it out here:

    Setting the LCD to 100% brightness (instead of 50%, which corresponds with 100nits), idle battery life drops 10%. Put another way, the LCD uses an extra 0.87W at 205nits. That’s a very low figure for a 15.6” LCD, ...

    That does seem like a rather low power draw for a 15.6" and makes me wonder how much power HP's 11.6" draws. The question is purely academic, though, as I would be willing to sacrifice some battery life for a better looking screen. Further, 13.3" is about as small as I'll go.

    That aside, this article makes me wonder how well similarly equipped notebooks with Optimus technology will do. It would be nice to see some designs that get most of the battery life under normal usage while giving you the ability to game when you want. Hopefully, nVidia realizes that the GPU is no longer needed for H.264 decode with SNB and will leave the CPU to take care of it.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    All of the Optimus Arrandale stuff I tested used the IGP, because it was sufficient for H.264 decode. However, oddly enough the Optimus laptops never quite seem to get to the same battery life levels as the IGP-only systems. Okay, I only tested one of the latter (Dell Latitude E6410), but for a 14" chassis the relative battery life was much better than any other Arrandale laptop we tested.

    Perhaps the real culprit is the batteries: they all come with Wh ratings, but I can tell you from personal experience that some 2500mAh NiMH Energizer AA rechargeables have got nothing on 2000mAh NiMH Eneloop AA rechargeables. But unfortunately, I don't know of a good way to independently rate a laptop battery to say exactly how good it is--not without some sophisticated equipment (and tearing the batteries apart, which would likely be frowned on). So I "hope" that these Lithium Ion batteries are more consistent than NiMH, even if they're not.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I have some 2500 mAh Energizer AA batteries that I bought 4-5 years ago that are absolute trash. Even when new they self-discharged so fast that their apparent capacity was much lower than the rating. Fully charge them using an intelligent charger then leave them in a drawer for a few weeks and they would be dead. Nevermind low-discharge batteries like the Eneloop, even compared to other standard NiMH batteries they are awful.

    As far as Li-Ion batteries go it is relatively easy to test in a way that makes them look really good (third-party camera/phone batteries are infamous for this). I would hope that laptop batteries from well-known brands wouldn't follow the same pattern, but I suppose you never know.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I've noticed over the years that some laptop batteries will self-discharge at a faster rate than others. I've never really tried to determine how fast that rate is, but it would be interesting to fully charge every laptop battery I have, wait three weeks (with them unplugged), then check how much charge is remaining. Most laptop batteries seem to lose most of their charge within about three months, so they definitely wouldn't keep up with the Eneloop stuff. Reply
  • krumme - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    An e350 is 74mm2 - the same as Atom - this is exact numbers.
    The e350 is aprox 40usd (63usd list price - exact number) exactly the same as Atom d550 sans ion
    The e350 have fewer pins -> cheaper to integrate for the OEM than Atom

    How difficult is it to compare in the same segments?

    As an owner of an Intel sb e2520m machine (dell e6420) and an Atom nettop, i can safely say this Article is the most lousy and biased article for years.

    This leads to the most stupid buying decisions all over. Do you seriously think the e350 is a SB competitor?

    What a shame
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    You're simply not getting it: less than twice the cost, more than double (actually, quadruple CPU and double GPU) the performance. That's my point. If you want an inexpensive netbook, Brazos wins. If you want an all-around laptop, E-350 is better than Atom, but Atom was horrible. What exactly is stupid about telling people that Brazos isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread? It fills a niche, but for me Brazos is at best a secondary laptop.

    Or to rephrase: do you seriously think everyone should buy Brazos and forget about better options that cost more? What a shame.
  • krumme - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Who would have imagined the brazos came to 15.6" right off?

    Probably it will be all over even in desktops within the next year, when TSMC 40nm capacity expands big time.

    The OEM knows their market so the consumers clearly have a different view of performance than you and I do.

    Even with a ssd i cant tell the difference selecting max 50% perf., doing all the normal office stuff and hd video. The brazos is paired with normal hd, and its aparently just fast enough not to be noticed for the target group. And battery life is just okey. The target group would probably prefer more battery life if they could select themselves - if lower price was not possible.

    I think a review and the conclusions - with its interpretation of facts - should reflect the needs and the perspective of the target group.

    Sandy bridge is an excellent CPU with even better power management, but its like comparing a gtx570 to an 330m if you compare it to brazos. It doesnt make sense. Its different different segments, different purpose.

    If some less informed buyers - lets say the ones that buy cheap stuff - reads this article they might get the impression the HP brazos is very slow, and will select an Intel brand instead. And it will be Atom something not an i3/i5 or Llano - whatever - for that matter. And Brazos is the best since sliced bread compared to an Atom.

    Normal users dont use time installing programs or games, encode, whatever. And when they do they take a cup of coffee.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I spent almost half the conclusion talking about exactly this. I'm not sure what you want me to say more, other than you'd love for me to sing the praises of AMD and decry Intel has too expensive? Seriously:

    $300 to $500: Brazos C-50 or E-350 are hard to beat. If you want more performance with less battery life, Athlon/Turion/Phenom II are also available. Or wait a month for Llano and see how that compares.

    Above $600, right now there's no way I would recommend Brazos. There's also no way I would recommend a 15.6" Brazos laptop, just like I would laugh at a 15.6" Atom-based system. Brazos E-350 is about twice the CPU performance of Atom, but then CULV was already three times as fast as Atom. I bashed on Atom a lot, and I continue to do so; it's far too easy to beat Atom and thus the real target has to be Pentium and Celeron at the very least. I'm going to see if I can get an Arrandale Pentium or Celeron just to see how it compares, because I expect about 2x the performance of Brazos on the CPU with slightly slower graphics. Well, actually a lot slower, but Bobcat is the bottleneck.

    If anyone has $600 to spend on a laptop, they really shouldn't be looking at Brazos. Heck, even $500 is probably too much these days, considering all the options in that price range, unless you want small size and good battery life. If you can stomach the keyboard, Acer has the 1430Z (Pentium U5600) and the 1830T (i3-380UM) that are certainly viable alternatives to E-350.
  • krumme - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    With a house full of Intel computers, i am not here to judge Intel as expensive and AMD as cheap. I think the consumers know what they should pay for the benefits if fthey get it presented in a balanced way. And i dont disagree with you recommandations personally.

    My point is. People can decides for themselves what is good enough for them. They are experts on their own life. If they buy a brazos and dont complain afterwards its fine for me. I have seen so many people getting disapointed by Atom for reasons we all know - no hd youtube and slow surfing. When someone less informed reads this review - perhaps by chance using google - and look at the bottom of the charts - they migt get the impression brazos is the same stuff as Atom. And judged by their standards - their measurements intruments - brazos is very different from Atom. So it would be a wrong assessment from their view.

    And yes - right now the oem is ripping of brazos customers because of limited suply, - and because they can. But it just shows how brilliant the product is mm2 vs profitability. And yes AMD positioning this like pentium/celeron perf. is not just bs, but plain stupid for their long time brand building, as is the low performance parts eroding the brandvalue. But this is just AMD marketing performance as usual.
  • floersch - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Your General Performance charts identify the CPU of the Apple MBP13 2011 as an i5-2415M but your Gaming charts identify it as an i5-2515M. Are these two different machines or does one set of charts incorrectly identify the CPU? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    It's the 2415M... I'll correct the charts that have the wrong model number. Reply
  • floersch - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Thanks, Jarred, for the quick reply and for all of your excellent work. I always look forward to your analyses. Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I think it's coming pretty close to a decent price point for performance.

    I'd like to see these laptops ship with a free HD extender/docker. It shouldn't cost the company much and when swapping out that big ol' 5400 for a SSD, it'd be nice to have the device immediately, to dedicate it to backups/storage.

    What do you think?
  • veri745 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Why drop the E-350 from the comparisons when you get to medium settings? I would expect it does a lot better relative to HD 3000 when you start bumping up the graphics settings. Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Not really, because HD 3000 will have access to much more bandwidth than Brazos. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Because our medium settings typically run 25 to 50% slower than our low settings. Brazos manages to hit 30FPS in zero of the eight current games we're testing; do we need to show that it performs even worse at medium? Anyway, I actually did run MSI X370 at Medium settings. You can see the comparison (like many others) in Mobile Bench:
  • silverblue - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Think about it... even if Brazos is supposed to be priced much lower than low-end Sandy Bridge laptops, it doesn't follow that it will always work out that way. You shouldn't ever be paying more than $500 for a Brazos machine unless it's a sufficiently high quality build but right now that doesn't seem to be the case all of the time.

    Toms just made a comparison between three diffferent Brazos laptops ( ) and they came to the conclusion that chopping $50 off the price of a lot of these machines could really make Brazos stand out.

    What AMD should be doing is advertising Brazos as the true Atom competitor that it should be, at the very most CULV Celerons, instead of falsely positioning it as a competitor to Pentium setups.

    Just because such articles highlight overcharging and the advantage of spending not a huge amount more on something far more powerful, that doesn't make it an incorrect assessment. I expect that once there's more Brazos offerings on the market, manufacturers will have to lower prices in order to compete, and then there really will be a gulf in price between Brazos and Sandy Bridge, like there should be.
  • Tasslehoff Burrfoot - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I'm a little surprised this laptop has such a long battery life.

    If manufacturers put as good batteries to the fusion laptops as Asus put into this one they could last a looong, loong time.
  • krumme - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I have 97 Wh on my 2520 machine, and it last 10-12 hr for office work. Its just a little bit short even for light gaming for my 2-3 years old games imho, but besides from that, it just delivers in spades. The fan is never on, and the laptop is not hot. Even decoding hd there is only very, very little heat and noise. Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I think comparing the following two ASUS models would make interesting reading:

    The former is a Pentium with HD 5470 discrete graphics and carries a $100 price premium (and has recently been reduced $200).

    Acer do a cheaper Brazos laptop, however it's much larger at 15.6":
  • 789427 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I don't know but I just may be getting old.
    To me the notebooks are pretty much all fast enough unless you're going for a desktop replacement and quite frankly, I can't see myself without a desktop (I like my 23" monitor but would never carry it around)
    My on the go machine is a compaq 311c with 7200rpm 500gb HDD - a netbook and I never find myself apologizing for it's slowness.

    So I asked myself, what makes a notebook noteworthy...

    1. The right screen for the form factor
    2. Battery life
    3. Capabilities: can it play Blu-ray? 720p?
    4. Is it fast enough?
    5. does the keyboard work - or is it a Sony (Sorry Sony - you produced the worst keyboard ever in your netbook - can't remember the model)

    When I saw the AMD video of the new processors when a video was playing, excel calculating the hind legs off a donkey on Mars and switching between the lot, I realized that Benchmarks are extremely limited and don't have a relationship to the real-world .

    Real world benchmark: Hours of blu-ray playback
    Can I type emails, letters while watching a windowed movie?
    Can I watch while running a photoshop batch conversion? Text recognition?

    And for a gaming laptop - what games can I play...

    Am I nuts? Probably but somehow I think AMD is on to something. Oh wait... Apple is already there. How else could they charge the prices they do for a last-gen Intel CPU? It's by focusing on the entire build - especially the screen and design.
  • Pirks - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Apple did the right thing getting rid of this legacy shit and I'm waiting for other molasses slow PC vendors to follow their lead. You don't need any stupid touchpad buttons when you have tap, multitap and multitouch on your touchpad, it's 2011 not 2001 for ducks sake, why use legacy tech now? I don't get it. I never ever touched touchpad buttons on my Asus UL80Vt since its touchpad has same left right middle click and scroll with multitouch, Apple-like and pretty nice and convenient to use.

    Stop being such a retro man Jarred, let the museum stuff go, will ya? ;)
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    No thank you... I hate the Apple touchpad where you actually have to physically "click" it. Anyway, my point was that I'm glad there's no silly rocker button (i.e. UL80Vt) this time. I also happen to do things like pushing the left button and then dragging over an area to select. Yes, you can double-tap-and-drag, but that sucks IMO. Anyway, you know what they say about opinions and a-holes. :) Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I have to agree with Jarred. Tap to click == fail. Reply
  • ProDigit - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    I wonder when the first manufacturer is going to create a HTPC, booksized pc, or mini pc, with a mobile Corei7 chipset, together with a powerful mobile graphics card, or a very energy efficient desktop graphics card!

    I think there'd be a lot of interest in a 64 or 128GB SSD, 2 or 4 x 4GB 1800Mhz DDR3 memory, the corei7 2820-QM processor, an ATI Radeon HD 5000 or 6000 series graphics card that is not the best of the best, but offers highest quality dx11 gaming for 1080p screens, or fluid dx9 gaming on 3 screens, together with IR sensor and remote control, and uses very little power in standby.

    I see plenty of sub $100 variants with too slow processors to play back 1080p video on a tv.
  • drajitsh - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    posting after nearly 10 years.
    Well having followed Anandtech continuously for 11 years I do know a little bit about computers. therefore I get a pretty fair idea of the performance from the specs online and most vendors will give pics of their systems so any glaring ergonomic defects will be visible.
    Since sandybridge I just read the initial review for the platform, the for the subsequent reviews I go directly to the screen review. If, as is usually the case, the screen is pathetic I go back to my Galaxy Tab.
    I am a surgeon, so my tablet and my old core 2 duo more than take care of the bulk of my needs -- mainly web surfing, having memorised the keyboard shortcuts I find the ribbon interface clunky and obsteperous and even office 97 would probably do all the work I need.n hence open office and google docs.
    I am making do with my core 2 duo -- nice keyboard ( with real keys and not a chiclet monster) a 16:10 screen ( I have other options if I want to see movies and I like to see more of the webpages or documents). the one thing I cannot indulge is my hobby of photography. Probably will continue doing so till they come out with something with a better screen with a Adobe RGB gamut and taller than 16: 10.
    I guess I will be waiting for sometime still.
  • ProDigit - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    "There’s little (well, nothing really) to recommend an Atom netbook over a Brazos alternative at the $300 to $350 price bracket"

    You forget battery life, which is important for many!
    Atom netbooks have very low latency in audio applications, and have a long battery life.
    I rather pay $300 for a netbook that does basic computing for 10 hours, than pay $400 for a neo that can do basic gaming, but only lasts 4 hours on battery!
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Brazos C-50 starts at $325, so it's within spitting distance of the Atom N550 (dual-core), and it still has a substantially better IGP -- though it's mostly useful for video as opposed to gaming on the C-50. C-50 is also a lower power and better battery life option, though it may not match the best Atom netbooks. Still, I'm not sure most people need more than 10 hours of battery life, which is what we're talking about at this point.

    AMD's E-350 is better/faster, but it's also more expensive. I'd be quite surprised if Atom netbooks offered better audio latency. Only thing really missing is a good ASUS equivalent of the 1001P, only with C-50. Right now, the only 10.1" C-50 (or Brazos) netbook comes from Acer, who doesn't have the best reputation. If you're interested, though, the Acer Aspire One 522 is on sale for $300 at Micro Center right now.
  • krumme - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - link

    Have you ever tried an Atom? - if i would say you are a very patient man :)

    There is absolutely none in my family, with very patient female computer users i tell you, who havnt complained about the speed for basic task like surfing and office use.

    In my entire life i have met one person who didnt complain - all other - who thought all computers were the same - have complained. Atom just showed them - who did forget about the old age and windows 95 on 8Mb ram, that computer actually can be different.

    What i am pretty comfident about is, that all those user would have been pretty sattisfied with an e350, and stayed in their beliewe there was no difference.

    I think it just underlines that Intel and AMD have trouble for the future. The cpu/gpu is just fine as they is now. Then there is just the fight for cost, and it means lower earnings on the traditional markets.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I was perfectly happy with the one Atom system I have used extensively - the carputer I built in my last car was based around an Atom 330. with 1GB RAM and a 200GB 7200 RPM HDD the only time there was ever any delay running the Centrafuse front-end interface was when a module was first loading after a restart. So for limited uses Atom is fine, so long as the software and experience are designed for that level of performance. Reply
  • krumme - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    Yeaa, and my atom stream audio fine, and does not feel slow as long as i do not touch it.

    Atom was not build for anything but tv boxes, competing with arm. And therefore it does not work when anandtech, promotes sb at the expense of bobcat, because it indirectly leads the consumers to tv box computer power. And that is the unintended effect of theese articles.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    So Atom running a custom OS will be much better, obviously. Heck, even Atom chips (by PC standards) are going to be twice as fast as the best smartphone chips -- not on the GPU side, though, but that's a different story. But if you were to go out and buy a laptop for use as a Windows PC, there's still a big gap between $400 laptops and $700 laptops -- more than a 2X increase in performance for less than double the price.

    My experience is that given the choice (i.e. money not a consideration), no one would want less performance from their laptop. SNB dual-core should be good enough to fit in 13.3" laptops that weigh around 4 lbs., and priced at around $800 (or less) that's a great portable PC. Bobcat will go into smaller devices and offer slightly better battery life, but it's still slower (too slow) on some tasks -- e.g. video transcoding, Flash browser games, and anything else that's computationally intensive will be much better on SNB. So again, Brazos is basically for those who value price more than most other areas.

    On a related note, I'd be shocked if any major business tried to replace current generation Arrandale laptops with Brazos laptops. Heck, they wouldn't even replace Core 2 Duo laptops with Brazos. Businesses want a balanced laptop, generally speaking, and right now Intel gives you more performance with good battery life for a reasonable price. AMD competes on the desktop and laptop with lower prices, but when productivity is money, why would you save $150 only to have your employees waste hours of time over the next year? (Well, they'll waste time regardless, but they'll waste even *more* time waiting for a slow computer.)

    Long-term, it will be very interesting to see what happens with Windows 8. Windows 7 can run on Atom, but it's clearly a different experience than Win7 on even something like CULV or Brazos. ARM-based SoCs are sort of Brazos, except they're even slower on the CPU side of the fence (and slower on GPU as well). Win8 will need some major changes relative to Win7 to make it viable on tablet and laptop devices running such SoCs.
  • krumme - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    IT is not a strategic subject for top management anymore.

    A few years back, they would spend time talking TCO, cost outsourcing, but today is different.
    They just dont want to hear about it, and spend valuable time on it. For good reason.

    SAP is running for everyone and his brother, the oursourcing is in place. Who cares if its a Dell or HP machine except in IT.

    And the IT director, who ofen is an economis, hardly knows what a CPU is. It matters so little no one cares just a few stop up the chain.

    The replacement of computers is just done regulary say every 3 years, and what Dell/HP chooses to put in their computers is their business.

    If something is interesting about the computers today its screen, keyboard, battery and foremost quality.

    The cost differences for a brazos compared to a sb is so slim, it doesnt matter. But lets say the next brazos 28nm q4?, have nearly double the batterylife and a solid turbo, then i think there is a chance we will se a lot of ultra portable business laptops with them.

    Except for 10% of the business users i think we are waiting for the HD not the cpu. Therefore i think we will se more cheap ssd and even more noise and battery friendly cpu/gpu in the next generation - standard roll out - business leasing deals.

    But as said, for the professional side its just mostly TCO today, and for the consumer side its just more and more cost, cost, cost. Perhaps they are saving for an IPAD3 ? :)
  • tomycs2007 - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    "15.6" WLED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)
    (AU Optronics B156XW02 v6)"
  • TegiriNenashi - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    As long as its display has puny vertical 768 pixels resolution. Please bring back 16:10 aspect ratio! Reply

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