Memory and Cache Latencies

The Brazos platform was configured with 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory. The IDF system had memory running at DDR3-1333, however AMD had to decrease clocks presumably to meet validation requirements for final silicon. I measured an 86.9ns trip to main memory, a 3 cycle L1 and a ~22 cycle L2 cache. That's a lower latency memory interface than Atom or Core 2 based processors, but a higher latency L2.

CPU Performance: Better than Atom, 90% of K8 but Slower than Pentium DC

Adobe Photoshop CS4 - Retouch Artists Benchmark

AMD's performance target for Bobcat was 90% of the performance of K8 at the same clock speed and our Photoshop CS4 benchmark shows that AMD can definitely say that it has met that goal. At 1.6GHz the E-350 manages to outperform a pair of K8s running at 1.5GHz in the Athlon X2 3250e. Unfortunately for AMD, Intel's Pentium dual-core running at 2.2GHz is much quicker. Most notebooks in the $400+ range have at least a 2.2GHz Pentium. Even the Atom D510 isn't far behind.

AMD tells me that in general purpose integer tasks, the E-350 should do well and it may even exceed AMD's 90% design target. However in higher IPC workloads, for example many floating point workloads, the E-350 is constrained by its dual issue front end. In these situations, the out of order engine is starved for instructions and much of Bobcat's advantage goes away.

x264-HD Benchmark - 1st Pass

Our x264 HD test has the E-350 performing within 86 - 92% of the Athlon X2 3250e, once again meeting AMD's design targets. Unfortunately, this isn't much faster than an Atom - mostly thanks to Atom's Hyper Threading support. Although not an out of order architecture, Atom gets a healthy efficiency boost by being able to execute instructions from two threads per core. Once again, compared to a 2.2GHz Pentium, the E-350 isn't close. Even VIA's dual core Nano is faster. When it comes to power consumption however, the E-350 can't be touched. I measured max system power consumption at 25.2W while running the x264 encode test. With the exception of the Atom D510, the rest of the desktop platforms here consume much more than that at idle (much less under load).

x264-HD Benchmark - 2nd Pass

3dsmax 9 - SPECapc CPU Benchmark

Despite being a offline 3D rendering benchmark, our 3dsmax 9 test does fall in line with expectations. The E-350 delivers 92% of the performance of the Athlon X2 3250e and outperforms the Atom D510 by 26%. Unfortunately for AMD, the Pentium dual-core holds onto a significant performance advantage here. Clock for clock, Bobcat won't be able to do much against anything Core 2 based. The real advantage here will be GPU performance.

Single Threaded Performance

Cinebench R10 - Single Threaded

In most of our benchmarks the performance advantage over Atom isn't huge, yet using Brazos is much better than using an Atom based machine. It all boils down to one thing: single threaded performance. Atom can make up for its deficiencies by executing a lot of threads in parallel, but when you're bound by the performance of a single thread the E-350 shines. The E-350 is 65% faster than the Atom D510 in the single threaded Cinebench R10 test. It's this performance advantage that makes the E-350 feel so much quicker than Atom.

The Core i3-330UM manages a 46% performance advantage over the E-350. Even in the ultraportable Arrandale ULV space at lower clocks, AMD still leaves a lot of CPU performance on the table. The advantage here will be cost. A single E-350 is less than 40% of the die area of a Core i3-330UM. You may not get the same CPU performance, but performance per mm^2 is much higher. 

Cinebench R10 - Multithreaded

In the multithreaded Cinebench test Atom is able to catch up quite a bit, but the E-350 still holds an 11% advantage.

File Compression/Archive Recovery Performance

Our final two CPU tests are both multithreaded and they show the E-350 equaling and falling behind the performance of the 1.5GHz Athlon X2. As we explained earlier, the gap between the E-350 and Atom shrinks as you add more threads to the workload.

Par2 - Multi-Threaded par2cmdline 0.4

WinRAR 3.8 Compression - 300MB Archive

Setting Performance Expectations Desktop IGP Comparison: Faster than Clarkdale
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  • mino - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Troll spoken. Beware.
  • redisnidma - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    After reading this preview, I am starting to believe the rumors floating around in the web about Anand's bias to intel. Shame on him if it's true.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    I don't believe that's true :) Is there anything in the article that you believe incorrectly stated the performance of the E-350 vs. its price (2.2GHz Pentium DC/i3-350) and power competitors (Atom)?

    Take care,
  • mino - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Problem is not the numbers themselves.
    It is the focus of the article to workstation/gaming market along with an unfortunate selection of benchmarks.

    For the uninitiated without a gift of reading between the lines, the whole article comes out saying "Oh, another over-hyped CPU crap from AMD barely matching a 2yrs old Intel Atom. Lets move on to discuss some important SB rumors".
  • khimera2000 - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    I am starting to get that feeling to unfortionately. Ive read this sight for a long time although i only this year started posting it does look like the language used is getting more and more lop sided, Although i still enjoy reading the sight im just not getting what I use to get out of there reviews.

    Then again I can be byast because of the AMD 6xxx reviews... which did feel vary vary bias, and was blasted not for the reviewing and conclusion but the choice of componants for testing. at least thats how i see it.
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Are you serious? The gaming market was compared because well, you know, AMD HYPED Bobcat for gaming!

    This is ridiculous. AMD hyped gaming performance and GPU performance for Brazos, and therefore gaming benchmarks are perfectly applicable in this situation.

    If AMD talks the talk, they need to walk the walk. AMD should have never hyped the GPU performance or gaming performance of Brazos in the first place, given that Brazos struggles in a variety of gaming situations.
  • mino - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    No, AMD did not "HYPE" Bobcat for gaming.
    It said that Zacate is a game changer that provides discrete-class performance to the APU market.
    That market is currently represented by a really mediocre Atom APU's that can not even launch the games, not to mention playing them.

    It actually went out of its way NOT to hype Ontario by excluding it from its Fusion branding.
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Zacate is not a game-changer, because it does NOT provide "discrete class" GPU performance.

    Bobcat was hyped through the hyping of Zacate.
  • silverblue - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    But it obviously DOES provide discrete-class GPU performance. Low end, yes, but it still fulfills its purpose. And for far less power than the low-end discrete cards will use.
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    I am starting to believe the rumors of more and more AMD PR people infiltrating tech websites are true ...

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