Setting Performance Expectations

AMD provided this slide of PCMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage performance of Brazos compared to its existing mobile platforms (Danube and Nile):

If you look at the PCMark Vantage numbers you'll see that AMD's E-350 provides roughly the same performance as an Athlon V120. That's a single core, 45nm chip running at 2.2GHz with a 512KB L2 cache. Or compared to a dual core processor, it's within striking distance of the Athlon Neo K325 which features two cores running at 1.3GHz and 1MB L2 per core. The GPU performance however tells a very important story. While AMD's previous platforms offered a great deal of CPU performance and an arguably imbalanced amount of GPU performance, Brazos almost does the opposite. You get a slower CPU than most existing mainstream platforms, but a much better GPU.

In the sub-$500 market, you're not going to get much in the way of a discrete GPU. What AMD is hoping for is that you'll be happy enough with Brazos' CPU performance and be sold on its GPU performance and total power consumption. From AMD's standpoint, there's not much expense involved in producing a Zacate/Ontario APU, making Brazos a nice way of capitalizing on mainstream platforms. The 75mm2 die itself is smaller than most discrete GPUs as well as anything Intel is selling into these market segments.


AMD's Zacate APU, 19mm x 19mm package, 413 balls, 75mm^2 die

The Comparison

Brazos, like Atom, will fight a two front war. On the one hand you have the price comparison. The E-350 will be found in notebooks in the $400 - $500 range according to AMD. That puts it up against mainstream notebooks with 2.2GHz Intel Pentium DC and 2.26GHz Core i3-350M processors. Against these platforms, Brazos won't stand a chance as far as CPU performance goes but it should do very well in GPU bound games. I've included results from a 2.2GHz Pentium dual-core part (1MB L2 cache) as well as a simulated Core i3-350M in the mobile IGP comparison.

The other front is, of course, the ultraportable space. Here you'll see the E-350 go head to head with dual-core Atom, Core 2 ULV and Arrandale ULV parts. AMD's CPU performance should be much more competitive here. From this camp we've got the Atom D510 (close enough to the N550) and a simulated Core i3-330UM. The expectations here are better CPU performance than Atom, but lower than Arrandale ULV. GPU performance should easily trump both.

Introduction CPU Performance: Better than Atom, 90% of K8 but Slower than Pentium DC
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  • sinigami - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    sure, they run at different frequencies, and if you could turn up the clock speed of zacate's GPU, then it might be the champ. But as it stands now, in the real world, according to anand, there is NO zacate GPU that can run that fast. Regardless of wishful thinking, the best Zacate only won one test, out of three, against intel's GPU.

    Can ANYONE (besides AMD's propaganda demo) show ANY more benchmarks where Zacate or Ontario or Brazos can beat Intel's Clarkdale integrated on-chip graphics?
    Reply
  • texasti89 - Sunday, November 21, 2010 - link

    The CPU performance of this product line is way below what i expected from AMD and the hype around it's architecture. Brad Burgess and his team should go back to the white board and refine their way of tackling the given performance/power constraints without sacrificing this huge CPU performance. Bobcat is OoO arch. even though it can handle 2 threads as opposed to 4 threads in Atom, it should give a marginal advantage. 18 w is still not a tight constraint to justify the poor performance I see in this overview.

    I'm really disappointed. Many architectural details of this processor will be similar in the Bulldozer design. I hope the latter won't carry the same degree of failure.

    I totally agree with some inputs here .. what's the point of having a discrete-class graphics perofmrance in a machine that barely faster than the crappy Atom-based counterparts??
    Reply
  • sinigami - Monday, November 22, 2010 - link

    >>> "what's the point of having a discrete-class graphics performance in a machine that's barely faster than the crappy Atom-based counterparts??"

    and of course AMD is hyping the graphics performance too: i keep hearing that it's faster than the integrated graphics on an Intel Core i5 661, yet there is no evidence of that.

    do not fall for the propaganda: the GPU part is NOT stronger than the current integrated crap from Intel, or nVidia's ION, or even AMD's Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics.
    Reply
  • texasti89 - Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - link

    IMO, AMD has the full capacity to deliver the competitive GPU performance level they want. Their graphics division is doing extraordinary job, and I don't think intel will EVER be able to catch AMD in the graphics part.

    What i'm really worried about, for the sake of our interests (the customers), is the terrible progress this company has made in the CPU development since 2005 compared to the giant chip. After the uter failure of Intel's Larrabee project, AMD now becomes the only entity in the world that has x86 license and the necessary technology to fuse high class GPUs and x86 processors into heterogeneous cores with overall performance never seen before. It's really sad to see how the outcome of "Fusion" starts out this way. I hope the upcoming products live up to the hype of this very promising project.

    From marketing point of view, Brazo platform will take some attention only if it's "dirt cheap" .. I don't like this path AMD been taking last few years in the CPUs.
    Reply
  • Mishera - Friday, December 17, 2010 - link

    Anand, I believe you forgot Amd's predecessor in this market in the neo and 750 combination. I think this is where Amd is positioning their Zadcate chips. Could you add this combination in you next benchmarks? Reply
  • phillipguy - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    I know this is an older post but I was thinking of buying the Sony VAIO VPC-YB13KX/S 11.6-Inch Laptop.
    From what I read I believe this AMD E-350 has better performance than my Atom 330 on my Asus Eee PC 1201N. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

    My question is does the AMD E-350 have AMD-V support?
    I ask because I will be running Ubuntu Linux as my operating system but I'll also like to run Mac OSX Server in a Virtual Machine (virtual box) however it requires hardware virtualization.
    (Sorry if you mentioned this in your post however it's a really long and I understand about 20% of it all) LOL

    THANK YOU!!
    Reply
  • zero13th - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    yes, it support amd-v Reply

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