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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  • flyck - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    don't forget to look to different sites also...

    example:
    http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Zacate-E350-Pro...

    Totally different picture... power consumption for system is on a whole other level for those systems, advantage to zacate.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    where are going to stop making a total fool out of yourself on every intel - amd based review?

    Anandtech totally lack any decent compare with ULV based solution where the real competition is. yes the atom d525 will be on par performance wise cpu but not gpu unless you combine it with ion2 and yet you will have between 30-60% more powerconsumption, not to mention total platform cost. for initial release E-350 is fine, they just need some higher performing parts which can arrive real soon when the platform matures.

    TDP has nothing to say here even a D510 consumes more then the E-350 and that is rated at 13W....

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=1039&type...

    graphics is bad? it is at least playable on this kind of level now - netbooks, something intel can't and most games are even faster then current intel. only on some cpu limited you see brazos going down against i series which is btw a 35W part and higher clock cpu+gpu... wait until you see some ULV compares how low they are.....

    Intel SB will hurt there budget/ASP big time if they need to compete against zacate, by that time you will also see higher rated zacate.
    Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Fact is Brazos still struggles with certain games that require high CPU power.

    I really don't see the point of this product. The GPU is better than Atom products yes, but it's not good enough for a lot of popular games. People will still be disappointed if they buy a Brazos netbook or laptop only to discover it struggles to play a lot of popular games.

    Intel is aiming Atom at really small devices like smartphones. Currently, Brazos power consumption is too high for something like smartphones. So is Atom, but Intel will greatly improve that with upcoming SoC Atom products.

    As for people who want a netbook but don't need gaming, current products on the market are already "good enough".

    Sure maybe Brazos might fit for those that want to watch HD videos on a netbook, but that is a small niche market.
    Reply
  • SandmanWN - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Seems like a bunch of bad assumptions that don't take into account that there will most likely be different CPU speeds for this processor that address your very issues. Its just a review sample. It could indicate the low end of the line or middle or upper. We just don't know yet.

    Given AMD's years of release history. They start low and work their way up the speed spectrum.
    Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    We "don't know"?

    Are you for real?

    The E-350 is AMD's top end Brazos product. Anand has stated this, and so have several other sites. You really think AMD will offer a Brazos platform at launch with higher performance than the E-350?

    All the other Brazos products will perform worse than the E-350 at launch, not better, since this is the top-end Brazos that was tested.
    Reply
  • NullSubroutine - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Who buys a net-book to specifically game? While you can play certain games, at low quality, the purpose of this Fusion system is to have a low power system that can still do what the majority of people BUY netbooks for...internet, email, youtube, etc. All of this is achieved with better performance than the Atom.

    I normally look forward to Anand's reviews as he usually does some of the best, but this article was very disappointing. Testing the system against the higher performing, higher power consumption chips is one thing, its always good to have a reference point. But to compare and base a conclusion against what is not its market or competition point? Utterly disingenuous.
    Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Atom is already "good enough" for internet, email, and youtube. Unless you watch HD videos on a netbook of course. I've used netbooks with Atom for regular tasks like email, internet and the performance is good enough for those tasks.

    But then, I would have to question why even bother watching HD videos on a netbook? That is almost as pointless as gaming on a netbook.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Monday, November 22, 2010 - link

    Atom is junk for any HD content, everyone knows that. You cant even hook it up to a higher res screen or TV due to lack of ports under the intel regime. Its a whole different story with Brazos. VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort - all possible.

    So, while this puppy can actually playback HD material, you can even use it to play it back on your TV if you wish. Thats just one of the things that puts it in another league than the Atom platform.

    Next would be the possibility of light GPGPU applications. YYes, AMD had that in mind too when they called it Accelerated Processing Unit.

    But since you seem to be the authority on what everybody could ever want to do with their netbook, all this is irrelevant.

    Get the hell out of here, fanboy.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Updated with Arrandale ULV results :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Griswold - Monday, November 22, 2010 - link

    So many words, so little sense. You should have spared us this load of horseshit. Reply

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