Mobile IGP Comparison

I narrowed down the platforms for our mobile IGP comparison. I simulated a Core i3 350M by taking an i3-530, underclocking it (I couldn't do anything about the 4MB vs. 3MB L3 cache) and capping its GPU frequency at 667MHz. This is the best case scenario for the i3-350M, and as you'll see below, it doesn't really matter. I also paired a 2.2GHz Pentium Dual-Core with a G45 motherboard, agian simulating the cheaper mobile Pentium platform. Finally I installed Windows 7 on the 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo based 11-inch MacBook Air with its GeForce 320M to give you an idea of the upper bound for mobile performance with what might as well be a low end discrete GPU.

Updated: I've added performance results from a simulated Core i3-330UM, the E-350's competition in ultra portables.

We'll start with Modern Warfare 2:

Mobile IGP Comparison - Modern Warfare 2 - 1024 x 768 - Low Quality

The E-350 puts the i3-350M, i3-330UM and Pentium DC to shame, delivering 67% better performance. The frame rate is just shy of being totally smooth however. I found that in most modern games 1024 x 768 would result in frame rates just under 30 fps.

Mobile IGP Comparison - BioShock 2 - 1024 x 768 - Low Quality

BioShock 2 showed a similar performance advantage. Again we're not able to break 30 fps but the performance advantage is huge compared to the Intel platforms with integrated graphics.

Mobile IGP Comparison - Dragon Age: Origins - 1024 x 768 - Low Quality

Dragon Age: Origins is mostly CPU bound at low quality settings and thus there's no real advantage to the E-350's Radeon HD 6310 GPU. It's faster than the Pentium/G45 platform, but significantly slower than the i3-350M. I expect most games however to be GPU bound at these settings across the board.

Mobile IGP Comparison - World of Warcraft - 1366 x 768 - Fair Quality

World of Warcraft continued the trend. The E-350 ended up 57% faster than the i3-350M, although still fell short of a discrete GPU.

Of course I wondered how well Brazos would play Starcraft 2:

Mobile IGP Comparison - Starcraft 2 GPU Test - 1366 x 768 - Low Quality

The GPU handles SC2 just fine, however the game is very CPU dependent and thus you see a pretty big advantage from the mainstream i3 system. The comparison is a lot closer when we look at the i3-330UM. The E-350 won't be able to play SC2 as well as a $500 mainstream notebook, but it'll be comparable to an ultraportable running ULV Arrandale.

We don't have numbers for the G45 platform here because the system wouldn't run our benchmark (our tests use an older version of SC2 which apparently had issues with the G45 drivers).

Our SC2 CPU test gives you an idea of the lower end of performance in large multiplayer battles:

Mobile IGP Comparison - Starcraft 2 CPU Test - 1366 x 768 - Low Quality

The E-350 offers only 58% of the performance of the i3-350M system. The Bobcat cores do hold the platform back from time to time. Again, compared to the i3-330UM there's no performance difference at all.

Just for kicks I also ran the Civilization V benchmark, which gave us two datapoints: GPU performance and no-render/CPU performance.

Mobile IGP Comparison - Civilization V - DX10/DX11 - 1366 x 768 - Low Quality

The benchmark doesn't score well on either platform, although AMD does hold a 72% performance advantage over the i3 and G45 platforms. The CPU test puts the E-350 at about 55% of the speed of the Pentium dual core platform.

Mobile IGP Comparison - Civilization V - DX10/DX11 - 1366 x 768 - Low Quality

Civ V is one area where the Arrandale CPU advantage wins out over GPU performance.

Overall, the E-350 has no problems outperforming any of the current Intel integrated graphics offerings in 3D games. In CPU bound titles the E-350 loses out to the mainstream i3, but is competitive with ultra low voltage i3s. Just as with Atom, you'll have to sacrifice performance vs. a mainstream notebook, but compared to low voltage Arrandale the E-350 can hold its own.

Desktop IGP Comparison: Faster than Clarkdale Final Words


View All Comments

  • flyck - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

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


    Totally different picture... power consumption for system is on a whole other level for those systems, advantage to zacate.
  • 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....

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Updated with Arrandale ULV results :)

    Take care,
  • 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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