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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  • duploxxx - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    When you mention this:

    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.

    and you only post mainly multithreaded apps which are fooled by the HT people off course get a different idea about the final product..... Atom is slow for booting and loading apps, perhaps a real world timing once the final silicon is there and compare the actual timing will give the brazos credit what it needs, afterall its 40nm vs 32nm and first silicon vs 2e revision.

    so in the end not that bad, but AMd needs at least a 1.8-2.0GHZ brazos to compete in the 400-500$ range, that should be easy to get, they don't need more gpu power.

    btw where is the stated 25W brazos amd has up its sleeves for the ultra low end desktop platform. THey can easily use it for notebooks.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    sorry anandtech, really big fan of your site, always the first site i will read, but this round other sites have done a much better job then your review. Again even your conclusion is totally off then others who are comparing the right platforms against each other....

    pcperspective really shows platforms, power consumption and guess what the results are :)

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=1039&type...
    Reply
  • Khato - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Eh, I wouldn't say other sites have done a better job, rather they just present different information. Given the fact that I was primarily interested in GPU performance aspects, the Anandtech review is far more useful far as I'm concerned.

    That said, the direct comparison against a celeron SU2300 ION platform is indeed interesting. A core 2 duo based celeron at 1.2GHz bests the 1.6GHz 'brazos' in CPU performance on all but the MP3 encode benchmark, which could just as easily be due to differences in the SSD used as the CPU. Sure the power numbers are impressive, but that's quite to be expected on a demo system - it'll be interesting to see how much that goes up on actual retail systems. aka, how stripped down and tweaked was the demo system in order to get idle power that low. It's basically equal to the SU2300 + ION on dynamic power according to those numbers.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    they all had the same amount of ram and all had ssd in that review, so it is really comaprable, where this review showed lots of different setups. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    My goal was to compare to the type of CPUs you'd find in other $400 - $500 notebooks, mainly ~2.2GHz 1MB L2 Conroe/Merom based CPUs and 2.26GHz Arrandale based chips - both of which you'll see in the review.

    I agree we needed to include some ULV results, so this morning I added data from a simulated i3-330UM (1.2GHz) across the board :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • khimera2000 - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    intresting... I have to say that I got more out of this review then i did with anand since it uses the profile i would consider buying. I would not consider getting one of these chips for a notebook so the comparison against notebook chips are kinda lost to me.

    I was intrestead to see how much performance VS how much batterylife this new platform has since i already have a powerful desktop, a comprable notebook I dont need to know how fast a notebook is if its not hitting close to the 8 hour battary mark.

    If i where to get one of these it would be for long flights and train rides, it would be for the children in my family, and it would be for the older people who are not as tech enabled. as it stands the questoins i had in mind where not easily answerd by anantech's review.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    You've created Atom like performance with a slightly better GPU, way, way too late in the game.

    I thought the Dual core 1GHz and single core 1.2GHz would be more competitive with Atom 1.6, but looking at these results, those are in with no hope at all.

    This is poor.
    Reply
  • flyck - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    read the reviews..... performance is better in multithreaded applications than Atom525 with HT and single threaded is 60% faster....

    gpu is better than ion which atom needs.

    powerdraw on idle is LOWER than single core Atom and equal for cpu intensive tasks but higher in games.
    Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Games which Atom cannot play in the first place.
    Not without Ion which makes the battery life goes boom anyway ...

    Those GPU's are eating electrons like crazy when doing its job. Sneaky beasts, aren't they ? :D
    Reply
  • Khato - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    Really? It's power draw on idle is under the 7 watts measured on Anandtech for the single-core atom N450 Asus 1005PE? Maybe it's power consumption under load is lower than the 9.5 watts for that system?

    Yeah, power consumption figures vary wildly from system to system, especially when comparing netbook/notebook type designs to nettop/desktop. It's rather clear that the brazos test platform is a netbook/notebook type design and hence has no business being compared to nettop/desktop designs on power consumption.
    Reply

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