AMD enters the ultraportable market with a bang.
This isn’t our first time looking at the new AMD Fusion APU; our review for the Zotac Zbox AD03 has been up for a couple of weeks already. However, the Zbox AD03 review focused on the HTPC as a whole; today I’ll be looking at the AMD E-350 APU in particular.
Over the last few years AMD has been absent from the netbooks and nettops market. They obviously did have onboard solutions since a long time, but nothing that could compete in the same category as Intel Atom processors. Then of course Nvidia soon came out with their ION based chipsets that allows a decent level of low-end gaming performance. AMD and ATI were left out in the cold. Now with AMD’s new direction with integrating both CPU and GPU on one die, resulting in a cooler and a more power efficient processor, or APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) as AMD likes to call it.
So the AMD Fusion E-350 that I have for review comes on an ASUS E35M1-M motherboard. The Mini-ATX sized board is designed for HTPC. The ASUS E35M1-M gets its namesake from the E-350 APU as well as the Hudson M1 chipset onboard. The onboard APU, the Brazos E-350 has two ‘Bobcat’ cores running at 1.6GHz as well as the AMD HD 6310 integrated Zacate graphics. Keep in mind that the HD 6310 supports DX11, but it’s not exactly setting the charts on fire as you’ll see in the benchmarks.
The whole idea behind the AMD Fusion APUs is to provide a better experience than Intel’s Atom CPUs while at the same time also providing the power of the integrated graphics to provide an overall basic entertainment experience. This is true for netbooks and nettops, but in HTPCs it’s a slightly different story.