AMD enters the ultraportable market with a bang.
Since the E-350 has an HD 6310 graphics processor onboard, and since it supports DX11, I thought I may as well run 3DMark 11 (Entry) on it. What followed was an awesome slideshow of pretty 3D scenes, resulting in a score of E444. Hey, at least DX11 works, right!
Second I decided to take it down two notches and run 3DMark 06. Running it on default settings gave me a score of 2012 points. Lower than what I was expecting. However, you will soon learn that it’s not the HD 6310 that’s the weaker component here.
For my final test, I decided to go with a real world scenario and run StarCraft II on it. With everything set to low, and a resolution of 1280×720, I got an average fps of 22 fps.
Since the ASUS E35M1-M has a PCIe x16 slot (with x4 lanes), I thought I may as well throw in our Zotac GTX 580 AMP! Edition and run the last two benchmarks again; just to see how much of a bottleneck the two Bobcat cores really were. 3DMark 06 returned back a slightly improved 4865 points and StarCraft II (on the same settings) yielded 24 fps. So it’s definitely the two Bobcat cores running at 1.6GHz that are pulling the HD 6310 GPU down. Too bad, since I was expecting better gaming performance from the E-350. I guess my dreams of playing games at reasonable settings on a netbook are still far away from reality.
As an HTPC, the E-350 behaved very nicely indeed. I mean, paltry gaming performance aside, the 1080p performance of the ASUS E35M1-M is just as good as the Zotac Zbox AD03. It’s interesting to note that the ASUS E35M1-M comes with passive cooling from a respectably sized heatsink (and the option to install a small fan on top). On passive cooling I got idle temperatures of 50°C and full load temperatures were close to 54°C. With the fan on top, idle temperatures got to 48°C, but load temperatures remained the same, i.e. at 54°C.
So yes, AMD’s Brazos succeeded in beating the Intel Atom CPUs, and the gaming performance isn’t all that bad when you consider this is a netbook level CPU/GPU (APU), so this is definitely an improvement and a step in the right direction for this segment. I look forward to AMD (and Intel’s) further advancement in this section, but for now, not a bad start from AMD. Let’s see where this road takes them in the future.