First AMD Zacate APU benchmark results emerge

By on November 16, 2010, 7:25 AM
Last week, AMD offered a peek at the first Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) designed for sub-$500 ultraportable, netbook and nettop systems. The chips in question are part of the upcoming Brazos platform which itself comprises two APU categories: "Ontario" is the codename for the low-voltage (9W or less) parts that will rival Intel's Atom, while "Zacate" uses up 18W of power and should target Intelís range of CULV processors.

Besides talking up the architecture and platform, AMD revealed the actual SKUs that will launch in early 2011, alongside their respective specs, but today the embargo on benchmark numbers has finally been lifted and the first reports are starting to trickle out. The specific processor that testers got their hands on was the AMD E-350 with AMD Radeon HD 6310 Graphics (dual-core CPU @ 1.6GHz, DX11 GPU @ 500MHz). This is the quickest Zacate part and was tested using Windows 7 x64, a 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300, and 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM.


Note that this configuration isnít typical of notebooks in the sub-$500 price range but itíll have to do for now. Overall, the verdict seems to be youíll get performance pretty much on par with Intel's entry-level CULV and CULV 2010 processors, though with better graphics performance. Itís faster than Atom -- but of course these two wonít compete in the same segment Ė and also manages to outperform a pair of K8s running at 1.5GHz in the Athlon X2 3250e in some tests. On the other side of the spectrum, however, Intel's Pentium dual-core running at 2.2GHz was consistently much quicker than an E-350 in tests run by Anandtech, who notes that most notebooks in the $400+ range have at least a 2.2GHz Pentium.

In terms of power consumption the Zacate-based system maxed out at 25.2W while running an x264 encode test. Thatís for the entire system, and with the exception of the Atom D510, the rest of the platforms tested used much more than that at idle. So while AMD isn't going to impress with raw performance it will have the advantage in power draw and GPU performance. You can check out more details and a full range of tests over at Anandtech, Tech Report, and PC Per.




User Comments: 8

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cardriverx said:

Gotta admit, I am sorta dissapointed. At least the GPU did well.

bakape said:

cardriverx said:

Gotta admit, I am sorta dissapointed. At least the GPU did well.

Disappointed? I'm impressed! Don't expect it to out preform the core i* series. But the main point here - consuming less power than an Intel at idle, while encoding a video - is quite amazing.

cardriverx said:

Yeah I guess you make a point. I think I am just expecting too much. One day I will be able to have my 14 inch tablet pc w/ digitizer that can run half life well and get 8 hrs of battery life doing it on a high res screen. And being under 3 lbs. lol

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I too had too high expectations. I really hoped that AMD could advance the netbook more, but from the look of it the 9W part will be pretty much Atom performance in terms of CPU power. But you know what, there's a chance it will run Half Life 2 fine (I'm pretty sure even the Atom can run the original Half Life, though I won't bet any money on it).

DokkRokken said:

Those power figures are amazing. I can see people being disappointed by the lack of sheer performance, but we're talking chips that place efficiency first. Most people shopping for the laptops that these chips will be going into will be placing a priority on battery life, and not gaming,

vangrat said:

DokkRokken said:

Those power figures are amazing. I can see people being disappointed by the lack of sheer performance, but we're talking chips that place efficiency first. Most people shopping for the laptops that these chips will be going into will be placing a priority on battery life, and not gaming,

What's wrong with placing a priority on gaming AND battery life. Is it too much to ask for a tablet that can run crysis at 1080p on a 10 inch screen for 2 days without charge! Well...is it!?

Okay maybe it is, but dammit I want my super tablet.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Disappointed? I'm impressed! Don't expect it to out preform the core i* series. But the main point here - consuming less power than an Intel at idle, while encoding a video - is quite amazing.

Correction...outperforming Arrandale Core i3. By the time Zacate hits the market it will be duelling it out with Sandy Bridge Core i7-2610LM/-2630UM (17 watts, 2 core/12EU graphics).

To paraphrase Winston Wolf: "Well, let's not start sucking each other's popsicles quite yet".

TeamworkGuy2 said:

I read some of the linked articles at the bottom of this article and for the power envelope the AMD E-350 is quite an interesting beast. CPU and GPU rolled into one, with GPU performance "better" in some ways, than CPU performance. It is a smart move to incorporate such a powerful GPU, since people like their movies, HD youtube videos, games, etc...

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