Over the past few days, we now have a very good idea of what to expect out of AMD’s new platform that merges the CPU and GPU into what AMD calls an APU (Accelerated Processing Unit). The Tech Report and Anandtech, along with other sites, have published benchmark sand more information.
The system tested by Anandtech was based around the AMD E-350 APU, which is the highest-end APU available on the Brazos platform. That doesn’t equate to expensive though – Anandtech mentions it’ll be in nettops and notebooks in the $400 – $500 range. It’s got an 18W TDP, but the article mentions the TDP should drop on production systems. Part of the goal is to match up well (or exceed) Intel’s Atom line. The E-350 (Bobcat) has 2 cores and runs at 1.6GHz, with the GPU being a Radeon HD 6310 and running at 500MHz. The Brazos test system had 4GB of DDR3 memory. In a Photoshop CS4 test, it did well, beating out a dual-core Intel Atom D510 and a couple of AMD Athlon CPUs. On some video-intensive applications, such as some game testing, thanks to the GPU/APU system, it did very well, handily beating an Intel Core i3-350M. While it beat out the Atom and some of the i3s, it’s not going to end up in a netbook unfortunately – there are lower-power APUs destined for the netbooks.
The Tech Report benchmarked the same test system and found similar results, although they made the comparison against a lot of netbooks and high-end netbooks or other ultraportables, and felt it was very comparable:
If Zacate manages to match or exceed current solutions in terms of run time, which seems entirely possible considering the Brazos platform’s very spartan power draw, then AMD might just end up with the most attractive ultraportable platform on the market early next year.