AMD's Brazos and Zacate Benchmarked

January 24, 2011 | 12:02

Tags: #apu #atom #brazos #cpu #fusion #gpu #ion #zacate

Companies: #amd #intel #nvidia

The first benchmarks of AMD's Fusion-based chips, the Brazos C-50, Brazos C-30 and Zacate E-350, have appeared - and initial impressions aren't all that favourable for the Zacate line.

French tech site has posted scores comparing AMD's Fusion to Intel's various Atom processors in 3DMark06, and it's not looking too good for AMD's Zacate range if the figures are accurate.

While AMD's Brazos platform handily beat Intel's entire Atom range - in some cases by a factor of 17 - when the chips were paired with Intel's own Graphics Media Accelerator GPU, the story changed when Nvidia's Ion GPU was introduced into the equation.

With the Brazos C-30 scoring 1,611 and the faster C-50 managing 1,749, AMD's latest Fusion chips blew past Intel's Atoms - and even managed to pip the Atom N330 with Nvidia Ion to the post, which scored a close 1,555.

The Zacate E-350 performed even better, boasting an impressive 2,251. This also demonstrated that it's possible for AMD's mobile Fusion chips to be used without dedicated graphics hardware, relying instead on the integrated GPU.

However, the story changed when the desktop-orientated Atom D525 was paired with Nvidia's Ion NG graphics platform. This setup scored 2,480 in the 3D benchmark, beating even the impressive performance of the Zacate platform, which won't be going down well with AMD fans.

That said, AMD's APUs have the bonus of having everything integrated into the chip, rather than having a separate CPU and GPU. It's also worth noting that 3DMark06 is an old synthetic 3D benchmark, and that it's not necessarily indicative of current performance in real games using different engines. It also doesn't provide any indication of the chips' performance in other areas, such as video playback.

Even so, the initial impression from the figures is that the Brazos line-up can offer a serious alternative to Atom and Ion pairings in the mobile space, but Zacate appears to need more power in order to seriously take on top-end Atom chips in the small-form factor and all-in-one desktop space.

Do you think that AMD's Zacate can still offer something new in the CPU market, or will the convenience of a single-chip setup be ignored in favour of the raw power of an Atom and Ion NG pairing? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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