AMD Zacate E-350 processor Review
The AMD’s Zacate E-350 is interestingly positioned with the integration of a surprisingly decent graphics section with a modest performance processor at a reasonable price. AMD is playing gamble with the new term APU or the Accelerated Processing Unit that it has coined to the Zacate Series formed out of the fusion of the CPU ( Central Processing Unit) and the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). While the tech savvy professional are quick to understand the term, it may take some time for the common gentry to digest the term unless they care to stress to understand the jargons of CPU and GPU.
The Zacate E-350 is the highest frequency APU in the series at 1.6 GHz. Let us take a look at the key features of the Zacate E-350
– Two 40 nm Bobcat Cores, 1.6 GHz each
– 1 MB L2 Cache for each core
– 80 GPU Core, 500 MHz clock
– Intended for notebooks and Netbooks in $400 to $500 range.
– Competes with Intel Atom, Pentium dual-core and low end Core i3 processor
– Low TDP rating of 18 W
The Zacate is intended to be priced competitively. One of the things that is going to help AMD is the low die area, which should churn out more dies for a given area. At 75mm2 the die size is smaller than many of the other processors in the market today. Zacate E-350 should easily outperform the Atom processors. It also out performs in the graphics performance by the integrated graphics of the entry level core i3 processors. In the CPU performance, the Zacate E-350 lacks a little bit when compared to the Intel’s core 2 processors and the entry level core i3 processors. However, its low power consumption and inexpensive price positions it interestingly where it can threaten to capture a significant portion of the netbook and entry level notebook segment. AMD is confident that the Zacate E-350 based processors will easily cross 6 hours of battery life.
Anandtech has produced some initial benchmark for the Zacate E-350 and according to it
– The PCMark Vantage score stands at 2598. PC Mark is basically a measure, more of processor performance rather than the measure of GPU performance. By comparison AMD V120 ( 2.2GHz, single core with a 512KB L2 cache) scored 2448. The Athlon Neo K325 ( two cores 1.3GHz, 1MB L2 per core) by comparison scored 2789. The Athlon ii P320 ( 2.1 GHz two core), not unexpectedly, outsmarted it with a PCMark score of 3742.
– The 3DMark which measures more the graphics performance tells a quite interesting story. The Zacate E-350 with a score of 3294 outperforms other platforms by a huge margin. Anandtech reported that the Athlon ii 320 based platform scored 2137, Athlon V120 based system had a score of 1883.
AMD’s game plan is to sell a modest CPU with a significantly enhanced graphics performance at a low power consumption level. It will be interesting to see how it is taken up by the notebook and netbook manufacturers and the customers when it is launched.