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Old Jun 13, 2011, 11:33 PM   #1
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Lupine
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AMD Sapphire Pure Fusion Mini E350 Review @ Rage3D

With the AMD Fusion Developer Summit knocking on the door, our resident Caveman checks out Sapphire's Pure Fusion Mini E350 APU:

AMD's Brazos platform spans mobility and the small form factor desktop. We review Sapphire's Pure Fusion Mini E350, a mini-ITX board in the TDP of an energy-efficient processor to see how it's moved on the low power and media consumption market niche.

Sapphire Pure Fusion Mini E350 Review @ Rage3D
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Old Jun 14, 2011, 01:04 AM   #2
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REALLY liking the look of the reviews lately.

I think it'd be awesome for the APU-type reviews to actually boot up and benchmark some OLDER games, like BF2, COD2, UT3 etc... to show that setups like this CAN be used even fro gaming, albeit older titles. I understand though that this is not the main focus, but it would be interesting to see.

Quote:
The Sapphire Pure Fusion Mini E350 is a great board for specialized builds where basic productivity and HD media consumption is required.
Agreed! I'd love to build one of these little buggers!

Good job jim.
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Old Jun 14, 2011, 11:26 AM   #3
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This is great stuff! Yes agree with reviews, I can think of many ways something like this can be used. A garage computer, kitchen computer, kids computer for learning, learning computer for classroom instruction etc. (OpenCL, DX11, you name it.) Also embedded type systems with a much better U/I vice the horrid disjointed, conflicting U/Is one sees in a manufacturing plant now days. Incorporated into HDTVs for more then just internet access.
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Is it just me or is the feature set of the 6300 more akin to a 5000 series GPU then a 6000 series? For instance it lacks 7.1 channel PCM (at least it wasn't mentioned) and HDMI 1.4 (which I don't care about but some people do).

My HTPC is built on an Athlon II x2 245 which just barely makes the cut in terms of CPU power. I don't think I could recommend anything less, so I look forward to the slightly beefier fusion CPUs.
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 08:38 PM   #5
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It has 7.1 LPCM, and has UVD 3, but it is definitely based on Evergreen rather than Northern Islands (Evergreen++, not Cayman).

Your HTPC comparison is flawed, you don't specify the software or GPU you are using. If you compare a CPU to an APU and say the APU is lacking CPU power, you've missed the point.
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 11:59 PM   #6
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I am surprised how well the E350 does video, including all the post processing adjustments in Catalyst 11.6 and HD 1080P is not a problem. I didn't think an 80 shader type GPU could do the post processing. Anyways that is one feature I do use a lot on all my Radeons, it makes internet video, youtube videos etc. better quality. With my new HP E350 powered laptop I was amazed today how well it multitasks. Watching video, updating Win7, downloading some stuff and zipping around forums was fast and smooth. For something as low power as a E350 it sure does play well when demands are high. Reminds me of the multi-tasking feel of an Amiga.

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Old Jun 17, 2011, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
It has 7.1 LPCM, and has UVD 3, but it is definitely based on Evergreen rather than Northern Islands (Evergreen++, not Cayman).

Your HTPC comparison is flawed, you don't specify the software or GPU you are using. If you compare a CPU to an APU and say the APU is lacking CPU power, you've missed the point.
Until I got the HD 6450, I was using the on-board HD4200 IGP. For media, Flash is where I often find cpu utilization gets kind of high. Even overall system response is just not quite where I would like it to be. My parent's HTPC has just a slightly faster CPU with an extra core and you can definitely tell the difference.

IMO, because a HTPC's only job is play media, it should be able to do it perfectly all the time. That means the system should have some extra headroom to handle the odd ball cases or changes in software. The e350 is slightly more compact, but it definitely isn't any cheaper and the difference in power consumption doesn't seem that important when compared to the power consumption of a receiver or TV. In a netbook the e350 looks really great, but in a HTPC it loses a lot of its attractiveness to me. In summation, I am much more interested to see an APU with the cpu power of at least the II x2 245. That would be a product worth evangelizing IMO.

The playback software I use is as follows.
-Media Player Classic Home Cinema with FFDShow-Tryouts for playing ripped DVDs and BluRays
-Chrome for Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Southpark, etc.
-TotalMedia Theater 5 for DVDs and BluRays

We also use some emulators for SNES, Playstation, N64, etc.
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Old Jun 18, 2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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I understand, and you'll note that in the review I addressed the fact that some media, less commercially available, is beyond the capabilities of the E350. For netflix, hulu, youtube, CBS/FOX etc., DVD and BluRay, Brazos is a capable HTPC platform. For media using higher quality encodes or 'non-standard' (as in, not in the BluRay spec) then the software hasn't caught up yet - these are outlier or corner cases. They can be addressed one of two ways, optimized software for the platform or more platform power. The Llano APU addresses the platform power angle, more than your baseline, so that's a plus, but it's also more expensive.

Everybody's HTPC needs are different, and the E-350 gives you an option. There are other options available, of course.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 12:38 AM   #9
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I said "Oh what the hell" and bought the ID pack on steam. Which contains all the Doom games and expansion paks, Quake games and expansion paks up to QuakeIII, Hectic Wolfenstein 3d and paks and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. So my HP netbook, E350.

So far I am rather impressed, didn't expect Quake 3, max settings, 4x AA by drivers and 16x AF by drivers would do 101fps with demo 1at 720p. Game play felt real smooth and brought back some rather found memories of this game and action.

Now Return to Castle Wolfenstein was totally different it just plays mostly in the teens but spikes up in the sixties not very playable, I may have messed up the configuration file since I changed to custom resolution and aspect ratio. Deleting the configuration files causes it to bring back automatically a new configuration with previous settings still in there, may have to reload this game.

Doom3, max settings but with texture compression, 2x AA, 8xAF, some optimizations inserted in the config file plus wide screen settings in the config file I get 30.5fps on demo1, 720p. The short play I did was smooth though.

I figure I play something a litle bit more modern, COD 4, didn't run the benchmark yet but game play was playable with max settings and no AA and no AF. Will test more on this one.

Another more modern day game was Left for dead. Problem was I was getting hitching (pauses) but appears if I can correct that problem then that game would also be playable.

For a 64bit memory interface with the GPU and Cpu sharing the bandwidth I am concluding the E350 does rather well and AMD did a rather good job in making everything work. It is no modern day high end game player but on older games, which are thousands of them, they appear to be on the most part very playable and probably more restictive to if they will play on Win7 64bit then anythings else. Of course modern day internet games, card games, chess etc. should also have no problem with the E350.

Llano will probably be first Fusion chip that will make an excellent HPTC beyond just playing videos.

The E350 is actually outstanding in a netbook, does videos great for the most part, can play older games with high settings, outstanding battery life (first mobile I have that I can use for 4-6 hours without even thinking about the battery) and relatively cheap. Getting it away from that market I think it starts to falter. Embedded processors for manufactuering is in dire straights for a usable low power/heat producing chip for a usable user interface that is consistent and modern, there the E350 has more power then is needed and would excell at that task. The high price junk on the market now for embedded processors need to be scraped with something more useful, more standardize etc. My opinion.
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