AMD refreshes Zacate, Ontario lineups

— 11:36 AM on August 22, 2011

New blood is coursing through the Fusion family—the lower rungs of it, at least. AMD has added two E-series Zacate APUs as well as a fresh C-series Ontario chip to its low-power product line, and it's sprinkled on some platform enhancements for good measure. The new chips offer higher clock speeds and what looks like a sort of Turbo implementation, with higher peak clock speeds for either CPU cores, graphics, or both.

Here's how the freshly introduced E-450, E-300, and C-60 compare to the original Zacate and Ontario lineups:

Model CPU
E-450 2 1.65 GHz HD 6320 508/600 MHz 18 W
E-350 2 1.6 GHz HD 6310 500 MHz 18 W
E-300 2 1.3 GHz HD 6310 488 MHz 18 W
E-240 1 1.5 GHz HD 6310 500 MHz 18 W
C-60 2 1.0/1.33 GHz HD 6320 276/400 MHz 9 W
C-50 2 1.0 GHz HD 6250 280 MHz 9 W
C-30 1 1.2 GHz HD 6250 280 MHz 9 W

In addition to the higher core and GPU clocks, the E-450 supports DDR3-1333 RAM, up from DDR3-1066 across the rest of the E and C series. AMD's own numbers show little to no difference in CPU performance between the three newcomers and their direct predecessors; however, the numbers reveal 3DMark Vantage score increases in the 10-42% range. So, higher graphics performance could be the chief appeal of this refresh.

What about battery life? AMD has stuck to the same 18W and 9W thermal envelopes as before, and its numbers suggest that systems based on the E-450 and C-60 achieve identical run times to those based on their direct predecessors (the E-350 and C-50, respectively) at the Windows desktop. The press release touts considerable battery life improvements, but if you read the fine print, those are versus the 2010 Nile platform.

To spice things up a little more, the E-450, E-300, and C-60 have been imbued with support for the DisplayPort++ standard, which allows HDMI signals to be piped through DisplayPort outputs. Also, the chipmaker says E-series APUs now support HDMI 1.4a—and, consequently, 3D displays. I'm guessing only the newfangled E-450 and E-300 have that honor.

Systems based on the E-450, E-300, and C-60 should be available right now, according to AMD's announcement.

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