In the market for a motherboard based on AMD’s new Fusion APUs? According to The Inquirer, you should have plenty of choices come January. The site says Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and Sapphire will all have Zacate-based motherboards ready for the Consumer Electronics Show early next month.
A picture of Gigabyte’s take on Zacate surfaced about a week ago, and we already know a fair bit about the platform itself. Back in November, Cyril took an in-depth look at AMD’s Brazos platform, which encompasses Zacate and Ontario variants. We followed that with a series of Brazos benchmarks pitting Zacate against a collection of mobile alternatives. The verdict: Zacate has enough CPU horsepower to keep up with Intel’s CULV processors, and its integrated graphics component is nearly as quick as a low-end discrete GPU.
We have a weakness for small-form-factor systems here at TR, and Zacate looks like a perfect basis for low-power desktops, home-theater PCs, and closet file servers. For those first two applications, Intel’s Atom offerings are a little slow and really need to be paired with a graphics processor to handle HD and Flash video decoding. Zacate replaces the resulting three-chip combo with a more elegant two-chip approach that should be easier for motherboard makers to squeeze into Mini-ITX dimensions.