Zacate and Ontario officially launch, are ”now available”

Radeon HD 6000M-series GPUs weren’t the only new AMD products released today. Late last night, AMD officially introduced its Zacate and Ontario accelerated processing units, saying notebooks and netbooks based on them are "now available." I’m not finding anything at Newegg just yet, but the wording of the announcement suggests we should be finding listings before too long.

It sounds like Zacate and Ontario will have quite a following, too. AMD says it expects PC vendors including Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba to "announce plans to deliver AMD Fusion APU- based systems at very compelling value and mainstream price points." Even tablets based on the new silicon are on the way, although those aren’t due out until later this quarter.

In case you missed our architectural overview, platform overview, and pre-release benchmarks, here’s the Cliff’s notes version: Zacate and Ontario combine AMD’s brand-new Bobcat microarchitecture, DirectX 11-class integrated graphics, and the new UVD3 video decoding block in a single piece of silicon manufactured using TSMC’s 40-nm fab process. Both Zacate and Ontario are available in dual- and single-core flavors, with the former having an 18W thermal envelope and the latter fitting into a 9W TDP. Our benchmarks showed that the quickest, dual-core Zacate model can keep up with Intel’s entry-level CULV processors and deliver far better graphics performance.

As I said in our Zacate benchmark article, AMD’s new APUs seem to have a lot of potential, but we’re still missing one key piece of information: the battery life of laptops based on them. AMD talked of 8.5-hour or longer run times for Zacate systems.  However, "official" battery life numbers (be they from AMD or other sources) are usually a little… optimistic, shall we say. We’ll have to get some Zacate- and Ontario-based systems in our hands to reach a final verdict.

Comments closed
    • abw
    • 9 years ago

    Still not benchmarked at TR ?…
    Rather strange that manufacturers didn t run to take the first place
    considering there s already a few existant products…

    [url<]http://www.hardware.fr/news/lire/06-01-2011/[/url<]

    • abw
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder who will be the first to review a commercial product…
    Still nothing at DMlabs ?…..

      • abw
      • 9 years ago

      The dutch got it first and perfs are simply good…..

      [url<]http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/1961/4/amd-fusion-apu-review-benchmarks[/url<]

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    Hopefully Zotac will make a VESA mountable z-box with these APUs as the foundation.

    [b<]Edit:[/b<] Of course... [url<]http://www.dailytech.com/Zotac+Outs+New+Bluray+Barebones+PCs/article20551.htm[/url<]

    • Silus
    • 9 years ago

    AMD’s PR at CES concerning Fusion is hilarious:

    [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/137661/AMD-Announces-Beginning-of-Fusion-APU-Era.html[/url<] "standard definition video looks high-definition" LOL

      • Hattig
      • 9 years ago

      It’s called upscaling.

        • Silus
        • 9 years ago

        Which I’m pretty sure you know doesn’t make SD video look like HD ?

          • Hattig
          • 9 years ago

          Combined with decent post-processing it will improve the image quality. Maybe “like HD” is overstating it, but I expect an upscaled 8mbps SD stream (from a DVD) upscaled with post-processing will look nicer than the typical 5mbps HD video stream from the internet!

          Anyway, for the prices these CPUs will be selling to OEMs at (and the price of the systems they will be in), if they achieve a decent percentage of 17W Sandy Bridge (1.4GHz, dual-core, quad-thread, 350MHz HD 3000) performance at $250 (for OEMs) then it will do very well indeed, and make AMD money and market share.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    oh thank god! i thought the windows 7 tablets would never come out. at least now these slates can be useful with the software that i want installed, not some bs app that just looks cool.

    • matic
    • 9 years ago

    [i<]Radeon HD 6000M-series GPUs weren't the only new AMD products released today[/i<] No TR coverage on the Phenom II X4 840 launch? I had hoped for a good use of your sense of humor...

      • flip-mode
      • 9 years ago

      Phenom II X4 840 is covered in the Sandy Bridge article.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        And it’s a sham. Should be an Athlon II X4 600-series, not a Phenom with no cache.

          • flip-mode
          • 9 years ago

          Yes indeed. It is a pathetic and unappreciated marketing maneuver that will take advantage of the unwitting. Very shameful.

            • abw
            • 9 years ago

            Does it matter, since it will cost 10$ less than the higher bin A2 X4. ?……
            You can t have it all..

        • matic
        • 9 years ago

        My bad, didn’t noticed it. My apologize for doubting of TR sense of humor 🙂

    • Edgar_Wibeau
    • 9 years ago

    [url<]http://www.amd.com/us/press-releases/Pages/amd-fusion-apu-era-2011jan04.aspx[/url<] Note 1: "In testing conducted by AMD performance labs the 2011 Low Power platform reference design "Zacate" E-350 demonstrated up to 658 minutes or 10.96 hours "all-day" battery life while idle and up to 258 minutes or 4.34 hours as an "active" metric using 3DMark '06. The reference design consisted of a AMD Dual-Core Processor E-350, 1.6Ghz 2C, 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1066 system memory 11.6" display @ 1366x768, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, 62Whr Li-Ion battery. The 2011 AMD C-50 Dual-Core Accelerated Processor demonstrated up to 735 minutes or 12.15 hours "all-day" battery life while idle and up to 378 minutes or 6.18 hours as an "active" metric using 3DMark '06. The reference design consisted of a an AMD Dual-Core processor C-50 1.0Ghz 9W, 2GB (1x2GB) DDR3-1066 system memory, AMD Radeon™ HD 6250 Graphics with 10.1" @ 1024x600, 6-cell Li-Ion, 62.2 Whr battery. LED Backlight Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. All testing performed using a 6-cell Li-Ion, 62.2 Whr battery. AMD defines "all day" battery life as 8+ hours of idle time. "

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      That’s pretty damn good. Although performance is still lacking, AMD got the battery life figured out.

        • helboy
        • 9 years ago

        it does seem that they have got a handle on the battery backup.hope it works as expected.if it does then they are sure to get back the lost market share in no time flat!!

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          [quote<]if it does then they are sure to get back the lost market share in no time flat!![/quote<] What lost market share..? In netbooks, they never had any 😛

    • Althernai
    • 9 years ago

    8.5 hours under what conditions? That sounds rather low for a low-power CPU given that the performance oriented Sandy Bridge 2820QM gets 7 hours browsing the web in a machine with a 17″ display.

      • Goty
      • 9 years ago

      The few product announcements I’ve seen so far have been quoting 10+ hour runtimes. Also, the comparison to a 17″ system isn’t exactly valid since the larger system can more easily support a higher capacity battery.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        The man speaks trueth! you can’t compare apples and oranges.

      • cal_guy
      • 9 years ago

      I would imaging the systems being quoted would not have a 71 Wh battery.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    I trust AMD to do graphics better hands down, even if intel could build a compitent graphics hardware component their drivers are about the worst thing ever coded. Intels new drivers are good compared to intels old efforst but they are still miles behind AMD, and in a different orbit than nvidia.

    • Samlind
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder how the video performance of the top of the line Zacate compares with the CULV Sandy Bridge especially the bottom of the line. Hmmm…

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    More interested in 17w ULV versions of Sandy Bridge. Suspect AMD’s going to get crushed in the 17-18w version, except for pricing. The 9w version, if it works well, would probably be a great fit for some tablets based on Windows 7. If someone ever figures out an interface for touchscreens that makes Windows work. Somehow, I kinda doubt it. I’m relatively certain it won’t be Microsoft that does it.

    If I was Microsoft and I had all the money they do, I think I could find the time to get a team working on porting every possible screen, every interface of Windows to a special interface that you can install that turns Windows into a touchscreen paradise. I wouldn’t necessarily expose all the Device Manager, control panel, menu under a menu-esque innards of Windows to the user, but I’d just let the advanced user input a code to get to the Windows 7 underneath and assume anyone smart enough to get at that would be smart enough to get back via the button I’d put in the bottom corner that said, “Had enough Windows 7 and want to get back to Windows Touchscreen Paradise? Press and hold here for five seconds.” Idiot-proof. With that in place, I’d build Windows Touchscreen Paradise into a locked-down, but cohesive GUI that mimicked their Windows 7 Phone interface since it seems to work really well at what it does without over-complicating things.

    I definitely wouldn’t let OEM’s build their own interfaces or expect people to use Windows 7 as it is with their fingers. I’d think about my Kinect-tech software and how it might work via a webcam. And I’d almost certainly take a hint from Google and start working on my voice recognition tech for it, too.

    I sincerely hope they ARE doing this and it’s just they’re saving it for Windows 8. But again…

    Somehow, I kinda doubt it.

    I guess, there’s always ChromeOS…

      • Samlind
      • 9 years ago

      Nah, Windows Phone 7. Supposed to be an excellent system, should be easy to port to x86.

      • Hattig
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, except for the pricing – a major aspect of product differentiation.

      17W Sandy Bridge – it remains to be seen what clock speeds, what turbo, how many cores, hyper-threading, graphics units, etc, are enabled.

      At 1.2GHz dual-core, it’ll outperform Zacate 1.6GHz dual-core I’m sure, maybe not the graphics if they’re 6EU and slower for TDP reasons. But if it costs $150+ then the really rather cheap Zacate isn’t going to be particularly stressed by it all. And Intel do like charging a lot for ULV chips.

        • maroon1
        • 9 years ago

        [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/intels-sandy-bridge-upheaval-in-the-mobile-landscape/1[/url<] SB ULV is going to use HD3000 graphics (12EU), but it is going to have lower GPU clock than regular model

        • maroon1
        • 9 years ago

        As for the CPU performance, even Arrandale based i3-330UM 1.2GHz destroy Zacate 1.6GHz dual core

        [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/4023/the-brazos-performance-preview-amd-e350-benchmarked/3[/url<] The difference is massive between the two. In some few cases i3-330UM is almost twice as fast And sandy birdge ULV is going to be even faster than Arrandale ULV

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          My God. It’s not even close! It’s like comparing Atoms to CULVs.

          So, if you are willing to pay 30% more for your ultraportable, you get >2x more performance and better battery life. (That 30% is based on comparing old $300 Atom netbooks to $400 CULV ultraportables – nobody knows what the prices on these are going to be…)

          Ontario is already getting beaten by dual-core Atoms (especially when 32nm versions come out). Zacate can beat dual-core Atoms at twice the power… And at that power point SB ULV would be hugely more capable.

          So, it’s the same thing as it has been for the past two years or so. If you’re cheap, you pick AMD. If you value performance, you go with Intel.

            • abw
            • 9 years ago

            How do you manage to concentrate so much rambling and FUD spreading in a single post ?….
            Correcting your blunders would require a full TR article.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            How do you manage to whine about “FUD” without a single reason why you think it’s FUD? Hiding behind a “full TR article” is lame, and implies that you can’t make a concise argument.

            • abw
            • 9 years ago

            Here one of your garbage inspired thought :

            ” Zacate can beat dual-core Atoms at twice the power”

            And here what said a reviewer :

            [url<]http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Zacate-E350-Processor-Performance-Preview/?page=8[/url<] As displayed, Zacate has better mean power comsumption than an Atom 270 without Ion. Evidence that you re spreading totaly wrong assumptions. As for comparing a mobile SB that ALONE cost more than half of a complete Zacate notebook/netbook, it just add insult to injury in displaying your total lack of IT understanding.

            • JumpingJack
            • 9 years ago

            Problem is he is right.

            A 1 GHZ dual core Ontario will end up slower CPU-wise than a 1.5 GHz N550 Atom chip. Graphically, it will kick an Atom-platform but minus Ion, but Atom + Ion will out perform Ontario across the board with a few exceptions.

            It’s pretty easy math. Take Techreports zacate data and the 1.5 GHz dual core atom data, scale it to the clockspeeds used in netbooks (1.0 GHz for ontario and 1.5 Ghz for atom), then check the differences:
            [url<]http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/2922/trzacscaling.jpg[/url<]

            • Voldenuit
            • 9 years ago

            While I agree with your (and Neelycam’s) projections about Zacate’s overall performance, what’s with the sudden obsession around here with using Truecrypt and 7zip for gauging CPU performance lately?

            I mean, I use Truecrypt, but I don’t even know or care what the performance is like, because it’s pretty transparent on my desktop (and CULV laptop). How many tablet/netbook users will be using it on a routine basis?

            Something like sunspider/javascript or HTML5 performance would be a *lot* more relevant to the usage scenario of tablets and netbooks.

            • JumpingJack
            • 9 years ago

            I am totally with you there. I despise, hate the way the HW sites are reviewing these ultra-low end netbook class products. None, or very few, tests are actually relevant to the usage scenario.

            Frankly, it does not matter of Ontario is faster or slower than atom, either way it is within 10’s of % points, and 10 or 20% either way of butt slow is still butt slow.

            BTW: here is a netbook atom dual core vs Ontario dual core bench comparision:

            [url<]http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/1961/4/amd-fusion-apu-review-benchmarks[/url<] As expected, for a graphics bench Ontario is on top but for all other CPU tasks, atom trades blows, but again this is a sucky bench -- PC Mark Vantage is also not a good representation of the usage model for these devices.

            • Hattig
            • 9 years ago

            “Ontario is already getting beaten by dual-core Atoms”

            Benchmark: Atom N550 ; AMD C-50
            Clock: 1.5GHz ; 1GHz
            GPU: 200MHz ; 280MHz

            3DMark06: 153 ; [b<]1769[/b<] Cinebench: [b<]1466[/b<] ; 1271 Vantage: Memory: 488 ; [b<]1175[/b<] Video: N/A ; [b<]1046[/b<] Gaming: 697 ; [b<]1380[/b<] Music: 2067 ; 1959 Comms: 1183 ; [b<]1453[/b<] Productivity: [b<]1354[/b<] ; 1201 Youtube HD: Fail ; [b<]Success[/b<] So they're trading blows in terms of CPU, and graphically there is no competition. Multithreaded does seem to favour dual-core Atom with hyper threading enabled, but a faster single core Atom scores badly - 682 on Cinebench. The C-50 is a good netbook CPU, and it appears to be pretty well balanced between CPU and GPU. We need more benchmark results however, especially regarding tasks that people actually do on a netbook (Cinebench! Tsk). I await the Tech Report reviews... Atom isn't getting to 32nm anytime soon, and AMD are going to 28nm for Bobcat based Fusion this time next year. In the meantime I wonder if AMD can get a C-60 out at 1.2GHz with a <12W TDP...

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        At the end of the day intel needs to fire their driver team, and start anew. They’ve had compitent hardware in that integrated department for over a year now but that never mattered with the drivers for em being what they where. Doesn’t matter whats under the hood when the trans is shot ya know.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        Most of your 17W Sandy Bridge questions were already answered long before you made this post.

        [url<]https://techreport.com/discussions.x/20193[/url<] 1.4-1.6GHz base, up to 2.7GHz turbo, number of cores/threads. The graphics are a bit of a question mark, but even still the CPU performance is there in spades compared to the higher-watt AMD offerings.

      • IYagami
      • 9 years ago

      The only thing I miss about Ontario and Zacate is a dual channel DDR3 memory controller. I think that this should have been from the start.

      Manufacturers should have implemented a single channel if they were worried about costs, but a single memory channel for both the CPU and the GPU sounds like a bottleneck to me.

        • mczak
        • 9 years ago

        Not going to happen – the chip is simply too small for a 128bit memory interface. From the looks of it, this would need a significantly larger die area (or more exactly, circumference), hence significantly increasing costs.
        I do think it should support DDR3-1600 (which is even available as low voltage version) for the same reason however instead of only DDR3-1066 – I doubt it would make much of a difference for cpu-intensive tasks but the gpu would likely benefit from it.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      HP’s doing something similar, except with WebOS as the front-end.

      • blastdoor
      • 9 years ago

      “More interested in 17w ULV versions of Sandy Bridge. Suspect AMD’s going to get crushed in the 17-18w version, except for pricing.”

      Crushed in GPU performance, too?

        • juampa_valve_rde
        • 9 years ago

        No doubt sandy bridge should crush zacate in cpu performance. In graphics, the 80sp igp that powers the zacate will fall from its potential mainly by lack of memory bandwidth (a cheap single channel controller vs a high performance dual channel with l3 at the service of the igp), but i think will be faster than the intel hd2000

        Back to die sizes:
        zacate is made by tsmc at 40nm with a size of around 77mm2
        sandy bridge at 32nm intel with a size of 216mm2

        zacate will be a lot cheaper than sandy bridge, so they are in a different price league.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 9 years ago

          Not only die size, but complexity of the package and motherboard should be quite different between the two chips. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cooling apparatus for Bobcat is also cheaper, if only because AMD likely has big sloppy tolerances compared to some special low voltage picks. It might seem that AMD’s thermal density would be higher, but with turbo mode I doubt any money is to be saved on a Sandy Bridge cooler.

          • maroon1
          • 9 years ago

          “sandy bridge at 32nm intel with a size of 216mm2”

          Thats the quad core model

          The dual core model is 149mm2

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      I couldn’t agree enough, why have we not seen a meaningful embrace of touch GUI in windows 7??? Why does google not do a better job of managing updates and GUI standards on its devices, why do touch devices, despite some amazing function still feel more like an idea rather than a realization of an idea.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 9 years ago

      You mean like the Surface technology they showed off a few years ago?

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    FIRST!!!

      • Jigar
      • 9 years ago

      Get over it, nobody cares any more…

        • jalex3
        • 9 years ago

        Did they ever? anyway this is good news i looking forward to a new lenovo model, dont remember the name though

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        I just wanted to see how many negative votes I could get. Thought I could do better than -15. This is kind of like a score keeper for trolling.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        That [i<][b<]must[/b<][/i<] be why you posted in response.

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