Brazos injected into Zotac barebones nettop

With barebones nettops systems built around Ion and CULV underpinnings, it was only a matter of time before Zotac put Brazos inside a Zbox. In fact, AMD’s first Fusion platform has arrived in two models: the Zbox AD02 and AD02 Plus. The latter comes equipped with 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive, while the former is a barebones affair with two empty SO-DIMM slots and a 2.5″ hard drive bay.

 

Otherwise, the two Zbox flavors appear to be identical. Both sport the Zacate flavor of the Brazos platform, which includes an E-350 APU with Radeon HD 6310 integrated graphics and a Hudson M1 I/O hub. To that potent combo, Zotac adds a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet controller, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and little perks like an SD card slot and eSATA connectivity. There’s also a handy VESA mounting bracket that allows the whole thing to be hung off the back of an LCD monitor.

AMD’s premiere Fusion platform is well-equipped to handle video playback and casual gaming, making it a perfect platform for budget home-theater PCs. The press release doesn’t reveal exactly when the AD02 will be available in stores or how much the two models might cost, but I’d expect pricing to shadow the CULV-equipped Zbox ND22. That particular system is currently selling for $270 at Newegg, making a sub-$300 price likely for the barebones AD02.

Comments closed
    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    I strongly approve of the eSATA port. Good job on that Zotac, because satisfying any significant storage needs with a 2.5″ drive bay is DOA. That eSATA port means a lot.

    The best thing Zotac could to now is add a second Ethernet port. With that addition, this little machine would be the ultimate gateway / wired | wireless router / internet device. I suppose that could still be achieved by plugging in a USB Ethernet port.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    If the pricing shadows the CULV ZBox ND22 only a diehard AMD fanboi would choose this…the CULV CPU easily wins over the Zacate and with Ion it has good graphics too. The only thing missing from the CULV box is USB 3.0.

      • Prospero424
      • 9 years ago

      Well, I’d think that the Atom-based Zotacs outsell the CULV-based ND22, despite the performance advantage, and the AMD graphics processor is clearly better, so depending on the price point, this may be a good option for a lot of those types of buyers.

      I’d also guess that the Celeron CULV part would be significantly faster than this processor at similar clock speeds, but are there any benchmarks comparing the 1.2ghz CULV (which I thought was the fastest available in a Zotac) to this 1.66Ghz AMD? I’d like to see some hard numbers on this.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t make bold statements without evidence to back it up:

        [url<]http://www.silentpcreview.com/asus-e35m1m-pro[/url<]

          • Prospero424
          • 9 years ago

          Ah, thanks.

          Yeah, looks like the 1.2ghz SU2300 is still a bit faster than this 1.66ghz part, but the performance delta is actually a bit closer that your comments implied. Additionally, I wonder just how committed Intel is to their CULV lineup given their obvious commitment to the Atom platform. Hell, looking around, I don’t see ANY Celeron CULV parts available in any form aside form the SU2300, and you’d think that Intel would have released a couple more iterations by now if they were serious about it.

          It nettop manufactures like Zotac either can’t get or don’t want to integrate faster CULV parts and AMD can get Brazos refreshes out on a regular basis (I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 1.8 or even 2Ghz part before long), they could have a real win in this market segment seeing as how the integrated graphics are superior to Intel and Nvidia parts.

          That is, IF they can keep costs down while maintaining any sort of reasonable margin.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            No doubt if the competition doesn’t advance then the AMD APUs will become the superior choice. The key to my first statement was ‘if it shadows the ND22 price’ and was only meant for the current lineups…if there’s a price advantage then yeah it’s at least a price/performance tradeoff although tbh at these prices it’s hard to complain in absolute terms unless it’s $50+ difference…$20 or whatever is no big deal. It is a bit of a shame about CULV, but maybe when SB isn’t the new hotness there will be ‘budget’ CULV SBs like the Celeron. Atom won’t increase in performance, just shrink in size and power draw, its time as the intended Intel choice for this CPU application won’t last.

    • MethylONE
    • 9 years ago

    Looks great. Could certainly see a couple of my family members using one of these as their primary computer.

    I’m glad they don’t bother with optical drives, I’m really hoping we can see the end of them forever sometime soon.

    • tejas84
    • 9 years ago

    Seriously I have to admit that Brazos frickin rocks!

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    HOTTT

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      AMD should make a quad-Bobcat-core chip with 2GHz clock and 30W TDP.

        • jdaven
        • 9 years ago

        How about a mobile Llano? A8-3510MX w/ onboard Radeon HD 6620M…

        [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/01/amd-compares-upcoming-llano-fusion-apu-with-intel-core-i7-kil/[/url<] Watch the video. Its pretty cool. Total system power is around 50-60W.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          that chip looks MUCH more interesting than i was hoping… that looks like the chip to get in mobile, going forward… can’t wait to see a bulldozer fusion (i’m aware llano is not, and bulldozer is not)

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        “AMD should make a quad-Bobcat-core chip with 2GHz clock and 30W TDP.”

        They should have Llano quad-cores at 2 GHz and 30w. The 1.8 GHz mobile Phenom II X4 is 25w.

        Give it 9 months and Bobcat will do that at 18w, plus a more powerful GPU.

        I imagine the reason there’s no 2 GHz Bobcat right now is that it would require both higher voltage and more selective binning, which pretty much defeats both of its purposes of minimal power and minimal cost.

          • MethylONE
          • 9 years ago

          Ooops…

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Llano quad cores are far more expensive to make (as are PhenomIIs, SBs etc.). My point was that I’d like Brazos to have more oomph without much cost, and those cores are tiny compared to anything else on-chip.

          Doubling the core count wouldn’t cost much silicon, and I’d be happy to take the TDP hit as long as it idles well. Bobcat cores can be completely power-gated, so extra cores don’t cost much extra idle power (which is dominated by the DDR port).

          You’re probably right about the binning needed to go 2GHz… but how about dynamic overvolting at the expense of TDP? Maybe when only 1-2 cores active? Improved single-core performance would help.

          Note that the new Atom N570 has Turbo Boost.. Why couldn’t Zacate have it as well?

            • flip-mode
            • 9 years ago

            I don’t see the point in a quad core Brazos. Dual core is enough to keep the system snappy, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that quad core will somehow rescue Brazos from sluggish encoding times.

            Anyone encoding on such a system is, in my opinion, asking it to do something for which it was never intended. There is lots and lots of stuff that happens on desktop machines that Brazos just is not designed for, and also lots that it is. Do your heavy lifting on your desktop and do you media consumption on Brazos. That’s basically what it’s for and nothing more. It’s not a content creation platform, it’s a content consumption platform.

        • mutarasector
        • 9 years ago

        I’d rather see the following:

        2.4GHz dual bobcat core with a 18W TDP

        Quad bobcat core @ 1.2-1.5GHz in ~<18W TDP

        Dual Bobcat core 1.6GHz at <3W TDP

        • stmok
        • 9 years ago

        NeelyCam says…

        [quote<]AMD should make a quad-Bobcat-core chip with 2GHz clock and 30W TDP.[/quote<] Wait until 2012. * 40nm => 28nm process * Up to dual-core => Up to quad-core * Bobcat cores => Enhanced-Bobcat cores * GPU based IGP => 2x increase in performance? They won't do 30W TDP. Their target market is 18W and 9W with the Bobcat-based lines. I don't think the speed will ramp up aggressively with the quad-core version. Its gonna be more about improving IPC than brute-force speed ups.

    • NeronetFi
    • 9 years ago

    Looks interesting. If pricing is right I might pick one up.

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder how the cooling in these is. Something that small is likely to get stuffed into a hot AV cabinet in many cases.

      • Bauxite
      • 9 years ago

      Depending on how a TV is mounted (or just freestanding) that is a great place to hide it instead. Some bracket style mounts only use the largest mount points or a different assembly that leaves plenty of room.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    Looks awesome. My sister needs something just like this. Here’s to hoping for a 239 price tag.

      • Dposcorp
      • 9 years ago

      Am I blind or what? Where is the optical drive?

        • cheddarlump
        • 9 years ago

        No optical. External. These are themselves the size of an optical drive.. I have about 4 users using the CULV barebones version, and they’re great..

        • ShadowTiger
        • 9 years ago

        if it wasn’t for the DMCA you wouldn’t need optical 😀

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