First AMD Brazos 2.0 APUs break cover

While everyone was busy swooning over the latest ultrabooks at Computex in Taiwan yesterday, AMD took the wraps off its new 2012 E-Series APU platform. Formerly code-named Brazos 2.0, the platform is an updated version of—you guessed it—Brazos, which we first looked at in November 2010. It features two new, faster APUs as well as an updated I/O hub with lower idle power and USB 3.0 connectivity.

Here are the new E-series APUs, at a glance:

Model TDP CPU

cores

CPU

clock

L2

cache

IGP

Radeon

brand

IGP

shader

ALUs

IGP clock

(max/base)

Max.

DDR3 speed

E2-1800 18W 2 1.7GHz 1MB HD 7340 80 680MHz/

523MHz

DDR3-1333

DDR3L-1333

DDR3U-1066

E1-1200 18W 2 1.4GHz 1MB HD 7310 80 500MHz DDR3-1333

DDR3L-1333

DDR3U-1066

These two chips are still based on the 40-nm Zacate chip that premiered in 2010. They feature a pair of Bobcat cores, 1MB of L2 cache, and integrated graphics with 80 shader ALUs. However, AMD has re-branded the graphics component as part of the Radeon HD 7000 series, and it touts new feature called Quick Stream technology, which is "designed to prioritize video streaming on PC systems for a smooth, uninterrupted video stream." Also, the fastest member of the new lineup runs a little quicker than last year’s Brazos flagship, the E-450. (That processor, which also had a 18W TDP, ran at 1.65GHz with a peak IGP speed of 600MHz.)

Oddly enough, AMD mentioned Turbo Core dynamic CPU clock scaling while teasing Brazos 2.0 at its Analyst Day event in February, but none of the company’s marketing materials for the 2012 E-Series APU platform reference it. Even the PowerPoint slides quote a top clock speed of 1.7GHz for the E2-1800. The E2-1800 does appear to have a turbo mode for its graphics component, but then again, so did the E-450—and the E-450 launched last August.

According to AMD, the new 2012 E-Series APUs are "designed for essential notebook and desktop personal computers which meet basic performance needs at accessible price points." Translation: you won’t see them sparring with Intel’s 17W, ultrabook-bound Ivy Bridge CPUs. Good thing, too, because as we saw the other day, those power-sipping Intel chips generally deliver better CPU performance than AMD’s top-of-the-line, 35W Trinity APU. Pitting them against the E2-1800 and E1-1200 would be a massacre.

No, AMD has other competitors in mind for Brazos 2.0. In its marketing collateral, the chipmaker compares the new platform’s battery run times with those for systems based on Intel’s Sandy Bridge-based Pentium B940 and Celeron B800. The new E-series APUs purportedly do better, of course, but that’s no real surprise, since the Intel chips have much larger 35W power envelopes. (AMD also fails to supplement the flattering battery numbers with comparative performance data.) More notable is the fact that the Pentium B940 and Celeron B800 are priced at $134 and $80, respectively, a far cry from the $225-$346 of ultrabook-bound Ivy Bridge chips. More likely than not, you’ll see the new E-series APUs in pseudo-netbooks with price tags well under $500.

Comments closed
    • TheEmrys
    • 8 years ago

    I’d love to see how well this would do as a htpc w/ tuner. High quality mkv would also be of tremendous interest.

    • lycium
    • 8 years ago

    first they tease, then they break cover. is the teasing necessarily undercover then?

    • brute
    • 8 years ago

    sweet

    • ermo
    • 8 years ago

    Cyril,

    [quote<]More likely than not, you'll see the new E-series APUs in pseudo-netbooks with price tags well under $500.[/quote<] Colour me confused: What is a pseudo-netbook? An ultrabook-sized netbook? Would you say that the HP dm1z could be categorized as a pseudo-netbook due to its better-than-average-craptastic-netbook build quality and features? Not meant as a criticism or anything -- just curious about what prompted you to use the word 'pseudo-netbook'.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      I think psuedo-netbook = netbook hardware in a bigger chassis.

    • jdaven
    • 8 years ago

    TDP compared to Trinity doesn’t matter in this case. Only that the TDP meet small form factor laptop standards which is < 20W. 17W Trinity will probably cost $100-200. The E2-1800 will cost < $50. Think cheap.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      Nonetheless, it’s still a shame that they just made ‘Brazos 2.0’ instead of whatever the real replacement was going to be (can’t bother looking up the codename).

        • WillBach
        • 8 years ago

        The process that the real replacement was going to be made on was canceled by TSMC, not a lot that AMD can do about that. Well, except move the next generation Bobcat to GloFlo instead, and that’s what’s happening once GloFlo gets 28 up and running.

        • neon
        • 8 years ago

        The code names were Krishna for the E-Series refresh, and Wichita for C-Series refresh. Supposed to be 28nm and up to 4-core.

        • Unknown-Error
        • 8 years ago

        Not really AMDs fault. It was whoever was going fab the chips (GF?) that screwed up – [url=http://www.extremetech.com/computing/106217-manufacturing-bombshell-amd-cancels-28nm-apus-starts-from-scratch-at-tsmc<]Ref1[/url<], [url=http://semiaccurate.com/2011/11/15/exclusive-amd-kills-wichita-and-krishna/<]Ref2[/url<]. The true successor to 'Brazos' will come only in 2013 in the form of 'Kabini/Temash' using new 'Jaguar' cores.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 8 years ago

          Whose ‘fault’ it is is irrelevant to what is available for purchase – I just said it’s a shame they only made Brazos 2.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Think cheap.[/quote<] Think "you get what you pay for" EDIT: No - seriously! You might save 15% on the price of the laptop but you get 50% worse performance. Was it really worth saving that 15%?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        TOtally agreed. Trying to help undo your minuses. To save $50 on this or to get a Trinity-based “Ultrabook”? Trinity, no contest.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        If you’re only going to use that 50%, it’s probably worth it.

        • anotherengineer
        • 8 years ago

        Depends, sometimes it’s more than 15%, I got my wife an e-350 laptop last year for $330 cnd, and she’s happy with it.

        An i3 or A6 laptop maybe have over 3 fold the performance (cpu) wise but they are generally double the $$ up here in Canada, then toss on the 13% HST

        So now I have money left over for something else 🙂

        • jdaven
        • 8 years ago

        People do not research benchmarks and buy based on performance per dollar. They buy based on absolute price. And you are not quite comparing the price reduction fully. Most atom and bobcat based netbooks cost in the $300 range and have really long battery life due to the low TDP. Equivalent ultrabooks and ultrathins are in the $600 to $800 range. What you are talking about are notebooks with high TDP pentiums, celerons, core i3 that are very heavy with short battery life. These kinds of notebooks can be had in the $400 range but should not be considered in the same light as netbooks. This is why someone might buy a $700 tablet versus a similarly priced laptop with lots more raw processing power.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 8 years ago

        I’d rather spend more money on a dual-core laptop that fits the way I use them, than less for any laptop I can think of with a quad-core.

        And that is a decision anyone in the laptop market already faced for at least the last year. $600 plastic quad-core laptop, or $800+ more durable ultraportable?

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]More notable is the fast that[/quote<] fact? 18 watt TDP. Performance per watt doesn't sound so good on these. I wonder how idle power compares. My (nonexistent) uses for such a chip (file server / Netflix PC) would be such that it would be sitting idle 99% of its life.

      • cheesyking
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve got an E450 in the laptop I’m using now and IIRC the:
      system idle power is < 5W (screen off),
      typical usage is about 10W

      NB, I’m only going on what the battery indicator is saying and this also includes the screen.

      • Hattig
      • 8 years ago

      Let’s hope that TR does a review of the 2012 platform to see if idle is more efficient.

      I have an E-450 based system and it’s not bad at all for everyday tasks. I play older games on it too without a problem – it lets me catch up on the games I have missed in the past thanks to GOG.

      Not much new on the CPU/GPU side from this refresh, the chipset has some new goodies (USB3) though.

      Shame that AMD’s original 28nm plans died, oh well – early next year maybe.

      • WillBach
      • 8 years ago

      Charlie at SemiAccurate says that the update is “[url=http://semiaccurate.com/2012/06/05/amd-launches-brazos-2-0/<]dropping idle power from over 900mw to ~750mw[/url<]." I guess we'll know for sure once the damage labs get one.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      For Netflix they wouldn’t be all that great as there is no acceleration for these AMD’s yet in silverlight.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 8 years ago

    I use the E-350 as my main desktop computer and it’s perfectly fine for surfing the ‘net, watching movies, and playing indie games on Steam (I was able to play Portal 2 with some stuttering and low graphic settings).

    Glad to see AMD updating this, but they need to market these a bit harder.

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed. Given the 18W envelope, they’re not going to have great performance-per-watt, but they are cheap.

      As long as they end up replacing Atoms, they’re brilliant. People need to stop comparing them to ULV Ivy Bridge and Trinity, and manufacturers need to stop putting them in expensive chassis with expensive screens; The cost savings get buried in other platform costs when they do that.

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