AMD’s new 1.6GHz Zacate E350 chip is the first low power chip based on the company’s new Bobcat CPU core. It’s also the first APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) from AMD, which is a fancy way of saying it’s part of the AMD Fusion line of products which put the CPU and graphics onto a single chip. We already knew that Zacate chips would provide more processing power and significantly better graphics performance than Intel’s Atom chips… now we have a better idea of just how much more.

A number of tech news sites have published benchmarks and real-world test results for the new AMD Zacate chip.

The dual core chip uses less than 18W of power, but according to Legit Reviews, it can handle multitasking like a champ, while playing 1080p HD video. Hot Hardware ran a series of benchmarks and found that in most tests the chip was generally a little faster than a system with a dual core Intel Atom D525 chip and NVIDIA ION 2 graphics, but not nearly as fast as an AMD Turion II Neo K625 dual core processor, which is also more power-hungry than the other two chips. On the other hand, the Zacate chip got some of the highest scores on the tests of graphics processing performance.

Overall, it sounds like the Zacate chip could give Intel’s Atom D5xx series a serious run for the money in the nettop and low power laptop space. I’m still curious to see how AMD’s upcoming Ontario chips, which are aimed at netbooks and tablets compare to the Zacate chips.

You can find a roundup of some other benchmarks and reviews of the Zacate chips at Engadget.

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6 replies on “AMD Bobcat chips: Faster than a speeding Atom”

  1. All these articles (on the topic) are extremely exciting. I have been waiting for this product, it seems, forever. Ever since they started the talk of buying ATI, I knew this day would come. I really do see this as a the beginning of a large snowball. It’ll start with this small CPU. Then, it’ll be Intel’s turn to buy (if they can) Nvidia to play catchup to AMD.

  2. @aftermath I agree. It will be even more interesting to view offerings from both companies now that AMD has committed to a “tick-tock” offering which will keep the tech fresh every 2-years (tick is the new product, tock is the optimization and full utilization).

  3. Sandy Bridge has 4x the die size of Zacate, and 5x the power consumption… They aren’t apples to apples, either.

    1. Zacate won’t be competing with the higher end offerings, it’ll be competing with the lower end, price range is expected to be around $500, and Sandy Bridge will offer down to 35W for that range. So only 2x the power consumption…

      While Ivy Bridge will supposedly come out in the second half of 2011 and that’ll bring down die size and power usage even more.

      So Zacate should have the graphical advantage at that level and the power advantage but Intel’s offerings will offer more processing power and price may be more competitive by then.

  4. No matter how cheap computers prices get, don’t buy a new computer unless you really need one. The next generation of AMD and Intel (and in particular, the second edition of each) are going to be amazing pieces of consumer technology.

    I’m not biased towards either company, but I wish people would stop comparing these forthcoming AMD offerings to Intel’s current ones. As a point of reference, these AMD offerings are a next generation of product. We’re discussing them in the current context where AMD generally takes a back seat (not a distant back seat, but a back seat nonetheless) to Intel in most of the product tiers and applications. Intel will also be releasing a next generation of product that’s architecturally and technologically proportional to the new AMD offerings. The real comparison will be how the next generation of AMD and Intel products compare to each other and not how either new offering compares to either old offering. Thus, any comparison between the AMD offerings of tomorrow and the Intel offerings of today is a bit disingenuous. Both AMD and Intel should (hopefully) be improving on all of the previous generation of products.

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