Mini-ITX motherboards review - Part 1: Integrated CPU
11 November 2012
Excerpt: The smaller microATX format has been gaining in popularity, but if you know for sure that will only need a single expansion slot, you can go with an even more compact format, Mini-ITX. The number of these small motherboards have steadily increased over the past few years. In a series of three articles we will look at a total of 20 models. We will soon publish reviews of Mini-ITX boards with AMD Socket FM1 and Intel Socket 1155 processor sockets.
Gigabyte E350N-USB3 Mini ITX Motherboard / CPU Combo
OverClock Intelligence Agency
17 April 2011
Summary: Gigabyte's GA-E350N-USB3 is a nice AMD alternative to Intel's Atom / ION combination that worked as-advertised here today.
In our real-world analysis, the E350N performed nicely as a HTPC. It was able to process 1080p video from YouTube smoothly with CPU utilization maxing out around 60% once the clip was fully queued up. Trying to watch the stream while it was still being queued up would max the CPU out at 100% and playback was sluggish.
Excerpt: Home theater systems and such have become a widespread phenomena. As technology becomes more and more affordable and even the low end systems have the juice to keep up with HD and Blu-Ray playback, there has never been a better time to buy one of such systems. At the expense of sounding like some sales commercial, I really do believe that it is in fact true.
Conclusion: That said, the AMD E-350 Fusion APU was designed with low level of processing in mind, while at the same time providing enough power to easily handle HD video content. Thus the E-350 APU is the perfect processor for HTPCs. Once you have a motherboard like this, you only need additional ram, a minimalistic PSU (400W and below will do nicely) and terabytes of hard disk space, because that’s the main function here; watching HD movies.
Summary: First let’s talk a little bit about the AMD Fusion platform. When discussing this platform it is important to keep in mind that, like the Atom platform, the Brazos architecture is designed to be low powered and cost effective.
Summary: If you've been following along since page one, you'll already know the answers to the questions we posed at the start of this review. For everyone who skipped over my eloquent prose, carefully constructed charts, and pretty graphs, I'll recap.
The Hudson M1 platform hub isn't nearly as flashy as the APU that makes up the heart of AMD's first Fusion offerings. However, this tiny core-logic component is stacked with 6Gbps Serial ATA ports and second-gen PCI Express lanes.
Conclusion: So was the AMD Fusion APU worth waiting for? As a replacement for the Intel Atom/ION platform, the E-350 APU certainly works well, though we did expect the CPU part to perform a bit better than just 20% faster than the aging Atom N330. In some ways the E-350 seems to have the same issue as the Atom/ION combo: an imbalance between the power of the CPU and the GPU.
First Look: Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 AMD Fusion mobo
19 January 2011
Excerpt: The Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 is the first motherboard from Gigabyte using the new AMD Fusion APU’s. We have posted a first look at it with images and some specifications while we are working on the full review.
Excerpt: We were initially disappointed with AMD's new Fusion CPU, the E-350. Despite that, its low-power CPU-GPU chip, otherwise known as Zacate , does have something to offer in certain small form factor and portable computing niches. Enter, therefore, the new Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 motherboard.