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MSI AMD Fusion Platform System Prototype – world first exclusive

The AMD Fusion APU has excited us, however to be impressed you need to look at it from a specific viewpoint. Sure, the processor won’t handle professional 3D rendering, it won’t deliver much of a kick even if your demands aren’t quite as taxing. The HD6310 graphics certainly won’t transform your gaming experience either.

To sum this system up in a single performance related paragraph however is missing the point.

A computer built around this platform consumes only 50 watts of power under load. Under general use this complete MSI Fusion system requires approximately the same amount of power as an idling Zotac GTX480 AMP! graphics card. How’s that for getting things into perspective?

To try and get a handle on the performance for the low end budget market, we compared today against the popular Intel D525 ATOM processor which is clocked higher and has more cores. The Fusion chip in most cases was able to outperform it, even when asked to do tasks that fall outside its comfort zone.

The Fusion system we received from MSI is a prototype build concept that they hope will be adopted by the leading system builders, offering consumers a low cost, low power demand system – ideal for high definition media duties and general office demands. As our HQV testing has detailed, image quality is exceptionally high, and this will certainly attract the discerning high definition media enthusiast. If the onboard graphics don’t satisfy, you can add a discrete graphics card, although with a 4x PCI slot, performance is limited.

There is no doubt that the MSI E350IA-E45 motherboard is a fine product that deserves to sell well, but with AMD’s apparent lack of interest in pushing the platform this year it seems as if this launch has went more with a whimper, than a bang. This is a shame, because as we have seen today, the Fusion platform is already shaping up to be a serious problem for Intel.

Just before we get to the KitGuru closing statement, let’s pause for a brief second and ponder the kind of power draw that the AMD Fusion solution needs in order to play back a BluRay disk in high resolution.

Depending on the application, this AMD Fusion concept system from MSI uses around the same power playing a film than nVidia's GTX480 eats while 'doing nothing'. It's also slightly less than a 50w halogen bulb as well.

KitGuru says: In this lab, Intel’s Atom solution had both a 200MHz and 2 additional cores advantage, but the AMD Fusion solution more than held its own – nudging ahead with intensive tasks like Cinebench and BluRay playback. In terms of image quality, testing with HQV shows that Fusion has a considerable lead over Intels Platform. With Fusion, AMD has managed to deliver the baseline platform necessary for customers to create usable solutions with a low demand for power and low operating temperatures, alongside very good media performance. An excellent product if AMD can get not only the pricing and availability right – but also the right energy into its Fusion marketing effort.

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Rating: 8.5.

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