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AMD's Zacate APUs benchmarked

AMD has released some details about the performance of its upcoming Zacate Fusion APUs, including comparative performance to its last-generation chips - and they're shaping up to be impressive low-power chips.

The company ran the PC Mark Vantage suite and the 3DMark Vantage suite across six processors: the dual-core 1.6GHz AMD Zacate E-350, the single-core 1.5GHz Zacate E-240, the dual-core 2.1GHz Athlon P320, the single-core 2.2GHz Athlon V120, the dual-core 1.3GHz Athlon Neo K325, and the single-core 1.7GHz Athlon Neo K125 - representing three product generations, the Brazos, the Danube, and the Nile.

If you're hoping that the Brazos-based Zacate chips beat out the previous-generation competition by a comfortable margin in the performance stakes, you'll be sadly mistaken. Performance was on a rough level across all three generations - but it's performance per watt that AMD was looking to highlight.

The Nile platform, designed for use in ultra-portable laptops, draws around 10.83W under load - but the Zacate E-350 Fusion performed at roughly the same level in a mere 6.5W, spelling significant power savings for laptop use.

Synthetic benchmarks don't ever tell the whole picture, of course - although the 3DMark and PCMark suites are better than most - so it remains to be seen how the processors 'feel' in general use. For ultra-portable devices, however, the chips already look like a major winner.