AMD Fusion Hits Retail: Zotac and Gigabyte E-350s

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We have been hearing about AMD’s Fusion initiative for what seems like an eternity. In fact, some of the very first posts regarding Fusion hit this site of ours way back in 2006. Many things have happened within AMD since those early announcements and rumors began swirling, most notably AMD’s acquisition of ATI.  However, it was only recently that AMD’s efforts with Fusion have actually beared fruit; at least fruit that’s ready for public consumption.

Over the last few months especially, AMD has once again begun aggressively talking up Fusion and showing off a number of Fusion-based products, targeted at various price points and market segments. It was back in November that we got our first official hands-on with one of AMD’s Fusion-based products, the low-power Zacate platform. That first look and follow-up performance preview made use of an AMD reference platform, however, and not a product that was ready for store shelves.

Recently, a smattering of products based on Zacate and its lower-power cousin, Ontario, have since begun trickling out to retail and we’ve gotten our hands on two of them for some in-house testing. Although they are based on the same AMD E-350 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), the Gigabyte E350N-USB3 and Zotac Zbox Blu-Ray AD03 Plus are two very different products. The Gigabyte E350N-USB3 is a mini-ITX mobo featuring an E-350 APU targeting the DIY crowd, while the Zotac Zbox is a sleek, highly-integrated, full-featured HTPC. Let’s take a look at the new ZBox first and then we’ll evaluate performance to see how these retail-ready AMD E-350 APU-based products fare against some competing low-power platforms and AMD’s own reference system we checked out a few months back.

The Gigabyte E350N-USB3 Perched Atop The Zotac ZBox Blu-Ray AD03 Plus

Zotac ZBox Blu-ray AD03 Plus
Specifications & Features

The specifications and features of the Zotac Zbox Blu-Ray AD03 Plus are detailed in the table above. As you can see, the product is based on the dual-core AMD E-350 APU, which features an integrated DX11-class Radeon HD 6310 graphics core. The APU is paired to the AMD M1 chipset and the internals reside in an ultra small form factor, custom designed enclosure. Two models of the Zotac Zbox Blu-Ray AD03 are available, the standard version which does not include any memory or a hard drive and the “Plus” edition, which we looked at, that is bundled with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Please note, however, that no OS is installed on the system—you’ll have to install one yourself.

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infinityzen1 3 years ago

Think I might pick up one of those Zotac ZBox barebones and use it for a bedroom PC.

coolice 3 years ago

Oo... The Zotac design dept has got some good employees workin for them

I really like the look and feel of the products that come out from zotac... their black and yellow GPU's also look pretty cool. BUT, my only complaint being... its Zotac.

But these look promising, i'm surprised it could handle those games in the first place even though the f/r's were low. even my x2 5000 cant perform as well anymore... but i blame that on the gpu i have. Also, i'm no pro gamer.... but compare these to the intel atoms, i think i'll pick the apu's anyday.

CDeeter 3 years ago

Yes! Finally some Fusion products out in the wild. Looks like they are off to a good start too.Yes

Hopefully you will be getting some laptops and netbooks in to test soon like the HP Pavilion dm1z and Acer Aspire AS5253. I'm really wanting to buy one of these to replace my 1st gen Acer Aspire One, but I'm waiting for reviews to come out first.

Resin 3 years ago

It looks like they're using the Germs logo.

hln98 3 years ago

Which retails can I get this? Amazon Newegg? I can't wait.

This Zbox AD03 can bitstream high res audio (DTS-MA and Dolby True HD) via HDMI for your mkvs, m2ts files, which is a huge selling point for me. This will kill all of the crappy Intel Atom boxes since none of them can bitstream HD audio.

For those that might not know who think they don't care, once you hear HD audio (DTS-MA and Dolby True HD) from your ripped BDs you can never go back to the crappy DTS.

hln98 3 years ago

Marco Chiappetta,

Again, Please please let us know where we can order this.

Marco C 3 years ago

@hln98 - The Zbox Blu-Ray AD03 isn't widely available just yet, but whe it is, you'll be able to find it at popular e-tailers like  Thanks!

MairusuPawa 3 years ago

Could you please, please, please test it out with a Linux distro (says Debian) running XBMC, NullDC and Dolphin?

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