We bent the rules a couple of days ago to show you a preview of the new Gigabyte E350V-USB3 motherboard for the new AMD Fusion Brazos platform. While they’re still bent, we’re going to sneak in another preview, this time from ASRock, that they’re calling the E350M1. Although this motherboard won’t be on any enthusiasts short-list for a new mini-ITX gaming system, these new Fusion-based boards are surprisingly capable for a low power solution.
The ASRock E350M1 popped up on a Vietnamese website about a month ago, complete with multiple photos and a few benchmarking results. The site claimed 3798 3DMark05 points from the Zacate’s integrated Radeon HD 6310. The gaming benchmarks they ran claimed 58fps in FFIA, 34fps in Devil May Cry, 46fps in Left for Dead, 28fps in Call of Duty 6 and 30fps in Red Alert 3. Curiously, the E350M1 only managed 21fps in Starcraft II and a meager 14fps in World Of Warcraft. However, these are preliminary benchmarks and the exact settings are undocumented. Updated drivers closer to the official release should also have an impact on the board’s performance.
As for the features of the E350M1, it packs a dual-core AMD E350 APU and two slots for 240-pin DDR3. A PCI Express 2.0 slot is standard, along with four SATA III 6Gbps drive connectors. USB 3.0 support is offered via two ports on the rear panel, along with four USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA connector. VGA, DVI and HDMI are included, as is HD audio and an optical SPDIF output. A PS/2 port and Gigabit Ethernet round out the rear panel.
The AMD Fusion platform is a big step up from previous integrated systems. While not a viable choice for serious gaming, the Brasos family of APU’s will make for some very power efficient systems that are capable of light gaming. Whether or not the Fusion APU is ready to handle serious horsepower in the PCIe slot will have to wait for a hands-on review.