We might have to bend the rules just a little bit in order to claim that the new Gigabyte GA-E350V-USB3 motherboard for the AMD Fusion platform is a mini-ITX gaming motherboard, but with all the hype recently surrounding Intel and the new Sandy Bridge platform, it’s easy to forget that AMD has a new product line in the works. They’re calling it an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) and Gigabyte has just released details on the first mini-ITX motherboard to support the new “Zacate” APU. Although not officially launched, the specs have been released.
We say “bend” the rules because, although the board meets most of our criteria (memory support and a PCIe x16 slot), the Fusion E-350 CPU is hardwired to the motherboard. The Fusion APU packs a pair of x86-64 cores running at 1.6 Ghz and AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics. The graphics processor is clocked at 500MHz and contains 80 stream processors.
CPU (or APU) issues aside, the specs on the GA-E350V-USB3 motherboard are similar to Gigabyte’s upcoming Intel H67 based Sandy Bridge board, the GA-H67N-USB3.
The E350V-USB3 offers two DDR3 DIMM slots that support 1800+ MHz memory modules, in single channel configuration and the aforementioned PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slot. Drive connectivity is handled by four SATA II 3Gbps ports and at least two USB 3.0 connections. DVI, VGA and HDMI are all included along with 8-channel HD audio.
Admittedly, the AMD APU is no match for the upcoming Sandy Bridge CPU ad far as processing power, but it will be interesting to see how AMD’s integrated Radeon HD stack up to the redesigned Intel HD graphics. Whether or not we can utilize this platform for a gaming system will have to wait until its release and we can get one to play with.
Gigabyte has just updated their website with the full product page for the new GA-E350-USB3. Check them both out.