Asus E35M1-M PRO Micro ATX

Conclusion

Asus E35M1-M PRO Micro ATX

Conclusion

 

After much testing it is now time to come to some sort of decision about Fusion and the E35M1-M PRO Motherboard

We began our testing with the expectation that the Brazos platform would offer performance that exceeded the Atom D510, provide graphical abilities to a similar level to nVidia's ION2 and with a lower power consumption to boot. With this in mind, the E350 and Hudson M1 pairing has succeeded.

Across a number of synthetic benchmarks, the little 1.60GHz processor was not far off scores made by desktop CPU's such as the 2.70GHz Sempron 140. As silly as it sounds, this is a very good achievement for an 18W processor.

The embedded Radeon HD 6310 performs admirably well for one with just 80 stream processing units. Clocked in with similar performance to graphics cards such as the GeForce 9500GT, we believe that this integrated GPU will compensate for just about any multimedia scenario where the Fusion E350 proves inadequate.

One could say that the full impact of the entry level APU is not known as the list of OpenCL compliant programs are still small, although growing at a handsome rate. However when day to day applications such as Flash 10.1 utilise GPU acceleration, the little Radeon HD 6310 is a true life saver.

In a nutshell, the Asus E35M1-M PRO is everything a typical Atom Dual Core + ION offering is, but noticeably better. Those who wish to use the board as a HTPC or NAS box will be pleased by the flexible storage options and the passive/low noise operation. Also we have shown that 1080p is doable with no trouble at all.

So given an identical price tag, would we choose an AMD Fusion Net-Top or Netbook over an Intel Atom? Absolutely.

Is Brazos up to scratch with a fully fledged desktop computer? No, not really. Even when bundled with a decent GPU and 4GB RAM, there is still a very subtle lack of urgency in system response even when navigating/scrolling on (albeit very poorly coded) websites. It is certainly not a nuisance or obtrusive however it is a constant reminder that you are working from an embedded platform.

Particularly for uses where low power consumption is essential, these minor niggles are very easy to forgive. However make no mistake in thinking that an E350 APU has any chance of giving a similarly priced AMD Athlon II + AMD 880G combination a run for its money.

This does bring us to another point and that is price. The E35M1-M PRO may have an exotic feature set but it has also artificially increased the value of an otherwise entry level platform. If we could ask for anything, it would be a stripped down dual core Brazos board on Mini ITX for well under £90. On the basis that the intended RRP of this platform was from $99, we also think that this is what AMD had in mind as well.

The final verdict? A fantastic platform for a Home Theater PC, NAS Box or secondary laptop/desktop. Thus far Asus have set the bar high for any other APU Motherboards that we receive in the future.

The Good
- Quiet Operation
- Atom beating performance
- Competitive Power Consumption
- Scope for HDD expansion
- SATA 6.0Gb/s and USB 3.0

The Mediocre
- Integrated WiFi - almost essential on a board such as this?
- mATX could have been mITX

The Bad
- None

 

Bronze

 

Thanks to Asus for the sample on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

03-02-2011, 05:15:10

tinytomlogan
Today we test one of the first motherboards to sport the AMD Fusion APU

Continue Reading

03-02-2011, 06:05:58

Zeals
AMD Fusion seems like the perfect choice for a HTPC, a few questions, is this capable of 3D? Also does it upscale well?

03-02-2011, 07:10:40

Mul.
Hi Zeals,

As the new HD 6310 GPU supports UVD 3.0, this means that DivX decoding is now included (on top of the existing MPEG2/H.264) and also Blu-Ray 3D support. However neither Asus or AMD have clearly stated that the HD 6310 will decode 3D well. I suppose this will become more clear as time goes on however my initial impressions are that a HTPC for higher end functionality such as 3D support or anything else that may command some more CPU horse power is probably better off with a conventional CPU and dedicated GPU.

I hope that helps

03-02-2011, 07:37:40

Zeals
Thnx for the fast reply Mul, really appreciate it.

03-02-2011, 10:54:14

wotevajjjj
will my NHD14 fit ?

03-02-2011, 12:33:59

SadButTrue
Quote:
Originally Posted by wotevajjjj View Post

will my NHD14 fit ?
Go for it bro!

Pros: you'll have the coolest running 18W CPU on the block. WooHoo! Bragging rights.

Cons: You'll probably need to work on the mount - I don't see the usual AM3 hardware on that board. And do you figure £150 or more on a full-tower case to accommodate the Noctua is about right for a rig like this? An HAF-X or a Lanboy Air would be quite stylish.

03-02-2011, 13:39:46

oneseraph
So here is an interesting little tidbit. The mini ITX version is on it's way. You can check it out here.

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9BmKhMwWCwqyl1lz&templete=2

Looks like it includes WiFi plus blue-tooth 3.0. Anyway, just look at the specs on this little monster. The feature set is extremely impressive for a Mini ITX board. I think this would make a sweet little pc that you could mount to the back of a monitor for a clutter and noise free desk. Definitely good for email, web browsing, word, netflix and watching movies.

04-02-2011, 05:22:27

silenthill
I think I’ll pass and just buy a notebook with power consumption of 15W and that’s with the screen on

04-02-2011, 05:27:26

Zeals
Well an ideal HTPC board will be mITX and have enough power for 3D playback, and a decent amount of DVD upscaling.

So as Mul suggested probably wait for a more powerful AMD Fusion APU, and than bolt on a nice HTPC soundcard and PROFITS!

11-02-2011, 17:18:41

anikhtos
ANyone to comment that when you add the discrete card aand run the test to see how much it will bottleneck did you check the cpu score from 954 to 2020??

it doubled. so my question is using a discrete vga does indeed improves cpu perfomanse?? so a few more test with winzip and other cpu programs to see if with a discrete vga they will improve. if they improve then it will be interesting :-)

12-02-2011, 05:05:26

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by anikhtos View Post

ANyone to comment that when you add the discrete card aand run the test to see how much it will bottleneck did you check the cpu score from 954 to 2020??

it doubled. so my question is using a discrete vga does indeed improves cpu perfomanse?? so a few more test with winzip and other cpu programs to see if with a discrete vga they will improve. if they improve then it will be interesting :-)
Well it's an APU, so the same chip is handling both graphics and cpu, so if you put a graphics card in the APU can just focus on the CPU stuff.

But for a normal CPU, unless you a running nVidia with Physx I doubt it.

14-02-2011, 05:25:23

Rastalovich
Looking at the fan on the cooler - can the ASUS logo part of the cooler come off ? Seems to me it deflects most of the fans work.

Loving these little options myself.

14-02-2011, 08:05:21

Zeals
I would prefer getting the MSI APU board. mITX perfect for smaller HTPC cases, and the fan doesn't look as out of place.

15-02-2011, 13:24:12

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anikhtos View Post

ANyone to comment that when you add the discrete card aand run the test to see how much it will bottleneck did you check the cpu score from 954 to 2020??

it doubled. so my question is using a discrete vga does indeed improves cpu perfomanse?? so a few more test with winzip and other cpu programs to see if with a discrete vga they will improve. if they improve then it will be interesting :-)
Hi Anikhtos,

There was an error with this graph; CPU score should read 1954, not 954. This has now been edited, apologies if this has caused any confusion.

12-04-2011, 07:04:59

plonk420
well, the MicroATX works best for me, tho i'd prefer the E35M1-M (non PRO) for price reasons. either way, i've ordered this so i can use my PCI (mid-range) audiophile sound card. also, backup slots in case the onboard NIC dies (which i've actually encountered).

12-04-2011, 07:15:56

plonk420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

AMD Fusion seems like the perfect choice for a HTPC, a few questions, is this capable of 3D? Also does it upscale well?
meh @ directx scaling (including Bicubic). i'll have to see if it'll do 720p -> 1080p Spline/Sinc scaling well in ffdshow, tho i'm not really expecting it :S

04-06-2011, 19:08:15

Jayzon
I am loving that the new technology for HTPC users like myself, as I am looking into this E35M1-M Pro board to build a low power HTPC. The only reason I would take this over the E35M1-M mini ATX board is that I need 2 PCIE slots for my Happauge Win Tv tuner cards, unless someone could tell me a great way of getting dual NTSC signals into one card ?

Another question would the new form factor have any complications in fitting into a standard ATX case?

Thanks

05-06-2011, 04:04:18

Grizzly
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayzon View Post

I am loving that the new technology for HTPC users like myself, as I am looking into this E35M1-M Pro board to build a low power HTPC. The only reason I would take this over the E35M1-M mini ATX board is that I need 2 PCIE slots for my Happauge Win Tv tuner cards, unless someone could tell me a great way of getting dual NTSC signals into one card ?

Another question would the new form factor have any complications in fitting into a standard ATX case?

Thanks
Most ATX cases will have the mounting holes for mATX as well, It'd be strange really if it didn't as they use some of the ATX mounting holes.

31-10-2011, 07:32:34

sigfreund
I built my HTPC around the E35M1-M Pro and have been very happy so far. I also have a HDHomerun for the tuner and it is awesome. Provides dual tuners to every computer on your network,It works great.

http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/dvbt/
Reply
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