The E350 is a very unusual introduction from AMD. Many would have thought the initial release for FUSION would not have been a low end chip. Typically both AMD and Intel release a flagship CPU upon introduction, but in this case, AMD looks to be walking before running. The HTPC segment has become a growing market so the combo APU/ Motherboard should draw some attention. There is definitely a market for entry level computers.
Benchmarking the E350N-USB3 combination took longer than our usual CPU testing using this 1.6 GHz APU. Frankly, it’s got nowhere near the horsepower we typically see. The results showed on average about 10% increase on some of the tests with a 10% overclock. While we are overclocking nuts, the reality is there isn’t really any realistic gain in overclocking this system. We did notice there was no discernible performance gain with a dedicated graphics card installed, with obvious exception of gaming. Looking at the scores in 3DMark06 and having a 1.6 GHz APU, the end user will not be gaming with this combination.
Surfing the internet, downloading files and watching video was no problem for the Gigabyte E350N-USB3. The disk benchmarks were usual but the memory and calculating benchmarks were nothing to write home about. The numbers proved it can be effective to the end user using it for basic needs. Rendering scores also showed low performance as we already expected. Installation of software was not brisk but HTPC users will not have complicated applications to install on this system anyways.
Gigabyte has made a good motherboard for the AMD E350N. The board has a good layouty, has the essential features and necessary connectivity, and the BIOS is easy to understand. Gigabyte is well known for manufacturing motherboards that perform well and offer great value, and with a price tag of $139, the Gigabyte E350N-USB3 is not the cheapest nor most expensive amongst the competition, settling right in the middle. We like this Gigabyte setup and think it would make a good option for an HTPC system.