Articles: Mainboards

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AMD has really succeeded with the launch of their Brazos platform. All the engineering effort put into the development of new Bobcat processor microarchitecture has paid back very well. Zacate and Ontario processors based on it managed to disturb Atom’s monopoly in the energy-efficient and compact solutions segment. And broad popularity of Brazos based netbooks and mini-ITX mainboards is excellent proof of that.

 A Zacate family representative, E-350 processor, is superior to Intel Atom almost in every aspect. It is faster, has a fully-fledged graphics core, is relatively energy-efficient and boasts pretty competitive price. Therefore, many mainboard makers who used to push forward Atom and ION based miniature mainboards, have now switched to AMD E-350. Moreover, even the companies, which haven’t been involved with Atom mainboards before, started offering their Brazos solutions. Today we are going to talk about two unexpected Brazos-products like that from Sapphire.

In fact, it isn’t a big surprise that Sapphire joined the makers of AMD based Mini-ITX mainboards. These two companies have has close relationship for a long time. And this is actually why Brazos mainboards from Sapphire pose special interest these days: what if this company managed to take advantage of their privileged position and achieve more with this energy-efficient AMD CPU? Let’s find out!

Packaging and Accessories

Sapphire Company has two Mini-ITX mainboard models built on the Brazos platform: PURE WHITE FUSION E350 (IP-E350M1W) and PURE FUSION MINI E350 (IPC-E350M1). These two mainboards differ greatly from one another in their sole purpose. The first one is a totally typical product of its class, while the second one is a loaded solution being way more superior to its analogues in expansion functionality. We managed to get hold of both these mainboards.

These two mainboard ship in small boxes of the same size and with similar design. Only the color scheme is different. PURE WHITE FUSION E350 box is logically mostly white:

And the box of PURE FUSION MINI E350 is mostly red:

The mainboards major characteristics are listed on the boxes. There are no photos on them on the packaging, so you can’t get an idea of what these boards actually look like until you open the box.

Both mainboards are bundled with the same accessories, which are not very numerous and include the following items, besides the actual mainboards:

  • Two SATA cables without locks and with straight connectors;
  • I/O Shield for the back panel;
  • Brief multi-lingual user manual;
  • DVD disk with software and drivers.
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