Toshiba Satellite C655D AMD E-240 Fusion APU Notebook Review
Ah, finally, the performance section. Since this is the first laptop we’ve reviewed with AMD’s new Zacate APU, and AMD has so far only let us play with the dual-core variant, it’s hard to know what should be expected. Seeing that this is the single-core version, and it is shipping in budget laptops such as this $349 Toshiba Satellite C655, Intel’s Atom is the natural target. The E-240 processor in this model is clocked at 1.5 GHz – slightly slower than your typical Atom. However, the Atom has been around for some time, so this new AMD processor could easily make up for its clock speed deficit with a quicker architecture. We know, for example, that the E-240 is uses out-of-order execution, which should give it a per-clock performance advantage over the strictly in-order Atom.
But enough talk – let’s get to the benchmarks. As usual, the SiSoft synthetic benchmarks come first.
As you can see, the E-240 scores far lower than most laptops we’ve reviewed including the Atom powered Eee PC 1201N. But here’s the catch; the Eee PC 1201N was packing a dual-core Atom processor. The performance of the E-240 is similar to what you’d expect from a modern single-core Atom such as the 1.66 GHz N450.
Frankly, I was a bit disappointed with these results. It’s not as if Atom is a cutting edge architecture – it hasn’t been significantly changed since it debuted a few years ago, and the changes that have occurred mostly focused on improving battery life rather than performance. If you’ve never been happy with the processor performance of Atom in the past, you’re unlikely to be happy with the E-240, either.
There’s more to the E-240 than this, however. It’s time to examine some more general performance benchmarks.
Unfortunately, the ASUS Eee PC 1201 came around before we changed our benchmark suite to include an expanded lineup of general performance tests, so it isn’t to be found in anything besides PCMark Vantage. With that said, the E-240 in the C655 came surprisingly close to the score of that dual-core Atom netbook, which is a very positive result. The Peacekeeper benchmark also placed the E-240 surprisingly close to the Intel Core i3-UM processor in the recently tested Lenovo U260.
On the other hand, the E-240 scores very poorly in the 7-zip benchmark and the Truecrypt benchmark, both of which lean on the performance of the processor and not at all on the performance of the integrated graphics. This suggests that the overall performance of this APU is biased more towards graphics, which isn’t surprising.