Hopefully whoever is reading this blog finds this to be useful information.
As one might know, AMD released its “Vision” APU processor series last year. They tout that, although the processors are low voltage and don’t have the raw power of Sandy Bridge, they are more balanced because of their graphical capabilities because the GPU and CPU are located on the same die. I have heard many exclaim that even the lower end models of the Vision APUs are capable of playing low spec games and 1080p video seamlessly, all while maintaining low power consumption. Under the guise that the E350 APU would have similar capabilities as pronounced by AMD and many others, I decided to purchase a netbook with an E350 APU, a Lenovo x120e (E350 APU, 4GB 1333Mhz RAM, 320 GB 5400 RPM HDD) to be exact.
From my experience with the device, I find that the performance of the E350 APU is a hit and miss. This maintains in nearly every facet of the computer from browsing the web to gaming and is probably due to the fact that the drivers for the Vision architecture are still in their infancy. As the title mentions, I will list games that work with the E350 APU and not waste time with going into detail with my complaints. I would also like to state that the computer is not intended for gaming at all; while some low spec games play without a hitch, others do not.
Here is a list of all the games I have tried on my Lenovo x120e and their performance.
1: Payday the Heist:
On indoor locations alone I receive extremely low framerates and maintain and average of ~8 FPS with lowest details and a resolution of 1280×720. The game is unbearable to play with this kind of performance. The frame rate I received was 20.
This game is not playable. I did not record the frames before I uninstalled the game, but from my estimate, it was running at ~22 FPS. With platformers, this framerate is unacceptable.
3: Killing Floor
This game runs surprisingly well, especially at indoor locations. I ran the game on the lowest settings with a max resolution of 1366×768. Indoor locations varied in FPS from 30 – 45 and outdoor locations were about 20-35. It is playable with the frame rate. It should be noted that I never made it to any of the later waves which spawn inordinate amounts of AI. It is possible that the game would slow down to about 15 FPS with various AI on screen.
4: BIT.TRIP RUNNER
The game runs well at the beginning stages,~30-45 FPS, but at the later stages it slows down to ~20-25 FPS due to too many objects loaded at once. The game is playable but the lag caused by low frame rates causes many input related deaths and can lead to frustration. Again, you don’t want to see low frame rates in a twitch based platformer- it doesn’t work out too well.
I am relatively new to this game so I haven’t tested anything with too much on-screen action. From what I can tell, the game plays without a hitch while running at 1366×768 resolution with all of the graphical effects turned on. It maintains framerates between 45 and 60 FPS.
6: Zeno Clash
Zeno clash has to be one of the most interesting games I have played in a long time. It doesn’t make any sense, but it sure is fun to play. Furthermore, the game relatively lightweight and designed to run even on low spec machines. Sadly, all I can say is that the game runs ‘ok.’ I have all of the graphics settings turned to the lowest and the resolution set to 1280×720. At these settings the FPS rarely passes 30 but at least I have never seen stoop below 20. Although Zeno clash requires some quick movements, it is still playable on an E350 APU.
7: Team Fortress 2
For some reason the game runs terribly when matching yourself against AI (try below 25 FPS), but when playing online against other players, the game runs smooth as butter. Interestingly enough, I find that there is little to no FPS change when turning the graphics between their highest and lowest settings (a graphics driver issue maybe?) For this reason I can play the game on high with a 1366×768 resolution and still maintain a 40+ FPS at indoor locations. The only time the frames drop below 30 is when all the players are duking it out in one small section of the map.
It loads on a netbook? That is nothing short of amazing. Running the game on all lowest settings, it is possible to get slightly higher than 10 FPS. I wouldn’t advise playing it though seeing as it is painful on the eyes to do so.
9: Various games from the Indie Humble Bundle.
All of the games from the Indie Humble Bundle run without an performance hits, that is, all except for Anomaly Warzone Earth (the game has to be played on the lowest possible settings, besides resolution). Seeing as most of these games were designed to run on smartphones and tablets, I can see why they run so smooth.
The game runs great. I haven’t done an FPS count, but I see no reason to. The game runs smooth, probably 45+ FPS, and is quite enjoyable to play.
With the graphics on medium settings and a resolution of 1366×768, the game runs great. As with some of the other titles, I have not counted the frames on this game but it runs smooth enough to the point where an FPS count is not necessary.
12: Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning
The game runs well at indoor locations but when intense particle effects fill the scene, the framerate immediately slows down. The framrate is so unstable in this game that it ranges anywhere from 35 FPS all the way down to 5 FPS. It depends on the locations you are in and how much action is going on on screen.
The game runs at ~25-30 FPS, but the load hiccups get annoying. This is due to my slow HDD and not the E350 APU. Overall, with the view distance turned down and some settings tweaked, it is very much playable even in full screen mode.
That is a comprehensive list of all the games I have tried on my Lenovo x120e. If anyone would like to see YouTube videos of the games in action or have suggestions for other games to play, please leave a comment.