MSI Unveils CR 650 Notebook With AMD Brazos APU


MSI on Monday launched its CR650, a multimedia notebook that's powered by AMD's Brazos APU platform and oriented toward customers in the home entertainment space.

The 15.6-inch MSI CR650 includes a dual-core E-350 Fusion APU, which includes AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics technology on the same die, and runs Windows 7 Home Premium. While the Radeon HD 6310 includes support for Direct X 11, AMD's Brazos E-350 processor supports ATI Stream graphics processing on a single-die with two 1.6 GHz x86 CPU cores.

The CR650 also features a chiclet keyboard, DDR3 memory, a 250/320/500GB hard drive, a DVD writer, and a 4-in-1 card reader. It comes with built-in Ethernet, WI-Fi, HD Webcam, and a 6-cell battery with Turbo power-saving technology. The CR650 also comes with SRS PC surround sound and Cinema Pro technology, allowing professional-level users to adjust the graphics settings and run graphics-intensive workloads.

MSI was among the manufacturers that brought a notebook PC featuring AMD's Fusion platform to CES 2011 earlier this month. The 13.3-inch MSI X370 ultrathin notebook featuring the Brazos 3-350 processor debuted at the event alongside the MSI U270 netbook featuring a Zacate APU, AMD's fusion processor for smaller form factor PCs. MSI at the event unveiled smaller form factor PCs.

AMD at CES launched its Fusion line of APUs, offering integrated multicore CPU technology with HD video acceleration and high-performance GPU processing on a single die.

Meanwhile, MSI at CES also launched several G-series notebooks powered by Intel's Sandy Bridge integrated graphics platform, which offers integrated CPU and GPU technology for mainstream notebooks. The MSI GT780, GT680, GE620 and GR620 notebooks were on display featuring a Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor.

In addition to AMD-powered notebooks, MSI is also among several manufacturers including ASUS, Gigabyte, and Sapphire that will offer motherboard designs based on AMD's Fusion APUs for embedded systems in Q1 of 2011.

Now that MSI has offered consumer notebooks with Fusion, it joins Acer and Asus as companies with product offerings that feature both processor families, as AMD and Intel begin competing in the new integrated graphics space. In an interview with CRN last week, AMD's channel chief David Kenyon said that the Fusion platform offers system builders technical designs and business opportunities that differentiate Fusion from Intel's Sandy Bridge.

Details regarding pricing and availability for MSI's CR 650 have not been made available.