I'm going to be honest here when I say that I wasn't on the Fusion bandwagon from the start. I liked the idea behind it, but I wasn't sure if we would actually ever see it eventuate, or at least eventuate to a product that we would want to own.
Fusion is here, though, and it's time to decide if this is something that's going to line AMDs pockets with money, or will be a good idea that hasn't been executed well. Our first look at Fusion is going to come in the form of a retail board which will be hitting shelves soon.
The GIGABYTE E350N-USB3 is as you might've guessed a Fusion board based on the E Series of Fusion APU from AMD. They tell us that this is the "Value & Essential" series. We're going to get into all of that in just a few moments, though, as we take a look at the motherboard to see what's on offer.
What we'll first do is check out the package that GIGABYTE has got going on. Once that's done we'll have a closer look at the board itself, the features it offers and get a bit more technical with what Fusion is and what AMD wants it to do.
Then we'll get into the good stuff and find out what it can actually do, while at the same time having a bit of fun with it by throwing in a video card that's almost twice as long as the board itself. First, though, let's check out the package.
The box itself is very GIGABYTE and looking at it we're seeing a lot of the stuff we've seen before, and in a sense you're really not seeing too much new. The thing is, though, when you start to consider this Mini-ITX sized box which is carrying a 17cm x 17cm board, has logos like USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, and the big stand out, DirectX 11 support, you find yourself thinking that there's going to be a lot packed on to this little unit. Turning the box over then goes on to describe some of the features in more detail; we won't cover that here, though.
Since our board arrived a little pre-mature, we found ourselves with only two SATA cables and a driver CD that hadn't even been pressed yet. We did ask GIGABYTE what else would be included and the other extras are your standard ones like I/O Shield and the standard manual.