In order to compare the performance difference of the permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) with different rotor structure, two kinds of rotor magnetic circuit structure with surface-mounted radial excitation and tangential excitation are designed respectively. By comparing and analyzing the results, the difference of the motor performance was determined. Firstly, based on the finite element method (FEM), the motor electromagnetic field performance was studied, and the magnetic field distribution of the different magnetic circuit structure was obtained. The influence mechanism of the different magnetic circuit structure on the air gap flux density was obtained by using the Fourier theory. Secondly, the cogging torque, output torque and overload capacity of the PMSM with different rotor structure were studied. The effect mechanism of the different rotor structure on the motor output property difference was obtained. The motor prototype with two kinds of rotor structure was manufactured, and the experimental study was carried out. By comparing the experimental data and simulation data, the correctness of the research is verified. This paper lays a foundation for the research on the performance of the PMSM with different magnetic circuit structure.