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31 Comments

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  • meacupla - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    On paper, $60 for CPU+mobo sounds nice, but I would be more interested in a $50~60 mITX FM2+ or LGA1150 board.

    mITX for Kabini is too large.
    Reply
  • Drummerdude - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    So, if you're running a 19v adapter to power the motherboard, what's powering the rest of the computer, like your hdd, dvd/bluray drive, etc? Reply
  • Medallish - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Just checked the manual. It's kind of hard to see on the above picture but if you look closely between the ATX and Sata ports there is a Sata Power connection, I'm guessing that you get a cable for atleast two(hopefully 4) Sata devices. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    There is a SATA power connector on board - ASRock will bundle a one-to-many cable with the motherboard. I am just asking ASRock how many devices can be done via this method, will update when I have this information. Reply
  • Adding-Color - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    @IanCutress - off topic

    I have just sent you a mail proposing an improvement for the anandtech podcast, please have a look at this mail.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    I'm not in charge of the Podcast, you'll have to get hold of Anand for that :) Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    That probably depends more upon the power draw of the devices as it will only send a certain number of amps per 5v and 12v line. For reference, I usually see this sort of setup used on Thin Mini-ITX boards like ASUS's Q87T, but those boards also include a ton of extras for use in embedded setups like eDP and LVDS, which this doesn't have. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    ASRock have told me that the SATA power should power one device, maybe two depending on power draw. So if you need an ODD, that limits storage to PCIe or mini-PCIe cards. Reply
  • colinstu - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Very cool (with the psu on-board) this isn't anything new but it is very rare and should be done more often. Picopsus have existed for years but their development has pretty much stopped. It's very easy just to build one of those directly on board too.

    Ditching the optical drive and using a mSATA drive... would have a truly compact system w/no need to use extra power/sata cables. Hopefully ASRock creates an LGA1150 version as well as other mini-itx mobo makers.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Assuming the price is right this could do a lot better than a pico-PSU. The cheaper pico PSUs all need 12V bricks which are expensive; the picoPSUs that can use a cheap 19V brick are significantly more expensive because they need large DC-DC converters. If ASRock designed the board to create all the assorted low voltages needed by various components directly from 19V instead of with an intermediate 12V level they could save a lot just by having fewer voltage converters. OTOH the fact that they've also got a standard ATX hookup makes me think they might just be converting 19V to 12V at input and feeding it into a standard power distribution setup. Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Some prices already popped up in European price comparison sites: eg.
    http://geizhals.at/eu/?cat=mbam1

    The AM1H-ITX carries quite a premium at 47€ compared to the AM1B-ITX at 29€.

    There seem to be two more boards from Asus showing up.
    Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    I find these offerings interesting primarily due to the PCI-e slot. There are no bay trail atoms available with that.

    $60 mobo+CPU
    $50 cheap mITX case
    $0 power brick from a laptop you threw out 10 years ago
    $150 NV 750Ti
    --------
    $260 = bargain basement steambox
    Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    You forgot some important components like storage and memory... Also from scanning the current online prices I think a worthy CPU and the 19V Mobo will be closer to 100€ (or $130) than $60. Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Even $400 would be a pretty nice steambox. Kabini is more than fast enough on the CPU side, and a 750Ti is just a smidgen slower than current-gen consoles.

    I guess at $400 I might wait to see how the $500 steamboxes from Alienware/etc measure up.
    Reply
  • ozzuneoj86 - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    I would definitely not call this more than fast enough on the CPU side. In highly multithreaded situations it will be more capable, but in poorly threaded applications it'd be like trying to use a Pentium 4. I know passmark isn't the most reliable benchmark ever, but for what its worth:
    A4-5000 multi-threaded = 1924
    Core 2 Duo E6850 multi-threaded = 1968 (and that's a dual core)

    A4-5000 single-threaded = 593
    Pentium 4 2.53Ghz single-threaded = 605

    Obviously its a nice CPU considering its low TDP, but it is by no means fast enough for gaming, of any kind. You'd probably have better all around performance from a Celeron 1037u based system, since they are significantly faster in single threaded performance. If you're adding a GPU, I see no reason to go with Kabini.
    Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    You would be crippling the 750Ti quite a bit, with only a PciE 2.0 x4 connection, though. Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    This came up a couple years ago, there was an article that tested various then-current video cards at only 8x, 4x, and 1x lanes. 8x was no change at all, and 4x was something like 15% performance degradation. Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Here we go, tracked it down.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-sc...

    I basically remembered it correctly. 8x was no change at all, and 4x was between 5% and 10% slower depending on the GPU and game.

    Would be interesting to see someone repeat this with recent videocards, and the 750Ti in particular.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Anandtech's done it a bit more recently (2 years ago vs 3) with the 7970 and got similar results with only 3/10 games taking a 10%+ hit on 2x 3.0 lanes (equivalent to 4x 2.0).

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5458/the-radeon-hd-7...
    Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Even better.

    Would love to see an article about "lopsided" gaming machines with weak CPUs and relatively power GPUs at very low prices. The thought of a $400 gaming computer is really attractive.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Probably not as lopsided as you want; but as part of Mantle testing Ryan benched BF4 with a 290X and an i7 throttled down as low as 2ghz.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7728/battlefield-4-m...
    Reply
  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Yeah, it's not. The kabini here is basically bay trail atom class, like an old mobile core2duo. Haswell i7 at 2Ghz would smoke it. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    I've done some testing in multi-GPU setups where the third/fourth GPU is limited in bandwidth. It really takes a knock there. I advice using anything PCIe 2.0 x4 and below to be honest - you end up throwing money away from peak potential. That can be doubly compounded based on the CPU as well. I'm currently testing an Avoton processor with a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot and my usual high end GPUs. Results for that will be in that review, coming soon :) Reply
  • schizoide - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    Sweet! Sounds like that's right up my alley.

    Haven't seen anything on Avoton SoCs yet. They're just 8-core bay trail atoms, basically, right? So the perf gradients should transfer across.
    Reply
  • profdre - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    Hey Ian, do you know for sure that the AM1H-ITX onboard regulators can power a graphics card like the GTX 750? What's the maximum possible draw? 90 W (power supply stated in manual)-25 W (CPU)-mobo-SSD, so roughly 50-55 W? And don't you think a small card like the GTX 750 with less than half the graphics power of my R9 280X will be happy with PCIe x4? I only use PCIe x8 with the R9 280 X and with x16 it's 2 % faster on 2560x1440. On top of that, Kabini will probably more of a bottleneck than the PCIe interface, I guess. Could you run some Kabini coupled with GTX 750 gaming benchmarks? I would be interested in a low power, low budget passive gaming machine :) Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Wow this is really fantastic. I think I will be buying one of those for sure! Reply
  • nafhan - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Nice! Looks perfect for a little home server/NAS, as most of the Baytrail and Kabini stuff has been limited to two SATA ports. Reply
  • signorRossi - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    How do the Kabini APUs suitable for these MBs compare to Bay-Trail D Atoms or even the i3 used in the NUC? I know the TDP is quite different, but 25W is still manegeable to build a fanless system with. I'm eying an Impactics case (no coolset for this MB available yet, though)...
    I don't game, btw.
    Reply
  • schizoide - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    The kabini and bay trail atoms are comparable.

    The haswell i3 will _smoke_ them both. But depending on your usage model, that may not matter. If you're just doing office stuff, kabini/atom is fine.
    Reply
  • Namisecond - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    Actually, according to some benchmarks (passmark), the Kabini is comparable to the lowest level core i3 (4010u) int he NUC. Those same benchmarks point out that the intel HD4400 significantly outperformns AMD's radeon 8400. Not that I would use either for more than just casual gaming. Reply
  • piod - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    When are you guys going to fix the distorted image apsect ratios on the main page? Reply

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