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  • Chrispy_ - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    The whole concept of an expensive AM1 motherboard is ridiculous, because as metioned in the article, once the CPU+platform cost reaches about $80 you could buy an FM2 solution which would be significantly more powerful and have many more features.

    Asus, in this case, completely misses the point.
  • silverblue - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    Yet it would be a dual core, with a much higher TDP. None of these Kabini boards are full ATX, either, so you're not forced into a large form factor.

    Admittedly, I would go FM2/FM2+ as I would want the performance, but I could make a much smaller and quieter PC with Kabini for obvious reasons.
  • johnny_boy - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Exactly (about the TDP). There's still reason to go AM1 over FM2(+) purely for thermal/wattage reasons. I was eyeing a super small ITX case with 60W pico PSU for HTPC use that could also serve for NAS purposes and be always on. I wouldn't run a 65-100W FM2 chip 24/7 or for HTPC use unless I wanted to do some light gaming. Reply
  • Ortanon - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    This actually insinuates that a low-energy/low-heat desktop solution has a price premium the same way a high-performance desktop solution does. That kind of makes sense on the surface, but when you think about it things don't add up. A lower-TDP solution is necessarily less performant, but higher-TDP solutions aren't necessarily loud, and the differences in power draw are often negligible in terms of energy costs.

    All in all, a weaker system should be cheaper. Plain and simple. When I saw that it'd be at least $75 for an AM1 CPU/mobo, I just shook my head and moved along. Also they REALLY should've figured out a way to squeeze dual-channel into the spec.

    My fantasy is for an AM1 board that has nothing but RAM slots and two full mini-PCIE slots. That's it. You slide a board full of cards into a tiny-ass case and boom. No stupid cables, no nothing. Hell, there's your under-$40 mobo right there. How difficult is that? I've been waiting for that for SO MANY years, and yet...
  • RoboJ1M - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    You forgot no daft ATX+12 connector rubbish.
    You just want a DC jack on the back plate and some switched converters on board.
    And an HDMI and a USB port on the back.
    But yeah, that's what I'm looking for as well.
    Case + Mobo + CPU + Ram + Laptop PSU = Internet PC.
  • Ortanon - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    There are already SFF PSUs so that doesn't bother me as much. It just confuses me that after so many years of having mini-PCIe/mSATA, so few mini-ITX (!) motherboards have it, and far fewer than that have two (for your WiFi + SSD scenarios).

    Stand-alone cases could get a LOT smaller if that one change was made, not to mention the elimination of at least two cables from the build.

    Really, I'd be looking to use full-speed mSATA storage on ANY size setup. The cards don't cost extra anymore.
  • solos - Friday, November 20, 2015 - link

    Buy a notebook with broken screen (for next to nothing) , keep the bottom case and have your wish fullfilled ;) Reply
  • Flunk - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    If you don't produce things to hit different points of the market, how will you know they won't sell? It's worked for ASUS before. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Asus missed the point? ASRock is the one charging $60! Reply
  • ntgeralt - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    test Reply
  • rRansom - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Test acknowledged. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    I got it too. Reply
  • Ortanon - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    lol Reply
  • lmcd - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    The MSI would do better to have antenna and an attach point for everything for 2-3 $ more. Reply
  • lmcd - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    The commentary on the ASRock AM1H-ITX price misses the mark -- the benefits of the DC laptop power option mean that a tiny case attached to a VESA mount can be more easily used. Also, aren't such power supplies cheaper? Reply
  • teldar - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    I built one with the a asrock am1h and didn't even use a case. It's screwed to a piece of lexan and th e ssd is stuck underneath it. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    I would love to see some tests with GPUs installed. Since the jaguar core is also used in the latest consoles, I'm curious to see what happens when you drop comparable GPUs (to the new consoles) inside. Can the PS4/XboxOne even make good use of all that GPU power with such a basic CPU? Do it for science! Reply
  • wolrah - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    A tricky difference with the consoles is that they get twice the cores compared to retail offerings. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    You're welcome:)
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    I saw that, but it's on Ubuntu, which isn't quite up to speed as Windows.

    Also, while I know the new consoles have 8 cores, they run at lower clocks than the 5350. I also have my doubts that most games can use all 8 cores effectively. I think they are there more for better multitasking. Like I said, it would be interesting to see what a mid-range GPU could do here. Would it be worth it to spend $80 on AM1 and $150 on a GPU, or would that $230 go further another way, like with an A10-7850K? Which would make a better budget gaming combo? You might also be able to skimp on RAM with AM1 since you'll have a dedicated GPU will
  • tuxRoller - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Nvidia's driver's provide performance that is pretty much identical to windows.
    AMD's is more variable.
    From the benchmarks, there looks to be no point in going higher than an nvidia 750.
    However, if you're gaming, and you want nice effects, you need that single thread performance.
  • Flunk - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    It's not like either has a very powerful GPU either. Xbox One is equivalent to a Radeon 7790 and PS4 a Radeon 7850. Plus, you don't have the CPU overhead from DirectX. Reply
  • Tranzz - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Thanks. I wonder what resolution they were running. It does suggest that you can produce a mostly playable gaming setup for about $200 worth of core components. I wonder if AMD will ever scale Jaguar up even further? 8 cores and dual channel memory could be pretty potent for 50W or so. Might produce more excitement than the FX line. Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    AMD obviously seems to think that a single, albeit fast, channel is enough to feed a small 'cat CPU. The trouble is, that may have been true for Brazos, but that had two cores and a weaker GPU. It'd be very interesting to see a dual channel Kabini - would it make a difference outside of GPU-based workloads?

    Mullins also needs a turbo mode, especially if Bay-Trail and its derivatives have one. Being able to ramp up clock speed for a short period of time so that the CPU can return to idle quicker and for longer is one of the reasons why Intel beats AMD for power consumption across the board (regardless of architecture and fab process).
  • FriendlyUser - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    You really can't beat the price. I am almost looking for an excuse to buy one... Reply
  • wolrah - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    "I never thought I would ever see a socketed motherboard in 2014 ship with a less-than-gigabit Ethernet port."

    I think we're at a point these days where anything new coming out with 100mbit ethernet or VGA as the primary display interface should be shunned as an outdated-out-of-the-box product.

    VGA in particular, I mean who uses VGA? Even the luddites have mostly abandoned their cannonball CRTs, and a VGA-only LCD has always been the realm of idiocy.
  • harriharris - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Not defending it myself here or anything... in fact I completely agree, but a lot of business still does. I know my workplace of over 50,000 personnel in a govt agency - every workstation I've sat at in 17 years there has had VGA connected monitors, even now with 16:10 LCDs in most places. They still run XP too... *sigh* Reply
  • xrror - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Sadly another reason for VGA is if your building(s) with overhead projectors are wired with analog VGA. So for where I work that's maybe... 300 or so rooms rough guess.

    And while we've talked about changing to some sort of digital connection, fun things like HDMI copy projection, splitting to multiple projectors, etc pretty much skyrocket the already formidable costs.

    So I dunno, we can't stay VGA forever (nor do we really want to) but we can't afford to switch. At all. No wonder the media services guy can't wait to retire - and I can't blame him.
  • tuxRoller - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    So, I can't get a board with displayport until we reach $50? Why? Isn't displayport royalty free?
    My issue is that I've a 1440p auria with both HDMI and do BUT, afaict, the HDMI interface doesn't support more than 1080p.
    I really hate the HDMI spec. At least with displayport versions you know what to expect.
  • coolhardware - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    Nice brief overview of the motherboards, wish there was some more meat to the article. I guess that comes later!

    I have the MSI AM1I with an Athlon 5350 and have been loving it. The MSI can actually do a slight CPU OC by setting the multiplier to 21x which gets the clock to 2.1GHz (as opposed to 2.05GHz stock) and it overclocked my 1333 memory to 1666 with no problem. Overall it's a sweet little board for the price!

    Anybody else with other AM1 motherboards notice any OCing options?

    I'm posting my experiences here:

    Also, I want to find out if it can drive three displays (DVI+VGA+HDMI) and looking forward to trying some high-res output from the HDMI port. I doubt the DVI is dual link, but I plan to find out for sure by trying my trusty Dell 30" 2560x1600 display :-)
  • meacupla - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    does SODIMM DDR3L cost more to implement than desktop DDR3?
    All of these boards could have saved a ton of space by going with SODIMM, but none have.
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    With the SOC taking on most of the work, the boards don't need to worry about space savings, as they still need to fit in the standard ITX/ATX form factors. I imagine the legacy DIMM slots are cheaper anyway. These boards are engineered for cheap, which is why you see 10/100, 2.1 audio, USB 2.0, or limited expansion options. If a better option was even 5 cents more, they probably skipped it. I'm surprised these things aren't white boxed! Reply
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Ian: is the Biostar mini-DTX (23x17 cm) instead of mini-ITX? I haven't heard of mini-ITX plus before. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Typo: Mini-DTX is 20.3x17cm Reply
  • ElFenix - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    the board is 19.1x17, so it fits within the mini-DTX size specification. however, biostar calls it micro atx on its website. Reply
  • geniekid - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    It is mini-DTX, but I guess it shows how unpopular the spec is given that even an AT writer came up with his own term for it.

    IMO there's a lot of potential for mDTX for people who want compact systems without giving up a graphics card or their audio card.
  • yannigr - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    I hope there is an overclocking part coming in the future. I have seen a 5150 running at 2.1GHz(ASUS board). On the other hand at Phoronix they hit the wall at 105MHz bus for some reason.
    An article about overclocking, especially the Sempron, would have been great. There is a possibility that Sempron to be the second product from AMD that I will buy and will have a 3850 as a model number. I am just waiting for more info from around the net.

    PS If kabinis where black edition chips AMD wouldn't be able to produce them fast enough.
  • coolhardware - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    MSI can run the 5150 at 2.1GHz as well, screenshots here:

    Anybody seen more than 21x on a 5150? And do the lower end Kabini's overclock any?
  • yannigr - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    It is NOT the 5150 in the test but the 5350. Look the link itself. It says 5350.

    MSI only seems to have the option to change the multiplier, not the bus speed. And the multiplier will give you extra 50MHz IF the APU has a multiplier with a .5 in it, like 5350 it has 20.5 multiplier. So you can change it to 21. If this was a 5150 with 16 multiplier you wouldn't be able to go any higher than that. Not a single MHz.

    Thanks for the link anyway!
  • coolhardware - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Sorry for the error on my part, I got the 5150 and 5350 mixed up :-(

    As per your original post, where did you see that nice 5150 OC? With an ASUS board should the same type OC be possible with the 5350?

  • yannigr - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    At techpowerup.

    But overclocking on this platform is still a big question mark. At Phoronix for example they also tried to overclock ALL the four processors available on the same motherboard and in ALL cases they had stability problems over 105MHz bus speed. So more time is needed to have a definite idea about the overclocking potential on this platform.

    As for 5350 I don't know what frequency it can reach. 2100MHz should be easy I guess with just a multiplier change from 20.5 to 21, gut it does make you wonder why AMD didn't gave 5350 the 21 multiplier in the first place.
  • tech6 - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    The problem with the Kabini platform is that it makes too many sacrifices for too little gain. You can buy an Intel G3220 and an MSI H81M mobo for around $100 and while it may consume 10-15W (on paper) more power it will give you about twice the CPU power.

    As for real world power consumption, I recently build a G3220 system and even when under 100% max CPU and GPU compute using Hash Suite it never exceeded 60W. Under most everyday loads it used about 40W. Given these numbers it is difficult to make a case for the Kabini platform.
  • savagemike - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    I was contemplating similarly. I also wonder with the increased compute power if getting to idle quicker doesn't also attack any power savings. Reply
  • yannigr - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    You gone from $60 to $100. This isn't "too little gain". Also you forget that the Kabini platform does have better graphics. Much better graphics. And I am not talking (only) about performance, but compatibility also.
    So, if you need cpu power and you have $100 you can go for Intel. But if you want a better balanced solution in gpu-cpu performance and keep $30-$40 in your pocket, Kabinis are the best option.
  • mikato - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    I agree. Reply
  • Carleh - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Does the G3220 support hardware accelerated video decoding?
    It does support quicksync, but I'm not sure if quicksync can be used for hw accelerated video playback in all applications (flash includeed).
    I know the G3220 is powerful enough to do all the decoding in software, but I see no point in using software video decoding in 2014.
  • Chicken76 - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    I remember from the slides that were presented by AMD at launch, that ECC RAM (unbuffered) was supported. Why isn't there a single motherboard that supports it? In it's current form, Kabini is not an option for building a cheap ZFS storage box. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Why does the motherboard need to support ECC RAM? I'm pretty sure they are physically identical to normal RAM and since the SoC handles all memory (as with most modern CPUs/APUs), the motherboard has no say in it. Reply
  • Chicken76 - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure, but if you're not using error correction on a DIMM, do you still need all the traces? They might not have them all in place, to keep costs to a minimum.

    Besides, you still need BIOS support for ECC.
  • JFish222 - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    I agree, its disappointing that there is no ECC. (At least not listed.)

    I was really looking forward to using one of these for a low cost FreeNAS box.

    Ian, Anand and company. Please encourage ECC bios support/validation! If any of the manufacturers support it (not always obvious when they do) please point it out.

    For those that don't understand the importance, ZFS has numerous benefits but its greatest weakness is the ability to corrupt the entire data pool due to a flipped bit or 2 in RAM.
    For more info -
  • Chicken76 - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Indeed, Anandtech has the ear of motherboard manufacturers. They might respond positively if such suggestions are properly argumented. There's not only the enthusiast home user that these might be useful to, there's also the small businesses sector, where cost is a deciding factor. Add ECC support and a bit of validation for production use, and a lot of the cost-conscientious businesses will refresh their storage boxes and low workload machines using Kabini, instead of the Pentiums and Celerons they use now. Reply
  • rogueninja - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Only bad friends recommend AMD. Reply
  • meacupla - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Currently, AMD's most attractive CPU parts are the $60 A6-6400k and $120 FX-6300.

    Pentium and i3 have more single thread computing power, but looking at the entire package, AMD has some advantages at those price points.
    Like a cheap 8 port SATA mobo, you can't have that with cheap LGA1150 boards.
    or having 6 physical cores.
  • Antronman - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Except that when you're on a low budget, AMD is the only thing you should be recommending. Reply
  • Ortanon - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Intel usually wins low-budget too, haha. If you're talking "best gaming performance at the absolute bottom," yes, AMD wins. But who wants to game down there? As soon as you try to add any performance to your build whatsoever, it turns into an Intel solution with a PCIe GPU. It's possible that this would be different if all software was highly-threaded, but it just doesn't work out that way. Reply
  • AlB80 - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - link

    Gigabyte's mobo has heatsink. What behind it? SuperIO? Reply
  • DuckieHo - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Biostar's mITX-Plus..... isn't that just AMD's DTX form factor? Reply
  • JBVertexx - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    Stumbled across this - PC build in the motherboard box:
  • WeatherDave - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    "COM port, LPT port and a TPM port on the same PCB"
    We have about 50 machines here. Mostly for embedded testing, such as stepper motors, and old equipment that ONLY connects via Serial Port. USB converters are both unreliable and prone to failure, so we like having the COM ports on board. Besides, Windows 98/2000 and XP much prefer them over a converter. Now, we don't have much use for the LPT, but TPM and a cheap SSD certainly keeps IT Security off our backs.
  • RoboJ1M - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I've been wondering how these AM1 boards can be so cheap compared to the usual ITX fare.
    It occurred to me that if Kabini is a SoC, does that make these mobos basically breakout boards? Like you get for Computers on Module stuff?
  • Ortanon - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    That's more or less accurate, yeah. Which means the boards should be cheaper than they currently are; it's just that it's brand new. So later this year we should see a lot of price drops. Reply
  • Haravikk - Sunday, April 27, 2014 - link

    Personally I prefer the "horizontal" RAM layout, and I'm surprised more manufacturers don't use it, as it's just better for cooling overall IMO. The only issue really is that many coolers aren't designed for it, because not enough motherboards do it, but if they did then cooler manufacturers would adapt. We can only hope.

    Personally I don't see the point of the PS/2 port(s) on these motherboards, likewise with VGA. I think that nowadays that HDMI and USB are so common that you're not saving much (if any) money opting for older standards unless you just happen to have these lying around. Even so, I have two HDMI to VGA adapters just lying around, so it's not like it'd be hard to hook up a VGA monitor anyway if you really needed to.
  • medra - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    "The AM1H-ITX is also the only motherboard in this roundup with a 7.1 audio codec, using the Realtek ALC892 compared to the ALC887 or ALC662 on the others which are both 2.1 at best."

    Actually, ALC887 is a 7.1 channel HD Audio Codec while the ALC662 is a 5.1 channel HD Audio Codec.

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