AMD Athlon 5350 APU and AM1 Platform Review

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AMD AM1 Platform – Kabini Comes To Socket FS1b

AMD AM1 Platform

Earlier this month AMD released the low cost AM1 platform that they believe will succeed in the low cost general everyday use and office markets. The AMD AM1 platform consists of a socketed Kabini Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) and a motherboard with the required FS1b upgradeable socket. AMD’s Kabini APU is a full System On a Chip (SOC) and that was done by merging the APU (CPU + GPU) and I/O controller hub functions into a single chip and that helps keep power usage and costs down.

To do well in this very competitive market AMD will need an affordable platform that has enough performance to get the daily tasks done. The AMD Kabini APU’s range in price from $31 to $55 and the mini-ITX and micro-ATX AM1 motherboards with the FS1b socket range between $25 – $35. That means you could be looking at a fully integrated desktop platform for less than $60! Does AMD have your attention now? Getting a motherboard and a processor for under $60 that can perform ‘good enough’ for most scenarios would be impressive. It should also be of interest to those building HTPC’s, home servers (WHS or Linux NAS) or a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) system.

APU SOC

AMD’s new Kabini socketed processors incorporate up to four ‘Jaguar’ CPU cores (clocked as high as 2.05GHz), a Radeon R3 series GPU with 128 Graphics Core Next (GCN) Radeon cores, video accelerators, and an I/O controller that supports two USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and two SATA III 6Gbps ports. The new processors also support single-channel DDR3 1600MHz memory modules. That might not sound impressive to enthusiasts, but it is faster than the 1333MHz memory limitation on Intel’s Bay Trail platform.

am1-platform-apus

AMD is releasing four 25W TDP Kabini APUs. You start out with the AMD Sempron 2650 dual-core processor that runs at 1.45GHz with 1MB of cache for $31. From there you step up to the AMD Sempron 3850 quad-core processor at $36 that has 2MB of cache and a 450MHz core clock on the GPU. The AMD Sempron 3850 means that you can now get a quad-core processor for under $40!  The AMD Athlon 5150 and 5350 quad-core processors will cost $45 and $55 and have a 600MHz core clock on the graphics and much higher CPU clock speeds. The AMD Athlon 5350 is clocked at 2.05 GHz and the AMD Athlon 5150 is clocked at 1.6GHz. AMD claims the high-end Athlon 5350 APU provides superior computing performance to Intel’s Pentium J2900 (~$94, quad-core, 2.66GHz). AMD claims that their gaming performance up to 2.8 times faster than the Intel Pentium J2900 or a system with an Intel Celeron G1610 along with the NVIDIA G210 discrete graphics card.

amd-platforms

This now means that AMD has three desktop platforms available. You have the AM3+ socket on the enthusiast side, FM2+ for the mainstream market and then the AM1 platform that we are looking at today on the low cost end. 

kabini-platform

Here is a quick look at the AMD Kabini platform system diagram that better shows the logic that is handled by the APU. Note that motherboard makers have plenty of display options with VGA, DisplayPort 1.2/HDMI and DVI all available to use. There is no need for a ‘chipset’ on the AM1 platform as everything is under the hood of the APU. This means that most AMD AM1 motherboards will be in the $25 to $35 price range.

different-cores

AMD’s press slides show that Kabini’s four Jaguar cores can fit into one Steamroller dual core unit. AMD has also improved the branch predictor and other front end tweaks to better balance the SSE/MMC/AVX pipelines.

AMD FS1B Platform

 

Today we’ll be taking a look at the AMD Athlon 5350 APU on the Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H mATX motherboard with 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz AMD Radeon Series Memory. This is considered the high-end of Kabini and it should be interesting to see how the platform does! 

 

amd-radeon-memory

Our test platform came with a single 4GB AMD Radeon Entertainment Series DDR3 1600MHz memory module with CL9 timings (9-9-9-28) and it operates with 1.5V. This memory module is sold under part number AE34G1609U1  for $46.99 shipped with a lifetime warranty. You can get a 4GB DDR3 memory module that runs 1600MHz for $32.99 after rebate, so be sure to check around to get the best deal on the memory module.

AMD Kabini AM1 Test Platform Cost:

This core platform costs $136.98, so you are talking about a very affordable base system. Let’s take a look at the Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H motherboard and then get to the benchmarks!

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  • Shankovich

    Can you do some benchmarks with a discreet GPU? If this CPU along with mantle could really show just how much overhead mantle removes.

    • marley

      That would not work as only high end games support it and it would not run on this platform

      • Shankovich

        How do you know that? Mantle removes CPU overhead and dependence. It’d be cool to see how some games run at bare minimum settings on this just to see how well mantle removes overhead.

  • Medallish

    Made this for someone in my family, I can recommend the Asrock AM1H-ITX, unless you want to fiddle around with picoPSU’s in order to make it this small.

    • Mario Abram

      Are you able to measure power?

      How much is idle power consumption with brick adapter?

      • Medallish

        I don’t know how accurate it was but according to this wall power meassure(I’m sure there’s a better word for it) I have it idled around 16-17w, that is with AVG running in the background and the screen on.

        *edit* it was a 90W brick.