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AMD launches AM1 Kabini desktop range

AMD launches AM1 Kabini desktop range

AMD's Kabini desktop parts represent its first ever socketed system-on-chip (SoC) designs, offering upgradability for the entry-level market.

AMD has officially launched its desktop Kabini products, in the form of AM1 Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) designed for the entry-level market and bearing the Sempron and Athlon brands.

Designed to compete with Intel's Bay Trail, the Kabini desktop parts have been created to reflect what AMD claims is the changing face of every-day computing: an increase in the number of applications, like office suites and web browsers, that can make use of GPU acceleration to improve performance. That's something that an APU can do well, of course, but Kabini is more than just a slightly faster version of what has gone before.

The new AM1 platform, as Kabini will be known at retail, represents the company's first-ever socket-based system-on-chip (SoC) design, which AMD has dubbed 'System in a Socket.' The Kabini SoC design will be provided as a PGA-based, user-replaceable processor which fits into the new FS1b socket type. Unlike Intel's lower-wattage Bay Trail, which is BGA and soldered to the motherboard at the factory, AM1 owners will have the option of after-market upgrades.

The Kabini chips that form AM1 all have a similar feature set: an SoC design featuring up to four Jaguar CPU cores and Graphics Core Next (GCN)-based Radeon graphics with DirectX 11.2 and OpenGL 4.3 support - no word yet on Microsoft's as-yet unreleased DirectX 12 - and support for two USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and two SATA 6Gb/s ports, all without the need for an external chipset. Manufacturers who need more are, of course, welcome to add extra chips as required.

AMD launches AM1 Kabini desktop range

The bottom of the Kabini desktop brand will be the AMD Sempron 2650: two 1.45GHz Jaguar cores, 128 Radeon cores running at 4000MHz, 1MB of cache and support for 1,333MHz memory. Moving up the ladder is the Sempron 3850: four 1.3GHz Jaguar cores, the same 128 Radeon cores but running at 450MHz, 2MB cache and support for 1,600MHz memory.

The higher-end Athlon range starts with the Athlon 5150: four 1.6GHz Jaguar cores, 128 Radeon cores running at 600MHz, 2MB cache and the same 1,600MHz memory support. The range tops out with the Athlon 5350, with four 2.05GHz Jaguar cores and the same cache, graphics and memory support. All four Kabini chips will, interestingly, come in at identical 25W thermal design profiles (TDPs) - higher, unfortunately, than Intel's BGA-only Bay Trail designs.

AMD launches AM1 Kabini desktop range

AMD looks to be pushing Kabini on the desktop against Bay Trail on three fronts: wider software support for older 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems; higher overall compute performance; and price. The latter is perhaps the most surprising: the bottom-end Sempron 2650 will cost just $31 per unit in trays of a thousand, with the Sempron 3850 stretching to $36; the Athlon 5150 will cost $45 per unit in the same volume, with the top-end Athlon 5350 fetching $55. FS1b motherboards will cost around $25-$35, the company has confirmed, a price point reached by the Kabini SoC taking over tasks that would have previously required an external chipset.

AMD has named ASrock, Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, MSI and ECS Elitegroup as hardware partners on Kabini, each of whom plans to launch low-cost FS1b motherboards in micro-ATX and the compact mini-ITX formats. Formal retail pricing has not been provided as yet.

According to AMD's own internal testing, the new Jaguar cores - the same architecture found in the Xbox One and PS4 games consoles - offer considerable advantages over their predecessors. As well as boosts to low-power operation, the company is claiming a 17 per cent boost in instructions per cycle (IPC) over the E1-1500 Bobcat equivalent. Under PCMark 7, the company claims, that translates to a jump for the Sempron 2650 from the E1-1500's 1125 points to over 1300.

Higher up the rankings, the Athlon 5350 doubles the Cinebench R15 single-core benchmark compared to the AMD E-350, while its extra CPU cores mean a quadrupling in the multi-core tests. How these will compare to the same benchmark on Intel's latest low-power chips remains to be seen.

AMD launches AM1 Kabini desktop range

A particularly interesting aspect of AMD's Kabini design comes from its dynamic power management. During GPU-heavy activity, the less-loaded CPU cores act as a heatsink to draw heat away from the GPU; when the CPU is heavily loaded, the GPU is used in a similar manner. When both are loaded, of course, there'll likely be some down-clocking - but it's a system which should allow CPU- or GPU-bound applications to run at a higher speed than would otherwise be possible.

UPDATE
The first UK retailers have gone live with AM1 parts, offering the Athlon 5350 for £39.99, the Athlon 5150 for £37.99, the Sempron 3850 for £29.99 and the Sempron 2650 for £25.99. Motherboards range in price from £26 up to £38.

27 Comments

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SAimNE 9th April 2014, 13:07 Quote
seems like a good way to make a quick cheap mediapc o.o
Jim 9th April 2014, 13:08 Quote
I had a stab at XBMC on Raspberry Pi, but it was a bit sluggish for my liking, and my old Mini-ITX Intel build was too noisy to work in the long run... this could be what convinces me to have another go - it looks ideal.
flibblesan 9th April 2014, 13:42 Quote
Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H mATX is £24.82 (pre-order) and Asus AM1I-A mITX £26.64 at Scan. Great prices. I just hope the APUs themselves are cheap enough.
Shirty 9th April 2014, 13:49 Quote
I'm already using an A4-5000 Jaguar SoC in my HTPC. I'm pretty sure it's BGA rather than socketed under the tiny passive heatsink, but I was on the bandwagon a while ago. Great little thing, a "Radeon HD 8330" and what is essentially much the same as a PS4/Xbone processor with a few less cores :p

It's made a nice fanless rig.
Gareth Halfacree 9th April 2014, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
I just hope the APUs themselves are cheap enough.
We can certainly do some guesswork. The AMD A10-6800K APU's official list price per unit in trays of 1,000 is $142; Newegg will currently sell you a retail version for $130. Yes, that's bizarre; nevertheless, that gives us a list-to-retail ratio of 0.92. Converting Newegg's price to Pounds Sterling makes £93.22 including VAT; Ebuyer sells the same chip in retail packaging for £103.58, for a rip-off Britain ratio of 1.11.

Take the $55 list price for the top-end AM1 Athlon, and times it by the list-to-retail ratio to get an estimated retail price of $50.60. Convert that to the Queen's currency and add the VAT and you get £36.24; times this by the rip-off Britain ratio to get an estimated UK retail price of £40.22.

*However*, I can see 'ere on this slide a claim of $59 for the top-end Athlon, which I'm assuming is AMD's manufacturer's recommended retail price given that it's $4 higher than the $55 per unit in tray form I've been quoted for AMD direct purchases. *So*, leaving the list-to-retail ratio alone and doing a straightforward currency conversion, VAT and the 11% rip-off Britain addition would give us £42.30.

In short: expect the top-end chip to sit just north of £40 and I doubt you'll be far wrong. That would put it roughly level with the AMD A6-6400K, or Intel's Pentium G3220.

TL;DR: I'm procrastinating again.
Jim 9th April 2014, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Take the $55 list price for the top-end AM1 Athlon, and times it by the list-to-retail ratio to get an estimated retail price of $50.60. Convert that to the Queen's currency and add the VAT and you get £36.24; times this by the rip-off Britain ratio to get an estimated UK retail price of £40.22

Not a bad guess...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-AD5350JAHMBOX-Extensions-Virtualization-Technology/dp/B00IOMFAQ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397052191&sr=8-1&keywords=athlon+5350
Gareth Halfacree 9th April 2014, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Hah! I did wonder if they'd take a hit and opt for the sub-£40 mark. Considering the cost of the motherboards, that's pretty darn good: add in a stick or two of RAM, small storage drive and a cheapy-cheap PSU and case and you could potentially have a brand-new quad-core system for ~£100.

EDIT: Updated the article with UK pricing.
runadumb 9th April 2014, 15:18 Quote
I'm planning a wee build for my sister and nephew and this could well be perfect! It needs to play minecraft though, BENCHMARK THE MINECRAFTS!
jrs77 9th April 2014, 20:04 Quote
Grab one of these small cases with 65W PSU+Brick, put OpenELEC on a USB-Stick and you've got yourself a totally silent and damn cheap HTPC.
tonyd223 10th April 2014, 09:32 Quote
Getting to be a bit of a fan boy here, but the HP Microserver Gen7, after rebate's only £100, includes a processor, motherboard, case, power supply, memory and HDD, and it's quiet. Add a discrete half height HDMI card, you're looking at £130 all in...

Just saying...
Gareth Halfacree 10th April 2014, 09:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
Getting to be a bit of a fan boy here, but the HP Microserver Gen7, after rebate's only £100, includes a processor, motherboard, case, power supply, memory and HDD, and it's quiet. Add a discrete half height HDMI card, you're looking at £130 all in...
Far weaker CPU, though, and it ain't silent. Sure, it's not like what I had in the 90s with its 60mm Delta CPU fan, but my Microserver N54L is easily the nosiest thing in the office - far more so than my A10-5800K desktop.
tonyd223 10th April 2014, 10:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
Getting to be a bit of a fan boy here, but the HP Microserver Gen7, after rebate's only £100, includes a processor, motherboard, case, power supply, memory and HDD, and it's quiet. Add a discrete half height HDMI card, you're looking at £130 all in...
Far weaker CPU, though, and it ain't silent. Sure, it's not like what I had in the 90s with its 60mm Delta CPU fan, but my Microserver N54L is easily the nosiest thing in the office - far more so than my A10-5800K desktop.

Mine is pretty quiet - but then it's new, and I'm only running Freenas... But point taken...
AlienwareAndy 10th April 2014, 11:22 Quote
This is pretty exciting really. I mean, a PC for around £100....

Let's just hope that there's a nice cheap ITX board and they're not butt rape prices.
Harlequin 10th April 2014, 11:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
This is pretty exciting really. I mean, a PC for around £100....

Let's just hope that there's a nice cheap ITX board and they're not butt rape prices.


http://www.ebuyer.com/638938-asus-am1i-a-socket-am1-vga-dvi-hdmi-8-channel-hd-audio-mini-am1i-a
AlienwareAndy 10th April 2014, 11:35 Quote
Hurrah ! at forking last !!

Becoming more and more interested in this as the hours pass.

Ed. Bah it needs a 16x PCIE...
Gareth Halfacree 10th April 2014, 11:36 Quote
Quote:
Wait... Is that a serial port? <checks specs> It is a serial port! Blimey, AMD may just have created something the digital signage and industrial embedded markets are going to *love*...
AlienwareAndy 10th April 2014, 11:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Wait... Is that a serial port? <checks specs> It is a serial port! Blimey, AMD may just have created something the digital signage and industrial embedded markets are going to *love*...

Thinking about it the gambling industry could use that too. Their RNG dongles are usually off board serial or USB devices.
Harlequin 10th April 2014, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
Hurrah ! at forking last !!

Becoming more and more interested in this as the hours pass.

Ed. Bah it needs a 16x PCIE...

what `needs` 16x pcie that's not a gfx card??
GeorgeStorm 10th April 2014, 12:10 Quote
Interesting, not quite enough oomph to be suitable for the media PC at home, so I don't regret building that over Christmas.

Might be nice for low power PCs elsewhere in the house though if the need arises.
AlienwareAndy 10th April 2014, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
what `needs` 16x pcie that's not a gfx card??

With Mantle lowering CPU use I would want to put in a half decent GPU.
runadumb 10th April 2014, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
what `needs` 16x pcie that's not a gfx card??

With Mantle lowering CPU use I would want to put in a half decent GPU.

Got to be honest I think that would be a huge mistake. Who knows how much support mantle will get. You'd be much better off throwing extra money at a better CPU than trying to use this for a decent gaming rig.
AlienwareAndy 10th April 2014, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Got to be honest I think that would be a huge mistake. Who knows how much support mantle will get. You'd be much better off throwing extra money at a better CPU than trying to use this for a decent gaming rig.

I didn't want it as a decent gaming rig, just the option of some light gaming. IE - Indie stuff.

You could also make a Steambox with this CPU, given that most of the steam OS games are very easy to run.
Marquee 11th April 2014, 04:40 Quote
just got my 5350 and my asrock am1h-itx can wait to build a steam box with it.
Gareth Halfacree 11th April 2014, 08:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
I didn't want it as a decent gaming rig, just the option of some light gaming. IE - Indie stuff.
Shouldn't need a discrete for that; AMD claims playable framerates for indie titles at 1080p - outperforming a Celeron G1610 and Nvidia G210 by a factor of two in most cases. Titles mentioned in the slide deck include Lego Marvel Super Heroes on high settings, Bastion on high settings, Minecraft on max settings and Guacamelee on max - all at 1080p.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
You could also make a Steambox with this CPU, given that most of the steam OS games are very easy to run.
Well, apart from Metro: Last Light. But it's funny you should mention Valve's Linux distro: the reviewer bundle comes with instructions on how to get the chips working under SteamOS...
runadumb 11th April 2014, 08:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquee
just got my 5350 and my asrock am1h-itx can wait to build a steam box with it.

Cool. What case and PSU did you go for?
AlienwareAndy 11th April 2014, 12:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Shouldn't need a discrete for that; AMD claims playable framerates for indie titles at 1080p - outperforming a Celeron G1610 and Nvidia G210 by a factor of two in most cases. Titles mentioned in the slide deck include Lego Marvel Super Heroes on high settings, Bastion on high settings, Minecraft on max settings and Guacamelee on max - all at 1080p.
Well, apart from Metro: Last Light. But it's funny you should mention Valve's Linux distro: the reviewer bundle comes with instructions on how to get the chips working under SteamOS...

TBH Gareth from what I've seen most of the SteamOS stuff should be easy to run, given it's mostly Indie.

I was actually quite taken aback by how little modern gamers demand from games. I've just had my lady's daughter over (21) and her fiancee and they are both addicted to really basic titles.

Me? I'm a graphics/core whore haha. I've been into gaming since the late 70s and I like seeing it pushed and progressed. But these Indie titles seem to be attracting an audience that don't really give a crap about graphics..

I do need a PC for the bedroom. Currently I'm running an Xbox (original, soft modded) with XBMC and a load of emulators (playing Mario 64 on an Xbox still makes me smile) but I would be tempted to get rid of it for a cheap PC.

Yeah, gotta say, I'm very, very interested in this offering. Would be nice to build a tiny PC I can take over to mum's too.

Edit. I still want to see what these CPUs can do with a discrete GPU.

As crazy as it sounds I have this feeling that they may actually surprise people.

My hex cored Westmere is locked at 1.7ghz but from the data I've collected (BF4, Crysis 2 uber textures etc) it comes out fighting with a GTX 480 in it....
Marquee 11th April 2014, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Cool. What case and PSU did you go for?

Right now I am going to use my bench, and corisair 650 w. I am looking to build a slim console if my wife lets me. If not I am going with a cooler master 110 or 130. Both will aloud the use of 160mm psu.
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