It's always easiest for me to write value conclusions when the differences in price outstrip the dissimilarities in hardware design. This is exemplified by the similarly-configured $50 and $36 motherboards from Asus and MSI.
For one dollar less, you could get Gigabyte's AM1M-S2H, the FlexATX motherboard that fits superbly into a microATX case, but doesn’t fit at all in the mini-ITX form factor evangelized by Asus and MSI. The larger Gigabyte board gives you two PCIe x1 slots that simply don't fit on a mini-ITX board, though. Conversely, MSI exposes a mini-PCIe slot to serve a similar function within the limited scope of notebook-based parts.
I don’t like giving value awards to a majority of contenders in one of my round-ups. But Gigabyte and MSI really do serve two different markets. The only thing bad I can say about them relates to the APU I used to test, which costs almost twice as much as the boards, but won't satisfy many of our readers. Of course, I can’t deny either company an award based on market factors beyond their control. Thus, Gigabyte’s microATX / FlexATX AM1M-S2H gets its value award for its chart-topping position...
...and the $1 more-expensive MSI AM1I gets its value award specific to the mini-ITX form factor.
- Kabini Appeals To Low-Cost, Low-Power
- Asus AM1I-A Features
- Asus AM1I-A Software and Firmware
- Gigabyte AM1M-S2H Features
- Gigabyte AM1M-S2H Software and Firmware
- MSI AM1I Features
- MSI AM1I Software and Firmware
- How We Test AM1 Kabini APU Motherboards
- Results: 3DMark and PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 4 and Arma 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
- Results: Audio and Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Results: Power and Efficiency
- Choosing The Right AM1 Motherboard