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Choosing The Right AM1 Motherboard

Three AMD AM1 Motherboards For The Kabini APU, Reviewed
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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.

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