Monday MSI revealed the very first motherboard with AMD's new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) already mounted out-of-the-box, perfect for a compact, low-key home theater PC.
Labeled as the MSI E3501A-E45, the Mini-ITX board features a dual-core E350 APU clocked at 1.6 GHz, AMD's Hudson M1 FCH chipset, built-in DirectX 11-compatible Radeon HD 6310 graphics (HDMI + D-Sub out), and two DIMM sockets supporting up to 8 GB of DDR3-1333/1066/800 MHz memory. Other highlights include an 8-channel (7.1) HD audio subsystem with S/PDIF out and 10/100/1000 Mbits/sec Ethernet.
"With HDMI support you can directly connect to your TV or Display and enjoy accelerated and enhanced HD video and 7.1 Channel audio," the company said. "For the true audiophiles the E350IA-E45 features Optical and Coaxial SPDIF connectors for connection to a great audio system."
As for peripheral interfaces, the board provides a PCI Express x16 slot @ x4 speed, four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two USB 3.0 ports, six external USB 2.0 ports and four internal USB 2.0 ports. It also uses MSI's proprietary i-Charger technology for fast USB charging of tablets and other power-hungry mobile devices.
"To provide the best product quality, the E350IA-E45 is equipped with Japanese made All Solid CAP," the company said. "Solid CAPs have a lifetime of over 10 years under extreme high load. Solid CAPs have a low Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) meaning they are more efficient and generate less heat, especially the characteristics you want from a small and powerful mainboard."
Currently the motherboard's cost and availability is unknown, so stay tuned.