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Soldered AMD Bristol Ridge APU Arrives on Biostar's New Mini-ITX Board

(Image credit: Biostar)

If you're looking for a simple and affordable board to stick in a media center PC, Biostar's latest A10N-9630E might be a good option. It comes in a Mini-ITX format and has the AMD A10-9630P Bristol Ridge APU soldered into it. 

The A10-9630P APU is a bit of a unique chip. It isn't listed on AMD's website (yet), and it is soldered to the motherboard. Despite that though, it is actually quite a powerful piece of silicon, packing four CPU cores that clock in at 2.6 GHz with a turbo speed of 3.3 GHz. With a TDP of 35 W, it's got plenty of headroom, too. As an APU, it also comes with integrated Radeon R5 graphics. A simple cooler is installed from the factory.

The board itself comes with the basics you need for a media system and not much more. It has two DDR4 memory slots, one M.2 slot, USB 3.2 Gen 1 support, HDMI 2.0, and two SATA III ports -- though when an M.2 SSD is installed, the second SATA port will be disabled. If more graphics horsepower is needed, you can install a GPU into the PCIe x16 slot, though note that it only offers eight lanes of PCIe 3.0, so high-end GPUs will be (slightly) bottlenecked. 

All things considered, this is a great board for a media system or casual office use computer. It'll keep up with web browsing and media consumption quite well. 

Of course, the biggest deciding factor is the price, which Biostar hasn't announced yet. We don't expect the Biostar A10N-9630E to be too costly, though, and with today's memory and SSD prices, along with a simple case, you could have a neat home theater system at a nice price.

  • logainofhades
    I wouldn't exactly label Bristol Ridge as powerful. It is based on the same old/slow architecture, as FX. This is going to have to sell for super cheap, to even begin to make sense, for anyone, as there are ryzen based Athlon APU's that are probably far more powerful.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    logainofhades said:
    I wouldn't exactly label Bristol Ridge as powerful. It is based on the same old/slow architecture, as FX. This is going to have to sell for super cheap, to even begin to make sense, for anyone, as there are ryzen based Athlon APU's that are probably far more powerful.
    Exactly. The only way this would make sense is if they offered the whole package for a lower price than even the cheapest zen based athlon.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    TCA_ChinChin said:
    Exactly. The only way this would make sense is if they offered the whole package for a lower price than even the cheapest zen based athlon.

    AAAAAnd it can happen, as athlon + mobo is over 100$ no mater what mobo you will pick. if that thing will be under 100$ with mobo AND cpu combo. strength wise its around 3'rd gen i5, so powerful like twin turbo mercedes 0.7 engine from smart.

    I was going though that article hoping higher (I forgot bristol was not zen based) for R series of home theater boxes that can run crysis....
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    That bristol ridge would be lucky to be as fast as 2nd gen i5. Those FX based Athlon APU's lacked L3 cache, which killed performance.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    Rdslw said:
    AAAAAnd it can happen, as athlon + mobo is over 100$ no mater what mobo you will pick. if that thing will be under 100$ with mobo AND cpu combo. strength wise its around 3'rd gen i5, so powerful like twin turbo mercedes 0.7 engine from smart.

    I was going though that article hoping higher (I forgot bristol was not zen based) for R series of home theater boxes that can run crysis....

    Not really, an athlon 3000g is $43 and an A320 motherboard is $50, so that's $93 total. However, that's for a mATX motherboard.

    Unfortunately miniITX boards are more costly because most are B350/450 boards. The cheapest is generally around $99 just for the board.

    If this soldered mini iTX solution is anywhere near $150, I'd say just buy an athlon 3000g and mini itx board separately. The included cooling fan on the 3000g is tiny.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    gggplaya said:
    If this soldered mini iTX solution is anywhere near $150, I'd say just buy an athlon 3000g and mini itx board separately. The included cooling fan on the 3000g is tiny.

    Rdslw said:
    AAAAAnd it can happen, as athlon + mobo is over 100$ no mater what mobo you will pick. if that thing will be under 100$ with mobo AND cpu combo. strength wise its around 3'rd gen i5, so powerful like twin turbo mercedes 0.7 engine from smart.

    What I was going for is if they offered the whole package for under the cost of just the 3000g. The performance difference between the 3000g and this is so significant, paying 100$ for the 3000g + mobo vs even 50$ for this I think is more in favor of the 3000g than this.
    Reply
  • superbrett2000
    This could work great for a home media server though. I've been eyeing similar mobo + soldered kits and they retail for 80 bucks.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    TCA_ChinChin said:
    What I was going for is if they offered the whole package for under the cost of just the 3000g. The performance difference between the 3000g and this is so significant, paying 100$ for the 3000g + mobo vs even 50$ for this I think is more in favor of the 3000g than this.
    IF you will see the differenct that is.
    As just home theater box, it will work and no reason to go higher.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    Rdslw said:
    IF you will see the differenct that is.
    As just home theater box, it will work and no reason to go higher.
    Exactly. Since you just need something to be dropped in and no reason for higher performance, this product would make a ton of sense if it was cheaper than the 3000g+mobo combo. If they were the same cost and performed similarly as a home theater box, I would choose the 3000g+mobo combo everyday of the week.
    Reply
  • justin.m.beauvais
    Yes it would be good for a HTPC, but I see more of an emulation device here. Throw this thing into a tiny case and have a great little device for sticking under the TV and playing games. If this thing is priced right it wouldn't be too bad. Heck if they priced it right they could be in Raspberry Pi territory on price, and that is a lot more power than the Pi 4 has.
    Reply