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Three AMD AM1 Motherboards For The Kabini APU, Reviewed

How We Test AM1 Kabini APU Motherboards

Test System Configuration
CPUAMD Athlon 5350 (Kabini): 2.05 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache, Socket FS1b
CPU CoolerAMD Socket FS1b boxed (2-pin) cooler
RAMPatriot Viper 3 PV316G240C1K (16 GB) at DDR3-1600 C9 Defaults
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 8400 integrated (600 MHz)
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair AX860i: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Platinum
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 13.4
ChipsetAMD 13.250.26

We purchased a new, retail-boxed AMD Athlon 5350 specifically for today’s test. It will probably end up in the hands of a contributing editor, eventually.

We specifically seek out DRAM that defaults to DDR3-1600 CAS 9 for use in motherboard round-ups, since some boards don’t use XMP properly and others make unwanted changes when XMP is enabled. We started with Patriot’s PV332G240C1QK 32 GB DDR3-2400 kit and removed two modules, transforming it into the same company’s 16 GB dual-channel part number PV316G240C1K.

Far overcapacity for these low-power platform, Corsair’s AX860i remains efficient even at low loads. Since I don’t have any smaller-yet-more-efficient parts laying around, it stays on the test bench.

Benchmark Settings
3D Games
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar" Test Set 1: Low Quality Preset (No AA, No AF, SSAO) Test Set 2: Medium Preset (No AA, 4X AF, SSAO)
Grid 2Version 1.0.85.8679, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: Medium Quality, No AA Test Set 2: High Quality, No AA
Arma 3Version 1.08.113494, 30-sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase" Test Set 1: Low Quality Preset (No AA, No AF) Test Set 2: Standard Preset (No AA, Standard AF)
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: Low Quality, No AA, No ATC., SSAO Test Set 2: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CCVersion 12.0.0.404: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly
Adobe Photoshop CCVersion 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CCVersion 7.0.0 (342), 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 11.0.4.4 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.99: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat 11Version 11.0.0.379: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.68A, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.30 alpha (64-bit): THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.5.0, Benchmark Only
3DMark ProfessionalVersion: 1.2.250.0 (64-bit), Fire Strike Benchmark
PCMark 8Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2014.02.20.10, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia / Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks
  • damric
    TL;DR

    Why not throw a mid-ranged discreet GPU in there and see what happens? It's all we really want to know. Otherwise this platform is for strictly 2D flash games.
    Reply
  • jdwii
    This build should not be used for anything other then flash games for HTPC its perfect and light server work i can build this for 250$ and its perfect.
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    It uses the 'Jaguar' core; the same core technology as the mighty Playstation 4. So, I believe it can handle more than simple flash games!
    Reply
  • zetonfire
    I own this processor paired with a gt 630 from nvidia, 4 gb of ram, hdd 1tb 7200 Rpm and what can i say, it does the job well, it runs 1080p movies with no problem. I play lol with high settings at @ 30-60 fps. At WoW it kinda struggles on 25 man raids but it still playable 20+fps, to mention that settings are nealy high. (both on 1080p). Nfs mostwanted 2012, battlefield 3, grid 2 on 720p 30fps most of the time, some fps drop there and there but still ok.I think if you put a better videocard ( i had the 630 @ house standing for nothing) it could do much better in certain games that are not processor hungry.
    Reply
  • Lightbulbie
    @blackmagnum
    Just because the technology is the same, it doesn't mean that it well perform on par with the PS4.
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    I don't understand why THW doesn't add in games like League of Legends or DOTA2 when testing this type of hardware. I'd like to believe that the person that buys a system like this and DOES NOT buy a discreet GPU is NOT going to be playing games like Far Cry anything. LOL and DOTA2 are free to play, and therefore it is much more likely that they may, at one or other point in time, be tested on this type of system. Make the Games review relevant to the hardware if there is not a discreet GPU, pretty please?
    Reply
  • Eelco van Vliet
    In Europe the prices are a bit different
    Asus 33 Euro
    Gigabyte 32 Euro
    MSI 30 Euro

    I am gonna get the Asus at that price...
    Reply
  • caamsa
    How about the ability to over clock these CPU's with these boards?
    Reply
  • MU_Engineer
    I recently built a wireless router using an Athlon 5150 in a Biostar AM1ML. I'm surprised that $30 board wasn't in the comparison as it has two pretty significant advantages that none of these boards have. It's a micro-DTX board which gives it an extra PCIe slot compared to the mini-ITX units but it still fits in most of the "mini-ITX" cube cases unlike the Gigabyte unit tested here. That second PCIe slot was just what the doctor ordered as I needed to add both a wired Ethernet card and a wireless NIC for that build and it all fit perfectly in a little Silverstone Sugo.
    Reply
  • Puiucs
    again i see reviews and benchmarks for Kabini and none answer the right questions.
    Can it play 1080p/4k videos? (30 or 60fps) youtube or downloaded
    Can it play games that are meant to work on low end PCs?
    What is the HTML5 performance?
    What is the average total cost of the system?
    How can you further improve the system value, depending on the components you choose to buy for it?
    Reply