AMD Athlon 5350 and Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H Review
By Hank Tolman
Manufacturer: AMD and Gigabyte
Product Name: Athlon 5350; Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H
Model Number: AD5350JAHMBOX; GA-AM1M-S2H
UPC: 730143304641; 818313020123
Price As Tested: Athlon 5350 $64.99 (Newegg | Amazon); Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H – $34.99 (Newegg | Amazon)
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Samsung.
If you haven’t heard, desktop computing is losing serious ground to other, increasingly affordable computing solutions, including notebooks, chromebooks, and tablets. Desktops are still around. You probably have one at home and you probably use one at work. With mobile gaming on the rise and so many productivity features being streamlined for mobile platforms, the need for a powerful desktop computer because your other devices can’t handle the load is declining. According to AMD, entry level computing options make up the majority of the market. In this review, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini desktop processor paired with the Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H mATX motherboard and 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz AMD Radeon Series RAM.
Both Intel and AMD have had entry level options on the market for a while now, but they usually come in form of a processor soldered onto the motherboard. I still have an old Intel Atom mini-ITX motherboard that I used years ago to build a computer that I put in my car. That old Atom can’t run much anymore, even just a few years down the road, but I can’t swap it out either. There is no upgradability for these entry-level computers.
AMD is aiming to change that with the recent release of a socketed Kabini desktop APU. The AM1 platform, with the FS1b socket, brings some customizability and upgradability to entry-level market. Earlier in April, 2014, AMD released a lineup of four AM1 APUs; two Athlon APUs and two Sempron APUs.
|AMD AM1 Kabini APUs|
|CPU Frequency||2.05 GHz||1.60 GHz||1.30 GHz||1.45 GHz|
|GPU Frequency||600 MHz||600 MHz||450 MHz||400 MHz|
|Memory Frequency||1600 MHz||1600 MHz||1600 MHz||1333 MHz|
|L2 Cache||2 MB||2 MB||2 MB||1 MB|
|TDP||25 W||25 W||25 W||25 W|
The Kabini desktop APUs use either two or four Jaguar CPU cores paired with GCN GPU cores with 128 streaming processors. The Jaguar and GCN combo has been around for a little while now, and you may have even used them if you’ve played on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. The Kabini desktop processors are architecturally the same as those APUs, they just fit into a socket.
This new application of low-end APUs in a socket format really represents a push into a new market that is still looking to gain more ground. If you have taken a look at the NUC (Next Unit of Computing), you know that Intel is looking at this same market. The market is aimed for low-powered, low-profile computing for things like an HTPC (Home Theatre PC) or home servers. Although this could be a good market for a very entry-level PC, I think most people will probably just get a laptop. What’s the point in buying a non-mobile platform if it is only able to do things that a mobile platform can do?