AMD AM1 Athlon 5350 Reviewed: Low Power, Low Price APU For the Masses
Test Setup and Errata
Luck was not exactly with us when I received several parts through FedEx. The AMD products came through quite nicely, but I was going to compare the Athlon 5350 to the Intel J1900 Celeron/ITX product from Gigabyte. That particular product, a dual core Bay Trail D, comes in around the same price as the Asus AM1I-A motherboard and Athlon 5350. It did not survive shipping. The J1900 is a 10 watt part with Intel HD graphics and is priced around $94.
The Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI on the other hand is exceptionally crowded and feature packed!
To get some comparison numbers for performance vs. power consumption, I utilized the Richland based A10 6790K. This is a… odd choice, but one that I really could not avoid due to timing issues and what products I had on hand. The 6790K is a 100 watt TDP part, but it is a little less aggressive in terms of clockspeeds than the A10 6800K. It also matches up fairly well in clocks to the lower TDP A10 6700. We can get a pretty good idea of where this product falls when compared to these larger, more expensive, and more power hungry parts.
Unfortunately, I did not have access to the latest Kaveri low TDP parts as well. That would have been a pretty interesting comparison, especially with the APUs with the configurable 45/65 watt TDPs. Even though the 45 watt TDP part is approaching the 25 watts of Kabini, it also exists on a much more complex motherboard with a separate FCH/southbridge. Price is also a big concern, as the Kaveri parts that are available start at $149. The configurable TDP APUs have yet to see retail.
The heatsink for the AM1 platform (left) is very reminiscent of mid-90s CPU cooling.
In the end the A10 6790K running on the Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI motherboard made for an interesting comparison. The price of that combination is around $230 US. Compare that number to the $99 to $104 that we will expect to see the 5350 and motherboard combo go for.
The smallest power supply I have on hand that would support both setups is a 500 watt Antec Earthwatts 80+ Bronze unit. In theory a user will want to get a power supply that is no more than 200 watts with such a setup. The PSU is fairly efficient, but the amount of power being drawn by the Athlon 5350 is a pretty small fraction of what that unit can provide.
If the case isn't dusty, it isn't being used!
AMD A10 6790K and Athlon 5350
Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI ITX Motherboard w/ 2 x 4 GB DDR-3 1866 memory
Asus AM1I-A Motherboard w/ 1 x 4GB DDR-3 1600 memory
WD 1TB Green HD
Antec Earthwatts 500W
Windows 8.1 Pro
AMD Catalyst 14.3 Beta 8
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