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Pros: -Cost of motherboard and APU (MSI AM1I + Athlon 5350) is under $100
-Runs very cool, no...seriously
-Can be fit in very small form factor without expensive ITX motherboards
-Decent onboard graphics
-Heat sink easy 'ish' to put on
-While it is locked, I was able to put on 22 multiplier, currently @ 2.1GHz.
-Has more processing power than AMD's current 'E' series processors for entry level desktops.
-SOCKET! Not soldered on motherboard!
Cons: -small CPU fan is a little loud (laptop fan loud) if you have your motherboard SMART fan disable
-Entering price of an entry level APU platform
-Recommend pair with modern speed ram (DDR3 1600)
Other Thoughts: Main Core Components:
MSI AM1I AM1
Athlon 5350 AM1
CoolerMaster Elite 120
I bought this processor and MSI AM1I to replace a purely internet machine in front. While the machine I had running was not slow by any means (Phenom II X4 955), I felt the tower I had in the living room was a little of an eyesore. Since it was a pure internet machine, I was looking into having a smaller and energy efficient machine. This fit the bill and worked great.
I manage to get the bundle that brought this capable Quad core and motherboard for under $100. Pretty impressive. This is by no means a machine that can play entry level games on lowest setting. You could pair this processor up with motherboard with a PCI-E 16X so you could add dedicated graphics, but what would be the point in that since you will surely get more performance out of an mid range APU for just a tad more money.
Everyday performance such as internet surfing feels as fast as my other higher end machines - as long as you have an SSD installed. I did happen to change Windows settings so it wouldn't throttle the CPU speed as much.
NOTE: I did noticed I had much more random 'hangs'/'lagging' when I was running this processor with two sticks of DDR3 1333 (4GBX2) on MSI AM1I. I'm not sure if it was the speed of ram or because I had two sticks (this platform doesn't support dual channel) or if it was because of the RAM speed, but I currently have 1x DDR3 1600 (4GB) and I no longer have any hanging or lagging issues. Unit also seems noticeably snapper too.
Overall, I would buy this again if I needed a basic internet machine with low power consumption. Otherwise, look into AMD's FM2+ platform as this processors' cost is in the same range as the FM2+ Dual Cores.
This review is from: MSI AM1I AM1 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
Pros: Very small layout
Has ALL common video output for price (HDMI, VGA, HDMI)
Connectors in good location
Cons: 'Quick Installation Guide' leaves much information out, pretty common for all of these entry MSI boards
Finding the front panel header is hard if you can't see small font on motherboard (It is labeled FP1)
Your power supply MUST have either an 4pin or a detachable 4+4 (8pin) +12v (see mobo picture)
No Front header USB 3.0 Header (not a con for price point)
Didn't detect my XFX HD7850 or XFX HD5750...but it is not ment for this sort of thing anyhow
Other Thoughts: I was fast to jump on the new socket that AMD released. My goal is to replace my parent's Phenom II X4 955 with a more small footprint unit. Since all they do is basic web and email, I figure a small ITX computer would be great. I also wanted to build something very energy efficient.
I bought this motherboard with the combo 'AMD Athlon 5350'. Installation of Windows 7 was quick after I disable secure boot. Drivers were installed from the CD. If you do NOT have a CD rom, I would recommend downloading all the drivers from another computer and putting them on a flash drive as no NIC support from a clean Win7 Pro.
Just to test how the unit ran, I did run some application and web browsing. League of Legends did not run well across even at lowest settings nor did the Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark (of course not, lol). I wanted to see how much of a bottleneck the processor would be but it seems this board did not like two of my XFX video cards (long beep followed by two short beeps). The unit did POST and boot with a spare Galaxy nVidia GT520, so I think it might be a compatiblity issue?
For most people, the price point for this motherboard and the bundled processor combo (AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini) will run you near an entry level FM2+ system. If power consumption is not an issue, I would recommend stepping it alittle to get a more powerful system. Otherwise, this little ITX board paired with the Athlon 5350 does great for web surfing and other non-media productivity task
Pros: Ran at advertised timing
Nice heat sink design
Compatible with MSI 785G-E53 w/ Phenom II X4 955 with slight overclock @ 3.4GHz
Cons: None really, aside the prices of RAM went up from initial purchase
Other Thoughts: The ram kit started to go bad after about 4 years of usage very heavy usage. The computer would have weird and erratic performance (random BSOD errors). Eventually the unit would consistently BSOD every hour. Ran Memtest and one stick of the kit went bad. OS thankfully was not corrupted. Contacted G.Skill and submitted the RMA form with a very detailed description on what was going on and within 24 hours I had an RMA number. I was then able to ship the RAM to their RMA center in CA using USPS (less than $3 to ship from HI) and within 2.5 weeks, I got my replacement RAM.
I had no problem or complication dealing with G.Skill throughout the process of the RMA. Would definably buy G.Skill again.