Joined on 07/27/09
Much better than AMD lets you on...
Pros: Probably the best office CPU on the market, also pretty good for HTPC and low-end computers. Sips power, even at full load. Much better performance than you'd expect: it beats most entry level Celerons and Bulldozer-based A4/6 APUs clocked far higher. Jaguar/Kabini's IPC is visibly superior to anything based on the execrable Bulldozer architecture, only quasi-external limitations (single channel memory and half-speed L2 cache) hold it back. Relatively inexpensive.
Cons: Only single channel memory, but that isn't THAT big of a deal for a basic or HTPC computer. In fact, it can be a clever way to save money if you build a lot of small computers and buy lots of dual-channel memory kits. ;) Not going to threaten most A8s and A10s, nor higher end Intel parts (simply not enough clockspeed nor memory bandwidth.) Onboard GPU is definitely not for high-def games, but at least handles YouTube and flash games at fullscreen without pooping the bed.
Overall Review: AMD, why do you not make a 'big core' version of the 'cat architecture? It's clearly better than anything in the Bulldozer line per clock and per watt! Just give it a dual-channel memory controller, more and faster cache and maybe a micro-ops buffer, and an HSA capable GPU engine and that thing would easily take the fight to Intel's mainstream offerings. (At least it won't burn some silly 125 watts while it's at it!)
Irritating random 3-5 second lags
Pros: Roomy. Relatively quiet (except when it's loading/unloading with disco rhythm). When it's not randomly lagging, it's decently responsive and, as long as it doesn't pause during the test, it can give me 5.7 disk index in Windows Experience - very impressive for a 5400 rpm laptop hard drive.
Cons: Randomly and frequently pauses for 3-5 seconds, which quickly gets on the nerves. Runs rather warm and sucks down battery power quickly (obviously its frenetic spindle speed regulation and frequent head loading/unloading isn't saving any power.) And, of course, the drive's apparently useless SMART function says everything is 100% hunky-dory fine, and there are never any bad sectors. Running Windows 7, also behaved exactly the same on Vista.
Overall Review: Good working, well designed drives should NOT randomly lag 3-5 seconds for seemingly no reason. I can (barely) put up with the head load/unload stuff, mediocre power efficiency and indecisive spindle regulation, but random LONG "pauses" is asking too much. Tried changing the jumper settings on the drive and OS/APM and BIOS settings to frustratingly little effect. Had this drive for about 7-9 months, finally had enough of the lags and retired in favor of an ancient 80gb Seagate Momentus 7200.1 that, while hot, noisy and markedly battery hungry, at least does NOT lag. EVER.
Highly decent, but no barnstormer like the 5350
Pros: + Considerably cheaper than the 5350 is these days. That alone mostly atones for the 400Mhz speed dock, and you can regain some lost ground with careful overclocking. + Startlingly electrically efficient. This and the 5350 make excellent, highly efficient replacements for 2006-era Athlon 64 X2 and low-clock Core 2 Duo machines. + Never really gets 'hot', no matter how hard you push it. You can probably get away with cooling it passively, unless you plan on overclocking. Don't waste money on watercooling, it'll be totally unnecessary. + Ironically, single channel RAM means you can run a fully functioning system from a single stick of RAM, which means you can save money on multiple AM1 builds by buying dual-channel kits. + Still faster than most lower-clocked single-module A4/A6 chips and most entry-level Celerons, though by not quite as big of a margin as the 5350 was. The 'cat architecture really is that much better than the disgustingly P4-like Bulldozer and its variants.
Cons: - Lacks the surprising snap the 5350 had at stock clockspeeds, but at the price you can't really complain much. - Still visibly slower than a higher-clocked A8/A10 or i5/i7, but those are in a totally different price range altogether. Besides, those caliber of CPUs are complete and utter overkill for the basic home/office user segment, which is where these CPUs are targeted at. - Single channel RAM and a weak onchip GPU means no hard-core gaming, but you're probably not going to do much gaming on a 'cat core (that's not in a PS4 or XBOne) anyway. The 5150's GPU capably handles YouTube and flash games in fullscreen, though mild stutters surface every now and then (what do you expect, it's running nearly half a gigahertz slower. If the stuttering bugs you to no end, overclock it or pay for a 5350.)
Overall Review: Personally I wouldn't bother with any of the AM1 Semprons unless money really was that much of a driving factor. This Athlon 5150 is as low as I am willing to go with my machines.
My first multi-core CPU
Pros: Three cores for 65W. Not ridiculously expensive. Performs visibly better than the Athlon 64 x2 4200+ it replaced, especially when juggling multiple tasks. Probably an excellent HTPC CPU.
Cons: Probably won't touch any of the newer multithreading AM3 parts, even the Athlons, simply because of the clockspeed disadvantage. But if your board won't take an AM3, that really won't matter much.
Overall Review: For games, the 8250e is getting a bit long in the tooth. For HTPCs and just plain work, though, it's still got a lot of fight left in it. If you got an old AM2+ board and don't want to go over 65W, this is a great way to inject some new life into it.
Slick little budget CPU
Pros: -Reasonable price for dual core power -Sips power -Just plain snappy for a budget chip
Cons: -Doesn't have virtualization support (minor annoyance) -Doesn't make me breakfast in the morning. ;P
Overall Review: If you're a gamer you'll probably want something with a little more horsepower, but if all you want is something affordable that isn't dog slow, then this is a great choice. 4 eggs for this bad boy.