Mini-ITX MSI board teases socketed Kabini APUs


— 6:11 PM on January 9, 2014

Since its debut in May 2013, AMD's Kabini APU has only been available soldered onto motherboards and inside of pre-built systems. Now, a socketed version of the low-power chip appears to be in the cards. While visiting MSI at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Scott came across a Mini-ITX board with a 721-pin socket primed for Kabini APUs.

This Socket M1 board will be compatible with both dual- and quad-core chips up to 25W. Some of those APUs may bear the Sempron name, while others will likely retain the E-series branding associated with mobile Kabini variants. On the mobile side, the only 25W Kabini chip we've seen is the A6-5200, which has quad Jaguar cores clocked at 2GHz plus integrated Radeon HD 8400 graphics clocked at 600MHz.

The MSI motherboard is coming in March, and it looks like a pretty spartan package. All the basics are covered, though. You get dual USB 3.0 ports, DVI and HDMI outputs, (presumably Gigabit) Ethernet, and full-sized memory and PCI Express slots. Storage options include two SATA ports and a Mini PCIe slot that's likely compatible with mSATA SSDs. Since there doesn't appear to be any Wi-Fi on board, that slot might be better occupied by a wireless card.

This board should be affordable, and it could be a nice foundation for a budget home-theater PC. I wonder if Kabini is fast enough to sit on the receiving end of Steam's upcoming in-home streaming feature.

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