Mini-ITX MSI board teases socketed Kabini APUs

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.

Comments closed
    • aceuk
    • 6 years ago

    This motherboard would be perfect if they replaced the VGA and PS/2 ports with something more useful like DisplayPort and USB 2.0/3.0.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 6 years ago

      Seriously! I know manufacturers like to include them on larger motherboards for anyone with legacy hardware, but if you’re buying this, you’re probably from the part of the market that isn’t going to be using them.

      Integrators would just buy a board with the processor already built in, and DIYers interested in something like this probably aren’t going to be using 120 pound CRTs and 30 year old keyboards.

      They might as well have included a parallel port.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      and more than 2 SATA connectors would have been nice.

      • TA152H
      • 6 years ago

      PS/2 ports are better than USB at what they do, and it’s not like people go around without using a keyboard or mouse, so they make it so you need two fewer USB ports.

      VGA? I kind of agree. DVI? Also. HDMI and DisplayPort should be standard on modern motherboards. If they want to add the others, fine, but those two should always be there.

    • blightymate
    • 6 years ago

    A year ago during the initial PS4 hardware reveal AMD mentioned the possibility of a consumer version of that chip. Haven’t heard anything since, but this seems ideal for that chip, perhaps with a dual memory controller. Would make for a quite extraordinary cost/performance steam machine while providing the requisite upgradability.

    “AMD to sell a cut down version of Sony’s Playstation 4 APU”

    [url<]http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2250802/amd-to-sell-a-cut-down-version-of-sonys-playstation-4-apu[/url<]

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      That’s wonderful. A pony would be nice too. Too bad this story is completely unrelated to either topic.

      P.S. –> I’ve noticed you’ve been much quieter in your BF4 Mantle propaganda thread after the leaks came out* about how Kaveri’s IGP is only 10% faster than Trinity/Richland.. and that the CPU actually regresses in some benchmarks.

      Is that why you keep down-thumbing every post I make that links to official press statements and slides that AMD has released to the public? I’m just curious why you are so violently opposed to people who simply point out what AMD has to say about its own products.

      * From an AMD reseller who has a commercial interest in making Kaveri look good.

        • blightymate
        • 6 years ago

        I’ve never down-thumbed you, or anyone for that matter. I’m not sufficiently invested in people I don’t know physically to bloody well care.

        AMD/Dice’s dribble drabble of hard numbers on Mantle/BF4 hard numbers has caused me to lose interest. At least for the time being.

        • blightymate
        • 6 years ago

        By the way, this – “That’s wonderful. A pony would be nice too. Too bad this story is completely unrelated to either topic.” – is pure thread crapping. You off handedly s**t on my post, apparently just because you can, while providing zero data or reasoning to support what you said. Literally, an expected behavior from a poorly raised child.

        Do so again and I will cease communicating with you.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          OH NO DONT CEASE COMMUNICATING!

          Totally condescending troll. 10/10 would read again.

        • remon
        • 6 years ago

        Talk about going off topic.

        At least he wrote about a use for the motherboard this article’s talking about. You’re talking about mantle and kaveri performance.

    • oMa
    • 6 years ago

    The big question is if future CPUs will fit in this motherboard, otherwise a socketed board is useless, unless you are doing something that voids the warranty for the motherboard, but not the CPU or if you live in a country with short warranty.

      • tootercomputer
      • 6 years ago

      ? Not clear what you are saying.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      If the AMD roadmaps I have seen are correct, there should be versions of the next-generation Beema/Mullins parts that should fit into these sockets and hopefully you’ll be able to do an upgrade via a BIOS flash.

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]If the AMD roadmaps I have seen are correct,[/quote<] That's a big "if" considering AMD's ever changing roadmaps.

    • DarkMikaru
    • 6 years ago

    This is perfect! Exactly what I was waiting for. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Asus C60M1-i based solution. Though its a great server, its a little slow as a HTPC but still gets the job done streaming Hulu or HD rips to other PC’s in my home. I’d like to have something with a little more oomph. But I will say I love the C60’s 9w TDP, darn thing doesn’t make a sound. Is great.

    I’d have break out my PCIx 4 Port Sata controller to help augment sata connectivity. I look forward to reviews on this thing.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    Why is it every time I read Kabini, I picture a jawa saying it in my head?

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDThrTxWBmw[/url<]

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      9 out of 10 jawas approve this message. The 10th one is too busy stealing the laptop you typed this message on to stop and recommend a CPU.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    It’s kinda refreshing to see Kabini getting some much-needed love. It’s too bad how Bobcat was a great success for AMD in terms of units shipped (and probably not profit-wise) and how Kabini is anything but, unless you factor in the MS and Sony consoles. Still, with FX lagging behind in sales one would think AMD should be selling Kabini chips by the boatloads to make ends meet. Right now I imagine it’s the GPU division that’s keeping AMD afloat with dedicated GPUs as well as the GPUs that’s pushing APU sales. Good job, Hector the Hexapod (Quest for Glory 4)!

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      AMD is staying afloat by selling everything not nailed down and giving away chips to the biggest console makers for a song, hoping they can turn the free press into some profits down the line by intimating they have advanced technology. Meanwhile, they’re laying anyone off they can find doing any actual work and yet continuing to press on with the Bulldozer-derived iterations that were flawed from the get-go and will never go anywhere near what Intel is doing on the high or low end. The mid-range is a no-man’s land of compromise and expense that dwindles faster than the high or low end.

      AMD continues to treat their GPU division like the John Snow of the CPU’s Stark family. And they were just invited to a crimson wedding…

      Winter is coming.

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]AMD is staying afloat by selling everything not nailed down[/quote<] Well, they also sold off assets that are literally nailed down. The campuses and buildings they sold off (and leased back) are examples.

        • Sahrin
        • 6 years ago

        The console chips are IP licenses, not unit sales. AMD gets a royalty for every chip sold, they don’t actually produce them.

          • blightymate
          • 6 years ago

          AMD sells the console chips to Sony and Microsoft due to x86 licensing restrictions even though the SOCs contain non-x86 IP. An AMD executive verified that in a conference call.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]This board should be affordable, [/quote<] Considering you just posted an article about Baytrail motherboards at $60.. that include the processor... I should hope so. When/where will AMD put separate Kabini chips on sale and for how much?

    • blorbic5
    • 6 years ago

    Can TR please please please do a low power cpu review that covers HTPC video playback. Preferably with plex but anything will do.

      • brucethemoose
      • 6 years ago

      +1. If ya’ll ever review these, a quick Plex transcoding/MadVR rendering benchmark would be much appreciated.

    • Deijya
    • 6 years ago

    So this board needs to be cabled to the internet or we would have to give up on discrete GPUs for a wi-fi card…

      • smilingcrow
      • 6 years ago

      If you don’t want to use the Mini PCIe slot for a WiFi card then use a USB WiFi stick.

      • cygnus1
      • 6 years ago

      One of us must be confused, isn’t that an x16 PCIe slot in the picture to go along with Mini PCIe slot?

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      If you want to use a discrete GPU, you shouldn’t even be looking at Kabini in the first place. Those who want Kabini know it for what it is, and it’s obviously not fast enough to prop a fast video card. And if you really wanna insist on using an R9 290X with Kabini, well, you can get a USB Wifi adapter.

        • raddude9
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]And if you really wanna insist on using an R9 290X with Kabini, well, you can get a USB Wifi adapter.[/quote<] The mini PCIe slot would be a much better option for a WiFi card. Also, I'd like to see how the A6-5200 does with a mid-range discreet card before deeming it a bad idea. It probably is a bad idea, but I'd like to see some hard numbers. Edit: Interesting, these people seem to have paired an A6-5200 with a GTX-680 and it seems to have done a very reasonable job, Google translate is messing up the graphs, so see here: [url<]http://adrenaline.uol.com.br/biblioteca/analise/784/amd-a6-5200-kabini.html?pg=04[/url<] for the in-built GPU tests, and here: [url<]http://adrenaline.uol.com.br/biblioteca/analise/784/amd-a6-5200-kabini.html?pg=05[/url<] for the tests with the GTX-680

          • Deijya
          • 6 years ago

          I got skooled.

          *cowers in corner wearing the dunce cap*

            • smilingcrow
            • 6 years ago

            It is like (junior) school in here as if you make a simple mistake people down vote you as if you’d wet your pants or said you like girls more than SSDs or TFTs with 10 bit IPS panels, high colour gamut and 8K resolution.

          • jihadjoe
          • 6 years ago

          I would like to know more about these “discreet” cards. Are they more circumspect with your data than regular cards?

      • Deijya
      • 6 years ago

      All mistakes and stabs aside. After reading all the linked factoids, I think we DIYers are poised for an ultra affordable steam box that can be rigged into the wall or ceiling facing your bed pillow. There are enough radio waves and frequencies flying around my apartment building to fry my brain and I’d like to avoid streaming latency issues if at all possible.

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