With the socketed version of Kabini formally announced by AMD, motherboard manufacturers are in full swing in announcing their line up to AMD’s budget range.  AMD’s goal is to get the Kabini platform to $60 for motherboard and processor, which cuts into motherboard margins and does not often leave much room for innovation.  ASRock is doing something a little different on one of their motherboards which is worth a closer examination.


First up is the AM1H-ITX, a mini-ITX motherboard that is equipped with two ways of implementing power.  Users can either use a traditional power supply, or use a DC-In jack that draws power from a standard 19V laptop power adaptor:

In terms of small form factor systems, this removes the need for a bulky internal power supply (or even a pico-PSU) and changes into a console-esque arrangement, reducing the volume of the chassis needing to house the system.  The motherboard itself supports two DDR3-1600 DIMM slots, a PCIe 2.0 x4 lane, a mini-PCIe slot, four SATA 6 Gbps ports (two from an ASMedia controller), a COM header, a TPM header, four USB 3.0 ports (two via ASMedia), Realtek RTL8111GR gigabit Ethernet and Realtek ALC892 audio.


The AM1B-ITX is another mini-ITX product, this time including a parallel port, four SATA 6 Gbps (two from ASMedia), four USB 3.0 ports (two via ASMedia), Realtek RTL8111GR gigabit Ethernet and a Realtek ALC662 audio codec, putting it on a lower price point to the AM1H-ITX.  There is no DC-In jack here, nor a mini-PCIe slot; however there is a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot, a COM header, a TPM header and dual DDR3 DIMM slots.


The other product in the lineup is a micro-ATX offering which seems very stripped down to provide all but the basics.  Alongside the two DDR3-1600 DIMM slots are two SATA 6 Gbps ports, two USB 3.0 ports on the rear IO, a VGA port, a combination PS/2 port, a Com header, Realtek Ethernet and ALC662 audio, a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot and a PCIe 2.0 x1 slot.

ASRock is expecting these models to be available from 4/9.  I am awaiting information on pricing and will update when we get it.

Source: ASRock

Product Pages: AM1H-ITX, AM1B-ITX, AM1B-M

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  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Probably not as lopsided as you want; but as part of Mantle testing Ryan benched BF4 with a 290X and an i7 throttled down as low as 2ghz.

  • schizoide - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Yeah, it's not. The kabini here is basically bay trail atom class, like an old mobile core2duo. Haswell i7 at 2Ghz would smoke it.
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    I've done some testing in multi-GPU setups where the third/fourth GPU is limited in bandwidth. It really takes a knock there. I advice using anything PCIe 2.0 x4 and below to be honest - you end up throwing money away from peak potential. That can be doubly compounded based on the CPU as well. I'm currently testing an Avoton processor with a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot and my usual high end GPUs. Results for that will be in that review, coming soon :)
  • schizoide - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    Sweet! Sounds like that's right up my alley.

    Haven't seen anything on Avoton SoCs yet. They're just 8-core bay trail atoms, basically, right? So the perf gradients should transfer across.
  • profdre - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    Hey Ian, do you know for sure that the AM1H-ITX onboard regulators can power a graphics card like the GTX 750? What's the maximum possible draw? 90 W (power supply stated in manual)-25 W (CPU)-mobo-SSD, so roughly 50-55 W? And don't you think a small card like the GTX 750 with less than half the graphics power of my R9 280X will be happy with PCIe x4? I only use PCIe x8 with the R9 280 X and with x16 it's 2 % faster on 2560x1440. On top of that, Kabini will probably more of a bottleneck than the PCIe interface, I guess. Could you run some Kabini coupled with GTX 750 gaming benchmarks? I would be interested in a low power, low budget passive gaming machine :)
  • Panzerknacker - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Wow this is really fantastic. I think I will be buying one of those for sure!
  • nafhan - Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - link

    Nice! Looks perfect for a little home server/NAS, as most of the Baytrail and Kabini stuff has been limited to two SATA ports.
  • signorRossi - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    How do the Kabini APUs suitable for these MBs compare to Bay-Trail D Atoms or even the i3 used in the NUC? I know the TDP is quite different, but 25W is still manegeable to build a fanless system with. I'm eying an Impactics case (no coolset for this MB available yet, though)...
    I don't game, btw.
  • schizoide - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    The kabini and bay trail atoms are comparable.

    The haswell i3 will _smoke_ them both. But depending on your usage model, that may not matter. If you're just doing office stuff, kabini/atom is fine.
  • Namisecond - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    Actually, according to some benchmarks (passmark), the Kabini is comparable to the lowest level core i3 (4010u) int he NUC. Those same benchmarks point out that the intel HD4400 significantly outperformns AMD's radeon 8400. Not that I would use either for more than just casual gaming.

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