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GIGABYTE AM1M-S2H Assessment: What Can $35 Get You?
Posted by :AdminPosted date : August 15, 2014In Tech0
Whereas more often than not lovers are enjoying round with the newest and biggest, the cheaper low efficiency platforms are often the excessive quantity movers. As we defined in our Kabini evaluate, AMD has taken the weird step of manufacturing an upgradable platform for as little as $seventy four. The motherboards for the AM1 Kabini platform vary from $31 to $forty seven, and as we speak we’re reviewing the GIGABYTE AM1M-S2H which retails at $35.
GIGABYTE AM1M-S2H Overview
Maybe it’s simply me, however a motherboard for $35 appears virtually unreal. If we contemplate any markup by the retailer, the per-IC margins have to be very minimal certainly, until the producers have been promoting every thing at value in an effort to get an concept off the bottom. The AM1 vary varies from $31 to $forty seven, or $fifty nine in the event you contemplate the one motherboard that helps a 19-volt DC-In, however they’re all in both the mini-ITX or micro-ATX type issue.
The GIGABYTE AM1M-S2H falls close to the underside of that worth vary, though it’s the bigger microATX measurement with full-sized DDR3 help. There isn’t a overclocking attainable on this motherboard, and as such the facility supply and lack of an influence supply heatsink is fitted to the low powered Kabini APUs at inventory speeds. For connectivity the motherboard has three USB 2.zero headers, two SATA 6 Gbps ports, two fan headers, two USB three.zero ports, an LPT header, a COM header, a 2.1 audio codec, gigabit Ethernet, a PCIe 2.zero x4 slot and two PCIe 2.zero x1 slots. Maybe surprisingly, because of the low value nature of the product, we do get GIGABYTE’s Twin BIOS right here regardless of the elevated value to the producer. When I’ve beforehand met with GIGABYTE, the product managers within the motherboard enterprise unit insisted that Twin BIOS is a superb function regardless of the worth of the motherboard; as an fanatic, I might agree.
The AM1M-S2H shaped the spine of our Kabini assessment, which it carried out with out incident. The complete size PCIe slot affords use of a full sized graphics card and maybe unsurprisingly the Athlon 5350 we used for testing nonetheless gave body charges above 30 FPS with our commonplace gaming benchmarks and setups. Efficiency of the motherboard on the system aspect of issues gave a DPC Latency and Audio outcomes just like what we might anticipate with a low powered platform/ALC887 audio codec, equally with boot occasions. USB speeds are barely slower than the mainstream platforms, however nonetheless inside a couple of proportion factors.
The entire focus of Kabini is for the system to be upgradable. AMD has aimed the platform for low powered use (digital signage, library computer systems) just like Intel’s Atom however goal to supply quicker DRAM help, upgradability and worth competitiveness. The AM1M-S2H definitely hits on that final level, though the depth of the system will depend on whether or not AMD will refresh the Beema line for a similar socket.
The AM1 platform makes use of the FS1b socket, which in contrast to the AM3+ or FM2 sockets is a pleasant sq. form which permits for a greater orientation of CPU coolers and brackets. The socket solely makes use of two holes for push-pin connectors, and in our testing the CPU cooler that comes with the APU within the field works high quality at inventory speeds. There are only a few aftermarket FS1b CPU coolers to select from, though the space to another options on the motherboard shouldn’t make this a lot of a problem.
The four-pin ATX energy connector is properly away from the socket, which means that cables needn’t be stretched over the motherboard for attachment – such is the good thing about mATX over some mini-ITX designs. The 2-part energy supply has no heatsink, and the 2 CPU fan headers are at reverse corners of the socket. The four-pin CPU fan header in white is to the highest proper of the socket and the four-pin SYS header is to the underside left, above the PCIe slots. Close to this latter fan header are the 2 BIOS chips for GIGABYTE’s twin BIOS which makes an look right here regardless of the added value for the producer.
To the underside proper of the socket is the 2 SATA 6 Gbps ports. Being proper in the midst of the motherboard is a moderately odd place for SATA ports. I perceive that cheaper merchandise have the connectors popping out of the motherboard, however having them here’s a little foolish. It signifies that any consumer who needs to have a SATA gadget (which shall be anybody not booting from USB) should place the cable over half the motherboard to succeed in – not a great design plan.
The DRAM slots use a double sided latch mechanism and conceal no additional controllers across the perimeter. As a result of the Kabini platform makes use of an on-die Fusion Controller Hub for IO, the heatsink within the backside proper is for the SuperIO IC coping with additional connectivity or any PCIe lane administration. For this worth there are not any energy/reset buttons, nor a two-digit debug show, however we do get a COM header and an LPT header as nicely.
This motherboard does have three USB 2.zero headers on the backside, which is probably slightly odd however permits system producers to design instances across the IO relying on the request of their shoppers. Subsequent to those is the audio aspect of the motherboard which makes use of a Realtek ALC887 2.1-channel codec – customers needing the ALC892/898 should search for a costlier motherboard.
The rear panel accommodates separate PS/2 connectors for a mouse and keyboard, a D-Sub video output, HDMI, two USB three.zero ports, two USB 2.zero ports, a Realtek community interface and audio jacks. Given the use case for this platform, maybe a ClearCMOS button would haven’t been warranted, although I wish to see them on residence methods.
US (Newegg) UK (Amazon)
Two DDR3 DIMM slots supporting as much as 32 GB Single Channel, 1333-1600 MHz
1 x PCIe 2.zero x4 2 x PCIe 2.zero x1
2 x SATA 6 Gbps
2 x USB three.zero (Again Panel)
2 x SATA 6 Gbps three x USB 2.zero Headers 1 x LPT Header 1 x COM Header Entrance Panel Audio Entrance Panel Header 2 x Fan Headers
1 x 24-pin ATX 1 x four-pin CPU
1 x CPU (four-pin) 1 x SYS (four-pin)
1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port D-Sub HDMI 2 x USB three.zero 2 X USB 2.zero 1 x Realtek NIC Audio Jacks (ALC887)
Product Web page
If Kabini is all about low-value, then it is sensible when producers like GIGABYTE benefit from offers like Realtek’s audio + community mixture. Maybe $35 for a motherboard is just too low to see a USB three.zero header, though that may both require shifting the USB three.zero ports from the rear panel or including a controller, which might have a noticeable value.