3DMark & Conclusion
The last two tests are designed to test how well your PC performs in games. The test results are shown in a score. The higher the score, the better your system should perform in games. In no way were either of these two systems designed to run high performance games. For very lite, low resolution gaming they should be OK. We ran 3D Mark 11 with the default entry setting as it is designed to test low power systems and the AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU earned a score of 1136 while the AMD E-350 came in at 489.
In 3D Mark we chose Icestorm and Cloudgate benchmarks. Icestorm is designed for entry level notebooks and tablets. It is limited to testing DirectX 9 features. Cloudgate moves testing up a notch and is designed for lower/entry level PCs and is limited to the DirectX 10 feature set. The AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU out paces the E-350 here.
Is the AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU going to break any world speed records, no. But what it does is deliver decent computing performance in a low power package. The AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU is rated at 25w TDP. The new AM1 platform is designed to be up-gradable and affordable. The CPU can be removed on the new platform. AMD is marketing the AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU towards developing countries where not only the cost of the hardware may be a factor but the cost of the services, such as electricity and internet as well. By keeping power consumption low they are able to reduce the costs to the owner. MSRP of the Athlon 5350 is $55.00 and motherboard should be ranging anywhere from $25.00 upwards of 50.00.
I did a fresh install and build when I received the AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU and used it for week as my daily rig. I typically run Office applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel, do a bit of web browsing and stream Netflix and Hulu on a dual monitor set up. I really didn’t notice any response issues. The overall desktop computing experience didn’t limit me in my daily tasks nor did the system react sluggishly. With that said, I do use SSDs in all my PCs, and while prices for SSDs are on a downturn, I doubt very seriously there will be a system integrator that will include an SSD in a Kabini system for 200.00. One complaint that I want to bring up is the memory controller on the AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU is single channel. Depending on the scenario this could be a serious limitation. All of our testing an benchmarks give an indication for general basic computing, the Athlon 5350 should perform well. Depending on what options are available on the motherboard, maybe a discreet graphics card, and gaming performance would improve to the level of low quality 1080 gaming.
So what would you use the AMD Athlon 5350 “Kabini” AM1 APU for? A few examples come to mind, like a low power All-in-One kiosk, digital signage, machine control such as CNC machines, or devices on a PLC network. Low power computing systems really have a place in the market, for example, look how well the RaspberryPi has done and recently Intel has even released a SoC system; granted the AM1 platform is enormous compared to either of the two. Heat with this processor isn’t an issue. I used the stock AMD heatsink and fan that it was shipped with and during testing the temperatures didn’t exceed 60°C. During the course of the review, I asked my kids what kind of project do they think we should build with this set up. It’s funny with all the modern gaming systems at their disposal, what do they want to build? An old school arcade.