Tuesday | September 27, 2016
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AMD AM1 Platform with Athlon 5350 and MSI AM1i Motherboard Review

AMD AM1 Platform with Athlon 5350 and MSI AM1i Motherboard Review

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As is the case with other AMD products we also get support for DirectX 11.2, wireless display, Video enhancements/acceleration.

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Sapphire R7 240 LP
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Titanfall settingsTitanfall screenshot

Conclusion
When AMD were briefing the press on AM1 they noted that it was most comparable with the low end Pentium CPUs, occasionally pairing them with a low end GeForce when the GPU just wasn’t good enough. In reality though the features and pricing of the Intel parts are not comparable with AM1… the price is notably higher for a comparable part and the features more limited on the Intel platform.

What AMD are doing here is bringing performance and features normally associated with a higher price point to a new audience. This means we get some great key features such as SATA3 and USB3 ports to remove the usual bottlenecks associated with low end kit and then added to that a quad core “CPU” mixed with the latest GPU tech. Yes the APU isn’t capable of playing the latest games such as Titanfall with any normal resolution or detail level but it can quite happily play the likes of DOTA2 and Minecraft without issue. Playback of 1080/HD content was also handled with ease and general productivity tasks were responsive.

As a side note, we were not particularly keen on the mounting mechanism used for the heatsink by AMD. It works ok but doesn’t feel quite as secure as some alternatives… and isn’t quite as intuitive to use.

Back to the positives, we should also praise MSI for their approach to the AM1 platform. They could have gone with a really basic board given the audience however the AM1i is far from low end. For a budget price MSI have retained many of the features found in their higher priced products and added some nice extras like that mini-PCIe slot which allow us to easily add a WiFi card without sacrificing an USB port.

Probably the biggest win for the AM1 platform however is its potential for change. By offering a user replaceable APU we have the ability to increase performance as our budget allows over time. In addition to this the inclusion of a PCIe slot also means we can boost graphics performance with ease, just like higher priced systems. For those looking for a few specifics, by dropping a Sapphire R7-240 into the system we were able to play Titanfall at 1280×720 with medium detail, never dropping below 30fps and our 3DMark score increased to 1200.

Value Award
Pricing…
MSI AM1i Motherboard RRP: £30

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.

1 Comment

  1. JR Namida

    Single Channel Memory? Do I understand correctly a single channel 8 gig DDR3 1600 memory stick is as good as installing 2×4 gigs of memory in this motherboard?