When I got my first car it was one of the most basic rides I could possibly get for a cheap price. I was 19 years old and the Chevy that I ended up picking up was absolutely amazing to me. I finally had the ability to go wherever I wanted to go on my own schedule. One thing about that Chevy though was that it was really basic, it had a manual transmission and hand cranks for the windows. What I would now look at and say is a really basic vehicle with no bells and whistles, but everyone remembers their first car fondly. The main thing was it was transportation and it fit my budget at a mere $3,000 dollars and sometimes that is all that counts.
For some, the same thing can be said about computers and electronics. The price is the most important item to consider and performance does not really matter. I know that is not true, however, considering people are always complaining about how slow their computers are. What would you say if I told you that there is now an extremely affordable solution for an everyday computing machine, HTPC, or NAS box? Enter the AM1 platform from AMD, in particular the Athlon 5350. The AM1 platform has the option for two to four cores, features a low TDP of 25W, and is priced to fit into any budget.
In this case, we are talking about the AMD “Kabini” APUs that were recently released, in particular we took a look at the Athlon 5350, which is the top of the “Kabini” tier. The Athlon 5350 is powered by four “Jaguar” cores, which are built on the same 28nm process as its big brother “Kaveri”. What you end up with is four CPU compute cores, along with a Radeon R3 GCN GPU, totaling 128 Radeon cores. Clock speeds for the Athlon 5350 APU are set at 2.05GHz for the CPU cores and 600MHz for the GPU, additionally memory speeds allow for up to DDR3-1600MHz. Not only is the Athlon 5350 designed to be budget friendly, but it also is designed to be low power and run cool. With a TDP of only 25W you can be sure that you won’t be using a ton of electricity running this system.