AMD touts new low-cost desktop chipset, calls Intels a dead-end

AMD logoThe developing world may be turning toward cheap and portable smartphones, but AMD seems confident that what those markets need is more desktop computing power.

Enter the AM1 chipset, an SoC for desktops launching April 9 and aimed at developing markets. You may recognize AM1 as a sibling of the Kabini family of chips, which launched last year with dual- and quad-core Jaguar CPUs and GPUs on the same chipsetvery much resembling what landed in both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 a few months later.

While Kabini is destined primarily for portables, AMD wants the AM1 to dominate the low-cost, expandable desktop market, and at an estimated $60 starting price for the chipset and the motherboard combined, it's appropriate for that task.

AMD touts new low-cost desktop chipset, calls Intels a dead-end

However, with that price point comes some compromises. While AMD has yet to announce formal specs for the AM1 series, motherboard manufacturers ASRock and Gigabyte say that AM1 will be limited to a 25W max power draw from the chipset, along with a restriction to PCIe 2.0 that might bottleneck multiple video cards. (Anandtech says that those figures match up with leaks from Chinese VR-Zone.)

Still, AMD's announcement pulls no punches, making direct comparisons to Intel's mobile-minded Bay Trail platform by showing off a list of what it says AM1 does better: higher memory speeds, 16 GB memory support, an upgradable socket, and Windows XP support. The list concludes with a frank declaration: "Avoid a dead-end platform and choose AMD."

Putting a ton of power in a low-cost, almost-all-in-one solution could prove an easy sell for developing countries' computer labs, assuming they already have monitors and other hardware to swap. The upgradable socket could also keep those markets locked into AMD for years to come. And don't count out the tiny form factor that the series' Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards will deliver on the cheap for Western enthusiasts as well. However, in spite of the potent Jaguar quad-core architecture, we wouldn't hold our breath for, say, legitimate gaming power from the AM1 family.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: AMD, CPUs

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