AMD Preparing Socketed Kabini APU Chips
Up to now, AMD's budget lineup of accelerated processing units (APUs; chips with processor cores and graphics units both onboard), codenamed Kabini, have mostly been relegated to cheap laptops. These chips are soldered directly to motherboards to lower costs and can't be upgraded.
This is going to change, though. AnandTech, through VR-Zone Chinese, reports that AMD is getting ready to put out a line of socketed Kabini APUs. The former also provides photos of an otherwise unannounced socket AM1 motherboard designed for the new chips.
The reported lineup of parts is as follows:
|Model||Cores||Clockspeed||L2 cache||Radeon graphics / clockspeed||TDP|
|Athlon 5350||4||2.05 Ghz||2 MB||HD 8400 / R3 Series||25w|
|A6-5200||4||2.00 Ghz||2 MB||HD 8400||25w|
|Athlon 5150||4||1.60 Ghz||2 MB||HD 8400 / R3 Series||25w|
|Sempron 3850||4||1.30 Ghz||2 MB||HD 8280 / R3 Series||25w|
|Sempron 2650||2||1.45 Ghz||1 MB||HD 8240 / R3 Series||25w|
These specs are very similar to the existing Kabini lineup (represented here by the A6-5200), aside from some slight increases in clock speeds here and there. The majority are quad-core designs, and all have laptop-style 25w thermal ratings, which should keep fan noise to a minimum.
Meanwhile, the primary competition is still Intel's broad Bay Trail family of Celerons, Pentiums and Atoms. These, while boasting lower TDPs (just 10w for the quad-core, 2.0Ghz Celeron J1850), are stuck with slower integrated graphics. They're also soldered and can't be replaced.
On that note, AMD has already announced the successor to Kabini. Will this provide an upgrade path for the new socket AM1? Even if it doesn't, DIYers should eventually have an easier time sourcing the parts for their builds. We're roughly a year since AMD first put the initial Kabini lineup to market, and the selection of motherboards, as of this writing, continues to be disappointing.
April 10th Postscript: Well, as it turns out, these parts are shipping under the Athlon and Sempron brand names, rather than the A-series and E-series model numbers that AMD usually uses for its APUs. I've updated the above chart to reflect this change. The chips themselves are also now coming available at online retailers.