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Introduction

The ASUS AM1M-A is a socket AM1 motherboard for the new “Kabini” Sempron and Athlon CPUs from AMD. It comes with two SATA-600 and four USB 3.0 ports. Let’s take a look at this inexpensive product.

The AM1 platform from AMD uses a new concept: a socketed SoC (System-on-a-Chip) CPU. Usually, SoC processors, which include the CPU, the GPU, and the chipset in a single low-power chip, come soldered on the motherboard. But with the AM1 platform, processors use a new socket and are sold separately from the motherboard. Officially, AM1 is the platform name and the socket is called FS1b; however, the socket has been called “socket AM1” by users and motherboard manufacturers.

The first CPUs based on this platform to arrive on the market are the new Sempron and Athlon processors codenamed “Kabini.”

The direct competitors of the AM1 processors are Celeron and Pentium CPUs from the J and N families, like the Celeron J1800 that comes with the ASRock D1800M motherboard, which we already analyzed. Both platforms are aimed on low-cost, low-power desktop PCs, however the models from Intel have a TDP of only 10 W, while models from AMD have a TDP of 25 W.

A interesting detail on AM1 motherboards is that there is no chipset, as it is included in the processor. The motherboard only has the voltage regulator, audio codec, Ethernet controller, Super I/O chip, and mechanical connections with memory, SATA devices, expansion slots, and external peripherals. Because of this, AM1 motherboard are typically inexpensive. The motherboard can, however, offer extra features, such as additional USB 3.0 or SATA ports.

In Figure 1, you see the ASUS AM1M-A motherboard. It uses the microATX form factor, measuring 8.9 x 6.7 inches (226 x 170 mm).

ASUS AM1M-AFigure 1: ASUS AM1M-A motherboard