AMD recently released the AM1 platform. It consist of 4 new processors. My old HTPC no longer works. I think the humidifier in the room may have something to do with it. So I decided to pick up the 5350 and a MSI AM1I MS-7865 motherboard. Newegg had an extra $15 off for the combo. I wasn’t needing the most powerful of the bunch but for the price I decided to get it anyway.
The plan was to replace the broken HTPC with this one. Use the existing case, PSU, ram, and SSD. I swapped out the motherboard and cpu. The heatsink is a little taller than the old one so I had to do the cabling a little different but it worked out. On to the OS installation. Here’s where I ran into a brick wall. I wanted to use Linux Mint 16, create an HTPC user with auto-login into XBMC. Unfortunately, the video drivers are not running stable. It kept warning me that it’s running in software render mode and that my CPU may be running higher than normal. The HTPC won’t be much good if the problem is related to the video drivers. I’m sure being that it’s new, the Linux community hasn’t released an updated driver yet. I tried my luck with Ubuntu 13.10. I knew there’s a small chance it’ll be more stable since Mint didn’t work, but I tried anyway. Same results.
I gave up and will be install Windows 7 for the time being. I wanted to get it up and running sooner than later. So now for some pics and initial readings.
It is a Mini ITX motherboard. Though small, it has full size ram slots (up to 32GB) and a full sized PCI Express 3.0 (x4). I’m not planning on using a discrete video card because my case won’t allow it, but the 5350 CPU does have a Radeon 8400. It should be more than adequate for my HTPC purposes. It also has a mini PCI-E slot, but I’m not sure if I can use a MSATA drive. Would be great if I could, to gain space inside the small case. The 2 SATA ports run at up to 6Gbps. Another note, the ram slot holding pins don’t bend on both sides. Only one side on each slot bends for ram install, so don’t force the other side to bend.
I’m kind of surprised that motherboards still come with PS2 ports for keyboards and mice. It has 2x USB2.0 and 2x USB3.0. The motherboard has 2x USB2.0 headers. The usual gigabit ethernet port is there. There are 3 different ways you can connect – VGA and DVI that supports up to 1900×1200 and the HDMI supports up to 4096×2160 (4K UHD) – according to MSI’s website (http://www.msi.com/product/mb/AM1I.html#?div=Detail). I wish I had a 4K display to test that out. The audio also supports up to 7.1 channels.
So far my power consumption is low. I haven’t gone over 22 watts. It idles at 10-12 watts. With Windows 7 Profession 64bit running Windows Update, it’s at 15.6 watts. My temperature from the bios was at 18°C. Very low compared to my old E350.