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Asrock AM1B-MDH review

Michael Passingham
13 Mar 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
29
inc VAT

The Asrock AM1B-MDH is a decent microATX AM1 motherboard, but there are better-specified boards available for less

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Specifications

Processor socket: AM1, Dimensions: 237x169mm, Chipset: AM1, Memory slots: 2, PCI-E x16 slots: 1, PCI-E x1 slots: 1, PCI slots: 0, USB ports: 4x USB2, 2x USB3, Video outputs: DVI, VGA, HDMI

AM1 motherboards are among the cheapest on the market, supporting AMD's cheapest CPUs for incredibly low-power and low-cost PC builds.

Asrock's AM1B-MDH microATX form factor motherboard is actually one of the more expensive boards, although at under £30 when the cheapest boards are around £20, it's hard to complain. Your £30 gets you a basic motherboard with plenty of rear-facing ports, including four USB and two USB3 connectors. This should be more than enough for your peripherals, and even if it isn't, the four USB headers will give you more ports if your case has them. There aren't any USB3 headers, so you won't be able to add front USB ports.

On the rear there are three video outputs: DVI, HDMI and VGA ports. The HDMI port is rotated 90 degrees, a move that reduces the danger of wider HDMI cables physically blocking the two USB ports placed right next to the connector.

On the board there are two DDR3 RAM slots, and you should keep in mind the fact that the AM1 platform does not support dual-channel memory. Nonetheless, there's capacity for up to 32GB of RAM, although you'll be hard pressed to find two 16GB sticks on sale, so realistically your maximum capacity is 16GB.

There are two PCI-E slots, but even the x16 slot only has a maximum speed of x4. This limits the speed of any expansion cards you use, including graphics cards, and will ultimately be a bottleneck if you try to install anything but the cheapest of graphics cards. Unfortunately, we’ve found that AM1 processors are a bottleneck, and you won’t be able to get the full speed out of a decent graphics card. We recommend sticking with integrated graphics on your processor of choice, which won’t be good enough for playing games, but will handle HD video properly.

Performance using an Athlon 5350 wasn’t very impressive, with our 4K benchmarks returning an overall score of just 17. This really isn’t a very quick system.

You also get a PCI-E x1 slot, so you'll be able to connect a basic wireless card or install an extra set of USB ports if you wish. There are three 3.5mm audio jacks on the rear, and two PS/2 ports too.

Two SATA3 ports are present, and while this is enough for very basic PC setups, this is very limiting. They're slightly awkwardly placed right next to the 12-pin ATX power socket, and they're back-to-back rather than side-by-side, but unless you're going to be constantly plugging in and disconnecting devices, this won't be a problem.

The Asrock AM1B-MDH is a decent AM1 motherboard, although considering how basic AM1 socket processors are it's hard to see where the extra £5-10 has gone. You can get near-identical specifications for less money with the MSI AM1M.

Hardware
Processor socketAM1
Form factormATX
Dimensions237x169mm
Processor supportAMD Athlon/Sempron APU
Processor external bus100Mhz
ChipsetAM1
Supported memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory speed1600MHz
Memory slots2
Maximum memory32GB
Motherboard power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin 12V
PCI-E x16 slots1
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots0
Motherboard fan headers3
SATA II ports0
SATA III ports2
RAID supportNone
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s
Motherboard sound (ports)Realtek HD Audio (3x 3.5mm analogue)
USB ports4x USB2, 2x USB3
USB headers4x USB2
Video outputsDVI, VGA, HDMI
Other ports2x PS/2
Cables included2x SATA
Motherboard clock adjustmentCPU/RAM
Motherboard voltage adjustmentRAM
Buying information
Price including VAT£29
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.morecomputers.com
Detailswww.asrock.com
Part code90-MXGUN0-A0UAYZ

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