It's been a busy past few days since AMD launched their "AM1" Socketed Kabini APUs. After the initial Athlon 5350 Linux review on launch-day, I did some tests involving a faster kernel and newer Mesa code along with some reference DDR3 memory scaling benchmarks for these APUs with Jaguar processor cores. Since then the Athlon 5150 and Sempron 3850/2650 APUs arrived. After a busy weekend of benchmarking, here's the initial Ubuntu Linux benchmarks of all four AMD AM1 APUs that are available at this time: the Sempron 2650, Sempron 3850, Athlon 5150, and Athlon 5350. With these four new AMD APUs are also a number of thermal and power consumption tests.
The Sempron 2650 is the only dual-core part that runs at 1.45GHz for its two Jaguar cores while the memory frequency is also capped at DDR3-1333MHz compared to the other parts at DDR3-1600MHz. Crippling the Sempron 2650 further is that its 128 Radeon R3 GCN cores are only clocked at 400MHz compared to 600MHz with the AM1 Athlons or the Sempron 3850 at 450MHz. This lowest-end AM1 APU currently retails for about $40. For about $5 more is the Sempron 3850 that's a 1.3GHz quad-core APU, twice the amount of L2 cache (1MB vs. 2MB), and this higher-end Sempron shares more in common with the Athlon APUs. The Athlon 5150 meanwhile is quite similar to the Athlon 5350 except its four Jaguar CPU cores are clocked at 1.6GHz rather than 2.05GHz but its Radeon R3 Graphics are identical to the high-end 5350. The Athlon 5150 is currently priced about $55 USD while the Athlon 5350 costs $65... The AM1 APUs are priced for entry-level desktop systems and other low-end systems.
The Sempron 2650 advertised its GPU as a Radeon HD 8240, the Sempron 3850 advertised itself as a Radeon HD 8280, and the two Athlons were advertised as Radeon HD 8400. All four AMD AM1 APUs had worked on the Mesa 10.1~10.2 RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers with the Linux 3.13~3.14 kernels, but for the best performance and support you will want to be running the very latest code. Ideally, Linux 3.14+ and Mesa 10.2+ along with the latest Git of xf86-video-ati and LLVM. Among other articles, I will have an article out sometime soon looking at the open-source graphics performance tuning for these Kabini APUs along with a comparison between the open and closed (Catalyst) Linux GPU drivers.
Since picking up the rest of these AM1 APUs, I've been very busy running some fresh Linux performance benchmarks. In this article are the results from these four APUs when running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS but with the manual upgrade to the Linux 3.14 kernel and Mesa 10.2 RadeonSI graphics stack as outlined in the earlier article. I also ran some initial power management and thermal comparisons. Due to lack of time I have not yet been able to re-benchmark the other non-AM1 hardware with the newer kernel and Mesa, but that will come in the days ahead. Also coming are overclocked results from these four APUs with the ASUS AM1I-A motherboard offering some basic overclocking support.