AMD to release Kabini chips with no integrated GPU
A few months ago AMD launched the Socket AM1 platform, designed to provide low cost computing to budget-oriented markets and users. Given the nature of the platform the US company offers low-power processors of the Kabini family that come with integrated graphics processing units that reside on the CPU die as well as various other I/O components.
This will now change – AMD has prepared two new Socket AM1 Kabini models that come with no integrated GPUs. The Athlon X4 530 (2.0 GHz) and Athlon X4 550 (2.2 GHz) have four computational cores each and 2 MB of L2 cache, but the GPU integrated into them has been disabled. This means that if you choose to use one of these chips you will have to buy a separate video card for sure as you will not have video output on your monitor.
The decision of AMD to release such chips is not surprising – modern processors feature complex designs and even more complex manufacturing processes so no matter what you do you will always have some chips with defective die areas. In the case of the Athlon X4 530 and Athlon X4 550 the integrated GPU is the area that does not want to work properly so AMD has simply disabled this part of the chip and then sells it as a processor with no integrated GPU. The same method is applied when it comes to processor cores – cores that are defective are turned off and then the chip is sold as having fewer cores. This allows both Intel and AMD a degree of flexibility when it comes to selling chips.
The new Socket AM1 Athlon X4 530 and Athlon X4 550 will sell for around USD 60 and may be the perfect choice for users who wish to use a discrete graphics card and the low-priced Socket AM1 platform.