Low-end desktop SoCs typically come soldered to motherboards, including AMD's 2011 Brazos platform as well as Intel's Bay Trail-D. Since upgradability is limited in that scenario anyway, many people see tablets and related options as being more practical for their price and portability.
AMD hopes to change that with its AM1 platform, which currently offers four APUs as well as a range of affordable motherboards. This gives the platform an edge over previous budget SoCs as it provides entry-level buyers the flexibility enjoyed by the rest of the desktop market.
While checking out the new AM1 APUs, we included many potentially competing chips we had on hand or picked up, to give you a clearer picture of what is available and help determine which solution is right for you.