ASUS C60M1-I: $80 PC board with AMD C-60 dual core CPU

Mini-computers with ARM-based processors and low price tags have been getting a lot of attention lately. But ARM-based systems like the Raspberry Pi or UG802 aren’t the only games in town when it comes to low-power computers that cost less than $100.

You can pick up an Asus C60M1-I board for just under $80. For that price you get a dual core x86 processor, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and more ports than you can shake a stick at. You’ll need to bring your own memory, storage, and case though.

Asus C60M1-I

Basically what you’ve got here is a mini-ITX motherboard which comes with a CPU and a heat sink.

The system is based around a 1 GHz AMD C-60 dual core processor with Radeon HD 6290 graphics. It’s not exactly a high end system. This is the sort of chip you’d normally find in a netbook. But it can handle basic computing tasks, HD video playback, and 3D accelerated graphics.

Since this is an x86 chip, it can also support a wide range of operating systems including Windows 7, Windows 8, and many Linux-based operating systems.

Unfortunately one thing that the AMD C-60 processor doesn’t handle well is high definition Netflix video playback. That could be a bummer if you were planning to use the ASUS C60M1-I as the basis for a cheap home theater PC.

On the other hand, if you’re not a Netflix subscriber, that probably won’t be a problem. AMD’s Radeon HD graphics for its budget C and E series chips can play back HD video stored on your hard drive just fine, and have no problems with YouTube and most other online video sites.

The ASUS C60M1-I supports up to 8GB of DDR3 1066 memory, has a connector for a SATA III hard drive or solid state disk, and includes a nice array of ports, including:

  • 6 USB 2.0
  • VGA, DVI, and D-Sub
  • 3 audio jacks
  • Ethernet
  • PS/2

It also features 8-channel audio output. While the CPU is covered by a fanless heatsink, there are also connectors for a CPU fan and chassis fan if you need the extra cooling.

Once you add storage, memory, a case, power supply, and any additional cooling, the price of this system will be noticeably higher than the $80 starting price. But it’s still a pretty versatile and cheap alternative to an ARM-based development board like the Hackberry A10 or VIA APC.

Just don’t expect this system to outperform a high-end (or even mid-range) Windows or Linux computer.

  • Dr. Azrael Tod

    nice… fanless/cheap/hd-able? sounds like an worthy replacement to my old atom330

  • Marcelo Manzo

    I think the big appeal of the arm devices is the power consuption.

  • Bill Smith

    That is a lot of USB ports. I wonder whether you’ll run into power problems using all six ports. With the Raspberry Pi, you really need to use a powered USB hub if you want to use more than one USB device.

    • barry99705

      Well since this thing is powered from a standard computer power supply, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.

    • Craig

      That’s because the Raspberry Pi is powered via USB cable. The USB spec puts a low limit on maximum power delivery, because it’s supposed to be safe. USB devices have almost no impact whatsoever on the power budget from a real power supply though.

  • Johnny

    I’d be interested to know how well this would run an XBMC Live distro. Is there any based on XBMC 12 alphas?

    • Johnny

      Also, there’s no HDMI connector on this.

      • theclive

        i guess this is geared for a different crowd. I dont think its meant to be a media pc, but more of a htpc. I like the ability to add my own usb dac and run it to my ht speakers, but maybe im in the minority on that one.

      • CyberGusa

        You could always just use an adapter to connect the DVI and Audio out to a HDMI.

      • ByeLaw

        You;ll miss out on the sound though. Kille dit for me, no HDMI :(

      • CyberGusa

        Note, I specifically stated a adapter that would include audio.

        HDMI is basically a combined DVI and Audio cable format and they have adapters so you can connect a HDMI to DVI and audio jack source.

        Besides, you could always connect better speakers than the TV comes with instead.

      • pszab

        Please show an adapter like mentioned to me. Thanks

      • CyberGusa

        Posting link doesn’t seem to be working. So just do a search for DVI and audio converter. Amazon, Newegg, etc carry them. There’s also combo audio and DVI cables, if the monitor/TV supports audio auxiliary input.

  • RushNY

    For $80 you can also get this which has HDMI and is a good bit more powerful to boot:

    A board similar to the one in this article can be had for $60:

  • bob bergstein

    good write up – i am able to play netflix hd and regular hd on my p4 3.4 extereme Cer PU but only after i upgraded video card….

  • gen4810

    I will replace my atom based D510MO with this. Main reason: hardware virtualisation is included unlike the intel atom 510 which I require for an ESXi based installation.

  • Craig

    “Just don’t expect this system to outperform a high-end (or even mid-range) Windows or Linux computer.”

    Windows and Linux are irrelevant to that point.