ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s DeskMini A300 – Finally!

Around a year ago, AMD graced us with the Ryzen APU family, bringing higher logical core counts and the Vega GPU architecture to the APU platform. Unlike the rather.. limited.. FM1/2/2+ platform family, the new generation ran on the AM4 platform, allowing anyone to choose between CPUs and APUs for their builds. What the new Ryzen platform also offered is a chipset-less option – A300. Because Ryzen integrates so many controllers and devices into the die, it is possible to create a motherboard with no chipset at all, much like the ill-fated AM1 platform. SATA, PCIe, RAM, and more fed …
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Guest Review: ECS Liva Z2

This review has been provided by forum member Duality92! Editing has been performed by John Morrison. I would like to take this opportunity to thank ECS for this product sample, they have provided me with an ECS Liva Z2 for the purpose of this review. ECS is no newcomer in the Mini PC world, this is the third unit I have reviewed, the others being the Liva Plus and the miniscule Liva Q. The Liva Z2 is the latest generation of the fanless Mini PC lineup from ECS. It sports the Intel Gemini Lake CPU, which were released in Q4 …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s DeskMini 310 – NUC Killer?

We’ve looked at ASRock’s DeskMini range in the past, with in depth analysis of the B250 and Z370 series DeskMini GTX/RX models – with GTX1080 and GTX1060 GPUs included. These cater for the high end, with prices to suit. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the DeskMini 110 and 310 – Mini-STX rather than Micro-STX, and integrated graphics only. The barebones market is an interesting one – DIY PC with less DIY, but better manufacturer support. Buy a barebones box, slap in a CPU, RAM and storage and you’re off – no power supply selection headaches, board …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s Z370 DeskMini GTX1060 – Barebones Bonanza? (Part 2)

In part one of this article, we tore down and set up the ASRock DeskMini GTX1060, a Micro-STX based barebones system that comes with a MXM format GTX1060 6GB GPU. In this second part of the review, we will look more in depth, to gain a deeper understanding of the Deskmini GTX/RX Z370, and see what it is capable of. As a recap, the ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX Z370 is a well designed Micro-STX barebones system, that in part 1, gained my recommendation, and my conversion from M-ITX to Micro-STX for my personal preference. The design of the platform, as well …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s Z370 DeskMini GTX1060 – Barebones Bonanza? (Part 1)

When Craig reviewed ASRock’s B250 DeskMini GTX1080, we were impressed by the utter performance density offered by the platform. A GTX1080, with desktop GPU performance, in a box under 3 litres of volume. Today it’s my turn to look at a DeskMini GTX/RX model, albeit the next generation, based on Intel’s Z370 chipset. The ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX line is based on the Micro-STX form factor, a variation on the STX form factor originally launched by Intel as “5×5” a few years back. ASRock realised that by adding in a mere 2 inches in length (ugh… metric plz) meant that the …
Systems

ASRock’s DeskMini GTX1080 Reviewed – Epic Performance Density

Written by Craig Babiuk with assistance from John Morrison When I first laid eyes on ASRock’s Micro STX platform nearly a year ago, I like many others was absolutely gobsmacked at the amount of hardware that they had managed to fit into such a tiny package. Measuring a mere 188mm by 147mm, the primary innovation of this form factor was taking advantage of the ultra-compact MXM graphics cards that had traditionally been reserved for use in behemoth gaming laptops. Clever repurposing of these GPUs allowed ASRock to fit an entire gaming system onto a single board that is smaller in …
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MSI Nightblade MI3 Review

This review crosses out a number of firsts. For starters, this will be the first product review I’ve done for SFFn (as well as my last, somewhat ironically, now that I’ve taken on my new role with Minutiae). It will also be the first pre-built desktop that SFF Network has ever reviewed, given our history up to this point of only ever reviewing components and the like. But when we first caught wind of the opportunity to review the Nightblade MI3, perhaps the ‘first’ that was at the forefront of my mind was this: would this be the first pre-built …
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Logic Supply CL100 System Review

Logic Supply is known for making high-quality industrial products. Lately, however, they’ve released some cases and systems that fit into the consumer space as well. The most recent example of this: the CL100, their latest NUC-style aluminum and steel fanless PC. The ruggedized mini system aims to work either as an HTPC, or industrial workstation computer. All in a neat and tidy profile. The CL100 is powered by Intel’s latest 4-Core Celeron N3150 Braswell processor. It features dual RAM slots, and room for one mSATA drive. On the front of the CL100, you’ll find a headphone jack, USB3.0 port, and …