[AT] Digital Storm announces Project Spark WC STX prebuilt w/MXM

BirdofPrey

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Sep 3, 2015
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I wonder is AMD would be willing to fire back with their own mini standard. We've seen they have SOME interest in the SFF space with the Radeon Nano and rumors of Vega Nano.

If they do though, hopefully they get smarter than Intel and put the SODIMMs on the back and make an official MXM variant.
 
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Kmpkt

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Slotted SODIMMS s on the back would be so much better as the current vertical placement blocks air flow from the heatsink like a mofo. With the MXM cooler to the south, IO to the west and SODIMMs to the east, the only really good place for the air to go is north (where there are no air vents) :(
 
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Mortis Angelus

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Slotted SODIMMS s on the back would be so much better as the current vertical placement blocks air flow from the heatsink like a mofo. With the MXM cooler to the south, IO to the west and SODIMMs to the east, the only really good place for the air to go is north (where there are no air vents) :(
I would invent a similar sized standard with a PCIE x16 slot mounted side-ways on the back. So if used in a case with no GPU-slot, it doesn't do squat, but in other cases you could attach either a riser cable or the GPU straight into the slot. Or even create a 90 degree riser PCB which would place the PCI-E slot in the normal mITX position if used in a normal case. The possibilities are endless. :D

Likeso (please excuse the horrible art; I don't have any 3D-software installed atm....)
 
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BirdofPrey

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Sep 3, 2015
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Slotted SODIMMS s on the back would be so much better as the current vertical placement blocks air flow from the heatsink like a mofo. With the MXM cooler to the south, IO to the west and SODIMMs to the east, the only really good place for the air to go is north (where there are no air vents) :(
It additionally makes it easier to work on and can help with case design since it allows for a heatsink to cover the entire motherboard while the drives and RAM are still easily accessible from the back. Manufacturers of mini-PCs (such as Zotac) already make custom boards like that and the case has the backside come off for upgrades but you can't crack open the top.
 

Thehack

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This is correct. Not only that this radiator size is enough for this configuration, but you have to take into account that water is more efficient in transvering heat, meaning that the heat will be dissapated faster.
Water itself is not used to dissipate heat. Water is a medium that moves heat to the metal fins in the radiator. The cooling capabilities is mostly reliant on how the radiator fins can dissipate it.

It does help that water itself has a high heat capacity. It can soak a good amount of heat (energy). High surface area to volume ratio and more heat capacity is how AIOs seem to perform so well.
 
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jØrd

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So fingers crossed to have a mini stx in am4
We can but hope. IIRC VIA pushed quite hard to get mITX ratified as a standard form factor w/ the intention of pushing it towards the mainstream and getting more vendors to jump on board, forging royalties and such along the way. Maybe Intel has a similar intention, to try and push the industry as a whole forwards and not just to make bank whilst advancing their own marketing machine.
 

|||

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Anandtech gives the dimensions as 6" x 4" x 12" (152.4 x 101.6 x 304.8mm, or 4.7L).

That pretty much goes without saying. I think MXM cards are already using binned GPUs that are more efficient than the desktop models, and Digital Storm is probably doing some "tuning" (read undervolting/clocking) on top of that, to keep thermals under control. As a system integrator it's a luxury they have to be able to carefully select and tune parts to min-max performance in a small package like this. Case designers don't get the same luxury, since we basically have to design for worst-case scenarios and lowest common denominators (otherwise people will get upset at you when their parts overheat).
The mobile GPUs are absolutely binned. That was the news with the ASRock announcement for the Desktop-grade 1060 MXM, which is $30 cheaper for the chip and is clocked higher, but does use more power.

There is very little to no official documentation on the mini STX form factor on the open internet. Whatever exists is apparently being kept secret.
I wonder is AMD would be willing to fire back with their own mini standard. We've seen they have SOME interest in the SFF space with the Radeon Nano and rumors of Vega Nano.

If they do though, hopefully they get smarter than Intel and put the SODIMMs on the back and make an official MXM variant.
@ASRock System mentioned they had submitted the mSTX form factor to try to get it standardized into the ATX standard, but has not been accepted and recognized yet.
 
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Kmpkt

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The mobile GPUs are absolutely binned. That was the news with the ASRock announcement for the Desktop-grade 1060 MXM, which is $30 cheaper for the chip and is clocked higher, but does use more power.
When testing the Aetina MXM 1080 included with the Deskmini GTX 1080 in comparison with the Zotac 1080 mini for the piece I published a couple of months back, the MXM 1080 consistently outperformed the Zotac card on a number of benchmarks. This is likely strong evidence of significant binning as you can see here:



and here:

 

Boil

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I think this would do a lot better as a cube with a 140mm rad behind the motherboard.
I wonder if Swiftech will sell the water blocks as stand alones.
699 USD base, 155 for RAM, 275 for an i5 8400 is 1155 and that is before water cooling and base configuration storage. This might actually be a better deal than buying and speccing out your own system as a barebones.
Might even make sense as a purchase (for the Swiftech MXM GPU full-cover water block) to use in a custom chassis that allows a more robust custom liquid cooling system...
 
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dumplinknet

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When testing the Aetina MXM 1080 included with the Deskmini GTX 1080 in comparison with the Zotac 1080 mini for the piece I published a couple of months back, the MXM 1080 consistently outperformed the Zotac card on a number of benchmarks. This is likely strong evidence of significant binning as you can see here:



and here:

This is disturbing. The fact that a laptop gpu is out performing a full fledge deskptop gpu that 5x it's size.

Also, anyone else eying the powerbrick that comes with this Project Spark? What wattage is it? Will it replacement the Dell 330W? Hahaha.
 

Kmpkt

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These aren't laptop GPUs, they are fully fledged desktop GPUs on a PCIe card format that happens to also be compatible with bulky desktop replacement laptops.
 

dumplinknet

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These aren't laptop GPUs, they are fully fledged desktop GPUs on a PCIe card format that happens to also be compatible with bulky desktop replacement laptops.
Whattttt? This is new to me. Are these available to consumers in the sense where they can be purchased separately and put into a build like the Dan case or the s4m?

If not, are they compatible with off the shelf computer parts with no modifications? Plug and play.
 

Kmpkt

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They are MXM GPUs and are very expensive for what they are. You'd need a PCIe 16x to MXM adapter to even consider using one and to the best of my knowledge none of these are readily available on the market.
 

ChainedHope

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They are MXM GPUs and are very expensive for what they are. You'd need a PCIe 16x to MXM adapter to even consider using one and to the best of my knowledge none of these are readily available on the market.
Eurocom announced some adapters in August for this. Not sure if/when those would ever be avaliable. http://www.eurocom.com/ec/data/whitepapers/34.pdf They are targeted at an alternative crypto mining rig but I see no reason they wouldn't work for a general desktop.

As to whats currently available... pretty much nothing. There are some server and dev boards you can buy for $$$ but getting a hold of one is pretty difficult if you don't work in certification or verification.
 

dumplinknet

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I don't see why someone would build a sffpc (aside from being unique?) if this project spark is capable of packing in an 8700k, a 1080, water cooled and a lot of nvme slots with 32gb of ram for roughly the same price as building your own.
And since a 1080 mxm is better than the zotac 1080 mini, it makes this looks more delicious.

Anyone?
 

EdZ

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I don't see why someone would build a sffpc (aside from being unique?) if this project spark is capable of packing in an 8700k, a 1080, water cooled and a lot of nvme slots with 32gb of ram for roughly the same price as building your own.
And since a 1080 mxm is better than the zotac 1080 mini, it makes this looks more delicious.

Anyone?
Even ignoring the price-premium or pre-builds:
- Upgradeability. You can swap a PCIe GPU for another PCIe GPU with relative ease, but MXM is not so nicely compatible. And even if you find a compatible MXM card, expect to pay 2x/3x the cost of the same chip on a PCIe board.
- The flexibility and satisfaction of self-building