Is there any benefit at all in going with a MXM-card build?


Trash Compacter
Original poster
Sep 3, 2017
I'm very interested in the Asrock Deskmini that just came out. It basically meets 90% of my needs (would be 100% if it had thunderbolt 3!) and the 2.7 litre spec is impressive to say the least. It's about $150 more expensive than if I went with my own custom build with a desktop graphics card. So while that isn't as big of a premium as I was expecting, it DOES put a strike against the deskmini, already. Is there anything to redeem it? Can the mxm hold its own as a GPU, or will it be a lesser gpu than a regular desktop card?

I have heard mobile graphics have come a LONG way in bridging the gap to desktop cards. But I know very little about dedicated graphics as it is. So I am just trying to understand what is the advantage (if any) in going with this build and getting an MXM card, over a custom build with a desktop gpu card? Is the MXM easier or harder to cool? Can it handle higher heat environments since it is has a history of being a laptop card? Is there any benefit at all? Is MXM inherently worse than desktop gpu in any way?

I really like this build, and when I first saw the MXM choice I thought it was very cool. But now I am wondering if it considered very good by you seasoned SFF builders? I mean, there are so many cases these days that get close to the same size, give or take a liter, and can utilize a regular graphics card.

I'm bad at keeping it concise. Basically I am simply asking, Are there any performance benefits or drawbacks with the Deskmini choice of MXM ?


Innovation through Miniaturization
Feb 1, 2016
The GPUs on the Deskmini units are fully capable desktop chips with the same memory and memory clocks. While the GPUs themselves are slightly underclocked for efficiency's sake (5% or less vs. reference last I checked), the real world repercussions of this will likely be unnoticable. As far as overclockability of the CPU/GPU on the Micro-STX platform, I'm not really at liberty to discuss those matters at present.

The one potential caveat with any new form factor is that it doesn't take off and you lose you upgrade path. That being said, anything even remotely close to the size of the Micro STX platform is going to be completely proprietary without any chance for upgrading. As far as Micro-STX as a platform for SFF gaming, I personally feel it is the Holy Grail. Comparing it to the S4 mini at 4.5L which is an amazing case, you're talking about the potential to move down to a 1.6L case in the Customod without substantial power. It is literally one third of the size. Hell the board is actually 95% of the footprint of an ITX board which is a wonder in itself.

Josh | NFC

Not From Concentrate
NFC Systems
Jun 12, 2015
Has AsRock announced pricing for the Deskmini GTX 1080? I only see pricing for the normal Deskmini. The pricing on the mxm cards earlier this year was...outstanding.

I think the Deskmini GTX is ridiculously awesome and certainly enough power for my needs, but you can build a 1080ti system for the same cost, and it can still be fairly tiny.

That being said I would love to work on one and probably will end up doing one for myself if it comes out before their X299 mini itx board. :)
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