SFF.Network [SFF Network] ASRock announces the H110M-STX motherboard

While ASRock showed off a Mini-PC utilizing this motherboard at CES this year, it wasn't clear then if the motherboard would be available for purchase by itself. Well, today ASRock is announcing the standalone H110M-STX motherboard! While John may be dubious on the use case for Mini-STX, I think there's modding potential for ultra small gaming builds by way of M.2 to PCIe slot adapters (which hopefully will work with this board).

Read more here.
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
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Feb 1, 2016
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Soooo ASRock...

What are the chances of getting AsRock to do a Mini STX board with a 2 pin, wide input power header in addition to the DC plug? Barrel connectors quite significantly limit what we can build with the H110M-STX, so much so that a fair few of us are waiting on the Gigabyte STX hoping they make use of PCIe 3.0 x 4 for the M2 SATA. That being said, I am something of an AsRock fanboy and would rather give my business to you guys if you can make a board that has all the key features.

While I'm asking for things, what are the chances of implementing an edge mounted PCIe x8 slot like you see on some of the ITX AIO boards (for example Gigabyte B85 View Paker custom board)? Would open this platform up to custom VR applications as well as ultra small custom gaming builds.
 

Josh | NFC

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Mini STX would be awesome for me and my sys integrator partners if there was a way to have a m.2 SSD AND a m.2 expansion card.

I'm not the sharpest balloon in the box so I might be missing it. Are there any options out there?
 

BirdofPrey

Standards Guru
Sep 3, 2015
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What are you looking for for m.2 expansion?
This board has a type E socket which should support most anything (It has PCIE x2, USB 2.0 and I2C interfaces among others), though I've more or less only seen wireless cards for M.2 and there's also a type M slot which supports PCIe x4 for SSDs.
 
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Josh | NFC

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I build a lot of boxes for the broadcast industry and there are lots of m.2 expansion cards (they are x2 in length) for all sorts of things, really.

Can both slots be utilized at the same time? Unfortunately the ultra m.2 looks like it is above the m.2 which makes m.2 cards with pins a problem. I know it depends on the CPU too bit I'm flexible.
 

Kmpkt

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In my mind the perfect solution would be to mount another M.2 on the underside of the board. It would add a second location to use the Bplus and similar adapters as well as enabling raid configs etc. Perhaps the H170 variant of the board would have the few extra PCIe lanes to pull this off?

Furthermore if a company like AsRock did this and then offered their own M.2 to PCIe adapter, they could place the x4 slot in such a position to ensure that PCIe cards lined up with the STX I/O.
 

BirdofPrey

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Sep 3, 2015
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I build a lot of boxes for the broadcast industry and there are lots of m.2 expansion cards (they are x2 in length) for all sorts of things, really.
Can't really say without specific examples. (also x2 is not a length, m.2 ranges from 30 to 100mm in length though only a small number of dimensions are generally used, according to the spec sheet, the E keyed slot is meant for 30mm modules)

For full reference the keys provide the following buses
E: PCIe x2, USB 2.0, I2C, SDIO, UART, PCM (I2S)
M: PCIe x4, SATA (though the specifications for this board says no SATA is available), SMBus

Given your mention of broadcast, I suspect you would be most interested in video (DP is provided on A keyed slots, which are uncommon), audio (Provided on B and E), and UART (Provided on E)

While M.2 is designed with a wide range of size and interface options in order to enable system integrators to easily drop in custom modules and upgrade the motherboard and modules separately, the limited number of combinations widely available, means specially designed solutions will only fit where they were designed to. For these purposes this means custom boards will accept whatever the manufacturer wants, but standard boards will pretty much only accept 30mm long E modules and 60 or 80MM long B or M keyed modules

Can both slots be utilized at the same time?
I don't see why not. There's only a few standard connectors, the tallest of which would allow another M.2 device below it which appears to be how this is set up. Also it would be a terrible sell to have a slot for WiFi and then have it block the SSD.
Unfortunately the ultra m.2 looks like it is above the m.2 which makes m.2 cards with pins a problem. I know it depends on the CPU too bit I'm flexible.
That's a fair point, if the lower module exceeds the keepout zone, you definitely won't be able to use the upper slot.

If you're concerned with overlap, mITX, and thin mITX don't tend to stack M.2 slots (though it does happen on some boards)

In my mind the perfect solution would be to mount another M.2 on the underside of the board. It would add a second location to use the Bplus and similar adapters as well as enabling raid configs etc. Perhaps the H170 variant of the board would have the few extra PCIe lanes to pull this off?

Furthermore if a company like AsRock did this and then offered their own M.2 to PCIe adapter, they could place the x4 slot in such a position to ensure that PCIe cards lined up with the STX I/O.
I keep wishing mSTX were patterned after Zotac's mini PCs. CPU on the top, and maybe a MXM slot allowing most of the top to be used for cooling in a standardized manner if so desired (though still allow for some cases to use the standard Intel CPU cooler), and the bottom of the board has SO-DIMM and M.2 slots so you can easily swap them out from the bottom of the chassis without mucking with the cooling solution, and could maybe even fit a 2.5" drive to the board.
 
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Josh | NFC

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Thanks, alot of good info there.

I'm glad I went with a CSM (Asus q87t) for my broadcast customers because thin-mini seems to be dying. I don't know what I am going to do when the lifecycle goes away. I also designed two thin-mini chassis and produced one model for them but seems it would be crazy to invest anymore in it.

Thin-mini was so brilliant...I wish it stuck around. I'm scared to heavily invest in mSTX for the same reasons.
 

Kmpkt

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There's a bunch of thin mini boards out right now with Skylake. I don't think they're formally killing them are they?
 

Josh | NFC

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ASRock System

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Soooo ASRock...

What are the chances of getting AsRock to do a Mini STX board with a 2 pin, wide input power header in addition to the DC plug? Barrel connectors quite significantly limit what we can build with the H110M-STX, so much so that a fair few of us are waiting on the Gigabyte STX hoping they make use of PCIe 3.0 x 4 for the M2 SATA. That being said, I am something of an AsRock fanboy and would rather give my business to you guys if you can make a board that has all the key features.

While I'm asking for things, what are the chances of implementing an edge mounted PCIe x8 slot like you see on some of the ITX AIO boards (for example Gigabyte B85 View Paker custom board)? Would open this platform up to custom VR applications as well as ultra small custom gaming builds.

We are considering the 2 pin power input on board indeed...
By the way, we are thinking more possibility on mini STX motherboard.
 

ChainedHope

Airflow Optimizer
Jun 5, 2016
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I am just going to toss this into the mix since ASrock is here...

If there happens to be a PCIe 3.0 x8 or x16 slot PIO/AIO board... could you add PCIe bifurication support? You know... for the laughs...
*hides devious plan to make the ultimate "NUC" without having a plan to power the thing knowing full well the mITX boards already support PCIe bifurication*
 

Phuncz

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We are considering the 2 pin power input on board indeed...
By the way, we are thinking more possibility on mini STX motherboard.
An idea: rear and angled PCIe x16 slot so that a moderately powered ( <100W) GPU could be added behind the motherboard. And a sleek but simple case to complete the barebone and an internal AC/DC 250W PSU. Plenty of skilled people here that would be able to design a case for such a board.
 
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ChainedHope

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Jun 5, 2016
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An idea: rear and angled PCIe x16 slot so that a moderately powered ( <100W) GPU could be added behind the motherboard. And a sleek but simple case to complete the barebone and an internal AC/DC 250W PSU. Plenty of skilled people here that would be able to design a case for such a board.

Id love to get a mobo with a rear angled pcie slot. It would be awesome.

Even if they did a PIO style board with a bottom mounted PCIe it could make for a very unique barebones experience. Something like this could be possible (board is flipped in this design):

 
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Aibohphobia

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Feb 22, 2015
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Strange, the solder points are still there, so I wonder if there will be a variant aimed at system integrators that includes the header.

If that version is not readily available, I wonder if the rest of the hardware is still present and it'd be possible to just solder the connector on.