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[SFFn] ASRock's DeskMini 310 - NUC Killer?

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
Original poster
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,235
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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.

Read more here.
 

Brian_Buckley

Trash Compacter
Sep 26, 2017
44
38
Has anyone tried testing support for non-stock coolers with this one? I remember that being an issue with the DeskMini GTX since the IO actually interfered with the edge of the coolers.
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
Original poster
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
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Jun 19, 2015
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Noctua Nh-L9i fits no problems :) haven't tested other coolers though
 

BenX

Cable Smoosher
May 22, 2018
12
3
The J5005 NUC is actually a better comparison for the low end, instead of the 7100u. NUC7PJYH = 172 dollars (newegg). Little bit slower single core, faster multi core performance.

Also a bit surprised there is still no AMD Deskmini released. Been waiting for that for ages. AMD Deskmini + AMD 1600 ( and maybe ECC )... The 1600 has one of the best price vs performance on multicore.
 
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Mortis Angelus

Airflow Optimizer
Bronze Supporter
Jun 22, 2017
263
257
Can someone please tell me: Does Intel have exclusive rights to this small formfactor? Why hasn't AsRock released an AMD-version of the desk mini yet? With the AMD APUs (2200G/2400G) it would be the best HTPC-box out there. Same seem to go for half-height mITX motherboards. The only one I know of from current gen is a gigabyte one for Intel.
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
Original poster
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,235
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sff.network
@fadsarmy alas, I have normal sized hands - I couldn't provide the dexterity to route the cable as such :/
 

Chas4702

Minimal Tinkerer
Jan 31, 2019
3
0
I was thinking of ordering one of these and I noticed Newegg had dropped the price and there was also a $10 Rebate. I also noticed that one of the Gigabyte Brix models was available in the H110 chipset. The brix had 2 extra USB 2.0 jacks on the rear of the case. I still think more USB devices on the front of the case might be better. I also saw a review on the asrock 310 where they added some kind of M.2 video card.
 

fadsarmy

Efficiency Noob
Oct 24, 2017
6
2

rbroders

Efficiency Noob
Mar 19, 2019
7
1
I'm trying to figure out which memory to get for this rig. This page: https://www.asrock.com/nettop/Intel/DeskMini 310 Series/#Memory
Says the Crucial Ballistix Sport BLS16G4S26BFSD will work at 2666MHz, but Amazon reviews say the memory only runs at 2666 if you can use the XMP profile. I think the H310 chipset does not support XMP profiles. I am guessing it can run at 2666 if I manually select the appropriate frequency and other options that would normally be done automatically by selecting the XMP profile. Maybe I can get XMP profile from CPU-Z? Any chance I can run higher than 2666? I don't have the unit yet so I can't use the DRAM frequency drop down list.

Thanks -- Bob
 

BonfireOfDreams

Trash Compacter
Mar 14, 2019
45
22
I think there is an AMD version coming out for an Asrock Deskmini A300.
I was curious how the Ryzen APU would perform in this little guy, tests are not looking so hot unfortunately (at least, not as well as I hoped for the price point). As it's in the $500 range for all parts you might as well pick up an nvidia shield tv or a used optiplex on the cheap. Neither option is perfect, being either less functional or less pretty, but they are certainly cheaper and provide similar results for gaming purposes.

That said, I would only recommend going the AMD DeskMini route for multi-threaded productivity purposes.
 
Last edited:

rbroders

Efficiency Noob
Mar 19, 2019
7
1
I'm trying to figure out which memory to get for this rig. This page: https://www.asrock.com/nettop/Intel/DeskMini 310 Series/#Memory
Says the Crucial Ballistix Sport BLS16G4S26BFSD will work at 2666MHz, but Amazon reviews say the memory only runs at 2666 if you can use the XMP profile. I think the H310 chipset does not support XMP profiles. I am guessing it can run at 2666 if I manually select the appropriate frequency and other options that would normally be done automatically by selecting the XMP profile. Maybe I can get XMP profile from CPU-Z? Any chance I can run higher than 2666? I don't have the unit yet so I can't use the DRAM frequency drop down list.

Thanks -- Bob
Okay, well if anyone cares, I did get the DeskMini 310 and the Crucial 2666MHz memory. Apparently the H310 does support XMP profiles. The system preferred 2400, but I was able to select 2666 just fine. I also got a Cryorig C7 Cu cooler and delidded the I7-8700 CPU. The C7 just barely fits in this case. I had to Dremel the backplate drill some holes in the motherboard tray and bend the case lid slightly to keep the fan hub from scraping. However, the CPU runs very cool. I can't get it over 60C no matter how brutally Prime95 runs AVX instructions. Unfortunately the VRM (voltage regulator module) is not cooled well enough and the system goes into VRM throttling during stress testing.

Still its a sweet little system and I think my wife will prefer it over her old laptop (which she never moves anyway).

--Bob
 
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rbroders

Efficiency Noob
Mar 19, 2019
7
1
In an attempt to reduce the VRM throttling, I removed the C7's 92x15mm fan and replaced it with an NF-A12x15 120mmx15 fan which I mounted to the top of the DeskMini 310 case. The ventilation holes are almost the perfect size for a 120mm fan, but I used my handy mill drill to add a few more. The Noctua fan fits perfectly (just brushing the C7 fins as you slide the motherboard tray into the case). I think a little more air is blown around the CPU heatsink and onto the VRM heatsink, but the system still throttles during AVX instructions. Oh, well.

I like the Noctua fan a lot more than the original C7 fan though. The Noctua's PWM support is very impressive and my fan will throttle reliably down to 10% producing ~250 rpm (max is 1850). When the CPU is below 50C I have the fan curve set to off to prevent dust from being blown into the computer when it is idle.

Definitely a fun little box... If I had to do it again, I think I would use the standard C7 instead of the C7 Cu which makes the unit rather heavy.

--Bob