[SFFn] ASRock's DeskMini A300 - Finally!

ShamedGod

Average Stuffer
Apr 21, 2019
87
43
The Stock fan was LOUD under full load, so I broke down and bought the Noctua. I noticed that after an HOUR of aida64 the stable boosted clock speed was a little higher, but only by like 0.03 MHZ and it ran at about the same temperature. The sound was less at full RPM speed. I did not use the low noise cable as the mother board adjusts fan speed on the fly.

For anyone curious here are some screen shots of the thermal performance, HIGH and Low fluctuation, before I stopped the test to make sure the system was GTG after the "upgrade."


you can decided if it's worth it for you.

It was much easier to put the case back together without the stock CPU cooler scraping the top and the cooler seems to have an easier time drawing in air. The Noise level does seem noticeably less. Replacing the Stock Cooler doesn't seem like a necessary option though.
 

RZ2019

Cable Smoosher
Jan 30, 2019
10
6
The Stock fan was LOUD under full load, so I broke down and bought the Noctua. I noticed that after an HOUR of aida64 the stable boosted clock speed was a little higher, but only by like 0.03 MHZ and it ran at about the same temperature. The sound was less at full RPM speed. I did not use the low noise cable as the mother board adjusts fan speed on the fly.

For anyone curious here are some screen shots of the thermal performance, HIGH and Low fluctuation, before I stopped the test to make sure the system was GTG after the "upgrade."


you can decided if it's worth it for you.

It was much easier to put the case back together without the stock CPU cooler scraping the top and the cooler seems to have an easier time drawing in air. The Noise level does seem noticeably less. Replacing the Stock Cooler doesn't seem like a necessary option though.
The Stock fan was LOUD under full load, so I broke down and bought the Noctua. I noticed that after an HOUR of aida64 the stable boosted clock speed was a little higher, but only by like 0.03 MHZ and it ran at about the same temperature. The sound was less at full RPM speed. I did not use the low noise cable as the mother board adjusts fan speed on the fly.

For anyone curious here are some screen shots of the thermal performance, HIGH and Low fluctuation, before I stopped the test to make sure the system was GTG after the "upgrade."


you can decided if it's worth it for you.

It was much easier to put the case back together without the stock CPU cooler scraping the top and the cooler seems to have an easier time drawing in air. The Noise level does seem noticeably less. Replacing the Stock Cooler doesn't seem like a necessary option though.
Just a novice question - is the noise from the A300 with the Noctua, acceptable? I am about to build one.
 

ConsolidatedResults

Chassis Packer
May 4, 2019
17
19
Just a novice question - is the noise from the A300 with the Noctua, acceptable? I am about to build one.
"Acceptable noise" is fairly subjective. The Noctua is supposed to be much quieter than the Wraith Stealth. That said, I still run the wraith stealth and atm it's acceptable to me. There are a couple things one can do to manage noise with the stock Wraith Stealth cooler:

  • Reduce resonance:
    • Make sure the case sits on a surface that does not resonate and/or decouple with some rubber mat / old mousepad.
  • Fan / PWM curves:
    • BIOS P3.40 has a "Silent Mode" setting for fan, which greatly reduces default PWM % compared to "Standard" mode
    • "Standard" defaults to 50% or so up to 50°C or 55°C. That's 1400RPM with the Stealth and too much
    • If you have BIOS pre-P3.40 you can set custom fan curves to achieve the same. In BIOS P1.20 and maybe in BIOS P3.20 the curves for FAN1 and FAN2 affect each other, so make the same settings for both. I find that 30% (~1000RPM) up to 50°C keeps the fan fairly silent and not constantly regulating under normal desktop use.
  • Manage voltages and power consumption, as that directly translates to heat and therefore to fanspeed
    • If you OC RAM (i.e. make any other setting than "Auto" for RAM) the A300 defaults to 1.1V SOC. Unless you run extremely high memory clock (3400+) this may not be needed to achieve stability. Tune down SOC Voltage (In P3.40 you can set this from OC Tweaker, in P1.20 you have to set from Advanced -> AMD CBS -> NBIO Common Options -> SOC OVERCLOCK VID (See table here for Voltage to VID lookup -> https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/asrock-soc-vid-missing-since-bios-5-0-1-0-0-6-pi-agesa-read-this.252504/). I can run RAM at 3200 on 1.06250V. You know you went too low when the box crashes or bluescreens on iGPU load :)
    • Set cTDP to 45W/35W and / or disable boost. With a 2200G on CPUz CPU Stress i got the following readings from Ryzen Master:
      • cTDP Auto (65W), Core Performance Boost Enabled -> 3700MHz All Core, 50W CPU Core, 1.3625V CPU Core
      • cTDP 45W, Core Performance Boost Enabled -> 3650MHz All Core, 46W CPU Core, 1.3125V - 1.33125V CPU Core
      • cTDP Auto (65W), Core Performance Boost Disabled -> 3500MHz All Core, 37W CPU Core, 1.20625V - 1.2125V CPU Core
    • The TDP Setting can be found in Advanced -> AMD CBS -> NBIO Common Options -> System Configuration. BIOS P3.40 has the wattages in "Consumer" and "Commercial" configurations, not sure what that does. I have tested on P1.20 which only has one config per wattage.
    • Core Performance Boost is found in Advanced -> AMD CBS -> Zen Common Options -> Core Performance Boost
So yeah, if you are happy to spend the time and fiddle around a bit you may find that the stock cooler is acceptable for your use case.
 

Stevo_

Airflow Optimizer
Jul 2, 2015
311
187
I needed a slim fan for the stealth cooler on the 2400G in my K3 box, used this Titan 95x15mm, same hole layout and quiet with huge PWM range, ends up ~37mm total height and so far as quiet as my L9 in another build.

 

ShamedGod

Average Stuffer
Apr 21, 2019
87
43
Just a novice question - is the noise from the A300 with the Noctua, acceptable? I am about to build one.
At full load it's audible but still lower then the stock cooler; I didn't use the low noise adapter though. I'd rather the fan run at full speed then throttle performance.

As @ConsolidatedResults said you can modify all the fan settings in the BIOS or set the thermal threshold for fan speeds.

I would try the stock cooler with the outer shroud removed before spending money on replacement parts. The exception to that is if you are just going to sell the stock cooler on eBay for $12 and user the money to offset the cost of the Noctua.
 
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Valantar

King of Cable Management
Jan 20, 2018
719
514
It's weird to say ram is ram is ram when we all clearly know that Ryzen performance is determined by the manufacture of the die of your ram and the speed and latency it is capable of, as a Threadripper user I know this to be very much dependent on what ram you choose. I had to spend $500+ on quad channel ram just to make the X399 platform run correctly. Sad to hear Samsung B dies will be discontinued. Now the world must turn to Hynix which I suppose I can live with but everyone said the silicon shortage was just a myth. I guess all these inflated ram prices were not just money grabs all along. I just hope we can get the next APUs on our deskminis. If I have to buy another one than fine I guess they got $150 out of me for a cool product and I'll never regret it. I"m happy that they allowed us to enjoy such a SFF Ryzen build at a reasonable price.
What does Samsung discontinuing B-die production have to do with the purported silicon shortage or price fixing? They're freeing up fab capacity for new, high-density chips by discontinuing their oldest, most expensive to produce DDR4 die, likely driven by investors demanding cost cutting due to the air having gone out of the overinflated DRAM price balloon, sure, but that doesn't in any way invalidate the fact that there's been multi-year DRAM price fixing or somehow indicate that a silicon shortage is causing this. There's nothing particularly weird about thid at all, and they're certainly not doing this out of necessity - they're doing it to produce a part with better margins and broader sales potential instead. Sure, B-die can be sold at a premium to enthusiasts, but that market is tiny and rather irrelevant. Density sells to servers and enterprise, where margins are WAY higher. This is a cash grab, caused by their previous cash grab being discovered and called out.
 
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ShamedGod

Average Stuffer
Apr 21, 2019
87
43
I set the fan speed to SILENT in the BIOS and ran the stress test again. At Silent setting the fan was barley audible, the machine didn't get warmer then 86.X degrees Celsius, and the CPU was boosting between 3.67 - 3.70. So for those of you who don't mind your system running a little warmer and won't miss the tiny headroom of sustained clock boost the Noctua in Silent mode is probably worth it.
 

Primerib

Caliper Novice
Apr 5, 2019
24
7
What does Samsung discontinuing B-die production have to do with the purported silicon shortage or price fixing? They're freeing up fab capacity for new, high-density chips by discontinuing their oldest, most expensive to produce DDR4 die, likely driven by investors demanding cost cutting due to the air having gone out of the overinflated DRAM price balloon, sure, but that doesn't in any way invalidate the fact that there's been multi-year DRAM price fixing or somehow indicate that a silicon shortage is causing this. There's nothing particularly weird about thid at all, and they're certainly not doing this out of necessity - they're doing it to produce a part with better margins and broader sales potential instead. Sure, B-die can be sold at a premium to enthusiasts, but that market is tiny and rather irrelevant. Density sells to servers and enterprise, where margins are WAY higher. This is a cash grab, caused by their previous cash grab being discovered and called out.
I suppose I was being a bit silly to assume that a majority of people go out of their way to look specifically for B Dies. You're right. The average consumer could care less about their ram manufacturer and it was nearsighted and self centered of me to assume that everyone was like me. I agree there has been a total fix on D RAM pricing for years now and that is a terrible thing and if this helps bring the price down for the majority than it is for the greater good. Point taken.
 

ConsolidatedResults

Chassis Packer
May 4, 2019
17
19
Today I found out P-State underclocking (and to a very limited extent overclocking) works on Deskmini A300, at least in BIOS P1.20

P-States (Performance States) are certain steps in frequency the OS or firmware can request a processor to run on. Lower P-State numbers are higher performance states. P-State 0 is the highest non-boost clock, e.g. for a 2200G 3.5GHz. Boost is a state on top of that, controlled by the processor, so not controllable by the OS (afaik...).

Here is what works:
  • If you disable core performance boost as I had outlined in a previous post, the highest state the processor can run at is non-boost P0. This state can be controlled in BIOS (Advanced -> AMD CBS -> Zen Common Options -> Custom Pstates / Trottling -> Accept). Leave DID and VID alone and increment / decrement FID until you get your desired MHz value. FID is in Hex and incrementing / decrementing by 1 will yield 25MHz change, as long as you left DID alone.
  • Any custom frequency up to the default processor boost clock will work fine. I.E. you can set your processor to run at a frequency lower than default base clock or higher than default base clock as long as frequency does not exceed the default boost clock. Probably due to A300 OC lockout.

What doesn't work:
  • Frequency higher than default boost clock. E.g. on my 2200G I can set P-State 0 to 3.7GHz (the default boost clock), while boost is disabled and the processor will clock to 3.7GHz under load. However, if I set P-State 0 to higher than 3.7GHz the processor will still only clock to 3.7GHz.
  • Undervolting does nothing. I set P-State 0 to 3.7GHz, voltage to 1.25V and stressed the CPU. The core voltage was exactly the same as running default P-State with stock boost (~1.36V)

What could this be used for:
  • Setting P-State 0 to higher than base clock makes little sense. Just use default and boost (unless you want to the processor to clock only to somewhere between base and boost clock, then disable boost and set P-State 0 to your desired clockspeed)
  • Underclocking shaves off massive amounts of voltage, power consumption and heat. At P-State 0 3.2GHz and boost disabled, my 2200G does not draw more than 20W CPU Core. It will take minutes under 100% CPU load for the processor to climb to more than 50°C under the stock cooler at 1000RPM. At stock clock with boost enabled it takes only seconds to jump to more than 60°C. You save much more power than you lose performance at full load, e.g. 15% less performance for 50% or more reduction in power draw @ 3.2GHz.

Now you could say one could use cTDP for similar effect, but that does not allow one to control power consumption of the different parts of the APU (CPU and iGPU) independently. If you underclock only the CPU, the iGPU is not limited at all and can draw as much as it needs, there would be no competition for thermal headroom.

Pic, stressing the CPU @ 3.2GHz:
 

NateDawg72

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 11, 2016
330
250
but that doesn't in any way invalidate the fact that there's been multi-year DRAM price fixing or somehow indicate that a silicon shortage is causing this.
Frankly I think the price fixing issue is not so clear cut and discussion largely tends to be driven by emotion. There isn't any evidence, everyone just points to high prices and says they did it in the past. Or they point at lawsuits that haven't gone anywhere as if those mean anything. It certainly happens but as with everything I like to see facts and evidence. I'm not going to assume malice when negligence, incompetence, long development times, and complexities of high tech manufacturing explain it just as well.
 

ShamedGod

Average Stuffer
Apr 21, 2019
87
43
BIOS 3.50 is out.

it removes non-functioning features and provides support for upcoming, yet unnamed, Ryzen APUs.

Upgrading reset all my BIOS settings so make sure you save a profile.
 

ConsolidatedResults

Chassis Packer
May 4, 2019
17
19
BIOS 3.50 is out. [...]
Thanks for the heads up! New AGESA! I gave this a spin:

  • OC Screen finally has only working features (SOC Voltage, DRAM Voltage and DRAM timings). How bleak.
  • Full AMD CBS / PBS Menus are back (were stripped down in P3.40). Yay, I guess?
  • Fan Control appears still bad, as in the PWM curves for FAN1 and FAN2 seem to not be independent. I though this was fixed in P3.40 so I tried that for comparison but same there. Not sure why I thought there was a BIOS version where fan control was working independently for FAN1 and FAN2?
  • I have the same performance issues as with AGESA ComboAM4 0.0.7.2 BIOSes (P3.20, P3.40). That is, every single graphics benchmark performs worse than on PinnaclePI 1.0.05 in BIOS P1.20. E.g. Unigine Valley Basic loses as much as 5-10%. I assume memory performance is about as bad in 1.0.0.1 as it was in 0.0.7.2. Couldn't verify as my Aida64 trial has run out.
I reverted to P1.20, at the moment it's still the best performing BIOS for me. Later BIOSes so far do not add any features, so unless you are about to pop a 3000 series APU into the system, I would not install P3.50 or any of the 3.X series BIOSes.
 

ConsolidatedResults

Chassis Packer
May 4, 2019
17
19
Not entirely ASRock's fault but as of two weeks ago major sites were still fooled by the BIOS: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-deskmini-a300-pc-barebones,6109-3.html

"does allow full DRAM overclocking [...], and offers similar flexibility to the APU’s integrated Radeon RX Vega graphics controller."

"Similarly, our graphics processor topped out at 1500 MHz using 1.20V, where 1.25V couldn’t push it to our next-higher 1600 MHz setting."

Then, on the next page:

"we decided to see what we could do with the APU’s integrated Radeon RX Vega graphics instead. Remember from our firmware description that it topped out at 1500MHz, up 36% from the stock 1100MHz."

:sadface:
 

SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
135
31
Thanks for the heads up! New AGESA! I gave this a spin:

  • OC Screen finally has only working features (SOC Voltage, DRAM Voltage and DRAM timings). How bleak.
  • Full AMD CBS / PBS Menus are back (were stripped down in P3.40). Yay, I guess?
  • Fan Control appears still bad, as in the PWM curves for FAN1 and FAN2 seem to not be independent. I though this was fixed in P3.40 so I tried that for comparison but same there. Not sure why I thought there was a BIOS version where fan control was working independently for FAN1 and FAN2?
  • I have the same performance issues as with AGESA ComboAM4 0.0.7.2 BIOSes (P3.20, P3.40). That is, every single graphics benchmark performs worse than on PinnaclePI 1.0.05 in BIOS P1.20. E.g. Unigine Valley Basic loses as much as 5-10%. I assume memory performance is about as bad in 1.0.0.1 as it was in 0.0.7.2. Couldn't verify as my Aida64 trial has run out.
I reverted to P1.20, at the moment it's still the best performing BIOS for me. Later BIOSes so far do not add any features, so unless you are about to pop a 3000 series APU into the system, I would not install P3.50 or any of the 3.X series BIOSes.
Thanks for that, I'm building mine now and was thinking about the BIOS, I want stable rather than performance, but it's good have a nod to a solid BIOS. Mine will never get a 3 series anyway.
 

SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
135
31
I'm scratching my head, the Wraith CPU cooler doesn't fit?! I understood you took the top shroud off and it would but it's a fraction (I haven't measured but about 1mm) to tall.

Am I missing something obvious, or have I misunderstood. It isn't the end of the world, I will have to just buy something that does fit (althought I now have the Wraith and the (very poor) As-Rock cooler to go on eBay.

Apart from that the build went easily, any slowdown was due to me, I'm a little behind the tech, and my brain is slowly going with the illness, most people would have this together much faster.
 

samfisher5986

Efficiency Noob
Apr 17, 2019
5
1
I'm scratching my head, the Wraith CPU cooler doesn't fit?! I understood you took the top shroud off and it would but it's a fraction (I haven't measured but about 1mm) to tall.

Am I missing something obvious, or have I misunderstood. It isn't the end of the world, I will have to just buy something that does fit (althought I now have the Wraith and the (very poor) As-Rock cooler to go on eBay.

Apart from that the build went easily, any slowdown was due to me, I'm a little behind the tech, and my brain is slowly going with the illness, most people would have this together much faster.
My 2400G wraith cooler fits without the shroud.

Its a tight fit though.
 

SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
135
31
My 2400G wraith cooler fits without the shroud.

Its a tight fit though.
Mine (I am using the Wraith) doesn’t but as my cancer has moved to my brain apparently I have to allow for stupidity. But as I am now waiting on a Noctua I’m not going to worry about it because I’m also waiting on a 1TB SATA SSD- my very first exclusively, over 2TB, SSD build! It just grated a bit to be fitting the a £40 Noctua to something that will spend its whole life unstressed, web browsing, productivity (Office) and Kodi.

I checked the obvious, like MB on the rails, CPU cooer fixed down properly. I might take a photo later because the problem is quite evident (at least to me at this time) and if I’m missing the obvious I’d really like to know. To be honest, in better times, and if I had more time, I could easily trim the cooler shroud (not the removable one, that is removed) given a tidy job wouldn’t be hard in soft plastic and the design of the case means it isn’t really on full display.

The only way I would be able to get it to fit currently places to much pressure on the case/motherboard. I could live with a tight fit because this build (hopefully) isn’t going to get opened up again- there’s one Nvme unpopulated but I can’t see my 75 year old mum having a go at that, she’d just end up using external storage. Maybe I’m over cautious but it is somewhat beyond a friction fit. Looking at it the cooler will foul the Kensington lock bracket when going into the case anyway so I didn’t go further with it.

If later today I find I’ve been an idiot I’ll own up.
 

ShamedGod

Average Stuffer
Apr 21, 2019
87
43
My 2400G wraith cooler fits without the shroud.

Its a tight fit though.
YES, it's a very tight fit. but it will work :) Beats the crappy cooler the A300 comes with.

I'm scratching my head, the Wraith CPU cooler doesn't fit?! I understood you took the top shroud off and it would but it's a fraction (I haven't measured but about 1mm) to tall.

Am I missing something obvious, or have I misunderstood. It isn't the end of the world, I will have to just buy something that does fit (althought I now have the Wraith and the (very poor) As-Rock cooler to go on eBay.

Apart from that the build went easily, any slowdown was due to me, I'm a little behind the tech, and my brain is slowly going with the illness, most people would have this together much faster.
I wanted to get my ram tweaked and stable. With BIOS 3.40 I couldn't get CAS 14 to boot at ddr4-3200. With BIOS 3.50 I could get 14-17-17-17-30 to boot without an issue. However it's not completely stable. I will need to mess with the sub-timings some more to get it right but from what I tested it maybe about the same as the ddr4-3333 settings I managed with BIOS 3.40. With BIOS 3.40 DDR4-3333 with 16-18-18-18-38 was the best performance, timing, stability and relatively easy to achieve.

I would upgrade the BIOS to 3.50 even if there was no plan to upgrade the CPU to a 3000 series APU.
 

ShamedGod

Average Stuffer
Apr 21, 2019
87
43
Mine (I am using the Wraith) doesn’t but as my cancer has moved to my brain apparently I have to allow for stupidity. But as I am now waiting on a Noctua I’m not going to worry about it because I’m also waiting on a 1TB SATA SSD- my very first exclusively, over 2TB, SSD build! It just grated a bit to be fitting the a £40 Noctua to something that will spend its whole life unstressed, web browsing, productivity (Office) and Kodi.

I checked the obvious, like MB on the rails, CPU cooer fixed down properly. I might take a photo later because the problem is quite evident (at least to me at this time) and if I’m missing the obvious I’d really like to know. To be honest, in better times, and if I had more time, I could easily trim the cooler shroud (not the removable one, that is removed) given a tidy job wouldn’t be hard in soft plastic and the design of the case means it isn’t really on full display.

The only way I would be able to get it to fit currently places to much pressure on the case/motherboard. I could live with a tight fit because this build (hopefully) isn’t going to get opened up again- there’s one Nvme unpopulated but I can’t see my 75 year old mum having a go at that, she’d just end up using external storage. Maybe I’m over cautious but it is somewhat beyond a friction fit. Looking at it the cooler will foul the Kensington lock bracket when going into the case anyway so I didn’t go further with it.

If later today I find I’ve been an idiot I’ll own up.
Set the fan to Silent MODE in the BIOS and enjoy a virtually noise free setup. The noctua really is better and if you want a silent machine it's worth the upgrade.
 

rfarmer

SFF Guru
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
1,358
1,293
Mine (I am using the Wraith) doesn’t but as my cancer has moved to my brain apparently I have to allow for stupidity. But as I am now waiting on a Noctua I’m not going to worry about it because I’m also waiting on a 1TB SATA SSD- my very first exclusively, over 2TB, SSD build! It just grated a bit to be fitting the a £40 Noctua to something that will spend its whole life unstressed, web browsing, productivity (Office) and Kodi.

I checked the obvious, like MB on the rails, CPU cooer fixed down properly. I might take a photo later because the problem is quite evident (at least to me at this time) and if I’m missing the obvious I’d really like to know. To be honest, in better times, and if I had more time, I could easily trim the cooler shroud (not the removable one, that is removed) given a tidy job wouldn’t be hard in soft plastic and the design of the case means it isn’t really on full display.

The only way I would be able to get it to fit currently places to much pressure on the case/motherboard. I could live with a tight fit because this build (hopefully) isn’t going to get opened up again- there’s one Nvme unpopulated but I can’t see my 75 year old mum having a go at that, she’d just end up using external storage. Maybe I’m over cautious but it is somewhat beyond a friction fit. Looking at it the cooler will foul the Kensington lock bracket when going into the case anyway so I didn’t go further with it.

If later today I find I’ve been an idiot I’ll own up.
I have a DeskMini 110 with a 6600k and the NH-L9i. Pretty much anything I ever do with the computer I never hear the fan, think it is worth the $40.