[SFFn] ASRock's DeskMini A300 - Finally!

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
91
50
FOR HYNIX CJR

Ram kit used G.Skill Laptop Memory Model F4-3200C18D-16GRS

After trying to get the 3400 settings rock solid stable and provide performance increase over 3333 I've come up with these settings:

BIOS 3.50

Confirmed Ram Stable 3400 Results (final settings)

Link to BIOS bin file

Most of the timings where best left set to AUTO.

Main timings are 16-19-18-19-36

Sub Timings changed from AUTO:

TRC - 56
TRRD_S - 6
TRRD_L - 8
TFAW - 33

TRFC - 454
TRFC2 - 372
TRFC4 - 289

1T

Power Down and Gear Down mode disabled.

SOC voltage - 1.1875
RAM voltage - 1.35

AMD cool'n quiet disabled. PBO disabled.

Ryzen DRAM Calculator 1.6.0.1 was used for trying to tighten the timings and has TRFC at 445. The above was not a typo. I'm sure someone could do better, but at this points I believe this is my final product. You will have to train your memory to get the system to boot.

That means:
Start at 3200 auto
tighten timings and increase voltage to 1.35,
Move to 3333
Move to 3400

Or some combination of the above... The A300 will fail load 3 times and boot with ddr4-2400 AUTO settings or freeze if you don't.

EDIT: These settings have been verified with prime95 running for about 23 hours 40 minutes with out an error. I have run 3DMarks and daily driven it just fine for a few days now. However Windows has frozen on me once and I just had a hard blue screen while writing an email. If anyone else is able to share there results, @Slowjim :), it would be appreciated. I was trying not to run the SOC at 1.2V (voltage = heat) but am wondering if that is the issue.

EDIT2: Second hard BSOD in two days, this time while browsing in Chrome. Moving the SOC value back to 1.2V.

EDIT3: BSOD while using Chrome. Moved voltage back to 1.1875 and changed TFAW to 34.

EDIT4: system Frozen. Changed voltage to 1.2. Main timings 16-19-19-19-36. TFAW still at 34. No idea why it passes memtest, 3DMarks stress test, aida64, and prime95 with the originally posted settings and still glitch.

EDIT5:
The new testing looks good. I ran them all one after the other so the machine was working the whole time. Chrome was also opened/closed several times during testing and I had my NVR open in the background.

V2 stable settings with MEMtest:

AIDA64

Prime95

A300 BIOS BIN

EDIT 6: While 3400 is stable for playing games, and pretty much all normal tasks, SnagIT will freeze the machine. This is the only issue I've found. Relaxing the timings a bit more will make going back to 3333 preferable, which is what I've done. I will tighten up the 3333 timings at a later date.

I wish we could up the RAM voltage to 1.45 so I could test more but it looks like that's not ever going to happen.
 
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ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
91
50
^MVP right here folks!
This is just on the edge. You absolutely could dial this in more but for a daily driver I had wierd issues with my wireless Logitech Mouse/keyboard combo stuttering or completely stop working, SnagIT freezing the system after hitting "print screen" and other super odd and random hiccups would occur even though memtest and prime95 would run for hours without error. I thought windows was corrupted but the issues remained after a clean wipe and reinstall. So far after a few days the above seems to be the winning combination and the issues mentioned haven't surfaced.

As always, your mileage my very...
 

Quango

Trash Compacter
Apr 6, 2019
35
7
My solution for the lack of digital audio output ports on STX boards while using only the single USB 2.0 port for all audio output (except bluetooth and microphone input, of course) was the little Fiio K3 USB-headphone DAC.

All output ports work simultaneously, no switching required, all with the same (wide range of) bit and sampling rate settings. Input is USB-C type, outputs are 3.5mm headphone, 2.5 mm headphone balanced, 3.5 mm line out, coax and optical.


 
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ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
91
50
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32839126539.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.23.7ee679edf2NlXi this would be sick if ram temps actually mattered. maybe someone could get them for swag points? :p
Because this has been driving me nuts a friend bought me a laser thermometer to make sure I know exactly where all the hot spots are. It's meant for steaks but is rated -50c to 550c (-58f to 1022f). Just haven't done it yet. I had a fan blowing on the VRM and the device sitting next to the AC and there was no difference in throttling.... ASRock have not responded to my replies yet.

I don't believe the issue is over heating ram chips but now have the tool to make sure.
 
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Col0Korn

Minimal Tinkerer
Aug 13, 2019
3
1
Hey guys, just made an account here as I'm looking into picking up an A300. I've read the whole thread up and down twice and I really appreciate all of the useful information everyone's posted!

I have a few questions regarding optimal APU configurations for it:

1. Does the 2400g or 3400g maintain its stock CPU/iGPU clock speeds after disabling PBO and the other BIOS tweaks recommended? I'd seen some discussion earlier in the thread about the 3400g throttling down under load, and I was wondering if that was with or without Precision Boost being used.

2. In your opinion, which APUs would be a better fit in this case? I'm looking into either the 2200g, 3200g, 2400g, or 3400g, and would like to know which yields the best overall performance with the A300's limitations in mind. Conflict of interest being whether the Ryzen 3 APUs can reach their boosted CPU/iGPU clock speeds where the Ryzen 5 APUs cannot.
 
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NateDawg72

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 11, 2016
364
273
@Col0Korn You will get higher performance out of the Ryzen 5s than the Ryzen 3s on the A300 :) the Ryzen 5s will probably see throttling more than the 3s but they'll still be faster. 3400G is the best overall, it is just a matter of how big the margin is between it and 2400G

It looks to me like the throttling issues would be solvable with a bios update, but I don't think Asrock sees it as an issue at the moment... The VRM is fine and the CPU should be fine, so limits are being enforced at the BIOS/CPU level that aren't enforced on other boards.

Also big props to @ShamedGod for all his testing, tuning, and work!
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
91
50
Hey guys, just made an account here as I'm looking into picking up an A300. I've read the whole thread up and down twice and I really appreciate all of the useful information everyone's posted!

I have a few questions regarding optimal APU configurations for it:

1. Does the 2400g or 3400g maintain its stock CPU/iGPU clock speeds after disabling PBO and the other BIOS tweaks recommended? I'd seen some discussion earlier in the thread about the 3400g throttling down under load, and I was wondering if that was with or without Precision Boost being used.

2. In your opinion, which APUs would be a better fit in this case? I'm looking into either the 2200g, 3200g, 2400g, or 3400g, and would like to know which yields the best overall performance with the A300's limitations in mind. Conflict of interest being whether the Ryzen 3 APUs can reach their boosted CPU/iGPU clock speeds where the Ryzen 5 APUs cannot.
If you want the best Bang for your buck with the A300:

RAM:

Odds are you can OC the kit and you will save $30 over:

However I can not guarantee that as I don't own, and haven't tested/verified, the kit.

My buddy bought this kit as he plans to run everything stock:

That is super cheap ddr4-3200 but I like to play with my toys ;)

That kit turned out to be "J-Die" and I have no idea what Micron J-Die is...

CPU:
If you can get the 2400G for $100 or less then get that. I saw the 2400G at that price after the 3400G launch but At The Moment it looks to be $120. If you go with the 3400G you've committed to spending extra money on the Noctua cooler so the REAL cost is $200, not $150. The stock cooler that comes with the 2400G can be made to work with the A300. The stock cooler that comes with the 3400G will not fit.

DO NOT CONSIDER USING THE CPU COOLER THAT COMES WITH THE A300 (unless you have no other option)

NVMe storage:

Intel 660p Series all day. The other value option is Sabrent Rocket but *ShruG*

COST:

A300 = $150
RAM = $85
CPU = $100 (or $120 0R $200)
Storage = $95

Total = $430 + Tax

So...
You're paying for the small size. Start adding $20 or $100 to the cost and the value deteriorates unless you REALLY want something extremely small and have committed to an APU.

For $650 + Tax you can build this:

And have more performance AND better upgrade-ability AND more flexibility.

I think the A300 is awesome and it's perfect for what I want/need. You have to do what's right for you.

EDIT: If anyone knows what Micron J-Die is please let me know

I've also asked the question to reddit. Not a big reddit user but we'll see what happens.
 
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eldy

Efficiency Noob
Aug 14, 2019
6
1
Hi,

Im interested in getting the Deskmini A300 as I have 2 x 4GB SODIMM lying around.

The modules are Samsung DDR4-2400 @ 1.2v cl17.

Will these be ok to use ? I plan to get either the 2400g or 3400g.

PC will be used for general web browsing & office work.
 

k0n

Caliper Novice
Jul 3, 2019
27
15
The modules are Samsung DDR4-2400 @ 1.2v cl17.

Will these be ok to use ? I plan to get either the 2400g or 3400g.

PC will be used for general web browsing & office work.
They should work fine. And you can always optimize the RAM.
I bought these: 2666mhz because they were cheap and available where I wanted to order from. I then set them to the settings on the more expensive higher clocking modules :p (same product line, fastest way without alot of testing).

I suggest getting the 2400G, the boxed cooler fits and you can get it nice and quiet.
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
91
50
this is microns e die stick, which is 3200 22-22-22 stock. could be a good point for comparison (from my brief look, it seems a tad overpriced)

ninjedit: price might not be too bad? https://www.avnet.com/shop/emea/products/micron/mta8atf1g64hz-3g2e1-3074457345634082771/
As of today 51 Euro's = about 57 dollars. So that would make a set cost $114. Would be better to purchase the $104 G.Skill ddr4-3200 kit from newegg. I tend to stick to Newegg and Amazon for my purchases with Monoprice and TigerDirect sprinkled in... That said if there is a site offering legit awesome deals I am all for it.

I picked up a Crucial 1TB P1 NVMe M.2 at B & H for $99, good speeds and price.

2000 MB/S read and 1700 MB/S write.
Hard to believe NVMe Storage is so cheap... Only reason I suggest Intel 660p is because it's fast enough and has been the best price per GB for a while. For an extra $5 though that's pretty good.

When price comparing the 1TB Sabrent Rocket can be had for $110 with free Amazon Prime shipping: https://amzn.to/2Kzao00

TechDeals actually just did a video on this for those interested:

Hi,

Im interested in getting the Deskmini A300 as I have 2 x 4GB SODIMM lying around.

The modules are Samsung DDR4-2400 @ 1.2v cl17.

Will these be ok to use ? I plan to get either the 2400g or 3400g.

PC will be used for general web browsing & office work.
If you already have extra parts the A300 value increases substantially :)

Those chips will work just fine. You may be interested in this video from Hardware Unboxed:

The 2400G is the way I would go then. Hopefully the A300 will get a BIOS update for the Zen 2 (2020) & Zen 3 (2021) APU. You can always upgrade the APU if need be and would already have a cooler that fits. The performance increase you get buying a 3400G is NOT worth the money.
 

K1mer0

Case Bender
May 2, 2019
2
0
Guys, which wifi/bt modules are you using? Or which you recommend? My version is the non "w". Thanks
 

Quango

Trash Compacter
Apr 6, 2019
35
7
Intel
Guys, which wifi/bt modules are you using? Or which you recommend? My version is the non "w". Thanks
INTEL Wireless-AC 9260 2230 2x2, which has BT 5.0. There are ones with and without vPro.
I am using an older AC 8265.
 
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Col0Korn

Minimal Tinkerer
Aug 13, 2019
3
1
Great, thanks for the reply guys! Definitely picking up he 2400g when the a300 is delivered!

One last question, would I be able to use a USB-powered monitor with this? I’ve been looking at this AOC monitor (Amazon product)

I was just wondering if the A300/2400g would be able to output display via USB 3.0, and if not, would anyone be able to point me to a good, cheap USB-powered display that would work? Thanks guys!
 

eldy

Efficiency Noob
Aug 14, 2019
6
1
Hi

I got the deskmini 300 today along with a 2400G

Ive taken the shroud off the cooler that came with the 2400g but cannot get the tray back into the case because the cooler is about 2mm or so too high.

ive screwed the cooler fully into the motherboard.

Do i really need to force it into the case to get in? Should it be that tight?