This year at Computex had quite the sparse number of announcements for Mini-ITX and microATX motherboards. Most of what was on display were variations of existing products, so this roundup will be regrettably brief.
Announced back in March, ASRock brought 2 SFF boards from the Hyper-series to show off this year. Their Hyper-series motherboards contain a third-party clock generator to enable BCLK overclocking on non-Z170 chipsets. Tom’s Hardware has a little more information on specifications and a great overview of the entire Hyper-series of boards. The B150M Pro4/Hyper and the H110M-DS/Hyper are both scheduled for release in July 2016 around the $100 price point.
Details on the Biostar H170GTN are hard to come by, but this board looks intriguing! While most Skylake Mini-ITX boards feature M.2 interfaces, the ASUS Maximus VIII Impact was the only ITX board that decided to go with the alternative U.2 interface. This Biostar board stands out by offering both M.2 (SSD) and U.2 interfaces. The M.2 (SSD) interface is located on the back of the board. If you look carefully at the picture, you might spot some of the standoffs that are visible to the left of the PCH heatsink. According to TechPowerUp, both the M.2 and the U.2 interfaces support 32Gb/s transfer rates. It’s nice to see a board with both options because in the unlikely event that U.2 takes off, this board will be ready.
If Google Translate isn’t completely butchering the text, Hermitage Akihabara is reporting that this board will launch around July 2016 for about $120.
MSI had 2 new microATX boards to debut at Computex 2016:
First up is the B150M Mortar Arctic. At first glance, I thought this was merely a white version of the B150M Mortar. However on closer inspection there are a few important differences outside of just a new color scheme.
In regards to storage support, the Arctic ditches both the PCIe x1 slot and SATA Express port in favor of a 32Gb/s M.2 SSD interface that supports drives up to 80mm in length. The M.2 wireless card slot was moved to the left underneath the CPU VRMs. The USB 3.0 header was relocated from the bottom edge of the board to the right edge below the ATX 24-pin connector. Keep in mind that the angled USB 3.0 header might cause chassis compatibility issues. (I’m not a fan.)
According to Bit-Tech, this board will retail for around £80 ($115) and should be available sometime next month.
HardwareZone Singapore features a good rundown of the other new board that MSI brought to the show. The C236M Workstation 10G is going to be a network powerhouse with its new 10GbE NIC. The addition of the faster networking is nice, but that isn’t the only update that sets it apart from the original C236M Workstation board.
Similar to the Arctic, this board also loses a PCIe x1 slot and SATA Express port to make room for a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD interface. The wireless card slot is removed but makes sense in the presence of a 10GbE NIC. If wireless networking is more your style, this 10GbE-capable board might not be for you. The 10 Gigabit Ethernet port is powered by an Intel X550-AT2 controller.
Fun fact: The TDP of that 10GbE chip is 11W which is almost twice that of the C236 chipset at 6W.
…And that’s it! As far as I can tell, these 5 motherboards were the only new Mini-ITX and microATX SKUs that were shown at this year’s Computex. If there’s a board that I missed, please let me know in the forum thread linked below. We will be doing a separate post for Mini-STX soon, so look out for that in the near future.
Thoughts? Discuss them in the forum here.