MXM, there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. Formerly quite a popular mobile GPU form factor, even making it’s way into desktops like ASRock’s DeskMini GTX, MXM has been dying a quiet death as of late. Laptop manufacturers, in the pursuit of thinner and lighter, have forgone the format and gone fully embedded. (There’s also that rumour that NVIDIA themselves sentenced the form factor to death..) Minisforum, purveyor of smol, have unveiled their new Eyertec AD650i motherboard, an interesting combination of embedded CPU and MXM.
First up, the specs. The board comes with an embedded Intel Core i7-12650H (6P + 4E CPU cores, up to 4.70 GHz, 24 MB cache, UHD Graphics with 64 EUs, 45W PBP), dual DDR4 SODIMM slots (with support of up to 64GB), a lone M.2 NVME/PCIe slot and two SATA ports. Rear IO includes a USB4 capable USB-C port, a quartet of USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two HDMI ports, a 2.5GBe RJ45 port, antenna connectors for the Wi-Fi 6e/Bluetooth controller, and a DC-In jack (my favourite bit).
Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear that Minisforum expects end users to use the MXM slot for storage, as it includes a daughterboard that adds in 3 more M.2 slots. No word on speeds, but commentary appears to note that all the M.2 will be PCIe Gen 3. Of course, being aimed at a more NAS-esque end use, the board supports RAID 0, 1 and 5 with this MXM adapter. Please don’t hardware RAID. Please!
Now, let’s be honest, we are SFF Network, and our community is well known for off-label use of components and systems. How long until we see one of these boards turned into a mini gaming rig? Keep an eye out in the forum! With an indicated price of CN¥2,599 (around US$356 at time of writing), it’s not cheap, but all the cool toys aren’t cheap either.