ASRock’s DeskMini A300 – Finally!

Around a year ago, AMD graced us with the Ryzen APU family, bringing higher logical core counts and the Vega GPU architecture to the APU platform. Unlike the rather.. limited.. FM1/2/2+ platform family, the new generation ran on the AM4 platform, allowing anyone to choose between CPUs and APUs for their builds. What the new Ryzen platform also offered is a chipset-less option – A300. Because Ryzen integrates so many controllers and devices into the die, it is possible to create a motherboard with no chipset at all, much like the ill-fated AM1 platform. SATA, PCIe, RAM, and more fed …

ASRock’s B450M Pro4 – M-ATX, Fully Featured

Micro-ATX, the oft-ignored form factor, stuck between the expandability (and HUUUUGEness) of ATX and the size of M-ITX. For generations, the M-ATX market segment has been filled with mediocre boards from a cursory glance, leaving folks to go to one extreme or the other instead. In fact, I have mused publicly in the past on this, a sad perspective of the middle child of the PC world. ASRock has long been a stalwart of high density computing options, with the DeskMini range, insane Mini-ITX boards and the like – I was intrigued to see what their B450M Pro4 has to …

ASRock’s Fatal1ty X470-ITX/ac – Back to the Future

With the second generation of Ryzen processors on the market, it’s only fitting than a new, upgraded, chipset family is available. With this in mind, today we are looking at ASRock’s first AMD 400 series M-ITX board, the X470 Gaming-ITX/ac. This board is a younger brother to the previously reviewed X370 Gaming-ITX/ac, with a few changes to the layout, as well as the aesthetic. ASRock’s partnership with the Fatal1ty brand goes back some time, and has always been associated with bright, Gam3r-esque branding and design. Not any more it seems, with this new generation of motherboards taking on a much …

BIOSTAR at Computex 2018

SFF Network’s COMPUTEX 2018 coverage is sponsored by SilverStone, who’s celebrating 15 years of innovation in SFF and beyond. Click here to check out their website and to learn more about their latest products. BIOSTAR, rather the underdog in the Western PC components market, didn’t have much of interest to us SFF’rs this year, so we just shot through the booth, grabbing a couple of quick snaps. Here goes! BIOSTAR’s Racing NUC-a-like was on display. This little box features about the same processor, RAM and storage as my $200 laptop. Eep! All joking aside, this little racer has some OK …

Raven Ridge HDMI 2.0 Compatibility – Forum Members to the Rescue!

Our community forum is a fantastic place, with our users banding together to help out those of us who need assistance on various SFF related topics. Recently, user Hifihedgehog started a thread surrounding unofficial support of HDMI 2.0 with AMD’s new Raven Ridge APU platform. Whilst manufacturer specs have been vague on the situation, Hifihedgehog set out to find out exactly which motherboards support the standard with a Raven Ridge APU.   Fantastic news for Raven Ridge! Thanks to an adventurous redditor, it turns out that in at least one case HDMI 2.0 capability is, in fact, not dictated by the …

Raven Ridge Review Roundup

(Alliteration!!) Forum member Legion spent some time finding a sizeable bunch of reviews of the new AMD Raven Ridge platform. So, here’s a few of them for your perusal in lieu of our review (coming… eventually!) Anandtech: Hexus: Toms Hardware:,5467.html#xtor=RSS-100 Techpowerup: And a video review: Thoughts? More links and videos in the thread here.

ASUS AM4 ITX revealed!

A few months ago, while I was at a tech show in NZ, an ASUS rep mentioned to me that they were working on Ryzen M-ITX. The first reveal as to what this would look like has appeared, courtesy of Swedish retailer Coming it at 1899 kr, or US$239, the ASUS ROG STRIX B350-I Gaming (from herein I will call it the ASUS B350-I, because this mouthful of a moniker is another in a long line of over-named products in the mainstream) motherboard is the first offering from ASUS for this product segment. For reference, the Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi …

AMD’s AM4 on the M-ITX Platform – Round-up and VRM Temperature Investigation

So, over the past month, we have covered 4 of the 5 M-ITX AM4 offerings, with only BIOSTAR’s B350 variant un-tested. However, due to the fact that the X370 and B350 variants share the same PCB and expansion offerings, we decided that we had sufficient information to create a roundup review to make it easy to pick a board for your next build. The VRMs Firstly, let’s deal with the elephant in the room – VRM temperature issues. From early on, users have reported overly hot VRM heatsinks and temperatures, raising concerns as to the longevity of their boards under …

BIOSTAR Racing X370GTN – Zoom Zoom?

BIOSTAR – one of the older names in the PC industry – has recently been making inroads in the mainstream market, after being shunned to the outskirts for years. Back in the day, BIOSTAR was the mainstream motherboard market, alongside all the other big players. Within my group of high school friends, a few swore by BIOSTAR boards for overclocking – high praise indeed, considering we were pushing our systems to the limit. Around the time that DFI, BFG and the like faded into obscurity, BIOSTAR almost suffered the same fate – with their products all but disappearing from western …

Fatal1ty! ASRock’s X370 and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboards Reviewed

History lesson time folks! Back in the early 2000’s, a FPS shooter player, Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel, was dominating the competitive gaming scene, earning attention from not only the gaming fraternity, but mainstream media also. Soon enough, a company, ABit, approached Fatal1ty with a brand deal. ABit would build Fatal1ty branded hardware, cementing his name in the minds of the gamers and hardware enthusiasts of the era. ABit unfortunately fell, along with DFI, BFG and a few other contemporaries. What once were glorious hardware manufacturers, became relegated to history. Some retreated to OEM only production, while others were stripped for any …

Gigabyte’s AB350N-Gaming WIFI – AM4 M-ITX, Finally!

When AMD released the new Ryzen processors back in March, the enthusiasts amongst us were pleasantly surprised by the capabilities and efficiencies introduced by the new platform. One major thing (well, two, if you count enthusiast M-ATX) missing from the launch, however, was any real M-ITX offering for the new chip. Months passed, and at CES 2017 we heard that M-ITX was indeed incoming, now that Ryzen had proven itself as a market player that had enough sales volume to placate board partners. We were told that three companies had boards incoming, but not who these companies would be. Eventually, …

ASRock Gaming-ITX motherboards available on Newegg

In an unexpected surprise, the ASRock Gaming-ITX motherboards are now available on Newegg. The ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac is available here for $114.99. The ASRock Fatal1ty Gaming X370 Gaming-ITX/ac is available here for $159.99. We covered these two motherboards during Computex last month so if you missed it, you can check out our coverage here. Feel free to join the discussion on the ASRock Gaming-ITX motherboards on our forums.