ASRock’s DeskMeet B660 – Fantastic Idea, Interesting Execution

ASRock’s DeskMini series has been a stalwart in the SFF world for some time now, even with the canning of the GTX/RX series (Rest in Peace, MXM graphics cards).  Eschewing standard form factors to enable denser computers, the DeskMini has been the basis of many builds and mods in our community forum. But the challenge with the DeskMini has always been hardware compatibility – only really supporting CPU, RAM and storage upgrades. What if we wanted more graphics power and more RAM? Enter the DeskMeet. As a larger brethren to the DeskMini, the new DeskMeet series significantly increases component compatibility …

ASRock’s B550AM Gaming Motherboard Sighted

  ASRock’s B550AM Gaming motherboard has been sighted, but rejoice ye not, as this board has a pair of caveats that make it less news worthy than I originally figured. Firstly, the B550A chipset is a rebrand of B450. Secondly, this board at the time of writing appears to be for OEM only markets. So, with that out of the way, let’s look at some interesting features – From TechPowerup; “The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel DDR4 memory; the board’s sole PCI-Express 4.0 x16, and an M.2-22110 slot that has PCIe 3.0 x4 and …

CES 2020 – A SFF Roundup

Whilst we were unable to attend CES 2020, I’ve been trawling the depths of the interwebs for SFF related coverage to summarise in lieu of aforementioned physical presence. Let’s go! AMD Of course, AMD took centre stage, continuing the steamroller-like (pun intended, sorry!) push of the recent years. AMD produces both CPUs and GPUs, so we get a double barrelled keynote. AMD is pushing into the laptop space more than ever, with the new Ryzen 4000 series, Zen 2 core, 7nm laptop CPUs. Taking aim at the three laptop market segments – ultrathin, gaming and professional, a pair of new …

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 …

CES 2019: ASRock

I was looking forward to this one. ASRock has been a strong supporter of the SFF world for some time, let’s see what they have on show at CES 2019! AMD DeskMini and M-STX. Sorry, no ETA yet. (Soon please, ASRock!)   One new motherboard of interest – an Intel B365 (yes, B365) chipset M-ITX board.   Thanks to ASRock for inviting us to their suite at CES 2019!   Thoughts? Discuss them in the forum.

ASRock’s Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac – A New Direction

For some time, ASRock has been using the Fatal1ty branding on their high end products – a tie back to the days of old, where Quake was king, and bright, flashy branding was cool. However, Fatal1ty has given way to ASRock’s “Phantom Gaming” brand, with a much more subtle aesthetic. All black? Yes please! Beefy heatsinks? Yessir! First sighted on ASRock’s limited availability (unfortunately) GPU line, the Phantom Gaming brand has come to motherboards – slowly taking over the performance space within ASRock’s lineup. This particular model uses the Intel Z390 chipset – what Z370 should have been, but I digress. …

The first Intel Z390 board has been revealed, by ASRock

Dubbed the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac (edit: link doesn’t work anymore), ASRock is the first to officially launch an mITX Z390 board, Intel’s latest chipset supporting the 9th Gen Intel Core processors that are right around the corner. The stand-out features are the Thunderbolt 3 enabled USB Type-C connector, as well as the four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (10Gb/s per port) at the rear, with an additional two USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gb/s per port) at the rear as well, along with two more via the internal header for the case front panel. The M.2 heatsink stands out as well, with …

ASRock’s DeskMini 310 – NUC Killer?

We’ve looked at ASRock’s DeskMini range in the past, with in depth analysis of the B250 and Z370 series DeskMini GTX/RX models – with GTX1080 and GTX1060 GPUs included. These cater for the high end, with prices to suit. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the DeskMini 110 and 310 – Mini-STX rather than Micro-STX, and integrated graphics only. The barebones market is an interesting one – DIY PC with less DIY, but better manufacturer support. Buy a barebones box, slap in a CPU, RAM and storage and you’re off – no power supply selection headaches, board …