CasesReviews

SilverStone’s VT02 – An STX Upgrade

Comments on the ASRock DeskMini (non-GTX) line have been clear, the stock case that comes with the DeskMini line is pretty average – from the cheap plastic fascia to the mediocre tray style build. The plastic rails and hard-mounted front panel config just leaves a lot of room for that dreaded cables-stuck-in-fan situation. SilverStone’s VT series of cases have existed as long as the DeskMini line of cases, but with little fanfare – these quiet achievers have sat out of the limelight. Part of why I asked for review samples (thanks SilverStone!) of both models, everyone loves an underdog.  At …
ReviewsSystems

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 …
News

CES 2019: Digital Storm

First visit of the day, and what a product! Digital Storm had on display their Micro-STX based Project Spark – now slated for release in Q1 this year! Now featuring a i7-9900K processor and MXM 2080 GPU, it’s a mini powerhouse. Note: the final revision will include a monoblock covering both CPU and GPU – eschewing the notoriously loud MXM cooler. Also of note, the power brick will be upgraded to a 330w unit, or parallel 600w units.   Thoughts? Discuss them in the forum.
News

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.
ReviewsSystems

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 …
News

ASRock DeskMini at Computex 2018

ASRock’s DeskMini line, the proponent of the STX and Micro-STX form factors, is undergoing a tonne more development. More layouts, new chipsets, and overall, a determined promise from the manufacturer to continue the STX family of form factors, something we are wholeheartedly behind. Lets see what ASRock had on display. Wait wait wait.. is that sign promising XL and Slim variants of the DeskMini? But first, ASRock has great taste in CPU cooling. Well, this looks a little different. ASRock has taken the original DeskMini chassis, cut off a significant portion of the base (where the 2.5″ drives used to …
Editorial

How STX Changed My View of SFF

This article marks a return to my editorial content – occasional articles entirely based on my personal opinion. These are part of a series focusing on issues in the SFF niche. All content is entirely opinion of myself, not of SmallFormFactor.net, and should not be taken as fact. For years, I was a Micro-ATX SFF stalwart. I never truly believed M-ITX could offer all I needed in a system, with lackluster networking, audio and storage solutions, as well as just poor physical design. CPU coolers sat too close to RAM or expansion slots, minimal drive expansion was available, and the …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s Z370 DeskMini GTX1060 – Barebones Bonanza? (Part 2)

In part one of this article, we tore down and set up the ASRock DeskMini GTX1060, a Micro-STX based barebones system that comes with a MXM format GTX1060 6GB GPU. In this second part of the review, we will look more in depth, to gain a deeper understanding of the Deskmini GTX/RX Z370, and see what it is capable of. As a recap, the ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX Z370 is a well designed Micro-STX barebones system, that in part 1, gained my recommendation, and my conversion from M-ITX to Micro-STX for my personal preference. The design of the platform, as well …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s Z370 DeskMini GTX1060 – Barebones Bonanza? (Part 1)

When Craig reviewed ASRock’s B250 DeskMini GTX1080, we were impressed by the utter performance density offered by the platform. A GTX1080, with desktop GPU performance, in a box under 3 litres of volume. Today it’s my turn to look at a DeskMini GTX/RX model, albeit the next generation, based on Intel’s Z370 chipset. The ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX line is based on the Micro-STX form factor, a variation on the STX form factor originally launched by Intel as “5×5” a few years back. ASRock realised that by adding in a mere 2 inches in length (ugh… metric plz) meant that the …
Systems

ASRock’s DeskMini GTX1080 Reviewed – Epic Performance Density

Written by Craig Babiuk with assistance from John Morrison When I first laid eyes on ASRock’s Micro STX platform nearly a year ago, I like many others was absolutely gobsmacked at the amount of hardware that they had managed to fit into such a tiny package. Measuring a mere 188mm by 147mm, the primary innovation of this form factor was taking advantage of the ultra-compact MXM graphics cards that had traditionally been reserved for use in behemoth gaming laptops. Clever repurposing of these GPUs allowed ASRock to fit an entire gaming system onto a single board that is smaller in …
News

ASRock’s DeskMini GTX/RX Updates!

We’ve been keeping an eye on ASRock’s DeskMini platform since it was leaked to us some time ago. The discussion thread is over 190 posts long, with every minute detail picked out by our community. Just today, we had a hot news tip from a user – the product page for the DeskMini GTX/RX has appeared! It has quite a bit of useful information for those who are chasing that form factor.   A forum member also found that NewEgg is now listing the GTX1060 variant, for US$799.99! Discuss the news here!