ReviewsSystems

Guest Review: ECS Liva Z2

This review has been provided by forum member Duality92! Editing has been performed by John Morrison. I would like to take this opportunity to thank ECS for this product sample, they have provided me with an ECS Liva Z2 for the purpose of this review. ECS is no newcomer in the Mini PC world, this is the third unit I have reviewed, the others being the Liva Plus and the miniscule Liva Q. The Liva Z2 is the latest generation of the fanless Mini PC lineup from ECS. It sports the Intel Gemini Lake CPU, which were released in Q4 …
MotherboardsReviews

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. …
News

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 …
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 …
MotherboardsReviews

ASRock’s H370M-ITX/ac – Workstation Wonder

ASRock’s H370M-ITX/ac is a highly specced, mid-range board based on Intel’s H370 chipset. Offering near Z370 specs at a slight bump over the price of a B360 board, this new motherboard offers an interesting value proposition. Offering a strong complement of IO, as well as numerous display options from your Intel Coffee Lake integrated graphics, there are many use cases for such a product. This particular ASRock motherboard offers a great feature set for the dollar, but what makes this motherboard worth your consideration? Let’s find out. Z vs H vs B vs Q – Intel’s Chipset Confusion Selling for …
News

Supermicro 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. Walking through the hectic show halls of Computex 2018 towards another meeting, we spied something a little different from the traditionally server focused Supermicro. A consumer orientated M-ITX board? Let’s have a look! Not a bad showing at all from a company that doesn’t traditionally cater to the consumer market. It seems Supermicro has taken their (immense) server expertise and translated it into a retail motherboard …
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 …
News

Laptop Launch Extravaganza!

Earlier this week, the rest of Intel’s 300 series of chipsets and a few related mobile processors were released, meaning every man and his dog has updated their existing lineup, or launched new products based on the new chips. Here’s a roundup of some of the more interesting laptop-related tidbits, in no particular order; Intel Not to be overshadowed by all the manufacturer launches, Intel has also launched a product of their own, an i9 Mobile processor. Specifically, the Core i9-8950HK, a 2.9GHz, 45w rated part. Based on the Coffee Lake silicon (on 14nm), the chip features 6 cores, 12 …
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 …
News

Intel H370, H310 and B360 Chipset Boards Incoming!

Thanks to Techpowerup! and VideoCardz for doing the legwork on this one. With the month or two of Intel’s Z370 chipset being available, we’re finally seeing more budget friendly boards readying for launch. Here’s a roundup of the SFF friendly models! ASUS ASUS STRIX B360-G GAMING ASUS TUF B360M-E GAMING ASUS PRIME H310M-A ASUS PRIME H310M-D ASUS PRIME H310M-E ASUS PRIME H310M-K ASUS TUF H310M PLUS GAMING ASUS PRIME B360M-K ASUS STRIX H370-I ASUS STRIX XB360-I     ASRock ASRock B360M-HDV ASRock H370M-ITX/ac ASRock H310M-ITX/ac ASRock H310M-HDVP ASRock H310M-HDV ASRock H310M-G/M.2 ASRock H310M-DGS ASRock B360M-ITX/ac   Gigabyte GIGABYTE H370M D3H …
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 …
News

Impactics DMono is a Passive Thin-ITX Chassis

Breathing life back into the Thin-ITX form factor is the Impactics DMono, designed for Gigabyte variants of Thin-ITX. This appears to be your typical Mac-Mini inspired Thin-ITX chassis, but with one twist – there are no fans! Built from a CNC aluminium baseplate and a 5mm thick extrusion for the sides, front and back, and supports 35W Intel 115x processors. The whole shebang weights in a 2.65 KG, not unexpected considering the sheer mass needed to absorb the wattage of the CPU. There are four variants, being a black and silver variant, and subvariants of these two which change the location …