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 …
News

ASRock reveals the refreshed DeskMini GTX/RX with Z370 chipset !

That tiny but potent Micro-STX system which supports MXM graphic cards up to the Nvidia GTX 1080 or Radeon RX 580, has received a refresh in the form of a new Z370 chipset and some new tweaks, let’s take a look ! The front looks exactly the same, though the aesthetic was already very well done in my opinion. We need to look elsewhere for the changes. Four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports instead of two on the previous version, a very welcome improvement allowing for more flexibility for connecting pheripherals and less dependence on USB hubs. I’d much rather …
News

ASRock at CES 2018

With anticipation, our team headed to the ASRock suite first thing today, hoping for yet more SFF awesomeness from one of the companies who have proven their SFF mettle numerous times recently. First up, ASRock is working with MXM partners to increase the availability and decrease the cost of MXM GPUs for the Micro-STX platform. Here, a desktop grade GTX1060 is available in the form factor. The next generation Z370 Micro-STX was on display, with many, many changes to the first, Z270, iteration; The new power phase(5+1) supports 6-core processors. New STX board allows for XMP profile 2.0 w/ speeds …
News

Digital Storm’s Spark – A Closer Look

Earlier this week, the first enthusiast grade Micro-STX prebuilt system was revealed, with a couple of teaser images and not much else to go off to sate our SFF appetites. With our team at CES 2018, we decided we needed a closer look! It must be noted, that this is the initial prototype, produced in acrylic. A metal version is in the works, with minor redesigning taking place, but the overall design is expected to remain the same. The system packs a 92mm radiator, the expected ASRock Micro-STX motherboard, 4 x M.2 drives and the usual MXM graphics card. Yes, …
News

Silverstone at CES 2018

On day two of CES 2018, our team hit the Silverstone booth to check out the innovative company’s projects and new products!   Firstly, the news; Silverstone’s 700/800 watt SFX units are getting a revision that will use their new FDB fans. They are still focused on making ATX/mATX cases that use ATX PSU’s ( Editor: boo)   First up – something ATX, but useful for those really pushing the limits, new Strider power supplies, in 1000w and.. 1200W variants. In an effort to move SFX into more market segments, this HTPC chassis is in development, and weighs in at …
News

Digital Storm Unveils Project Spark – a Micro-STX, Watercooled, Prebuilt

Press Release: When marked as such, the content is published verbatim, and thus does not necessarily reflect the views of SmallFormFactor Network or Minutiae Media. Digital Storm is proud to announce Project SPARK, our smallest enthusiast-class PC to date. With a custom hardline liquid cooling system, SPARK effortlessly delivers an unparalleled level of performance featuring up to NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics and an Intel Core-i7 8700K processor. SPARK redefines custom PCs by delivering the performance of a full-size desktop at a quarter of the size. Built upon a new Micro STX platform, the processor, graphics card, memory, and storage drives …
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 Micro-STX updates (GTX 1080 is working!)

When ASRock unveiled the DeskMini GTX back at CES they only supported up to the MXM GTX 1060, and when Drew talked with them power delivery concerns were the main holdup for supporting anything higher. But those crazy guys at ASRock have managed to get not only the GTX 1070, but even all the way to the GTX 1080 MXM cards working in there! Even cooler, it does so while providing all the power through the MXM slot, without relying on some kind of clunky power cable setup. Under load, we were told the GTX 1080 will level off at around the low …
News

SilverStone cases at Computex 2017: PIO and Micro-STX

When we rolled up to the SilverStone booth on the opening day of Computex, we got there a bit early and planned to check out the nearby booths before our meeting with SilverStone.  But that plan got derailed when we spied this fascinating prototype at the front of the booth: This is a prototype case that utilizes the PIO motherboard form factor, a rare variety of mobo that features a PCIe slot along the top edge of the board rotated so that it is parallel with the plane of the motherboard’s PCB. There has been discussion on the forum for the past …
News

ASRock Z270M-STX MXM Micro-STX Motherboard Pictured

This morning we posted about the amazing ASRock DeskMini GTX and DeskMini RX, and now we have shots of the new Micro-STX motherboard that makes this all possible: the ASRock Z270M-STX MXM! Here’s a good overview of the board, the upper 4 standoff locations are the same as Mini-STX and the width of the board is the same at 147mm. The main difference is the board is extended downward to make room for the MXM slot to a height of 188mm, and there are an additional 2 standoff holes at the bottom corners to support the additional PCB real estate. The …