ASRock To Deliver Mini-PC Using Intel's New STX Form Factor

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Haravikk

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It's nice to see the possibility of a socketed motherboard in this even smaller size, though it seems that Mini-ITX will still give the best balance of performance to size (since it can still take a graphics card), for systems that won't fit one anyway this could be an improvement.

For example, my current work computer uses an Akasa Euler case, so although the available motherboards all have PCIe slots, there's nothing I can do with them anyway since there's no way to fit anything in there.

That said, the case is already pretty damned small (it's very fiddly to install everything); this is partly because it functions as a heatsink, but for such small systems that's what I'd expect to see more of anyway, so I'm not sure how thrilled I am about the prospect of assembling a system that's even smaller, even if all the components go directly onto the motherboard. With the Euler for example I still needed to get the power button and indicator lights connected, plus get the I/O shield lined up, while simultaneously dropping the motherboard into position without smudging the thermal paste I added to make better contact with the copper block. I also had a 2.5" drive's power and data to contend with, though I'm not sure if you'd want a drive like that in smaller systems unless it used a backplane to make it more a slot-in affair.

Still, always nice to see more new SFF parts; I doubt we'll see anything much smaller for SFF gaming systems (and really, Mini-ITX systems are pretty small while still being accessible), though iGPU only gaming boxes could be interesting in this size as long as they can cool themselves sufficiently.
 

DrakeFS

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Sill bigger than a NUC (LWH 110mm x 115mm x 49mm ). Unless this is a socket (vs a soldiered CPU) and\or has a discrete GPU, I don't see much of the point of it.

I use a NUC for my HTPC, stream media from my NAS and games from my main PC (when I feel like playing on the TV).

The "full-sized" PC is for my gaming rig, a 1 4U rack case for my NAS and a NUC for my HTPC.

Are the dimensions at the bottom of the table accidentally reversed or am I just not reading them right?
They are probably reversed and one is a 2D object apparently...
 

Brian_R170

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@jmack5864: Looks like they're swapped to me, too.

@Haravikk: Various companies in the industry are still hoping that SFF gaming will take off with iGPUs as well as external graphics. Expect to see more SFF devices this year with higher-end iGPUs and others that have Thunderbolt 3 which can connect to external GPUs like the recently announced Razer Core. Unfortunately, SFF is somewhat ruined by bulky external GPU boxes, but hopefully, they will continue shrinking in size/power consumption, too.
 

IInuyasha74

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1. Yes it is smaller than a NUC.
2. Did you read the article? It states very clearly that this is a socketed motherboard.
3. These do not have the option to add a graphics card to the, but other motherboards in this form factor might have that option. Technically they have all of the components for it, it just depends if the motherboard OEMs add a PCi-E x16 slot.
 

ceh4702

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If you are building a computer and dont plan on using a video card, then it makes sense not to pay for a video card slot. Just go minimalist.
 

ceh4702

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One of biggest problems in a computer case is the amount of space a power supply takes up. Does it have to be that large if you are using an i-3 and IGP on the CPU?
 

IInuyasha74

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That is a good point, but I see in the long run that OEMs will go in both directions. I expect to see quite a few in the future without the option to add a GPU, and I expect to see some with that option later. I don't expect to see many, if any, that do a dual-slot GPU or a full sized GPU, but i have a feeling we will see low-profile cards put to use in some of these boards/cases overtime. (not necessarily from ASRock)

For the power supply, I actually have pictures of this one from ASRock now that I will be uploading soon, and they revealed that the motherboard has a DC_Jack which leads out of the PC case, so the PSU is external on this one at least.
 

f-14

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hey now you can use a stryofoam take out box as your case 6"x6"x3" isn't to shabby, but with out pciE i fail to see it's relevance unless you're going to stick it in your automobiles dash or under the seat.
 
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