Sunday, January 21st 2018

ASRock Intros a Pair of Celeron "Gemini Lake" ITX Motherboards

ASRock introduced a pair of mini-ITX desktop motherboards implementing Intel's new Celeron "Gemini Lake" SoCs. The ASRock J4105-ITX and J4105B-ITX, as their names suggest, are powered by Celeron J4105 "Gemini Lake" SoCs, which combine a quad-core "Goldmont Plus" CPU ticking at 2.50 GHz, with new Intel UHD 600 Graphics. The integrated graphics features hardware-acceleration of 10bpc HEVC video encoding and decoding in addition to new DRM standards, which should enable Netflix 4K, and other on-demand video services at 4K UHD resolution. The J4105-ITX and J4105B-ITX are similar, but for the latter featuring legacy connectivity such as LPT and RS232 COM ports, replacing 8-channel HD audio with 6-channel, and a DVI port. While the former has a PCIe x1 slot, the latter has an x16 slot with x2 wiring.

The board draws power from a 24-pin ATX connector. The SoC is cooled by a fan-less heatsink, and is wired to DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 8 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory. The 22 mm M.2 slot that has x1 wiring, is recommended only for a WLAN card. Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gbps ports on the J4105-ITX, and two ports on the J4105B-ITX. Both boards come with gigabit Ethernet. Display outputs include DVI, HDMI, and D-Sub on the J4105-ITX; while the J4105B-ITX features D-Sub and HDMI. Both boards are expected to be priced around $170, given that the SoC itself costs $107.
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9 Comments on ASRock Intros a Pair of Celeron "Gemini Lake" ITX Motherboards

#1
Assimilator
The PCIe slot on the J4105B-ITX looks like it's electrically x4, not x2?
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
"Assimilator said:
The PCIe slot on the J4105B-ITX looks like it's electrically x4, not x2?
Yes, they used it from the common parts bin (third x16 slot on most big motherboards), but it only has x2 wiring.
Posted on Reply
#3
silentbogo
"Assimilator said:
The PCIe slot on the J4105B-ITX looks like it's electrically x4, not x2?
I think it is indeed x4. Pinout looks just about right, and there is enough PCIe lanes left for it, 'cause there is no M.2 slot.
Posted on Reply
#4
TheLostSwede
If only the J4105-ITX had the eMMC space populated, then this would be a really nice little NAS board.

"silentbogo said:
I think it is indeed x4. Pinout looks just about right, and there is enough PCIe lanes left for it, 'cause there is no M.2 slot.
The manual states "1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1: x2 mode)" and "PCIE1 (PCIe 2.0 x16 slot) is used for PCI Express x2 lane width cards."
Not a very common configuration and I'm so far not aware of any PCIe x2 only cards, but that doesn't meant that there aren't any.
Posted on Reply
#5
silentbogo
"TheLostSwede said:
The manual states "1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1: x2 mode)" and "PCIE1 (PCIe 2.0 x16 slot) is used for PCI Express x2 lane width cards."
Not a very common configuration and I'm so far not aware of any PCIe x2 only cards, but that doesn't meant that there aren't any.
So, they did it again: wasted two PCIe lanes for the sake of simplicity, but did not forget to put a stupid AsMedia SATA controller for the sake of complexity.
Would've been perfect for running GT1030 @ x4 or a quad-NIC.
Posted on Reply
#6
Sig0431
I am not familiar with these MoBo's, can someone please provide me with some insight as to if these would be a solid choice for a HTPC build instead of going for a NUC?
Posted on Reply
#7
john_
Both boards are expected to be priced around $170, given that the SoC itself costs $107.
Nope. They will end up cheaper than the processor alone. Intel is doing it all the time with Atoms. Fake prices on it's site, or just contra revenue program. Don't know.
Posted on Reply
#8
silentbogo
"john_ said:
Nope. They will end up cheaper than the processor alone. Intel is doing it all the time with Atoms. Fake prices on it's site, or just contra revenue program. Don't know.
Yep, that's definitely the first one (bloated price). Old SoCs were also priced at $80-$110 range @ ARK, but if they really were that expensive, then chinese wouldn't sell replacement parts for $25-30 (much cheaper in bulk). And I'm talking brand new new ICs in factory packaging, not reballed/refurbished ones w/ leaded solder balls (those go for $10-15, but definitely not worth the risk).

"Sig0431 said:
I am not familiar with these MoBo's, can someone please provide me with some insight as to if these would be a solid choice for a HTPC build instead of going for a NUC?
It's pretty much the same thing as the low-end NUC (though bigger in all dimensions), but it's cheaper and has a standard mini-ITX form factor and a bit more I/O, which makes it very flexible and easy to stick into whatever case you want.

I still have an AsRock Q2900B-ITX which is chugging away at my office right now.
SPEC:
- Pentium J2900 (quad-core)
- 2x4GB DDR3 1333
- 500GB 2.5" HDD
- Thin-client chassis, which for some reason comes with a set of small rails for 2.5" HDD/SSD.

The whole thing is about the size of a small cocoa puffs box, runs off 60W PicoPSU via LED strip power brick (12V 3A).
Posted on Reply
#9
Sig0431
"silentbogo said:
Yep, that's definitely the first one (bloated price). Old SoCs were also priced at $80-$110 range @ ARK, but if they really were that expensive, then chinese wouldn't sell replacement parts for $25-30 (much cheaper in bulk). And I'm talking brand new new ICs in factory packaging, not reballed/refurbished ones w/ leaded solder balls (those go for $10-15, but definitely not worth the risk).


It's pretty much the same thing as the low-end NUC (though bigger in all dimensions), but it's cheaper and has a standard mini-ITX form factor and a bit more I/O, which makes it very flexible and easy to stick into whatever case you want.

I still have an AsRock Q2900B-ITX which is chugging away at my office right now.
SPEC:
- Pentium J2900 (quad-core)
- 2x4GB DDR3 1333
- 500GB 2.5" HDD
- Thin-client chassis, which for some reason comes with a set of small rails for 2.5" HDD/SSD.

The whole thing is about the size of a small cocoa puffs box, runs off 60W PicoPSU via LED strip power brick (12V 3A).
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will keep my eye out on these when people start pushing reviews. I like the idea of more flexibility when it comes to case selection, expansion etc compared to a nuc but I saw many good looking NUC's launch at CES. Thanks again.
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