Thursday, January 10th 2019

CES 2019: ASRock Launches DeskMini A300, World's First Ryzen APU-powered Mini STX PC

ASRock at CEs announced what has become the world's first Mini STX PC to employ an AMD Ryzen APU. In the form of the DeskMini A300. With just 1.9 liters, it makes use of AMD's A300 chipset to guarantee support for both AMD's Ryzen (Raven Ridge) processors, as well as A-series Bristol Ridge processors with up to 65 W TDP. Take care that an integrated cooling solution isn't shipped with the A300, though - you'll have to find a cooling solution no taller than 45 mm.

2x DDR4 SO-DIMM slots allow for up to 32 GB of DDR4-2400 or DDR4-2933 memory (Ryzen or A-series). For the small form-factor, 2x M.2-2280 slots for SSDs (PCIe 3.0 x4 and x2/x4) and 2x 2.5-inch bays for SATA SSDs or HDDs sems more than plenty (RAID 0 and 1 modes are supported). No support for MXM graphics cards here - only integrated graphics can drive your displays, via 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, or 1xD-Sub outputs. There's a RealtekRTL8111H GbE network connection, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and 1x Type-C port, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A connector, as well as 1x M.2-2230 slot for a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module. Power is delivered by an external, 120 W power-brick, which should help keep in-chassis temperatures in check.
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14 Comments on CES 2019: ASRock Launches DeskMini A300, World's First Ryzen APU-powered Mini STX PC

#1
silentbogo
Now, that's what I'm talking about. Time to dump my H110 DeskMini and get me some 2400G or maybe even 3600G action! Arcade sidescrollers and slashers at work in FHD all day long!
BTW, they've managed to cram-in one more M.2 slot, which is beyond real... I'm still surprised my older STX machine has 2 HDD slots and an NVME, and I still don't know what to do with all of that.
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#2
Supercrit
silentbogo, post: 3974167, member: 141875"
Now, that's what I'm talking about. Time to dump my H110 DeskMini and get me some 2400G or maybe even 3600G action! Arcade sidescrollers and slashers at work in FHD all day long!
BTW, they've managed to cram-in one more M.2 slot, which is beyond real... I'm still surprised my older STX machine has 2 HDD slots and an NVME, and I still don't know what to do with all of that.
I bought a Ryzen laptop for that but it throttles like hell, this thing should run at full speed with a good 65w cooler.
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#3
adulaammum
Supercrit, post: 3974294, member: 97543"
I bought a Ryzen laptop for that but it throttles like hell, this thing should run at full speed with a good 65w cooler.
what is the brand/model of your laptop? My Ryzen 5 2500u doesn't do it that much. It was even always at 2.0+Ghz. though I limit the processing to 99% when gaming, giving more room for the IGP to boost.
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#4
Supercrit
adulaammum, post: 3974385, member: 182229"
what is the brand/model of your laptop? My Ryzen 5 2500u doesn't do it that much. It was even always at 2.0+Ghz. though I limit the processing to 99% when gaming, giving more room for the IGP to boost.
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 with 2700U. The throttle is mostly GPU, it can reach the specified 1300mhz but quickly dials back to 400mhz most of the times. Butter smooth gamplay at 1300 but choppy at 400. For 2D or low requirement games 400mhz is fine.
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#5
silentbogo
Supercrit, post: 3974294, member: 97543"
I bought a Ryzen laptop for that but it throttles like hell, this thing should run at full speed with a good 65w cooler.
Yep, the platform is cool and chill. One of their selling points was the ability to fit a stock box heatsink. My H110 worked fine with Intel cooling solutions, Deepcool HTPC200 (rated at 95W dissipation), and even Noctua NH-L9i. Though, I'm still using the latter one in my primary PC at home, but tested in H110 anyway. Most APUs (bristol ridge, or the newer Athlons) for sAM4 come with a variation on sFM2 small cooling solution(~50mm height), or in case of Ryzen 3/5 G - it's Wraith stealth, which is also under 60mm tall.
The only thing I don't like about my new devices is their shitty VGA port. AsRock have used the cheapest available part without any back support. It's basically held by VGA contacts soldered to the board and nothing else. And everything would've been better if it had at least some through-hole plastic pegs like on laptops or other cheap motherboards, but it's just sitting there and wobbling at every touch, waiting to be broken off. I already broke mine, so now I have to use HDMI-VGA adapter to hook it up to my work monitor (cheap IPS LG).
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#6
E-Bear
silentbogo, post: 3974167, member: 141875"
Now, that's what I'm talking about. Time to dump my H110 DeskMini and get me some 2400G or maybe even 3600G action! Arcade sidescrollers and slashers at work in FHD all day long!
BTW, they've managed to cram-in one more M.2 slot, which is beyond real... I'm still surprised my older STX machine has 2 HDD slots and an NVME, and I still don't know what to do with all of that.
What's the socket in your H110 DeskMini?
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#7
silentbogo
E-Bear, post: 3974551, member: 182064"
What's the socket in your H110 DeskMini?
LGA1151. It's just a regular socketed board. Only it's very-very-very small :laugh:
It even got an early 7th gen support w/ BIOS update.
Right now it's running Celeron G3900. Wanted to get my hands on i7-6700T (the real thing, not ES bullcrap that flooded the market), but it's still so expensive here that I'm gonna gave to drop this plan and go with Ryzen APU instead. That iGPU oomph will make my work a lot more enjoyable, maybe even move my 4K monitor to the office.
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#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
silentbogo, post: 3974167, member: 141875"
BTW, they've managed to cram-in one more M.2 slot, which is beyond real.
There are two factors that allowed them to do this. Both factors actually stem from the fact that this product is using the A300 "chipset". Which really means, it has not chipset, and it directly connecting everything to the processor. This means, one, because there is no chipset on the board, it frees up some space to add a second M.2 slot. Second, because there is no chipset connected to the processor, that frees up the extra x4 PCI-E lanes that would normally be used to connect the chipset to the CPU, so those lanes can be used for other devices like the second M.2 slot.


silentbogo, post: 3974462, member: 141875"
Yep, the platform is cool and chill. One of their selling points was the ability to fit a stock box heatsink. My H110 worked fine with Intel cooling solutions, Deepcool HTPC200 (rated at 95W dissipation), and even Noctua NH-L9i. Though, I'm still using the latter one in my primary PC at home, but tested in H110 anyway. Most APUs (bristol ridge, or the newer Athlons) for sAM4 come with a variation on sFM2 small cooling solution(~50mm height), or in case of Ryzen 3/5 G - it's Wraith stealth, which is also under 60mm tall.
Hey, a fellow Deskmini H110 owner! I'll agree, the stock Intel cooler works just fine in the Deskmini H110. In my case, it is working as my living room HTPC with a Pentium G4600 and running as cool and quiet as can be with the Intel stock cooler. I'm also, like you, waiting for a decent i7 to come down in price so I can upgrade it to a quad-core.

To be honest, I was actually just looking to buy the DeskMini H310 this last weekend, like I had it in my Amazon cart about to check out, but then for some reason decided not to. I'm so glad that I didn't buy it, because the AM4 DeskMini appeals to me so much more because of the added GPU horsepower of the APUs. I like to run emulators on my HTPC, and that is one thing the Deskmini H110 is really lacking in. It runs everything up through the PS1/Saturn/N64 era just fine, but anything past that really start to struggle. I really can't wait to get an AM4 Deskmini now!(Sorry if I'm rambling because I'm excited.)

The only thing that worries me is the cooler. The stock Wraith Stealth that comes with the 2200G and 2400G is 54mm tall, but according to AsRock the Am4 DeskMini can only handle coolers up to 45mm tall. Which is kind of a bummer, because that means there will be an extra cost with buying a decent low profile cooler, which ain't cheap. I'll probably end up going with the Noctua NH-L9a, which is about $40. It might not seem like a lot, but when you're putting it on a processor that only cost $100, it's a pretty big chunk...

I also hope they bundle a WiFi card with it, like they did with the other models. Right now it looks like they might not, but this is just a display unit, so the retail version might include it.
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#9
BoiseTech
Seriously only 45mm.... 2 more MM and we could have used the Cryorig C7...
I also hope they bundle a WiFi card with it, like they did with the other models. Right now it looks like they might not, but this is just a display unit, so the retail version might include it.
The SKU's listed are A300 and A300w. They'll bundle it, but it'll cost more money, on the other hand, you'll be able to buy a unit WITHOUT wireless.
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#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
BoiseTech, post: 3974650, member: 183701"
Seriously only 45mm.... 2 more MM and we could have used the Cryorig C7...
I assume it is because they are just re-using the same chase from the Intel versions. I think, because of the way Intel does the LGA sockets, the Intel versions actually get a little more room, but I could be wrong.

Also, the new article lists 45mm, but AsRock's site says 46mm. Not that it matters that much, because the Cryorig C7 is 47mm and likely won't fit either way. Meh, not a big loss, the NH-L9a is only a few bucks more, and does a good enough job on a 2400G(in a system that can't be overclocked at least).

BoiseTech, post: 3974650, member: 183701"
The SKU's listed are A300 and A300w. They'll bundle it, but it'll cost more money, on the other hand, you'll be able to buy a unit WITHOUT wireless.
Ah, that makes sense. The other DeskMini seem to only be available in the "W" variants in the US, or at least that's all I've ever seen for sale. I'll gladly pay a little extra for the included wireless kit, especially since the it seems they will be using a pretty decent Intel wireless card.
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#11
silentbogo
newtekie1, post: 3974586, member: 20670"
but according to AsRock the Am4 DeskMini can only handle coolers up to 45mm tall.
That's sad... BTW, my old Deepcool HTPC-200 (also 47mm) was also a tight fit in H110, but the main issue was not the vertical clearance(there was some extra space there for sure), but that metal thing on the right side w/ a hole (some sort of locking pad?). I had to bend it beforehand to slide the assembled chassis inside an enclosure, and then bend it back right before closing. Probably the same thing is gonna work for A300.
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#12
BoiseTech
newtekie1, post: 3974666, member: 20670"
Ah, that makes sense. The other DeskMini seem to only be available in the "W" variants in the US, or at least that's all I've ever seen for sale. I'll gladly pay a little extra for the included wireless kit, especially since the it seems they will be using a pretty decent Intel wireless card.
Yeah I buy them for clients who don't need/want wireless so I have a small stock pile, I'll be good on non W variants for a while :)

I have a C7, I'll buy a A300 and test, I know there is a little space between the intel cooler and chassis. I'll update this thread when they're available :)
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#13
silentbogo
BoiseTech, post: 3974693, member: 183701"
Yeah I buy them for clients who don't need/want wireless so I have a small stock pile, I'll be good on non W variants for a while :)
I simply collect mine from dead 6th gen laptops :roll:
Only had to order some u.fl to SMA pigtails from China and dust off a pair of 5dBi antennas.
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#14
E-Bear
silentbogo, post: 3974557, member: 141875"
LGA1151. It's just a regular socketed board. Only it's very-very-very small :laugh:
It even got an early 7th gen support w/ BIOS update.
Right now it's running Celeron G3900. Wanted to get my hands on i7-6700T (the real thing, not ES bullcrap that flooded the market), but it's still so expensive here that I'm gonna gave to drop this plan and go with Ryzen APU instead. That iGPU oomph will make my work a lot more enjoyable, maybe even move my 4K monitor to the office.
I am looking around for cheap ITX but they seems to be overpriced. I got a full 1155 system but would like to make an HTPC with it so gf can use living room TV for games, kid cartoon and Skype her family.
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