At CES, Asrock told us about a new SFF PC in the works that uses Intel's mini-STX form factor. After a few more months of development, Asrock has new details to share on this system, which it has named "DeskMini."
The design doesn't appear to have changed much from what we were shown before. The 1.82L case is large enough to just barely fit in the motherboard, Intel stock cooler and two 2.5-inch storage drives. There isn't enough space for any PCI-E devices, but there are two M.2 slots, one configured for M.2 SATA devices and the other an M.2 Key E.
Although this system isn't the first to be sold in such a small form factor, Asrock is relying on the performance of socketed desktop CPUs to beat out the competition. Most if not all other systems produced at this size use soldered CPUs, typically mobile or ultra-low power chips in order to keep the heat production inside of the case down.
Asrock, however, feels confident that it will be able to keep desktop Skylake CPUs cool. This makes the design more user-friendly for enthusiasts that may want to upgrade the CPU later. It also keeps end users' options open, as they aren't limited to a handful of SKUs.
Asrock has not set a price nor release date yet for its DeskMini products. We expect to learn more at Computex in June.
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I'm still hoping for separate cases & mobos. Seems to me that's the whole point of having a standard form factor. Then, I can get a nice case to go with an ARM-based mini-STX board.
Wonder what sort of network connectivity we're going to see on this little pug...?
It might be taller than the Mini-Box M350, but it is still overall smaller. The M350 is a 2.5 L volume case, while this one is less than 2 L.
So, what conditions cause a NUC to overheat? So far mine hasn't, though it's just HTPC, media consumption and some light gaming. (Though the last wasn't a very long session.)
Whereas the M350 can handle a Pico PSU up to 150W
Assuming you're running a newer i7 at 65W, M.2 SSD and RAM on the mobo (along with maybe 1-2 USB peripherals assuming you haven't gone full bluetooth) your power draw will be comfortably below that.
Both the ITX in M350 and STX in the asrock case will require a Thunderbolt 3 port for an eGPU to be mildly versatile and useful.
I want to like STX, but it's not adding any value vs ITX so far
Hopefully, the connector is standard, so that we can buy higher-quality / higher-power aftermarket PSUs.