ASRock has announced its new series of ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) PCs that combine small dimensions with performance of desktop APUs from AMD. ASRock's Jupiter X300-series is only slightly larger the company's Mars 4000U-series machines launched last November, but it clearly packs considerably more performance and features than its smaller brother.
ASRock's Jupiter X300 barebones PC uses AMD's easy-to-find socketed Ryzen 2000/3000/4000 APU with up to eight cores, built-in Radeon Vega graphics as well as an up to 65W TDP cooled using a copper heatsink and a high-performance blower. The APUs can be paired with up to 64GB of DDR4 3200 MHz memory (using two SO-DIMM modules), an M.2-2280 SSD with a PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA interface, and a 2.5-inch/9.5-mm drive.
The manufacturer says nothing about compatibility of its Jupiter X300 systems with AMD's not-yet-announced Ryzen 5000-series 'Cezanne' APUs, but the machines are based on a rather outdated AMD X300 chipset. Meanwhile, since the motherboard uses a proprietary form-factor, it will prove tricky to upgrade.
The Jupiter X300 chassis measures 178 × 178 × 34mm, so not as compact as a NUC, but not too far away from NUC-like dimensions. The system — which is actually smaller than Apple's MacMini — can be attached to VESA mounts of a display or used on the desktop.
Connectivity department of ASRock's Jupiter X300 is quite advanced. The machine can be equipped with Intel's AX200 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5 module (or any other adapter if you buy it separately), it has one Gigabit Ethernet port, three display outputs (a DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI 2.0, and a D-Sub to support legacy monitors), two 3.5-mm audio connectors, and eight USB ports (two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, two USB 2.0), which might be a record for an UCFF PC.
ASRock positions its Jupiter X300-series machines for home, office, and enterprise customers. Since the latter often require remote management and advances security, ASRock offers them its X300-serie DASH barebones with a DASH-enabled LAN, trusted platform module 2.0, an anti-intrusion sensor. Obviously, to use remote management and other advanced features of AMD's business platform, the systems have to be equipped with the company's Ryzen Pro-series APUs.
ASRock did not announce MSRPs of its Jupiter X300-series barebones PC.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.