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ASRock To Ship Desk Mini 110 STX Motherboards Sans Case

ASRock’s Desk Mini 110 has been available for a while as the first commercially available mini-STX barebones PC. Now (although it is unlikely you will want to buy just the motherboard at this time), ASRock now plans to ship the Desk Mini 110’s H110M-STX board as a standalone product.

The H110M-STX motherboard is designed around Intel’s 5x5-inch mini-STX form factor. This allows companies to produce unusually compact desktop PCs, but at the expense of several connection options.

The H110M-STX doesn’t have any PCI/PCI-E connections, for example. There is an M.2 Key-E slot for a Wi-Fi card, and an M.2 Key-M slot for an SSD. As the Intel H110 chipset uses legacy PCI-E 2.0 lanes, ASRock decided to connect the M.2 Key-M slot directly to the CPU’s PCI-E 3.0 controller and bypass the chipset entirely. In theory, this should improve performance due to reduced latency and PCI-E 3.0’s higher bandwidth.

Due to the use of an external power supply, the board does not have traditional SATA ports. Instead, it uses a hybrid connection that combines power and data into a single cable. This allows the storage drives to be fed power directly from the motherboard. ASRock placed two of these connections on the bottom of the board.

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The motherboard has fairly limited USB connection options, as well. There is a single internal USB 2.0 header on the motherboard. On the rear I/O panel, there’s just one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port. Over on the front of the board, there is an additional USB 3.0 port alongside a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port.

To conserve space, the H110M-STX uses DDR4 SO-DIMMs. Memory support is limited to 32 GB of DDR4 at 2,133 MHz. RAM timings are less restrictive and can be tweaked in the BIOS to try and reduce latency.

The board’s audio subsystem is powered by a Realtek ALC283 audio codec. There aren’t any audio connections on the back of the motherboard, but there is a mic input and an audio-out plus mic-in combo port on the front.

Aside from the ports listed above, there is just the power connection, a DisplayPort, an HDMI port, a VGA port and an RJ-45 port connected to an Intel i219v NIC.

Specifications

Form FactorMini-STX
RAM Support2 x SODIMM DDR4 @ 2,133 MHz
ChipsetH110
Rear I/OAC Power-InDisplayPortHDMIVGAUSB 3.0USB 2.0RJ-45
Front I/OUSB 3.0USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-CMic-InAudio Combo Jack (Mic-In/Audio-Out)
Internal PortsM.2 Key MM.2 Key EUSB 2.0 Header2 x SATA-III + Power Combo Ports


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Although ASRock will sell this board separately from the case, it would be a better idea to just buy the Desk Mini 110 for now because of the extremely limited selection of cases on the market. Eventually this issue will be resolved, but currently there aren’t any mini-STX cases available for purchase outside of the Desk Mini 110, and ASRock does not sell that case without a motherboard pre-installed.

Users should also be aware that the H110M-STX motherboard does not support CPUs with a TDP greater than 65 W. This essentially means it supports all current LGA 1151 Skylake CPUs except the i5-6600K and i7-6700K.

There is currently no word on pricing or availability. The H110M-STX motherboard will undoubtedly be priced lower than the Desk Mini 110, however, which currently sells for $139.99.


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  • John Philips
    Great, just drop an i7-6785R and you can play several good titles and even use a passive cooler! But where to buy them?
    Reply
  • cfortney
    They need to do this with the full-on USB Type-C for all the upcoming external GPU docks!
    Reply
  • photonboy
    JohnPhilips,
    I don't know why you'd consider this for gaming. An expensive i7 CPU and forced to use the iGPU only?

    This is more suitable to desktop office situations where you can have a silent PC. Maybe add 4GB system memory, an i3 CPU and an SSD.
    Reply
  • quilciri
    Pfft. I dunno Why Michael kept pushing to buy the desk mini. If the raspberry pi/beagle board/etc have taught us anything, it's that people are dying to make cases for tiny PC's out of the most unusual/adorable thing they can find.

    e.g. Barbie dollhouse PC
    http://hackaday.com/2014/07/15/raspberry-pi-turns-a-novelty-radio-into-a-real-computer/
    Reply
  • bit_user
    What I want more than this is for mini-STX to go mainstream. I want some decent mini-STX cases and power supplies that I can choose from to use with my next ARM board.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    18343067 said:
    Pfft. I dunno Why Michael kept pushing to buy the desk mini. If the raspberry pi/beagle board/etc have taught us anything, it's that people are dying to make cases for tiny PC's out of the most unusual/adorable thing they can find.

    e.g. Barbie dollhouse PC
    http://hackaday.com/2014/07/15/raspberry-pi-turns-a-novelty-radio-into-a-real-computer/

    Some users might do that, but they are certainly the minority. Most users will stick to cases they can purchase, and right now there aren't any on the market. Until there are, it wouldn't be the best option for most people to buy just the motherboard until there are some third-party cases available.

    @bit_user: It will probably be a while before we see ARM board that will work with a mini-STX case. Intel has been trying to push this new form factor for about a year now and there are still very few products on the market. We probably won't see a wider market presence until 2017, and ARM/AMD boards likely won't show up until the end of that year.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    18344628 said:
    @bit_user: It will probably be a while before we see ARM board that will work with a mini-STX case. Intel has been trying to push this new form factor for about a year now and there are still very few products on the market. We probably won't see a wider market presence until 2017, and ARM/AMD boards likely won't show up until the end of that year.
    I know, but I can dream.

    Meanwhile, we have the 96boards form factor that's gaining momentum.

    http://www.96boards.org/products/ce/
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Speaking of small form-factor systems, it'd be neat if Tom's would review one of these:

    http://up-shop.org/up-boards/2-up-board-2gb-16-gb-emmc-memory.html

    You don't get much more performance per Watt in a x86-64 system that can run full Windows 10.
    Reply
  • Su
    I have been looking forward to the new mini-STX motherboard for quite a while. But it seems not being expected by consumers at all, as I rarely see any articles about mini-STX. Personally I believe it's a great idea to install a desktop CPU in such a small space. For people don't care much about GPU like me, I believe it's an ultimate solution for personal computing. Hope it will success in the near future.
    Reply
  • DeWayne_R
    I guess I was one of the lucky ones who managed to snag the new DeskMini 110 from NewEgg. So far is has exceeded expectations in its role as a small, quiet desktop and I want to buy another. Problem is they are out of stock at NE and no one else seems to have them either!

    For $139 it even included the WIFI/BT card and a pair of antennas.
    Reply