Internal Hardware and Installation
Four screws secure the DeskMini A300’s motherboard tray and back panel to its outer casing, which slips off like a sleeve. Located directly behind an unused beep-code speaker header, a nine-pin header connects a proprietary cable for the power button and activity LEDs to the bottom-front corner of its A300M-STX motherboard.
Front-panel ports and jacks are permanently affixed to the A300M-STX motherboard. Other connectors include dual CPU fan headers in the lower-rear corner, a USB 2.0 header in the upper-front corner, dual SODIMM slots, a Key-E slot for notebook Wi-Fi modules, and a PCIe x4 M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs.
Buiders who would like to add a second M.2 drive will need to remove the motherboard, as its slot is located on the board’s underside and covered by the two 2.5-inch drive trays that are integrated with the motherboard tray. Motherboard removal is also required to access the screw holes of the two 2.5-inch drive trays that cover the second M.2 storage slot, though the proprietary SATA headers for the included 2.5” drive cables are accessible via the oval hole seen above.
Hoping to find some way to push our CPU past its stock settings, we attempted to install our lowest profile wide cooler, the Gamer Storm Gabriel by DeepCool. The heatsink only fits in the orientation shown, and its 20mm-thick fan was 13mm too thick to clear the casing, so we used the clip-on cooler provided within the DeskMini A300’s installation kit.
ASRock A300M-STX Motherboard Features
|Voltage Regulator||5 Phases|
|Video Ports||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, VGA|
|USB Ports||5Gb/s: (1) Type AUSB 2.0: (1) Type A|
|Network Jacks||(1) Gigabit Ethernet|
|Rear Audio Jacks||✗|
|Other Rear Jacks||(1) BIOS Flashback, (1) Clear CMOS|
|DIMM slots||(2) DDR4 SODIMM|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 3.0 x4, (1) PCIe 3.0 x2/4*(*A-series & Raven Ridge APU)|
|SATA Ports||(2) 6Gb/s (includes custom cables)|
|USB Headers||(1) Integrated 5Gb/s(1) USB 2.0 (unused)|
|Fan Headers||(2) 4-pin|
|Other Interfaces||Chassis Intrusion, PC (beep code) Speaker|
|SATA Controllers||Integrated (0/1/10)|
|Ethernet Controllers||RTL8111H PCIe|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel 3168 802.11ac (433mb/s) / BT 4.2 Combo|
|HD Audio Codec||ALC233|
|DDL/DTS Connect||✗ / ✗|
Photo Credits: Tom's Hardware
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