ASRock was one of many earliest distributors to cater to the small-form issue (SFF) PC market with a bunch of custom-sized motherboards primarily based on pocket book platforms of their Imaginative and prescient / Core sequence items. They ended up lacking the NUC bus for essentially the most half, with the Beebox sequence put into chilly storage after Skylake and Kaby Lake had been phased out. The commercial design and learnings from the Beebox have since been handed on to ASRock Industrial for methods catering to the business and embedded markets.
After Kaby Lake, ASRock shifted focus to Intel’s 5×5 mini-STX form-factor launched in 2015. Whereas permitting for set up of socketed processors, the form-factor couldn’t help a discrete GPU slot. Across the identical time, Intel additionally began advertising fanatic NUCs with a discrete pocket book GPU soldered on the motherboard / built-in within the bundle. ASRock has launched a number of Intel and AMD-based mini-STX DeskMini methods since 2016, and in addition created the micro-STX form-factor to supply a socketed various to the fanatic NUCs.
Intel’s subsequent large push within the NUC market got here with the looks of Compute Components and Excessive NUCs, with the latter supporting user-replaceable discrete GPUs. With a purpose to supply options in that section, ASRock launched their DeskMeet product line early final yr with help for socketed processors and a PCIe x16 slot for putting in add-in playing cards. The evaluate beneath supplies an in depth evaluation of the options, efficiency, and worth proposition of the DeskMeet B660 – a 8L SFF PC primarily based on the Intel B660 chipset, able to accommodating Alder Lake or Raptor Lake CPUs, and chosen dual-slot GPUs.
Introduction and Product Impressions
The rise within the capabilities and energy effectivity of processors, coupled with progressive thermal options has additionally enabled small-form issue machines to enter markets that had been restricted to cumbersome power-hungry tower form-factor machines up to now. Whereas a majority of the SFF and UCFF machines out there are usually primarily based on sub-45W processors, there’s a rising market (within the gaming and workstation area) for small methods that may accommodate socketed CPUs. ASRock’s DeskMini sequence of mini-STX and micro-STX machines have served this market because the Skylake days. Coinciding the with the launch of Intel’s Alder Lake, ASRock launched a brand new choice for customers in a barely bigger form-factor – the DeskMeet B660.
The DeskMeet B660 focuses on the DIY marketplace for gaming and e-sports methods. This section has served as a progress vector for the in any other case moribund PC market over the past a number of years. Portabile gaming PCs have the added benefit of being compact, lending themselves to use-cases that aren’t simply served by conventional tower desktops. In comparison with the DeskMini mini-STX sequence, the brand new methods deliver the next updates:
- PCIe 4.0 x16 slot permitting the set up of a dual-slot discrete GPU
- Elevated reminiscence capability, due to the presence of 4 full-length DDR4 DIMM slots
- Built-in PSU
The bundle consists of the next parts:
- ASRock B660-ITX motherboard (with related cables, screws, and an I/O defend)
- 500W (80+ Bronze) ATX PSU
- Steel chassis (168mm x 219.3mm x 218.3mm) (with related assembling aids)
- Meeting directions
Compact methods with a PCIe x16 slot and an built-in PSU could be realized with mini-ITX motherboards. Such normal boards are restricted to 2 DIMM slots attributable to area constraints. With a purpose to accommodate two further DIMM slots, ASRock has opted for a propretiary form-factor. Their ‘Deep mini-ITX’ board measures 210mm x 170mm (in comparison with the 170mm x 170mm of an everyday mini-ITX board).
Finish-users have the pliability to decide on their very own CPU, storage machine, RAM, and non-compulsory discrete GPU. House constraints impose some limitations on these, although. The 8L system can help liquid cooling if a PCIe add-on card will not be used. CPU coolers as much as 54mm in top can be utilized (something larger would find yourself bumping into the underside of the PSU). Processors with a TDP of as much as 65W could be safely utilized in air cooling. Whereas choose 125W TDP processors are supported, it requires the usage of liquid cooling (ruling out the PCIe add-on card usability). F-series SKUs can be utilized, however it requires the obligatory set up of a video card, because the native show outputs of the B660-ITX require a CPU with an built-in GPU.
ASRock sampled us the DeskMeet B660 together with their AMD Radeon RX 6400 Challenger ITX video card and an Intel Core i7-12700F Alder Lake-S processor. The next further parts had been used to finish the construct:
- SilverStone Hydrogon H90 ARGB CPU cooler
- Mushkin Redline Frostbyte DDR4-3600 DIMMs (4×16 GB)
- Mushkin Vortex Redline 2 TB M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD
The system is supposed to be actively cooled, however the DeskMeet B660 unit by itself does not have any followers bundled with the chassis. The followers within the CPU cooler and video card cooler ought to suffice for many installations. Nonetheless, the facet of the chassis near the PCIe slot will also be used to mount a 120mm case cooler or a liquid cooling radiator (thickness as much as 45mm). In such instances, the PCIe slot is rendered unusable.
The complete specs of our evaluate configuration are offered within the desk beneath.
|ASRock DeskMeet B660 Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i7-12700F
Alder Lake-S 8C + 4c / 20T, 1.6 – 4.9 GHz
Intel 7, 12MB L2 + 25MB L3, 65 W
(PL1 = 65W, PL2 = 126W)
|Reminiscence||Mushkin Redline Frostbyte MRX4U360GKKP16G DDR4-3600 DIMMs
16-19-19-39 @ 3600 MHz (XMP 1.0)
|Graphics||AMD Radeon RX 6400 (Navi 24) 4GB GDDR6
(768 SPs @ 2039 MHz)
|Disk Drive(s)||Mushkin Vortex Redline MKNSSDVT2TB-D8
(2 TB; M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe;)
(Micron 176L 3D TLC; InnoGrit IG5236 Controller)
|Networking||1x GbE RJ-45 (Intel I219-V)|
|Audio||Realtek ALC897 (3.5mm Audio Jack in Entrance and Line In / Speaker / Microphone Jacks in Rear)
Digital Audio with Bitstreaming Help over HDMI and Show Port (by way of dGPU)
|Video||1x HDMI 2.1 (as much as 4Kp60, VRR and FRL)
1x Show Port 1.4a (each by way of dGPU)
|Miscellaneous I/O Ports||2x USB 2.0 Sort-A (Rear)
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A (Rear)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-C (Entrance)
2x USB 2.0 Sort-A (Entrance)
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A (Entrance)
|Working System||Home windows 11 Enterprise (22000.1335)|
|Pricing||(Road Pricing on January 23rd, 2022)
USD 191 (barebones)
US $863 (as configured, no OS)
|Full Specs||ASRock DeskMeet B660 Specs|
Assembling the System
The DeskMeet bundle comes with the PSU and the motherboard bundled contained in the chassis with acceptable padding. Assembling the system entails eradicating a single screw from the underside facet of the case and pulling out the motherboard tray. One of many likable features right here is that the entrance panel of the case straight interfaces with the parts on the motherboard. This eliminates the tangling of wires that was seen within the earlier DeskMini methods when separating the motherboard tray from the chassis. The motherboard comes mounted on the tray, and the CPU and cooler set up steps aren’t any totally different from different boards with socketed CPUs.
As much as 4 DDR4 DIMMs could be put in within the system. A M.2 2230 slot is accessible for a Wi-Fi / Bluetooth combo PCIe / USB card. The case has acceptable holes for the antennae. There are two M.2 2280 slots (one subsequent to the PCIe slot, and one other on the underside) for set up of NVMe SSDs. The slot subsequent on the underside is PCIe-only, whereas the opposite can accommodate each NVMe and SATA SSDs. Sadly, the documentation will not be clear on which of those slots is straight connected to the CPU. In different boards, the slot that multiplexes the SATA and PCIe lanes often comes from the chipset (PCH), whereas the pure PCIe one is from the CPU. Based mostly on this assumption, we reviewed the system with the SSD put in on the underside.
The board accommodates 3 SATA ports. The case itself permits for the set up of a 3.5″ HDD (wherein case, a PCIe add-in card cannot be put in), or two 2.5″ drives (which eliminates the opportunity of dual-slot add-in playing cards, whereas nonetheless permitting single-slot playing cards to work). Utilizing such SATA drives additionally precludes the opportunity of mounting a fan or a water-cooling radiator within the system.
GPU set up entails releasing a latch and fastening screws after putting the add-in card in place. The PSU is mounted in-place on the very finish, with all crucial screws within the again panel. The PSU will not be modular, however the variety of cables to route is minimal, and cable administration will not be actually a lot of a difficulty. It’s attainable to fully take away the motherboard and I/O defend from the tray, however we did not discover it crucial through the meeting course of.
Within the subsequent part, we check out the BIOS choices together with an evaluation of the motherboard platform. Following that, we’ve plenty of sections specializing in varied efficiency features earlier than concluding with an evaluation of the worth proposition of the system.