Author Topic: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build  (Read 5337 times)

ntay

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2018, 04:47:40 AM »
Thank you Ari,

That then makes that configuration quite an expense ~£50 (~70 bucks).

I found this, and hopefully it fits the bill: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-dual-band-wireless-ac-8265-m2-card-desktop-kit-80211b-80211a-80211g-80211n-80211ac-bluetooth-4?v=c

Will report back

ntay

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 12:51:56 PM »
Can confirm this works like a charm!
For anyone in the uk this is the best and cheapest option I could find

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 01:27:39 PM »
Can confirm this works like a charm!
For anyone in the uk this is the best and cheapest option I could find

This is very helpful. I had previously looked for an option at Amazon.uk and hadn't found the perfect solution. It seems this option at Scan.co.uk is a new one.

bensrichards

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2019, 06:21:20 AM »
Hey all,

I know that TBG isn't recommending Mini-STX systems anymore, but as someone who did build one a while ago and still wishes the format had taken off, I wanted to share something of interest.  Specifically, it looks like ASRock is now selling a version of their barebones Desk Mini with an AMD A300 chipset board.  What I found particularly interesting was that the listings for this product on Newegg states that there is support for Ryzen 3200G and 3400G processors.  It's unclear to me whether that means all the BIOS are in order to run those processors, or rather just that the socket is compatible.  Still, I'm pretty intrigued by the idea of packing my SilverStone VT02 with a 3400G processor.  I think that would make a screaming home office machine with the chops for running last generation games at 1080p and reasonable quality settings.

I've heard some noise online about micro-stx boards with RTX gpus also, but I don't really understand that.  I thought the demise of micro-stx came about because NVIDIA killed off the MXM format cards that micro-stx relied on.  Given that I've found zero examples of anyone actually selling an RTX micro-stx board, I'm assuming it's just internet rumor.

Anybody else out there still mourning the demise of STX?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 10:14:13 AM by bensrichards »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2019, 11:38:45 AM »
Hey all,

I know that TBG isn't recommending Mini-STX systems anymore, but as someone who did build one a while ago and still wishes the format had taken off, I wanted to share something of interest.  Specifically, it looks like ASRock is now selling a version of their barebones Desk Mini with an AMD A300 chipset board.  What I found particularly interesting was that the listings for this product on Newegg states that there is support for Ryzen 3200G and 3400G processors.  It's unclear to me whether that means all the BIOS are in order to run those processors, or rather just that the socket is compatible.  Still, I'm pretty intrigued by the idea of packing my SilverStone VT02 with a 3400G processor.  I think that would make a screaming home office machine with the chops for running last generation games at 1080p and reasonable quality settings.

I've heard some noise online about micro-stx boards with RTX gpus also, but I don't really understand that.  I thought the demise of micro-stx came about because NVIDIA killed off the MXM format cards that micro-stx relied on.  Given that I've found zero examples of anyone actually selling an RTX micro-stx board, I'm assuming it's just internet rumor.

Anybody else out there still mourning the demise of STX?

bensrichards,

You know I absolutely love the STX format (I currently run my STX sample build as my kitchen PC), and I've thought long and hard about that A300 model since it was first announced. Here's my issue with it: it's just not widely available enough for me to recommend it on the site. It's available only through Newegg in the US, or through third-party sellers on Amazon. It won't fit the stock coolers included with Ryzen processors, and while it includes a mini cooler, it's not really ideal for anything in the Ryzen family (it would be fine for Athlons, but their coolers fiit). Note that the case was originally designed around Intel's 46mm-tall coolers, which isn't surprising given that Intel created the mini-STX format. Another major concern I have is whether AsRock will support the motherboard in the future. It isn't sold at retail (which I wish it were for VT02 owners like you and me!), and that means that once the Deskmini is discontinued, BIOS support will likely stall or end, meaning CPU upgrades will be hard despite socket compatibility. To sum it up, I feel it's just too much of a one-off experiment to promote on TBG, and in part I feel a bit burned that I put STX systems in the hands of so many readers only to have them left in the cold regarding upgrades. And yeah, there's no chance you'll get an Nvidia graphics card for this system, given that Asrock isn't even selling it with an expansion slot and there are no other STX systems today.

What are your thoughts given this background?

By the way, it's unacceptable to me that you haven't signed up for the TBG prize giveaway, given that you are a frequent contributor. You better sign up soon! ;)

bensrichards

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2019, 05:50:39 PM »
I understand where youíre coming from, Ari.  It makes sense that if youíre making recommendations for large numbers of readers, STX probably isnít the right recommendation anymore. To me, STX as it is now feels like an enthusiast project more than a best case solution for any mainstream user.  I love sff builds, so Iím still interested, but if Iím honest, I canít think of a great reason to keep upgrading mine other than the fact that I get enjoyment from the building process.

To your specific points though, theyíre not deal breakers for me, even if they may be for lots of other folks looking for the best value proposition. My personal biggest gripe is that I have to buy a DeskMini to get the board. As you know, I passed on the DeskMini already in favor of the VT02. Nothings changed there. I still donít want ASRockís case. But then again, with the crazy premiums for current gen AMD ITX boards having warped my view of what a sff Mobo should cost, I might consider buying a DeskMini just to harvest the board.

I agree the cooler packaged with it looks very ďmeh.Ē I read recently that taking the shroud off a wraith spire cooler will allow it to fit inside the desk mini case, so that could be an option. More likely though Iíd invest in a Noctua NH-9La.  Noctua has my business now that Iíve experienced the quality of the NH-L12s in my FTZ01.

As for continued BIOS support being an obstacle to upgradeability, I guess the honest answer is I donít expect that much ability to upgrade with my better supported boards either, so I see that as a neutral here. For example, Iíve still not forgiven Intel for making a tiny change to its socket that precludes me upgrading the CPU in my current H110 STX build.  In that case BIOS support didnít matter because Intel made sure you needed a new board for 8th gen (or whatever they settled on calling the 8000 series processors). Cynically, I expect that kind of thing to keep happening, thus reducing the lifespan of my mobos, regardless of support from the mobo manufacturer.

Anyway, basically Iím still interested in juicing up an AMD STX system with a 3400g and a Noctua cooler.  Iíll go ahead and admit it wonít be a good value, but it will be tiny, and beat the pants off most anything else in the size range. Itís also probably still cheaper than a NUC. And for bonus points, I could stick it to Intel and NVIDIA with a syste with none of their big components.

Ben
 







Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Build
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2019, 08:26:34 PM »
Just one thought on all of this. What Intel pulled on the socket 1151 rev. 2 was unheard of even for Intel, and would never be done by AMD. Socket AM4 will support updated CPUs for multiple generations beyond the current one.

Intel historically had never allowed a socket to live longer than two generations before physically changing it. After the core 6000 and 7000 series were released, intel disabled further updates via firmware despite there being no physical difference in the the 8000 and 9000 series. It was artificial obsolescence for the sake of keeping up appearances of progress. Remember, today's Intel CPUs use an architecture first introduced in 2015's Skylake.