Minisforum continues to diversify its business beyond compact PCs and this week it introduced a rather unusual Mini-ITX motherboard with an MXM slot. Typically used for graphics cards, Minisforum's Eyertec AD650i motherboard instead comes with an MXM adapter to house up to three M.2 SSDs. All together, the Mini-ITX board is able to drive 4 M.2 SSDs, as well as a couple of SATA SSDs for good measure.

[making the platform suitable for an HTPC, NAS, or a small desktop that needs three M.2 drives.]

The Minisforum AD650i Mini-ITX motherboard itself is based on Intel's laptop-grade Core i7-12650H processor (6P + 4E CPU cores, up to 4.70 GHz, 24 MB cache, UHD Graphics with 64 EUs, 45W PBP) that can be paired with up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory using two SO-DIMMs, an M.2 NVMe/PCIe SSD, and two SATA 3.0 drives. Meanwhile, the MXM carrier board can add three more M.2 SSDs (albeit with a PCIe interface) that can be set to work in RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5 modes.

Since Minisforum supplies the MXM adapter for three M.2 drives with the Eyertec AD650i motherboard, it clearly positions the unit for NAS and similar devices that need to feature a lot of storage devices. Though as there are not a lot of high-capacity M.2-2280 SSDs around that can rival hard drives in terms of per-TB cost, the platform will likely land in something of a niche portion of the NAS segment.

Those who would like to use the Eyertec AD650i for a PC, the MXM slot is not limited to SSDs and can technically be used to install a graphics card. But as MXM graphics cards have fallen out of favor (in place of soldered-down solutions), finding one worth installing is a whole other matter.

Rounding out the rest of the I/O options for the AD650i, the board comes with a USB4-capable USB-C port, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth adapter, a 2.5 GbE port, and two HDMI display outputs.

Minisforum's Eyertec AD650i is now available from the company for ¥2,599 ($313 without VAT), which is not a particularly low price. Though, given the fact that we are dealing with a unique product, this is not something unexpected, but a price that high underscores the fact that this is likely to be a niche product.

Source: Minisforum's Weibo

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  • meacupla - Friday, September 8, 2023 - link

    It never says what speed the m.2 slot is on the mobo, but the MXM module is only PCIe 3.0 speeds.

    Power is from a 19V laptop power brick. Presumably you'd want at least a 180W?

    At $313, I think it would be competitive against an Flashtor6 FS6706T. The catch being Flashtor6 is an all NVMe solution, where as this mobo is only 4xNVMe + 2xSATA.

    If you want more SATA ports, I guess you can buy 3x JMB585 NVMe to SATA adapters for a total of 15 more? Powering such a contraption being another story.
  • FWhitTrampoline - Saturday, September 9, 2023 - link

    "Those who would like to use the Eyertec AD650i for a PC, the MXM slot is not limited to SSDs and can technically be used to install a graphics card. But as MXM graphics cards have fallen out of favor (in place of soldered-down solutions), finding one worth installing is a whole other matter."

    No MXM Modules is a great Option Considering that AMD's No Longer releasing Desktop APUs of The Socket Packaged Variety. So just think about some AM5 Mini ITX MB with an MXM slot adapter and that still has an AM5 socket so I can build some Inwin Chopin like Very Small For Factor DIY Build there and us some Ryzen 7000 desktop processor in that with that only RDNA2/2CU graphics and with the MXM based dGPU useful for gaming.
  • FWhitTrampoline - Saturday, September 9, 2023 - link

    This post is not a Reply to meacupla's post it is a reply to the article.
  • dontlistentome - Saturday, September 9, 2023 - link

    That price isn't bad - a CPU with that many threads ain't cheap, and if you feed it decent power limits (which presumably in a case it can handle), the performance isn't that far off the desktop ones.

    Main issue for me is idle power - none of these vendors seem great at idle optimisation, so these limited devices (even the N100 ones) often idle around 10w (laptops are 1-2w screen off) - it's pretty easy to do that with a desktop board and CPU which is cheaper and with far fewer compromises. An 8 thread i3 12th gen will happily sit inside a 30w power limit so there's often not that much to choose between them.
  • FWhitTrampoline - Saturday, September 9, 2023 - link

    Why not get that Framwork Laptop MB that's just $199(New MB) with that older generation Intel Quad core processor and get that Cooler Master case that's for converting old Framework laptop MBs into Mini Desktop PCs. You'll Need to purchase the Modular Port adapters and bower brick as well for that but I'll bet that it's low power using at idle and that you can pair with a Portable USB powered Display or just use it in some headless server configuration.
  • FWhitTrampoline - Saturday, September 9, 2023 - link

    Edit: Bower to Power
  • Aspernari - Saturday, September 9, 2023 - link

    Because that hardware is absolute trash, isn't an ITX form factor, and requires all sorts of supporting components to make a functional device.

    Why not just do *horrible thing* instead of *good thing*?
  • FWhitTrampoline - Sunday, September 10, 2023 - link

    Then the InWin Chopin Max(Has larger fan/cooler clearance and the 200W Power supply is internal), It's the smallest build that can take a Mini-ITX MB but it's too small to accommodate any dGPU without a case mod! That's the maximum DIY friendly Very Small form factor build but on the AMD side that's limited to AM4/Ryzen 5700G at the top end because AMD's refusing to release any Ryzen 6000G or 7000G series Desktop APUs for the AM5 Platform. There are Intel options there but currently the Graphics is limited to whatever the latest 96EU/Lower EU count integrated graphics that Intel provides on the ADL/RPL platform.

    One can build a Ryzen 7000(RDNA2/2CU iGPU and not marketed as an APU) Desktop processor based Chopin system but that's not going to support much in the way of iGPU horsepower unless a eGPU is utilized or as stated earlier one is into case modding. And if one needs more power inside the Chopin then an HDPLEX GaN power supply can utilized at 250W and 500W configurations.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, September 11, 2023 - link

    So build a frankenstein PC instead of just buying the standard hardware that exists?

    Yeah OK....
  • erotomania - Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - link

    I'm glad this exists - I just don't see myself using it!

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