After a steady stream of ATX and Micro-ATX form factor motherboard launches by various manufacturers, Biostar releases the very first Mini ITX AM4 motherboards for the AMD Ryzen series of processors.
Ever since the Ryzen launch in March, people have been anxiously awaiting a Mini ITX release. After a long wait, their prayers have been answered by Biostar, with the release of 2 motherboards in this form factor.
What is Mini-ITX?
This form factor is popular among PC builders who want smaller machines, without compromising on the hardware they can pack within. Even smaller form factors such as the Nano-ITX, the Pico-ITX, and the Mobile-ITX also exist. However, they aren’t used for traditional PC builds, instead, providing a platform for smaller devices such as Set Top Boxes, DVRs, Media Centers, etc.
The Brand-New Mini-ITX AM4 Motherboards
Biostar built these motherboards around the 2 most popular AMD chipsets in the market — the BIOSTAR RACING X370GTN featuring the X370 enthusiast chipset and the BIOSTAR RACING B350GTN housing the mainstream B350 chipset. However, the other specifications of both the motherboards are identical.
Biostar Racing X370GTN
This has to be the cheapest X370 motherboard on the market currently. However, since the expansion slots on it are limited to only one, the X370 chipset cannot utilize the extra headroom it gets for SLI™ and multi-GPU support. Moreover, the number of I/O ports are exactly the same as its B350 variant as well.
Suggested Retail Price: $129
Biostar Racing B350GTN
With a $20 lower price, this compact motherboard features the same technical specifications as its X370 counterpart, making it an ideal purchase for those who aren’t really bothered with the chipset. Moreover, since the AMD B350 chipset does allow overclocking, your Ryzen CPUs can be pushed as far as you like on these boards just as well. However, finer details and build quality of the motherboard might differ, but this can only be confirmed once reviews start appearing on the internet.
Suggested Retail Price: $109
All the features boasted by the Biostar Racing™ series of motherboards are present on these new Mini ITX AM4 motherboards as well. A few are:
VIVID LED DJ – Control your motherboard LEDs with the Biostar Vivid LED DJ utility. Options to play around with special effects like music-reactive LED animation are present as well.
5050 LED Fun Zone – The LED Fun Zone provides two additional 5050 LED headers for enthusiasts to power any further lighting in/on their gaming rigs.
FLY.NET – Advertised to provide a smooth, lag-free multiplayer gaming experience, this motherboard uses the Dragon LAN hardware and combines it with the FLY.NET bandwidth management software. The jury is still out on whether this will have any real-world performance improvement in multiplayer titles.
CPU Support: AMD A-series APU / Ryzen CPU / NPU for Socket AM4
Maximum CPU TDP (Thermal Design Power) : 95Watt
Memory Support Dual Channel: DDR4 3200(OC)/ 2933(OC)/ 2667/ 2400/ 2133/ 1866 MHz. Support Non-ECC & ECC Un-buffered DIMM Memory modules. 2 x DDR4 DIMM Memory Slot. Max. Supports up to 32GB Memory
Storage: 4 x SATA3 Connector
Support SATA RAID: 0,1,10
1 x M.2 Key M 32Gb/s Connector, support M.2 type 2260/ 2280 SATA 6Gb/s & PCI-E Storage
LAN: Realtek RTL8118AS – 10/100/1000 Controller
Support Super LAN Surge Protection
CODEC: Realtek ALC892 8-Channel Blu-ray Audio
Support BIOSTAR Hi-Fi
USB: 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/s) Type-C port (1 on rear I/Os)
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/s) Type-A port (1 on rear I/Os)
6x USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gb/s) port (4 on rear I/Os and 2 via internal header)
2x USB 2.0 port (2 via internal header)
Expansion Slots: 1 x PCI-E x16 3.0 Slot(x16 for Ryzen CPU only, NPU/APU run at x8 speed)
REAR I/O: 1 x PS/2
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Port
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Port
1 x HDMI Connector, resolution up to 4096 x 2160 @24Hz or 3840 x 2160 @30Hz
1 x DVI-D Connector, resolution up to 1920 x 1200 @60Hz
1 x RJ-45 Port
5 x Audio Connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Port
INTERNAL I/O: 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header
1 x USB 2.0 Header
4 x SATA3 6Gb/s Connector
1 x M.2 Key M 32Gb/s Connector, support M.2 type 2260/ 2280 SATA 6Gb/s & PCI-E Storage(on the back of the motherboard)
1 x Front Audio Header
1 x Front Panel Header
1 x CPU Fan Header
1 x System Fan Header
2 x 5050 LED Header
DIMENSION: Mini ITX Form Factor Dimension: 17cm x 17cm ( W x L )
Considering the fact that these two motherboards are the first Mini ITX AM4 motherboards for AMD Ryzen, the Biostar Racing B350GTN and X370GTN will be a boon for those who cannot wait to get started on their build.
However, if you are fine with waiting for options, the next couple of months should see more AM4 mini ITX motherboard launches from other manufacturers.