Connect with us

Hot and How?

ASRock DeskMini B660 review

The case is familiar, otherwise almost everything is new: With the ASRock DeskMini B660, Intel’s Alder Lake platform has arrived in STX format. The small PC offers a lot of performance, a home that is more than sufficient in the (home) office. Storage options and I/O are also convincing. But the mini-PC in the test is not entirely without flaws.

ASRock DeskMini: Between NUC and Mini-ITX PC

For years, ASRock DeskMini has stood for a mini PC series that can offer a lot of performance in a small space. With the test of the DeskMini 110, the topic found its place on ComputerBase for the first time in 2016.

With its approach, the PC series is located between classic Intel NUCs with soldered notebook processor and full-fledged Mini-ITX desktop solutions, but combines the same socketable desktop CPUs as Mini-ITX computers in the STX format on a spartan board – it doesn’t work without compromise. But ASRock succeeds again very well with the DeskMini B660, as it can prove in the everyday test.

ASRock DeskMini B660

ASRock does not throw the well-known virtues of the DeskMini series overboard, which a look at the first model from 2016, but also at the DeskMini X300 (test) released in 2020, brings to mind again.

Larger CPU socket brings challenges

In order to accommodate the large new socket LGA 1700 for the processors of the Alder Lake aka Core i-12000 series and probably also Raptor Lake aka Core i-13000, ASRock had to create a little more space on the board. The two DIMM slots had to move a little further outwards, especially since the drill holes for the cooling had to be accommodated somewhere. They are slightly further apart in the new socket than in Intel’s previous LGA desktop solutions.

At the upper end, as usual, the chipset connects almost seamlessly and is now surpassed by the cooler to a small extent, which is not bad at all, since the chipset itself is completely *text muted* and does not have a passive cooling element. On the other side is the SSD slot. In the end, the chipset is almost “buried” under the two elements.

ASRock DeskMini B660 without housing
ASRock DeskMini B660 without housing

The base, on the other hand, has almost no influence on the height. In this generation, the boxed coolers from Intel fit into the DeskMini again. The new Alder Lake model with a copper core also does its job in the 65-watt test subjects. There is no PCI Express slot.

The two SO-DIMM slots work according to the DDR4 standard. This is a good choice for the mini PC, this memory is very cheap on the market. The supported standard of DDR4-3200, for example, is loaded without any problems via the XMP profile. Alder Lake also broadly supports the DDR5 standard and the prices have recently dropped significantly, but they are still in a significantly more expensive league than DDR4: around 50 percent more costs can be expected.

Support for M.2 SSD with PCI Express 5.0

Speaking of the SSD slot: “BLAZING M.2” is what ASRock calls the most important slot for mass storage, because for the first time it offers official support for a PCIe 5.0 SSD with 4 lanes, which can then theoretically transfer up to 128 Gbit/s (16 GB/s) – twice that of a PCIe 4.0 solution. Since the 16 PCI Express 5.0 lanes of the processor for the graphics card do not have to or cannot be used in the mini PC, ASRock frees them for the memory slot.

The manufacturer takes a similar approach with the Z690 PG Velocita, among others. There, when using the fastest standard for mass storage, the graphics card has to make do with only 8 lanes, as ASRock describes in the manual (PDF document):

PCIE1 (PCIe 5.0 x16 slot) is used for PCIe x16 lane width graphics cards.
The Blazing M.2 Socket (M2_4, Key M) supports type 2260/2280 PCIe Gen5x4 (128 Gb/s) mode.
[…] If M2_4 is occupied, PCIE1 will downgrade to x8 mode.

ASRock on the Z690 PG Velocita

When asked by ComputerBase, the manufacturer confirmed that PCI Express 5.0 for M.2 SSDs works with Alder Lake processors without any problems. Now there is only the small obstacle that no suitable SSDs are available so far. But it’s not ASRock’s fault. The company has implemented it confidently, because the lanes are there and would otherwise always be unused. Now at least the option is there to pick them up at some point.

ASRock DeskMini B660 without housing

ASRock DeskMini B660 without housing

The underside offers space for two HDDs/SSDs and another M.2 solution - hidden between the circuit board and tray

The underside offers space for two HDDs/SSDs and another M.2 solution – hidden between the circuit board and tray

However, an SSD is not the end, although it is the only one that can be found on the top. On the back there is still space for a second M.2 SSD on the board, here now according to the classic PCIe 4.0 standard with four lanes. The mainboard tray was also designed in such a way that two 2.5-inch HDDs/SSDs can be accommodated on the underside. Two suitable mini-SATA interfaces can be found there. In the end, the system can thus accommodate four mass storage devices.

The features of the ASRock DeskMini B660 as a barebone

Wi-Fi still only optional

Some things in the equipment stand out – unfortunately also because they are only optional. As last time, Wi-Fi comes first here, which is only available as an option. Although not everyone prefers a WLAN connection, it is cumbersome to connect a thick LAN cable, especially with small PCs, especially if the computer can be stowed away in a small corner.


Inside, using the M.2 2230 port for the optional Wi-Fi module is rather a hindrance, because it’s big and takes up a lot of space on such a small board. The soldered variants used in NUCs and notebooks today are only a fraction as expansive. The hope dies last that ASRock will use it at some point, but Wi-Fi should no longer be an option. The manufacturer might then no longer have to banish the second M.2 slot for mass storage to the back. To get to him is currently very cumbersome.

Board ASRock DeskMini B660
Board ASRock DeskMini B660

In the past, small PCs almost always included a mounting kit so that the PC could be stowed directly behind the monitor. ASRock has also banished this to the “optional” department. However, since the PC is a bit larger anyway and can easily be positioned elsewhere on the desk, the circumstance weighs less heavily. In the end, market analyzes at ASRock should have shown that very few DeskMini users hang the PC behind the screen.

In the end, that makes some things easier too. The I/O panel offers almost the same connections as a regular desktop PC, four small ports are also easily accessible via the front.

Back of ASRock DeskMini B660
Back of ASRock DeskMini B660

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hot and How?

Zyxel presents its new XGS2220 switches

The firm Zyxel has presented its new XGS2220 switches, a line of switches that is designed to cover the needs of SMEs without problems, both in terms of security and performance, two important keys taking into account the role that networks play today in any company.

The new Zyxel XGS2220 switches have a classic design and format, which simplifies and facilitates its integration into our SME, and are prepared to support the latest Technologys in the sector. In total we will find six different models with different configurations that will adapt to the specific needs of each SME, and to their budget.

Base model includes 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports, while the most advanced model has a total of 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports. We can also choose between three models with PoE (Power Over Ethernet) interface, and a fiber-based model. These new switches can be managed independently or through the cloud thanks to the Nebula platform.

Zyxel has confirmed that all models of the XGS2220 series comes with a free year of Nebula Pro, which means that we will be able to enjoy advanced IGMP technology and network analysis alerts, as well as the simplicity, scalability and flexibility of Zyxel’s Nebula network solution.

Gonzalo Echeverría, country manager of Zyxel Iberia, has commented:

Warning, scroll to continue reading

“The new XGS2220 series provides our customers with a powerful solution for the increasing bandwidth demands of today’s devices. Our new series of switches has been designed to handle this pressure and equally provide different new features and management options to make the operation as easy as possible for the user”.

Zyxel’s XGS2220 switches easily adapt to environments with a consumption value between 400 and 960 wattsallows us to easily integrate WiFi 6/6E access points, VoIP, surveillance and AV devices in the network, they have flexible uplinks (up to six 10G uplinks, four 10G SFP+ and two 10G multi-giga RJ 45), support network mode AV, have Layer 2 functions (QinQ VLAN tunneling, VLAN translation) and Layer 3 static routing capabilities.

More information: Zyxel.

Continue Reading

Hot and How?

D-Link supports the initiative “Digitalize your Town”

The well-known company D-Link has renewed its support for the “Digitalize your Town” initiative, and on this occasion it has opted for a new educational competition Aimed at students in the 4th year of ESO and 1st year of Baccalaureate, whose objective is the creation of projects that can be used to contribute to the development and digitization in rural areas. These projects are focused on solving real problems in their towns and regions.

This competition has the participation of the Higher Technical School of Telecommunications Engineers (ETSIT) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), and the truth is that it is a very interesting proposal and with a very clear value for everything it represents, and because it encourages younger students to venture into the world of technology, and specifically in network solutions.

Digitizing emptied Spain is quite a challenge, and this competition picks up the gauntlet without any fear. In it will participate 20 teams of students from educational centers spread over different provinces linked to the rural environment, such as Ávila, Cáceres, León, Murcia, Soria, Teruel, Zamora and Zaragoza. The competition of this second edition of “Digitalize your town” began in December 2022 and will end on June 21, 2022, with an awards ceremony that will take place in Aranda de Duero (Burgos).

As tutors of the teams they have participated university students studying telecommunications on different Spanish campuses at the UPM, and also at the University of Zaragoza, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the University of Valladolid and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena. His mission has been to guide and support the contestants in the development of the proposals.

The objective of the project is promote training in digital skills for the new generations, as well as encourage STEAM vocations (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). In the same way, it is intended that all parties involved in the initiative become aware of the problem of depopulation in rural areas, seeing it as an attractive environment for entrepreneurship in which to develop their professional career.

Warning, scroll to continue reading

At the corporate level, this second edition of “Digitalize your Town” It has the participation of companies such as D-Link, Huawei and the Cellnex foundationin addition to the involvement of the Aranda de Duero City Council and the support of Teleco Renta (plan to promote Telecommunications studies).

The theme of the projects presented is very broad and the quality of the presentations and their detail is outstandingwith videos and different materials that explain what the project is for and how it has been carried out both at the component and software level.

All the teams They have focused on proposing solutions to real problems in their towns or regions within the field of transport, health, agriculture or livestock. There are also proposals related to tourism. The jury, made up of experts from the telecommunications sector, including D-Link, will choose the 3 winners. In addition, another prize will be awarded to the team that obtains the highest number of “likes” on the competition’s Instagram and YouTube accounts with the presentation video of its proposal.

Antonio Navarro, general director of D-Link Iberia, has commented:

«We are very grateful to the UPM and to ETSIT for having given us the possibility of continuing to contribute our grain of sand to the promotion of engineering applied to rural areas. At D-Link we have the necessary technology to facilitate Internet access in rural areas where there is no broadband infrastructure, with various ranges of 4G/5G devices, as well as access points that allow long-distance radio links to extend the coverage to villages or isolated areas from Internet access nodes”.

More information: Digitize your town.

Continue Reading

Hot and How?

Wolters Kluwer and the Linkids Foundation participate in the rehabilitation of a nursery school in The Gambia

Last February the inauguration took place in The Gambia of the new nursery school Dr. Ancha Nursery. This recently opened educational center once again welcomes 70 boys and girls from the town of Babylon, near Lamin, between the ages of 3 and 6.

This is a rehabilitation and improvement project that is part of the financing shared between Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Spain and the linkids foundation. The children’s center in the town of Gambia had been closed for almost two years, after the decree by the Gambian government to close it, and it was found with significant damage that prevented its normal activity.

The Dr. Ancha Nursery school is a reality once again

The minors of Babylon were left without school after the rains that occurred in the summer of 2021 ended up destroying the entire back of the school and consequently leaving other rooms such as the bathrooms, the facade or the school itself unable to be used. inside the classrooms.

The opening day was experienced as a party by all, especially by the 70 children who have thus recovered their educational center. The general director of Wolters Kluwer, Tomás Font, together with the president of the Linkids Foundation, Yeray Rivero, were in charge of the inaugural act.

The rehabilitation and adaptation of the space has consisted of the construction of a protective wall to prevent the rains from destroying the school again, and it has been reinforced both interior and exterior structures to avoid flooding. In the same way, the classrooms have been conditioned, equipped and decorated, all the furniture has been replaced, the toilets and the entrance patio have been rehabilitated, as well as the installation of a new water supply system through a deposit.

Warning, scroll to continue reading

As part of the speech on the opening day of the Dr. Ancha Nursery center, the general director of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Spain declared that both he and his company felt a great pride to be able to get involved in a project of such caliberand they believe that with their contribution they will create a better world, especially for the most disadvantaged child population.

In the same way, Tomàs Font assured that “At Wolters Kluwer we are convinced that education is the engine of progress in societies and we work to create learning opportunities, one of the objectives of the SDGs”.

The Wolters Kluwer Tax company adheres to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as part of an initiative carried out by the United Nations and which encompasses a total of 17 goals in the economic, social and environmental fields. .

For its part, the Linkids Foundation offers great development possibilities for social support actions both in the Canary Islands and in West Africa. The president of the foundation, Yeray Rivero gave a speech to those present in which he stated that they felt “proud to have a company like Wolters Kluwer that allows us to continue reinforcing our commitment to the development of the people who need it most and bet on creating positive futures”.

The vice president of the Linkids Foundation, Yaiza Aguiar, was later in charge of cutting the inaugural ribbon that thus opened a new stage for the school, the minors and the town. With this support between both companies in the restructuring and rehabilitation of the center, the families of Babylon can now enjoy an educational space with all the conditions.

Font stated that “All the employees and partners of Wolters Kluwer have contributed for years with our personal and collective effort in the development of a more sustainable and socially responsible business activity”and it is that the company of software solutions, information and services already has previously participated in other solidarity projects with the countrysuch as the fundraising for the Smiles for Gambia project of the NGO ASEDA Gambia and which had the support of all the employees.

Continue Reading