ASRock Launches Alder Lake-N Mini-ITX, Micro ATX Motherboards
ASRock has announced the N100M and N100DC-ITX motherboards for Small Form Factor (SFF) systems. The two new motherboards take advantage of Intel’s low-power Alder Lake-N processors, specifically the N100.
A product of the Intel 7 node (previously known as the 10nm SuperFin process), Alder Lake-N is essentially Alder Lake minus the P cores aimed at entry-level mobile devices. However, power-efficient chips with TDPs varying between 6 W and 12 W are also popular in embedded applications. N100M and N100DC-ITX adopt N100. The quad-core processor features four E-cores with a boost clock of 3.4 GHz and 6 MB of L3 cache.
The N100M follows the microATX form factor, while the N100DC-ITX comes as a mini-ITX motherboard. Both models feature a simple power delivery subsystem with a 2+1+1 design. Since the N100 is a 6W chip, this is a reasonable design. As a result, ASRock uses a passive heatsink to cool his N100. As a result, the N100M and N100DC-ITX feature a fanless cooling design and emit no noise during operation. The N100M is powered through a standard 24 pin power connector. In contrast, the N100DC-ITX is equipped with a DC jack compatible with a 19V power adapter.
The motherboard comes with one DDR4 memory slot. By default, the N100 only supports a single memory channel and memory modules up to DDR4-3200, DDR5-4800, or LPDDR5-4800. For ASRock, the vendor opted to support his DDR4 memory since DDR5 is still pretty expensive. This reduces investment costs for consumers. The N100 officially accommodates up to 16GB. However, ASRock claims that the N100M and N100DC-ITX will support up to 32 GB.
image 1 of 2
The N100 is powered by the Intel UHD Graphics Xe engine. Additionally, there are 24 EUs clocking up to 750 MHz. The iGPU may be useless for gaming, but it’s great for encoding and decoding workloads as it supports 10-bit HEVC and VP9 encoding, decoding, and AV1 decoding. The N100M features an HDMI 2.1 port, DisplayPort 1.4 output and one D-sub port. On the other hand, N100DC-ITX does not have DisplayPort 1.4 output.
Both motherboards have one PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot electrically limited to x2. However, the N100M has an additional PCIe 3.0 x1 expansion slot for consumers who want even more expandability. Unfortunately, neither motherboard has wireless connectivity. However, ASRock has built in his M.2 socket (Key E) to allow users to install his M.2 2230 wireless module separately.
Other features of the motherboards are almost identical. It has one M.2 slot that runs at PCIe 3.0 x2, supports drives up to 80mm in length, and has two SATA III connectors. The Realtek 8111H controller drives a single Gigabit Ethernet port. Meanwhile, the Realtek ALC897 audio codec offers a 7.1-channel audio experience.
The back panel of N100M has one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. Additionally, a PS/2 combo port is still available for those who prefer that interface. N100DC-ITX shows a slightly different layout. ASRock has replaced the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with a regular serial port.
ASRock did not disclose pricing or availability of the new motherboards.