We are working on a number of Alder Lake-N reviews. Frankly, all E-core designs are very exciting as we get a performance boost over the previous generation as well as new features. Expect those reviews soon in our STH Mini PC series. In the meantime, ASRock has two new motherboards. The ASRock N100DC-ITX is the mITX platform. A bit larger is the ASRock N100M in a mATX form factor, which is really interesting given the N100’s capabilities.
ASRock N100DC-ITX and ASRock N100M
Both of the new motherboards support several common features. For example, they utilize the quad-core Intel N100 processor. They also have only a single DDR4 DIMM slot, Realtek 1GbE networking, Realtek ALC897 audio, two SATA ports and a PCIe Gen3 M.2 slot for storage, and an E-key M.2 slot for WiFi.
The ASRock N100DC-ITX can take a 19V DC power input. The four USB ports are USB is 3.2 Gen 1 so they are only 5Gbps ports. We also only get two display outputs HDMI and VGA.
The expansion slots are a PCIe Gen3 x4 slot but only x2 electrical.
The ASRock N100M takes things up a notch. It has three display outputs with VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort. It also has a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C to go along with the four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports.
On the expansion side, the N100M has a PCIe Gen3 x16 slot, but do not get your hopes up. This is only running in x2 mode. The PCIe x1 slot is a Gen3 as well.
While this is called a mATX form factor, it is actually 8.9″ x 7″ so it is not a full mATX platform.
The Intel N100 is an interesting CPU. It has four E-cores that are clocked higher than we saw in the N5105 and with more cache, as well as a newer GPU generation with things like AV1 decode. Intel also has a lower TDP on the new part but only a single memory channel. It should be interesting to see how the family fares and if folks adopt full-sized motherboards like these from ASRock or smaller platforms instead. If you want more connectivity, perhaps exposing that via a mITX or larger motherboard makes a lot of sense.