Biostar Shows Off AM4 X370 Mini-ITX Motherboard




/ 2 years ago

Biostar Shows Off AM4 X370 Mini-ITX Motherboard

In the wake of AMD’s Ryzen release, many system builders have been left asking where all the small-form factor and mini-ITX motherboards are. Even back during CES, the smallest size previewed in person at AMD’s booth was a micro-ATX board. Out of all manufacturers, Biostar is the first to show off their AM4 Mini-ITX solution on their Facebook page showing an X370 chipset based Mini-ITX motherboard from their Racing series.

What is interesting about this is the use of the AM4 X370 chipset. AMD has formulated two special chipsets that are specifically for small-form factor builds: X300 and A300. The idea behind this is that such a small space can only use so many features so it is more economical to only provide what is needed (such as not having extra PCI-E lanes) rather than a full fledged flagship chipset offering on an ITX board.

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Biostar begs to differ however if they are using an AM4 X370 chipset on their Racing series X370 Mini-ITX solution. The Biostar X370GT has one PCIe x16 Gen3 expansion slot for graphics, two SATA3 ports and one M.2 slot with support for what looks like up to 2242 M.2 modules. It has display connectors in the rear for DVI and HDMI so it will be ready for AMD’s Ryzen APUs when they come out. That leaves out plenty of unused features for the X370 chipset however since they could have used any other AMD chipset and still retain the features. It is not like Intel where overclocking is locked on non-Z chipsets so even if they went with an X300 chipset users can overclock both the CPU and RAM. The only other feature that the X370 has that the X300 does not is the native USB 3.1 Gen2 support but that can be alleviated via a 3rd party controller switching from the PCIe x4 Gen3 available via the X300 chipset. Hopefully the extra cost of using the X370 chipset does not carry over compared to using an X300 chipset, we would just have to wait and see.

Biostar Teases AM4 X370 Mini-ITX Motherboard

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Comments

4 Responses to “Biostar Shows Off AM4 X370 Mini-ITX Motherboard”
  1. Patrick Bateman says:

    Interesting. It looks like instead of waiting for X300 to be released, they’re going ahead with the currently available X370 to steal some of the market share early, which is a good business move.

  2. AJSB says:

    The issue is also that X300 chipset is UNDERPOWERED not only as for USB total number of connectors (more exactly ZERO, ), but also in SATA connectors (, more exactly, ZERO.

    So, any MoBo build with X300 or A300 chipsets would be very limited about not only USB connectors but also about SATA connectors.

    Those underpowered chipsets are only good to make mini-ITX budget MoBos in the 30-40$ price range.
    A great replacement for AM1 together with a Bristol Ridge 35W APU and no more than that.

    This is why BIOSTAR gone all in with X370 chipset in this Mobo…there will be also a B350 variant that will only differ in the chipset, all other specs will be the same.

    BTW, it accepts 42, 60 and 80mm M.2 SSDs.

    • Peter Schmidt says:

      X300 isn’t underpowered, at all. It’s perfectly fine when you consider it’s meant for ITX boards. Remember, the chipset itself might not come with all the features you mentioned but the CPU will. In many cases, the motherboard manufacturer will use any spare PCIe lanes for 3rd party controllers. That being said, X300 builds do support 4x USB 3.1 hosts* and at least 2x SATA III ports. It has 1x PCIE 3.0 x16 lane for a GPU, and then 2x x8 lanes for anything else (like M.2 or ports).

      * The amount of host ports isn’t the same as the total amount of USB ports. In the vast majority of cases, a single USB host is split into at LEAST 2x USB ports via an integrated hub. In other words if you have a chipset that supports 2x USB hosts but a motherboard with 8x USB ports, the motherboard has 2 hubs splitting up those hosts into 8 ports. I’ve seen integrated hubs split up a single USB host into 6 ports. That being said, having 4x USB 3.1 hosts is VERY nice.

      Anyway, USB is more of those things where less is more. Never buy into motherboards that have more USB ports than you actually need, because you’re just lowering your total bandwidth.

      • AJSB says:

        WRONG:
        X300 chipset by itself have ZERO USB *PORTS*.
        With X300 the only available USB *PORTS* are the ones of the CPU or APU, witch with AM4 socket is ALWAYS FOUR USB *PORTS*.
        There is NO USB hosts to be split and there is only 2 SATA *PORTS* supplied NOT via X300 but via APU/CPU and THAT’S IT.
        PERIOD.

        For some, 4 USB ports might be enough, NOT for me.
        X300 AFAIC is GARBAGE to be used in very low budget Mini-ITX MoBos and evidence of that is BIOSTAR didn’t give a S**T about it and gone instead to X370 and B350 chipsets in their Mini-ITX Mobos (might also later release some very low budget ITX Mobos with that X300/A300 garbage but that’s another story).

        Now, if the other MoBo AIB partners are dumb enough to press on with X300, be my guest, i know that then, i won’t spend money with their Mini-ITX MoBos….or they are not that dumb and might in the end also provide X370 and B350 Mini-ITX MoBos.

        BIOSTAR decision took many by surprise and there were some saying that the initial specs were a typo, and that the X370GTN, no matter had X370 in name, chipset was X300 or even that MoBo was called X300GTN :))

        Boy, what a surprise many had when BIOSTAR released their Mini-ITX MoBo pics :))))

        BIOSTAR made that move for a reason and the reason is that X300 CRIPPLES USB and SATA total amount of PORTS.
        In Mini-ITX

        Right now, clearly, BIOSTAR seems ahead of competition as for development of X370 Mini-ITX boards.

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