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AMD Ryzen Zen 3 or Zen 4 mini-ITX motherboards with 4 2.5G Ethernet ports

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Brandon Lee
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Hardware manufacturer Changwang has introduced new mini-ITX motherboards designed for NAS systems, integrating mobile Zen 3 and Zen 4 APUs from the Ryzen 7000 series. These motherboards, despite featuring mobile Ryzen APUs, conform to the mini-ITX standard and are equipped with an x16 PCIe slot compatible with gaming GPUs, two M.2 slots for PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and multiple Ethernet ports, marking a significant advancement in the mini-PC domain. I could see these being a great option for those who want to build their own home lab server around this form factor.

Changwang's venture into motherboards with mobile Ryzen 7000 APUs seems to be a pioneering effort, though not entirely without precedent. Minisforum had earlier launched a mini-ITX board powered by a Ryzen 7 7745HX CPU, and Erying Technology, akin to Changwang, debuted motherboards with mobile 14th Generation Intel CPUs.

Changwang's lineup includes four Ryzen 7000 APUs: Ryzen 9 7940HS, Ryzen 7 7840HS, Ryzen 7 7735HS, and Ryzen 5 7640HS. The Ryzen 9 7940HS and Ryzen 7 7840HS share similar eight-core configurations, differing slightly in boost clock speed, while the Ryzen 5 7640HS offers a six-core variant. Notably, the Ryzen 7 7735HS deviates by utilizing the Zen 3 Rembrandt chip, marking a unique integration of this chip into a standard desktop motherboard.

The Changwang motherboard includes two M.2 slots for PCIe 4.0 SSDs, although the Phoenix APUs' limitation of 16 total PCIe lanes means installing M.2 SSDs reduces the x16 slot's lanes. The board's rear I/O features four USB ports, including one with USB4 support, alongside four Ethernet ports capable of 2.5 gigabits, catering to networking aficionados.

Images below courtesy of Changwang.


This development arrives at a time when AMD has just unveiled its Ryzen 8000G series APUs for desktops, employing the same Phoenix chip as the Ryzen 7040HS models. The Ryzen 8000G series offers enhancements in speed, customization, and the convenience of being upgradable like traditional desktop chips, presenting a challenge to Changwang's offering.

However, Changwang maintains a competitive edge in pricing. The motherboard, equipped with a Ryzen 7 7840HS, is priced at approximately $400 (2,888 Yuan), offering a cost-effective option compared to the Ryzen 7 8700G priced at $329 and the starting price of $130 for the cheapest AM5 mini-ITX boards. Changwang's motherboard distinguishes itself with the inclusion of four Ethernet ports, a feature not found on any AM5 motherboards, underscoring its appeal for specific networking uses.

Posted : 03/02/2024 6:06 pm