MSI Cubi 2 Plus PCs make the most of mini-STX mobos


— 10:37 AM on February 23, 2016

A little while ago, Intel introduced its 5x5 motherboard standard, now called mini-STX. These mobos are even itty-bittier than Mini-ITX boards, measuring a mere 5" x 5". MSI is now taking advantage of that new standard for its Cubi 2 Plus lineup of mini PCs.

A mini-STX motherboard with an H110 chipset serves as a base for the Skylake S CPUs powering the machine. MSI offers versions of the Cubi 2 Plus with Core i3-6100T, Core i5-6500T, or Core i7-6700T CPUs. Two RAM slots for DDR4 can be tapped for up to 32GB of capacity.

The storage department comprises an M.2 SATA SSD with up to 256GB of space, and a 2.5" slot which can come factory-fitted with a hard drive as large as 1TB. The Cubi has a plentiful selection of USB ports, offering three USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 Type-C connector, and a card reader at the front, plus two USB 3.0 Type-A ports at the back. For network connectivity, MSI includes the requisite 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 controller, and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. DisplayPort and HDMI outputs round out the port selection.

For businesses looking to downsize their PCs, MSI is offering a vPro variant of the Cubi 2 Plus. This machine is similar to the regular model in almost all aspects, except its motherboard has a Q170 chipset with vPro support. That model also has a serial port thrown in, too.

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