Remember Apollo Lake? Intel's latest low-power SoC family actually launched as the Atom-class counterpart to Kaby Lake, but there has been little fanfare surrounding its release. Many people probably aren't aware that Apollo Lake still exists, after all the noise the tech press made when Intel cancelled the Broxton and Willow Trail SoCs which used the same Goldmont core. Apollo Lake is the successor to Braswell and brings numerous refinements over that series, including DDR4 support, drastically improved IPC compared to its predecessor, and a Gen9 graphics architecture. Our friends at Anandtech have a full writeup of Apollo Lake if you want more information.
In this particular implementation, Asus is using DDR3 memory. The board has two slots for DDR3 or DDR3L at clock speeds up to 1866 MT/s. The Intel HD Graphics 500 IGP can output via HDMI or VGA, although the HDMI connector appears to be of the pre-2.0 variety. The J3455M-E does include a PCI Express x16 physical slot, but don't plan on sticking a graphics card in this board. All of the PCIe slots on the board are wired with a single lane of PCIe 2.0, owing to the SoC's meager six lanes of PCIe connectivity.
The board includes a number of legacy ports. PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, a DB-25 parallel port, and the aforementioned HD-15 VGA connector all appear on the back panel. Asus also includes a header for an RS-232 serial port. Those features, along with the passively-cooled SoC, could make this board a good choice for use inside kiosks or signage. There's nothing stopping an enterprising builder from using this in a low-profile, low-power desktop PC, though. The board includes Gigabit Ethernet and 8-channel audio, both powered by Realtek.
Asus hasn't provided pricing or availability details for the new motherboard.
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