ASRock shows off its Gemini Lake fraternal twins

We wrote about Gigabyte's Gemini Lake motherboards a couple of days ago, and now fellow mainboard maker ASRock is showing off a couple of Mini-ITX boards based on Intel's latest efficiency-first SoCs. The J4105-ITX and J4105B-ITX are similar in terms of overall capabilities, though differences in ports and slots separate the pair. The twins use soldered-in, four-core, four-thread Intel Celeron J4105 SoCs and have a pair of DDR4 SODIMM slots supporting up to 8 GB of 2400 MT/s memory. Like Gigabyte's Gemini Lake boards, ASRock's fraternal twins bear no fans.

ASRock J4105B-ITX with full-length PCIe slot

The Celeron J4105 has Intel's UHD Graphics 600 IGP, which is capable of hardware-accelerated 4K H.265 encoding and decoding. Both boards have a reasonably-modern HDMI 1.4 port and a VGA connector for old-school analog video. The J4105-ITX adds a DVI connector and can drive three monitors at once. The HDMI port supports 4096×2160 output at 30 Hz, but the other display connectors are constrained to substantially lower resolutions.

ASRock J4105B-ITX rear I/O cluster

Both motherboards have Gigabit Ethernet ports, though neither one has integrated Wi-Fi. The J4105-ITX has an E-keyed M.2 slot for adding a Wi-Fi card. Users can install full-length PCIe expansion cards in the J4105B-ITX, though bandwidth is limited to two lanes of PCIe 2.0. The J4105-ITX, on the other hand, has a standard PCIe 2.0 x1 slot. The B-model can support two SATA drives, while the other unit gets four SATA connectors. Both boards have a variety of pin headers for adding additional audio jacks, USB ports, and serial COM ports.

ASRock J4105-ITX rear I/O cluster

As for rear I/O, both boards have two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, two PS/2 connectors for legacy keyboards and mice, a serial port for "legacy-er" hardware, and audio jacks. The J4105B-ITX adds in a parallel port, while the standard unit gets an S/PDIF optical audio output and extra audio jacks. There are some other minor differences between the boards, so interested buyers should make sure to give their spec sheets a good look before deciding between the pair.

ASRock J4105-ITX motherboard

ASRock didn't provide any pricing or availability information for the J4105-ITX and J4105B-ITX motherboards. Both models appear to target embedded applications, so prospective buyers might have to do some digging to find them.

Comments closed
    • NovusBogus
    • 2 years ago

    Definitely interested…I’ve been needing a low power, compact x86 Linux server and don’t want to go with throttle-tastic mobile silicon. Historically this line of ASRock boards has shown up on Newegg for about $75; throw in another $80 for that little enclosure the Pico PSU guys sell and you’ve got a larger but more robust alternative to the passive Zotac machine for about the same price.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      You also have an advantage of being a custom-built system. You only need to replace the board/cpu in a few generations, maybe memory, then it becomes a very cheap upgrade.

      Cheap, DIY, ultra low power, ultra small. What’s not to like?

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]install full-length PCIe expansion cards in the J4105B-ITX, though bandwidth is limited to two lanes of PCIe 2.0.[/quote<] Ouch.

      • Goty
      • 2 years ago

      I’m not sure it matters given the CPU performance. It’s not like you’re going to be putting a high performance GPU in there.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        You mean to tell me that you don’t have the slightest interest in seeing an N4105 in a TR CPU gaming benchmark roundup?

          • Ummagumma
          • 2 years ago

          No interest in the slightest….

          And with my luck the staff at TR will do just what you say.

      • ET3D
      • 2 years ago

      Mining works perfectly well with one PCIe lane. 🙂

    • Waco
    • 2 years ago

    4K decode…but no 4K/60 display output. Thanks ASRock.

    EDIT: Thanks for the correction chuckula. 🙂

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      I’d complain to Asrock about their output port selection.
      The chips support HDMI 2.0 @ 60Hz: [url<]https://www.cnx-software.com/tag/gemini-lake/[/url<]

    • colinstu12
    • 2 years ago

    Why no onboard 12-21v DC barrel plug? 🙁

      • Wirko
      • 2 years ago

      Also, is there any info about power consumption?

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        Well if you have to ask….

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t know why they do this either. So you have to waste money on a pico PSU to be most efficient. Having a direct connection to a brick style 12V or 19V supply would skip a conversion step and make it efficient and save money.

      It’s not like these boards use a ton of power. They did a test with previous generation Apollo Lake, and it had worst case consumption of 33W.

      [url<]http://www.nerd-monkey.com/test-7-asrock_j4205_itx_test_apollo_lake_with_hdmi_2.0_and_10_bit_hevc[/url<] Average power use in say, web browsing is going to be under 15W.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      So an update.

      I’ve read about it, and apparently the laptop-style brick power supplies suck and can fry your system. So going the traditional ATX connector with a power supply suited for low power like PicoPSU is a better solution.

        • colinstu12
        • 2 years ago

        I don’t know what you read but that’s completely wrong.

        They could probably fry your system if you supply one that provides the wrong voltage (too much) / reverse polarity, or is using a poorly built power supply… but that can be said about any power supply.

        Brick power supplies use much less space, and are generally more efficient as well (especially considering the power draw of such systems).

          • DavidC1
          • 2 years ago

          Considering how cheap the brick power supplies are in general, they have to be sacrificing something. For example, what about in a scenario with power line fluctuation?

          Besides, even if it doesn’t directly fry your system, the output voltage that isn’t as stable might result in an unstable system and cause other headaches.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Twins eh?

    Which one is the evil one?

      • JosiahBradley
      • 2 years ago

      Clearly the one with the Parallel port.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        Parallel port –> Parallel Universe –> Evil Spock Goatee.

        QED.

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