Asus’ Prime J4005I-C motherboard swims in Gemini Lake

An old proverb asserts that a squeaky wheel gets the grease. Asus' latest Prime J4005I-C mini-ITX motherboard comes with passive cooling devoid of any moving parts that might require lubrication. The board sports a soldered Intel Celeron J4005 two-core, two-thread Gemini Lake SoC. There's a pair of DDR4 DIMM slots, but the PCIe Express connector found on most Mini-ITX boards is missing. Instead, the motherboard has an M.2 E-keyed slot for adding a wireless card and an M-keyed PCI Express 2.0 x2 slot for an NVMe storage device.

The Prime J4005I-C is laden with old-school connectivity, including a pair of USB 2.0 connectors, analog audio jacks, a serial port, a VGA display output, and not one, but two PS/2 ports for ancient keyboards and pointing devices. More modern external I/O includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI output.

Onboard connectors include the usual headers for two SATA devices, additional USB ports, serial and parallel port pin headers, and an LVDS connector for connecting a compatible display. For the unfamiliar, LVDS is often used for the internal display connections inside laptops. That connector gives builders the option of making a homebrewed all-in-one system based on this board.

The J4005I-C supports three displays at the same time. The LVDS and VGA outputs support a maximum resolution of 1920×1200 at 60 Hz and the HDMI output can stretch to 4096×2304 at a measly 24 Hz. This limitation exists despite the fact that the Celeron J4005's IGP supports 4K resolutions at up to 60 Hz. The memory slots support a maximum of 8 GB of non-ECC DDR4 memory running in a dual-channel configuration. Maximum memory speed is 2133 MT/s, though we doubt that will limit the dual-core SoC's performance in any meaningful way.

Asus didn't provide any pricing or availability information for the Prime J4005I-C, but we imagine it'll be affordable and available soon. The manufacturer backs the board with a three-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • willmore
    • 2 years ago

    I agree with Goty and The Egg, this board has a strange mix of features. It doesn’t have two NICs, so routing is out. It has too few SATA parts (and no ECC), so NAS is out. It lacks eDP, so reasonable sized screens are out.

    Is it manybe meant for some PoS or maybe light industrial embedded applications? Kiosks and such? As much as I don’t like them, a raspberry pi is probably a better choice for most of those uses.

      • cmrcmk
      • 2 years ago

      How about a thin client? It would probably serve that role pretty well for a company willing to roll their own. An equivalent HP thin client would be a few hundred bucks (though it’d come with PSU, case and OS).

        • willmore
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, could be. That’s a pretty dense market. You’d need to have a pretty specific need not to go with an existing machine.

        • NTMBK
        • 2 years ago

        Once you add case, memory, storage and power supply, there’s no way this would be cost competitive with a dedicated thin client.

      • NovusBogus
      • 2 years ago

      Definitely embedded. LVDS, serial, and LPT/COM headers are big clues.

      • Klimax
      • 2 years ago

      RPi won’t cut it in too many cases. Assuming it would be possible to even run that SW on it.

      BTW: This would be also good candidate for interface computer in machinery. Often there are two components: embedded controller for machine itself and regular computer for GUI and other interfacing with communication going over private LAN (or if old equipment, serial/LPT).

    • willmore
    • 2 years ago

    So, maybe $40 for the board? The similar J1800 board was $31 and actually had a PCI-E 1x slot so you could put in a second NIC or SATA card and actually *do* something with the board.

    Good to see that they’re dual channel memory. That’s a nice step up form the ATOM mindset single channel stuff of the past.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      It hasn’t been single channel for a while, at least the mITX parts anyway.

      J1800 is actually two generations ago. Looks like Asus skipped the Apollo Lake generation and went straight to Gemini Lake.

      Not sure how it’ll only be $40? the MSP for Asus J1800I-C was $75.

        • Anton Kochubey
        • 2 years ago

        >Looks like Asus skipped the Apollo Lake generation and went straight to Gemini Lake.

        There were ASUS Prime J3355I-C (mini-ITX) and J3455M-E (Micro ATX)

          • DavidC1
          • 2 years ago

          Thanks. Their product page filter didn’t show them.

          $31 seems extremely cheap for the board. 2.5x that makes sense. I wonder where you can get it that cheap. The fastest part of previous generations are over $120.

    • The Egg
    • 2 years ago

    Why does it seem that all the boards which would do well on NAS duty are limited to just 2 SATA ports?

      • Anton Kochubey
      • 2 years ago

      There’s GIGABYTE J3455N-D3H with 4x SATA. Sadly no M.2 for a boot SSD, although with Linux-based NAS OSes it’s fine to boot off USB

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      Because Gemini Lake only has two built in SATA ports? If you want to add more you need an external SATA controller integrated on the board, which uses up a PCIe lane that you might want for something else.

    • Goty
    • 2 years ago

    LVDS? Psh, where’s my eDP?!

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