ASRock J5005-ITX fanless board packs Pentium Silver power

We've seen a number of boards based on Intel's latest Goldmont SoCs, but the models we looked at all used the silicon maker's two-core, two-thread Celeron J4005 chip rather than the faster Pentium Silver J5005 processor. That changes with ASRock's J5005-ITX, a board that packs the four cores, four threads, and substantially-faster UHD Graphics 605 of the Pentium Silver J5005 chip into a fanless Mini-ITX form factor.

The headlining Pentium Silver has a base clock of 1.5 GHz and boosts up to a more stimulating 2.8 GHz when power and thermal conditions allow. The 18 execution units clocked at up to 800 MHz within the chip's UHD Graphics 605 IGP should give the J5005 considerably more graphics horsepower to work with than the 12 EUs with a maximum clock of 700 MHz in the Celeron J4005. The processor's dual-channel memory controller can communicate with up to 8 GB of 2400 MT/s DDR4 mounted in the pair of SODIMM slots atop the board. A PCIe 2.0 x1 slot is provided for system expansion, along with an E-keyed M.2 slot for a Wi-Fi card. 

Builders will have to connect drives using the board's four SATA ports since the M.2 slot doesn't support storage devices. Two of the SATA connectors are driven by an ASMedia ASM1061 controller that plays along with the Goldmont chip's two native SATA ports.

ASRock sprung for the accessory hardware needed to unleash the full 60-Hz output capability of the IGP at its maximum resolution of 4096x2160. The IGP can drive three displays simultaneously by using its HDMI 2.0, DVI-D, and VGA outputs—though the second and third displays won't reach 4K resolutions. The Realtek ALC892-based audio setup includes an optical output.

As for non-display I/O, the J5005-ITX has a mix of old and new ports. On the retro side, the board sports a pair of PS/2 connectors and two USB 2.0 ports. That old stuff complements a Gigabit Ethernet jack and a pair of USB 3.0 Type-A ports. Builders will need to use a power supply with a standard 24-pin ATX connector as the board doesn't have a barrel jack for power input.

ASRock didn't provide any pricing or availability information for the J5005-ITX motherboard, but TechPowerUp predicts an asking price in the $200-250 range, given the $160 list price of the SoC itself. That price structure would seemingly put the board at a performance disadvantage when compared to a comparably-priced combination of a $99 AMD Ryzen 3 2200G APU and a coordinating socketed motherboard. The J5005-ITX will likely find buyers among those that appreciate its 10-W TDP and ability to run silently thanks to the lack of a fan. ASRock lists OS support as Windows 10 64-bit only, so Linux lovers might want to look elsewhere.

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