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Mini PC makers have been stuffing high-performance mobile chips into compact desktop computers for years. But recently we’ve seen companies take a somewhat stranger approach by using the same chips in mini ITX motherboards, allowing users to build their own mini PC.

Why is that weird? Because mini ITX boards can also support socketed, desktop-class chips, giving customers a wider choice of processor options. That said, if you’re not planning to upgrade your processor anytime soon, the new MINISFORUM AR900i mini ITX motherboard packs a lot into a compact space, including an Intel Core i9-13900HX processor and support for up up to 96GB of RAM, four SSDs, and discrete graphics.

The board measures 170 x 170mm (about 6.7″ x 6.7″ and features Intel’s 55-watt, 24-core, 32-thread Core i9-13900HX processor, which is soldered in place.

There are two SODIMM slots for DDR5-5600 memory (overclockable up to 6400 MT/s), four M.2 2280 slots with support for PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage, and a PCIe 5.0 x16 connector for a discrete GPU.

Ports include:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort Alt Mode)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio

Other features include an M.2 2230 E-Key slot for an optional wireless card, 4-pin headers for a CPU fan, system fan, and SSD fan.

MINISFORUM says the include 120mm fan can dissipate heat while the processor is running at up to 100 watts, and the fan speed can be customized through UEFI/BIOS settings. There’s also an SSD heatsink included with the board.

The MINISFORUM A$90ii has a list price of $689, but it’s currently on sale for $559 from the MINSIFORUM website.

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, MINISFORUM also offers a similar mini ITX motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX processor that’s on sale for $399 at Amazon when you clip the on-page coupon.

 

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  1. Yes, I see it has an x16 PCI-e slot, but running at what speed? The 12th gen similar boards couldn’t run at 16x, only 8x. Is that true of the 13th gen Intels too? Intel lists it as: Up to 1×16+4, so a total of 20 pci-e lanes, so it seems you can choose to use your x16 for a gpu, and have 1 m.2 at full 4x speed. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    1. Sometimes the chipset includes additional PCIe lanes above the direct CPU ones. Always look at the specs of the motherboard itself, and not just the CPU.