ASRock Industrial's lineup of ultra-compact form-factor machines in the NUC BOX (Intel-based) and 4X4 BOX (AMD-based) series has gained popularity over the last couple of years. Being the first to market with the latest platforms has been one of the key reasons behind this. In 2022, the company had launched the Intel Alder Lake and AMD Cezanne UCFF systems together, with the NUC BOX-1200 series and the 4X4 BOX-5000 series becoming available for purchase within a few weeks of each other. Earlier this year, the Intel Raptor Lake-based NUC BOX-1300 series was launched (our review) and is already available for purchase. The company recently took the wraps off the 4X4 BOX 7000/D5 series based on AMD's low-power Rembrandt-R APUs. These APUs sport Zen 3+ cores along with a RDNA2 iGPU fabricated on a TSMC 6nm process.

One of the key updates in the new 4X4 BOX systems is the move to DDR5 SODIMMs. The other updates in the platform such as support for a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD and USB4 40 Gbps bring it almost on par with the premium UCFF systems based on Intel processors. Full-fledged USB4 support inclusive of PCIe tunneling has been somewhat of a hit or miss on AMD platforms, as many OEMs have refrained from integrating the necessary board components to enable it. AMD itself had some work to do on the firmware side before the feature baked into the hardware of Rembrandt and later APUs could be enabled. The good news here is that the ASRock Industrial 4X4 BOX 7000/D5 series has two USB4 ports capable of supporting DisplayPort 1.4 signals as well as PCIe tunneling - this means that Thunderbolt 3 peripherals should work when connected to those Type-C ports.

The 4X4 BOX 7000/D5 series comes in two flavors. The specifications of both models are summarized in the table below.

ASRock Industrial 4X4 BOX 7000/D5 (Rembrandt-R) Lineup
Model 4X4 BOX-7735U/D5 4X4 BOX-7535U/D5
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 7735U
8C / 16T
2.7 GHz (Up to 4.75 GHz)
AMD Ryzen 5 7535U
6C / 12T
2.9 GHz (Up to 4.55 GHz)
GPU AMD Radeon 680M
(12 CU / 768 Shaders) @ 2.2 GHz
AMD Radeon 660M
(6 CU / 384 Shaders) @ 1.9 GHz
Up to 64 GB of DDR5-4800 in dual-channel mode
Motherboard 4.02" x 4.09" UCFF
Storage SSD 1x M.2-22(42/60/80) (PCIe 4.0 x4 (CPU-direct))
DFF 1 × SATA III Port (for 2.5" drive)
Wireless Mediatek MT7922 (RZ616)? Wi-Fi 6E
2x2 802.11ax Wi-Fi (2.4Gbps) + Bluetooth 5.2 module
Ethernet 1x 2.5 GbE RJ-45 (Realtek RTL8125)
1x GbE RJ-45 (Realtek RTL8111EPV with DASH Support)
USB Front 1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2x USB4 (with DisplayPort 1.4a Alt Mode)
Rear 2 × USB 2.0 Type-A
Display Outputs 1 × HDMI 2.1 (Rear, up to 8Kp60)
1 × DisplayPort 1.4a (Rear, up to 4Kp60)
2 × DisplayPort 1.4a (using Front Panel Type-C ports, up to 4Kp60)
Audio 1 × 3.5mm audio jack (Realtek ALC233)
PSU External (19V/90W)
Dimensions Length: 117.5 mm
Width: 110 mm
Height: 47.85 mm

Note that the M.2 2280 support is enabled by a separate bracket, similar to the previous NUC BOX and 4X4 BOX systems with 2.5" drive support and dual LAN capabilities.

Overall, these systems bring the AMD UCFF scene on par with the high-end Intel NUCs and its clones - except for the newer NUC BOX-1300/D5 series which has Thunderbolt 4 ports that also have USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 support for 20Gbps PSSDs. The USB4 ports in the 4X4 BOX 7000/D5 support only up to USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds in legacy USB (non-PCIe tunneling) mode. The RDNA2 iGPU in the new machines should also help these systems perform as well as the the Alder Lake and Raptor Lake mini-PCs in graphics-heavy workloads.

We have reached out to ASRock Industrial for clarity on market availability dates and pricing, and will update the article with the details after receiving them (Update - Feb 15, 2023: The systems will be available for purchase in mid-March 2023. The 4X4 BOX-7735U/D5 will have a pre-tax MSRP of $650, and the 4X4 BOX-7535U/D5 will have a pre-tax MSRP of $500).

Source: ASRock Industrial

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  • abufrejoval - Sunday, February 12, 2023 - link

    A simple router doesn't require this kind of CPU power, even for 2.5Gbit Ethernet.

    If you want a full deep-inspection, content filtering firewall like pfSense, the main issue is NIC driver support.

    Realtek chips were badly supported on BSD for a long time and the pfSense team basically told you to use Intel.

    But 2.5 Gbit Intel chips have come late and rather buggy, I've had lots of issues with drivers on older Linux kernels used by XenServer and EL7: I doubt it's any better on BSD as the hardware simply seems incompatible. Intel 2.5 onboard NIC even refuse to work with Windows server editions, unless you tweak the *.INF files to beat the drivers into submission.

    If RealTek is ok (or no longer an issue) with your router/firewall OS/appliance, they have USB3 based 2.5GB NICs which are cheap, low power and very easy to add, as long as you have free USB3 ports and run a modern Linux or Windows. And they are just as fast as any onboard 2.5 port with negligible CPU overhead as far as I could tell.

    I use lots of them to upgrade Atoms from Gbit to 2.5 Gbit, and they are even less problematic than some onboard NICs, which failed to properly re-initialize on reboots.

    But honestly with this type of power 10Gbit (or even 5Gbit) would be a better match, you could even use a single one via USB4/TB3 if you have a VLAN trunk mode capable switch to separate the network zones properly.

    But if the USB4 ports are truly TB3 compatible, you can get dual 10Gbit via Aquantia TB-NICs, which have great Linux and Windows support. No idea on BSD...
  • - Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - link

    Even if it had two 2.5GB LAN ports it would be a waste to use this as a router. Get a PI instead.
  • abufrejoval - Sunday, February 12, 2023 - link

    If indeed the USB4 ports were capable of running my TB3 based 10Gbit (actually NBase-T) NICs, AMD NUCs would finally qualify for what I am doing with them (RHV/oVirt). Even more so if ECC was possible, which unfortunately saw Intel-type hardware segmentation on the APUs.

    DDR5 SO-DIMM ECC still carries a 100% extortion uptick, but for normal DIMMs that has recently changed already, so I am as optimistic as I can be.

    Another critical element is the ability to play with the TDP and fan settings to ensure the noise levels remain acceptable. Even better would be an ever so slightly larger chassis option with a compentent Noctua fan. Akasa is too extreme in terms of cost and size for me when another centimeter in height and even an extra €100 for Noctua could do the job even at 35 Watts sustained.
  • - Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - link

    Would someone please recommend a test to see what is the max speed all cores hit when running at the same time? Not all chips are created equal.
  • - Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - link

    Interesting. Older models of the 4x4 used the Intel WiFi and BlueTooth. Now it is MediaTek.
    Not sure that is a good thing....
  • abufrejoval - Sunday, February 19, 2023 - link

    It gets them WIFI-6E. That can be a good thing if your AP also supports that and you don't happen to hold a piece of paper between the two.

    I am pretty sure it's mostly because orders for Intel chips intended to go on non-Intel NUCs tend to get bumped backwards in delivery or upwards in price. Nice to have them socketed so you have a choice perhaps later.
  • - Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - link

    On paper the 7735U represents the pinnacle of NUC development at this time. Although I do not see any benchmarks, I am fairly confident the GHz/watt is the best you can get. I am also intrigued by the new onboard GPU. I am wary of the change of the WiFi chip. And also wary of how well DDR5 memory will perform. Hopefully the cooling fan performs better than past models in terms of noise.

    One other mention is the connectivity. Yes, we still have some USB2 connections. But the others are outstanding and my past model has no issues with external NVME M.2 storage running at 2-3 GBps.
  • - Saturday, March 4, 2023 - link

    Who is selling this? Has anyone looked at the minisform UM773? $410 for a barebone system.
    Looks good on paper.
  • - Saturday, March 4, 2023 - link

    Oops. Missed the fine print. The UM773 doesnt ship til April 1st.
    But the $410 price tag looks nice.
  • emmchild - Friday, March 17, 2023 - link

    Any update on the availability?

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