The Bottom Line
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Early in the year, at CES 2022, ASRock announced the DeskMeet series with X300 options for AMD AM4 platforms and a B660 variant for Intel. With Intel Alder Lake being the more popular platform at the time of writing, we opted to test the B660 platform.
The DeskMeet kit is a barebones setup, offering the chassis, motherboard, and power supply as part of the kit. Consumers must add their preferred storage, memory, CPU, and cooling. Users can also add in an SFF GPU with enough room in the chassis for a dual slot solution up to 8 inches in length. Our kit was sent with the Radeon RX 6400 from ASRock.
This B660 platform does waver a bit when compared to retail motherboard solutions. That said, support includes 12th Gen Intel CPUs on the LGA1700 socket. We have four memory slots for DDR4 with a max capacity of 128GB. Consumers get 54mm of headroom for installing their preferred cooling solution.
The expansion includes one PCIe x16 slot. Electrically it's a Gen4 slot, as are both m.2 slots front and back. The board contains three SATA 6Gbps ports and a Key E 2230 slot for adding Wi-Fi. Audio is the Realtek ALC897, and the integrated LAN is powered by the i219v 1Gbe controller.
Connectivity includes a front and rear I/O. The rear I/O houses two USB 3.2 Gen 1 alongside two USB 2.0. HDMI and DP are also available, as is a VGA port for those with legacy monitors. Front I/O includes two additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports in the Type-A form factor and one USB-C alongside another two USB 2.0.
As of this writing, we don't have confirmed pricing for the DeskMeet B660.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
DeskMeet has an image of the chassis front and center; however no direct ASRock branding.
Unboxing, we have all the accessories, including the SATA and power cables, alongside readings materials and hardware pack.
Getting our first look at the board, we have the LGA 1700 socket centered and memory slots to the right. We have a single 8-pin CPU power and 24-pin in the usual places while SATA pulls up tight to the memory slots and m.2 rides close to the single PCIe slot. The board is set up out of the box ready to run with all the chassis connections complete.
The includes power supply has custom-length cables for this chassis, so you won't have to find places to tuck away all the extra.
Channel Well makes the PSU, model no. GPT500S-A, a 500w platform with a 12v 38A single rail design that is 80plus rated.
As mentioned in the opening, ASRock included the RX6400 for this review.
The RX6400 Challenger ITX is an SFF GPU, dual slot, and is about 5.5 inches in length.
The GPU offers both HDMI and DP outputs.
Getting the PSU installed, we wanted to see how much actual headroom we had to work with for cooling. Our measurements came up with a touch over 2.25 inches or about 60mm tight.
After installing our CPU, cooling and memory, we have a solid setup.
UEFI, Software and Test System
The DeskMeet uses the standard design for the BIOS. As you can see at the top, we are using our 12900K for this review, and we also have our 16GB of TridentZ installed. In the center, you will note motherboard and CPU temps and the ability to change the type of CPU cooler you use. This setting alone will have a massive impact on the performance of your machine as it directly controls the long-term power draw of the CPU.
Air Cooling = 125w
120-140mm = 180w
240-280mm = 240w
420-480mm = 265w
For this review, we ran in Air Cooling mode because of the Noctua L9i, but we did find later that we could have bumped up a notch to 120-140mm without much stress on the L9i.
The rest of the BIOS follows the traditional ASRock layout with OC Tweaker for setting voltages and overclocking memory on B660 and the advanced menu that allows you to control storage, chipset, and LAN. The Tool menu offers SSD Secure Erase and NVME sanitization and the ability to flash the BIOS.
The hardware monitor will keep you up to date on voltages and temperatures of the system while also allowing you to take advantage of fan-tastic tubing to get your cooling system dialed in.
TweakTown Test System
- CPU: Intel Core i9 12900K
- RAM: GSkill TridentZ DDR4 3200
- Cooling: Noctua NH-L9i-1700
- GPU: ASRock Challenger RX6400
- OS Storage: ADATA Gammix S70
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 (buy from Amazon)
Cinebench R23,AIDA64 Memory and CrossMark
Cinebench and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.
Starting off with R23, we note our single thread performance at 1960 points and multi-thread at 18368.
AIDA was recently updated to version 6.6, which improved performance in both AES and SHA3 workloads for Alder Lake CPUs. You will notice this performance jump in the charts below compared to any earlier Z690 reviews.
Memory throughput hovered around 50K read, 46k write, and 49k copy.
Our score in CrossMark returned 2200 points. The breakdown showed the highest performance in responsiveness and creativity.
3DMark and UL Procyon Benchmarks
Firing up 3DMark, we start our testing with CPU Profile. At the top 16-threads, we score 7957 and 1094 single thread.
With the RX6400 installed, our Firestrike score landed at 10787. Good for 65+ FPS in Apex at 1080p.
Timespy came in at 4113.
UL Procyon Suite
The UL Procyon Office Productivity Benchmark uses Microsoft Office apps to measure PC performance for office productivity work.
The Photo Editing benchmark uses AdobeÂ® LightroomÂ® to import, process, and modify a selection of images. In the second part of the test, multiple edits and layer effects are applied to a photograph in AdobeÂ® PhotoshopÂ®.
The Video editing benchmark uses AdobeÂ® PremiereÂ® Pro to export video project files to common formats. Each video project includes various edits, adjustments, and effects. The benchmark score is based on the time taken to export the videos.
The first scenario in Procyon is Video Editing. In this scenario, we scored 3147 with the B660 DeskMeet.
Next up, we pushed into Photo Editing. The score on this came in at 9807.
Last, we ran through Office testing. In this, we ended with a score of 9876.
Storage Benchmarks and Gaming
3DMark Storage Benchmarks
UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it to be superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is, in fact, the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.
In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSDs gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:
- Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
- Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
- Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
- Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
- Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
The DeskMeet being fully compliant with PCIe Gen4 on both m.2 slots gave our Gammix S70 plenty of headroom to run. Our score came in at 2938 with 510 MB/s of bandwidth.
Testing the front and rear panel I/O, we used our P50 portable SSD. All external USB 3.2 ports, both Type-A and C on the DeskMeet, brought in about the same performance, roughly 463 MB/s read and 462 MB/s write.
Gaming with Cyberpunk 2077
With Cyberpunk 2077 now offering a built-in benchmark mode, we decided to use it in 1080p display mode to test the DeskMeet B660 with the ASRock RX6400.
The results above run from the low preset on the left to the high preset on the right. At the lowest settings, the DeskMeet with RX6400 pulled in an average of 56 FPS. The medium preset reduced our average FPS to 42, still playable.
At high settings, we managed 27 FPS.
After a few days of testing the ASRock Desk Meet B660, I've come away quite surprised with the capabilities of this SFF 8L platform and saddened by some of the design choices that were made. ASRock has designed the DeskMeet chassis quite well and has given it the ability to use full-size ATX PSUs, with the unit supplied being both custom in the cable length and fan direction, pushing air into the chassis to cool the CPU socket area, including VRMs.
Added to this is a custom design "B660" motherboard that offers all the standard amenities we as consumers would expect, including PCIe Gen4 support for storage and graphics cards and features we don't typically see on an ITX platform like four-slot DDR4 memory support. This allows the DeskMeet to support 128GB of memory when typical ITX platforms max out at 64GB.
With that, there are some oddities with the DeskMeet B660, which all come down to USB connectivity. The Intel B660 chipset diagram specs two USB 3.2 Gen2x2 ports, four USB 3.2 Gen 2, and six USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports alongside a massive twelve available USB 2.0 ports, all from the chipset. On this platform, ASRock has decided for all the available USB 3.2 ports to function at Gen 1 speeds, severely limiting the performance of any external storage one would want to connect. The second fault is the lack of 2.5Gbe on this platform though I don't blame them too much as B660 offers integrated 1Gbe with 2.5Gbe being an optional add-on.
With all of that said, testing went quite well. Starting with the BIOS, allowing us to set up our TridentZ with ease, tagging in the XMP profile for our 3200MHz kit. We also were able to use the CPU Cooler profiles to control the long-term power limits of our CPU, so we didn't push past the thermal limits of the L9i from Noctua.
On that same note, for consumers looking to use a system such as this for a "Blade" type server for heavy VM use, omitting the GPU offers plenty of space for the inclusion of a 120mm AIO cooling solution that would allow you to run a higher power limit for increased performance and the ability to run 128GB of DDDR4 aids in this type of use as well.
For consumers wanting an SFF gaming platform, the DeskMeet B660 will accommodate dual slot cards up to 8" in length. This means we are topping out with GPUs like the GeForce 3060 Ti and Radeon RX 6600, plenty for a high FPS 1080p machine.
With pricing currently up in the air, I'm still on the fence with the DeskMeet B660. If it does launch somewhere around $200-$300, I would be quite happy with it, given how rare 8L chassis are and everything included in the barebones kit.
While we were disappointed with the USB connectivity on the DeskMeet B660, the platform as a whole is a fantastic solution for consumers wanting a near turn-key SFF platform.