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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  • dwillmore - Friday, February 10, 2023 - link

    Why ever put USB2.0 ports on a machine these days? Did they run out of 3.0 lanes somehow?
  • lmcd - Friday, February 10, 2023 - link

    Compatibility. USB 2.0 is more compatible with 1.0 and both are more compatible with a variety of older tools used in industrial environments. A native USB 2.0 port also can have much better (nearly real-time) timing for some applications.

    The real question is whether or not this is native or it's still branching off the AMD chipset (which would negate the second half of advantages).
  • dwillmore - Saturday, February 11, 2023 - link

    You do know that every USB3.0 A port *is* a USB 2.0 port and a USB3.0 port, right? They're completely compatable with all USB2.0 devices just like a port that would be missing the USB3.0 contacts and only have USB2.0 pins.
  • anonymous_user - Sunday, February 12, 2023 - link

    Yes it does have backwards compatibility but that doesn't mean all devices will work equally well connected to a USB 3.0 port vs USB 2.0.
  • dwillmore - Monday, February 13, 2023 - link

    How so? If it has the USB2.0 pins and connects to the USB2.0 pins of the USB3.0 socket, it'll end up on a legacy USB2.0 bus like it always did. Nothing has changed.
  • nandnandnand - Monday, February 13, 2023 - link

    @anonymous_user When has this ever been a problem for anyone, ever?
  • lmcd - Thursday, February 16, 2023 - link

    @nandnandnand this is an industrial product. When? All the time. The more sensitive and expensive the USB 2.0 equipment, the more reason to demand USB 2.0

    @dwillmore USB 3.0 is a massive overhaul from USB 2.0 and operates very differently. 2.0 support is very compatible for simple, consumer products. While the primary use case for USB 2.0 on this device would be more specific, I can tell you that there are legacy, bizarre printers that require USB 2.0 because they somehow require its timings. Oftentimes this is through frustrating relics like a tunneled serial connection.
  • dwillmore - Thursday, February 23, 2023 - link

    You're full of it. Plug a USB 2.0 cable into a USB3.0 jack and it only contacts the USB2.0 signals. The USB 2.0 part of the port is a completely separate bus than the 3.0 and it's completely just a USB2.0 bus. Just like it always has been. Nothing has changed on the USB 2.0 front. It's litterally the exact same hardware as it always was.
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, February 11, 2023 - link

    Error in the chart - the GPU row is labeled as a second CPU row.
  • anonymous_user - Sunday, February 12, 2023 - link

    If this box had two 2.5GB LAN ports, it could've been interesting as a router.

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