Setup Notes and Platform Analysis

Assembling the NUC BOX-1165G7 is a trivial task involving the removal of four screws to take out the bottom panel, followed by slotting in two DDR4 SODIMMs and a M.2 NVMe SSD. Users opting for a 2.5" drive have the SATA data / power cable affixed to the bottom panel. The cable hooks up to the motherboard using a slim SATA header at the edge of the board near the SODIMM slots.

The NUC BOX-1165G7 sports a spartan BIOS interface that is acceptable enough for a system meant for business deployment. Beyond basic options controlling CPU operating parameters, we do not have much in terms of fine-tuning performance. In any case, for the type of deployments that the NUC BOX-1100 series would see, those types of options are unnecessary. The video below presents the entire gamut of available options.

The AIDA64 system report for the hardware configuration provided the following information:

  • [ South Bridge: Intel Tiger Point-LP ]:
    • PCIe 3.0 x1 port #1 Empty
    • PCIe 3.0 x1 port #6 In Use @ x1 (Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 160MHz Wireless Network Adapter)
    • PCIe 3.0 x1 port #8 In Use @ x1 (Intel I225-LM Ethernet Controller)

It is interesting to note that the CPU-attached PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD doesn't come up in the report. However, we did manage to get a pictorial representation of the internal bus structure in relation to the external ports.

In the annotated screenshot above, we can see the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite connected to the PCIe root port (x4 Bus #1) of the TGL-U component of the processor package. Directly beneath it is the first surprise - ASRock Industrial advertises the front Type-C ports as being capable of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) speeds along with the ability to carry a Display Port signal. Since this Type-C port is directly off the processor, it is capable of obtaining USB4 / Thunderbolt 4 certification (though ASRock Industrial had not processed it when the system was sampled to us). We tried multiple Thunderbolt 3 peripherals attached to the Type-C port to the left of the Type-A port, and all of them worked flawlessly (after installing the Thunderbolt drivers). The other Type-C port in the front panel is also off the TGL-U component, but it is behind a xHCI host controller. This appears to be acting purely in USB4 mode (pending certification), as we were able to get display signals off it, and also operate 10 Gbps portable SSDs at maximum performance. However, Thunderbolt 3-only peripherals refused to power up. The rest of the I/O ports are all off the PCH-LP component, and are bottlenecked by the DMI link between the TGL-U component and the PCH-LP.

Thanks to the B2B focus of the product, ASRock Industrial supplies a detailed block diagram of the NUC-1165G7 motherboard.

The above layout provides some clues regarding the differences between the two Type-C ports in the front panel. While one of the Type-C ports has a 'BB Retimer', the other doesn't. The insertion of an Intel Burnside Bridge retiming chip between the TGL-U package and the Type-C port enables it to operate as a Thunderbolt 4 port for all practical purposes. The other Type-C port is restricted to USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps / Display Port functionality. Given that ASRock Industrial makes no claim of Thunderbolt 4 in its marketing literature, this is pretty much an added bonus for consumers.

In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems that we are comparing the ASRock NUC BOX-1165G7 against. Note that they may not belong to the same market segment. The relevant configuration details of the machines are provided so that readers have an understanding of why some benchmark numbers are skewed for or against the ASRock NUC BOX-1165G7 when we come to those sections.

Comparative PC Configurations
Aspect ASRock NUC BOX-1165G7
CPU Intel Core i7-1165G7 Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU Intel Iris Xe Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM Kingston HyperX Impact KHX3200C20S4/32GX DDR4-3200 SODIMM
20-22-22-48 @ 3200 MHz
2x32 GB
Kingston HyperX Impact KHX3200C20S4/32GX DDR4-3200 SODIMM
20-22-22-48 @ 3200 MHz
2x32 GB
(2 TB; M.2 Type 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe; Micron 96L 3D TLC)
(Silicon Motion SM2267 Controller)
(2 TB; M.2 Type 2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe; Micron 96L 3D TLC)
(Silicon Motion SM2267 Controller)
Wi-Fi Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x
Price (in USD, when built) $583 (barebones)
$1073 (as configured / No OS)
$583 (barebones)
$1073 (as configured / No OS)
Introduction and Product Impressions BAPCo SYSmark 25
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  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, August 26, 2021 - link

    Really dissapointed there are no games benchmarked.

    " If AMD's OEMs manage to create a mini-PC with, say, the Ryzen 7 5800U in a 25W cTDP-up configuration, Tiger Lake-U's appeal could be dented further."

    Well that's just not going to happen. Even now 4700/4800u NUC sized PCs are extremely rare, and AMD isnt going to bother making their own.
  • xsoft7 - Thursday, August 26, 2021 - link

    there is a Zen3 mini PC.. with 5900HX
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, August 27, 2021 - link

    Now that's interesting. Not a single tech outlet has talked about these guys yet.
  • ganeshts - Friday, August 27, 2021 - link

    Coverage dated Aug. 4th:
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - link

    That's nothing more then a product announcement. It's not a review, and if we base a products coverage by announcements then there are 15 electric trucks on the market already.
  • meacupla - Thursday, August 26, 2021 - link

    By "rare", do you mean product variety, or product availability?
    Because I can totally find the 4x4 BOX-4800U in stock, at newegg. They even have a BRIX with 4800U in stock.
    Of course, if you are outside of NA, then GL with that.
  • domih - Thursday, August 26, 2021 - link

    4x4 BOX-4800U user here in California. I bought it on NewEgg months ago, then it became out of stock, then apparently NewEgg is expecting a new batch. Good news for you guys: it is even less expensive now. Experience matches this review. Yes, the 4800U model has DASH allowing out-of-band management. The box is so small that some wide USB keys won't coexist pacifically with others. Ubuntu 20.04. When I ran Phoronix tests the box went quite hot and the fan is not really silent. Should be OK as HTPC though, won't get that hot playing video.
  • ifThenError - Friday, August 27, 2021 - link

    >> Well that's just not going to happen.
    Well not quite so fortunately! Gigabyte has anounced a UCFF barebone going up to a Ryzen 7 5800u to be released in "available in Q3 2021".

    In theory you could order one within the next 1 - 2 months, if and when you can really purchase these, we will see...
  • quiksilvr - Friday, August 27, 2021 - link

    More disappointed that upon looking at the gallery it is two USB-C ports and not a Thunderbolt 4 port on the device.
  • ginandbacon - Sunday, October 10, 2021 - link

    I own this device, you have to install a TB driver and I have a TB4 Hub attached with two TB3 NVME drives and they both work at TB3 speeds (40Gbps), Asrock didn't want to pay Intel, I bet Asrock gets sued over this. You can find the board on Ebay for around $260 if you are willing to wait, it's the better deal, the case is junk anyways. I was under the impression that both front USB C ports where TB4 but Asrock hinted they were and only one is.

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