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ASRock iBox-N97, a mini-PC with Alder Lake-N and passive heatsink

ASRock iBOX-N97 is another x86 mini-PC from the well-known Taiwanese hardware manufacturer, which has a profile reminiscent of the iBOX 1300 , which was released last April with support for Intel’s Raptor Lake processors and includes passive cooling. , so it does not use fans and is quieter.

The ASRock iBOX-N97 is a more modest model with an Alder Lake-N based Intel N97 processor providing four physical cores, four threads and running at 12 watts, plus 16GB of 3200MHz DRR4 RAM provided via a single module. As a security mechanism, it implements TPM 2.0, the same feature required by Windows 11.

For data storage, it provides a PCIe 3 interface via an M.2 2280 slot and a SATA 3 port to which an SSD or a 2.5-inch mechanical hard drive can be connected. Like the iBOX 1300, the iBOX-N97 runs on passive heatsink, so the inclusion of a mechanical hard drive might somewhat defeat the computer’s purpose of being quiet.

The ASRock iBOX-N97 has dimensions of 135 x 110 x 44.5 millimeters and weighs approximately 0.7 kilograms. As for external connections, the user will find six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, of which four are Type-A and two Type-C; two Realtek connectors for 2.5Gbps Ethernet; two HDMI 2.0b ports capable of offering a maximum resolution of 4,096 × 2,160 pixels at 60 hertz; DisplayPort 1.4a support with a maximum resolution of 4,096×2,160 pixels at 60 hertz via USB Type-C ports; a Kensington lock; one M.2 expansion slot with PCIe; in addition to power at 65 watts.

This mini-PC from ASRock is mainly targeted at the industrial sector, where passive dissipation can contribute to 24/7 operation, especially when it comes to dusty environments where a fan could cause damage. On the other hand, the Alder Lake-N processor that it incorporates is not particularly powerful, so the buyer has to be clear about what type of product they are buying and for what purpose.


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