Minisforum BD770i Mini PC With A Ryzen 7 7745HX Inside Arrives With A Preorder Discount

Minisforum BD770i Ryzen 7 7745HX PC news
The laptop version of AMD's Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs is making its way back onto the desktop with Minisforum's brand-new BD770i motherboard, which comes preinstalled with a Ryzen 7 7745HX (a mobile Ryzen 7 7700X) and a compact but powerful cooler. While this CPU-motherboard combo (which Minisforum terms a Mobile on Desktop or MoD board) might seem totally redundant given the fact that you can just buy a desktop 7700X and an ITX-sized AM5 motherboard today, the BD770i does have some pretty neat selling points behind it.

Although the ITX form factor is designed for desktops, there's a good argument that mobile chips are more suitable for tiny PCs at such a small size, and indeed lots of mini PCs such as NUCs use laptop hardware. In the case of the BD770i, its 7745HX is practically identical to the 7700X, except it has a marginally lower boost clock speed of 5.1GHz (vs. 5.4GHz). Ryzen 7045 series Dragon Range APUs are quite literally Ryzen 7000 Raphael desktop CPUs tweaked for laptops, which also means using solder rather than sockets.

What the BD770i offers is essentially specialization. Its heatsink is far more compact and dense than anything you can get on the desktop, and crucially exhausts out from the rear I/O shield into open air, which is likely to be a big help for cooling. Plus, the BD770i board comes with two PCIe 5.0 M.2 slots for NVMe SSDs, which is a big plus when midrange AM5 motherboards don't always have a slot for PCIe 5.0 SSDs, and many higher-end boards only have a slot for one. Plus, the BD770i comes with active cooling for PCIe 5.0 drives, another big plus.

Minisforum BD770i Ryzen 7 7745HX cross section news

However, there are some downsides of the BD770i compared to off-the-shelf CPUs and ITX boards. Obviously, since the 7745HX is soldered you can't swap it out for a more powerful chip, which is just the nature of laptop hardware. But you might also be disappointed that there's no CPU or RAM overclocking or tweaking support; users cannot adjust PBO, EXPO or anything of the sort. While overclocking is obviously not ideal for this motherboard, tweaking can still be fun or useful, like adjusting the CPU to be more efficient or conservative when it comes to boosting.

The BD770i is available for preorder at $399, a discount from the listed $499 that the CPU-motherboard combo will seemingly go for after preorders close. Building yourself something similar with a 7700 or 7700X and an ITX AM5 motherboard would run you at least $500, and you'd at best have the AMD stock cooler and probably one PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot. The BD770i even at full price is surprisingly competitive for a niche of PC that's usually quite expensive.