Wednesday, January 11th 2017

ASRock Lets Their DeskMini Micro-STX PCs Smile for the Camera

At CES 2017, ASRock showcased one of the most interesting PCs in attendance - particularly if you think interest is inversely affected by size. The name they gave it was DeskMini, and it ushers in a Micro-STX form factor, measuring only 210 mm x 157.5 mm x 81.9 mm. But mini-PCs are many these days. What makes this one so interesting?

Well, it's the fact that this seems to embody the perfect proportions - and compromise - between a high-powered PC and a puny NUC or Mini-PC. For one, it carries any choice of a Celeron/Pentium/i3/i5/i7 Intel processor on the socket 1151 (up to a i7 7700K); supports up to a max of 32 GB DDR4 at 2400 MHz on 2x SO-DIMM slots; features 2x SATA III ports (with power connectors) and 3x M.2 ports (two of which support Type 2280/2260 M.2 PCIe Gen 3x4 or a SATA SSD, while the other supports only a PCIe Gen3x4-based SSD); and your choice of either an NVIDIA GTX 1060 (on the GTX series) or an AMD RX 460/470/480 on the (aptly named) RX series.
The graphics cards are MXM Type-B, at up to 120 W, and the display outputs encompass 1x HDMI; 1x HDMI with 4K @ 60 Hz compatibility; 1x DisplayPort and 1x Mini-DP. The front panel also includes a Thunderbolt 3 port with USB 3.1 Type-C, a single USB 3.0 port, 1x MIC-in, 1x Headphone Out with MIC, and a single USB 2.0 slot on the side. On the rear of the unit, you have the display output ports, a DC in (220W), 1x Gigabit Lan, and 2x USB 3.0 ports. The DeskMini also includes a particularly interesting expansion card: an M.2 slot specifically designed to accommodate a Wi-fi+BT module (Key E 2230).

All in all, it looks like an interesting little build, with power that stretches beyond what could be expected from its dimensions. ASRock are marketing it as VR Ready, and it could also serve as a nice living-room solution which can even double as a 1080p game station.
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7 Comments on ASRock Lets Their DeskMini Micro-STX PCs Smile for the Camera

#1
srsparky32
how can a 1060 or a 480 (top level offering) run anything in VR that isnt a tech demo? these arent exactly powerful GPUs and the only VR capable games that arent tech demos require much more stout gpus to have a good experience. the 1060 is barely able to chug along in gta5 at 1440p and the 480 falls on its face at anything 1440p. so for these 2 gpus to be able to drive for example assetto corsa or flight simulator x or fallout 4 (eventually) in a VR environment is pretty questionable.
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#2
owen10578
srsparky32 said:
how can a 1060 or a 480 (top level offering) run anything in VR that isnt a tech demo? these arent exactly powerful GPUs and the only VR capable games that arent tech demos require much more stout gpus to have a good experience. the 1060 is barely able to chug along in gta5 at 1440p and the 480 falls on its face at anything 1440p. so for these 2 gpus to be able to drive for example assetto corsa or flight simulator x or fallout 4 (eventually) in a VR environment is pretty questionable.
Have you ever thought of lower quality settings? And that the minimum requirements is a 290/970 which these two gpus would definitely be faster than. Also. The 1060 usually does worse at 1440p than the RX 480 but even then the disparity is only single digits and unnoticeable so I don't know where di you get that information.
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#3
Vlada011
Very interesting small computer.
But I think similar size could be build and with Mini ITX and DDR4.

How much is DIMM DDR4 better than SO-DIMM DDR4...
Perfect kit for this is GSkill F4-3000C16D-32GRS

In future similar computers will be very popular, only people don't want to sacrifice performance.
But small PC with Impact motherboards Mini ITX with nice sound, M.2, than some small PSU as Silverstone SFX-L Form factor with up to 800W Titanium could hold any graphic card inside.

Maybe even in future small liquid cooling parts show up with G 1/8" standard, and dual 80mm radiators, everything in mini format.
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#4
Franzen4Real
srsparky32 said:
how can a 1060 or a 480 (top level offering) run anything in VR that isnt a tech demo? these arent exactly powerful GPUs and the only VR capable games that arent tech demos require much more stout gpus to have a good experience. the 1060 is barely able to chug along in gta5 at 1440p and the 480 falls on its face at anything 1440p. so for these 2 gpus to be able to drive for example assetto corsa or flight simulator x or fallout 4 (eventually) in a VR environment is pretty questionable.
I'm running a GTX980 in my living room PC and it handles everything I play on my Rift flawlessly. That includes Assetto Corsa, Dirt VR, The Climb, and all of the games bundled with the Touch controllers. The GTX1060 is pretty much the same performance as a GTX980, so I don't see why it would be an issue.

I think these are rather nice PC's for their size.
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#5
lukart
This definitely looks better than the original... something I would consider!
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#7
Melvis
Well well well, now this does impress me, when I first saw the title I was thinking it be just another mini PC with intel HD graphics but I was wrong. I would love to see the insides of this little beast to see how they fit in such video cards, well done ASRock. :toast:
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