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ASRock DeskMini 110

cadaveca

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ASRock has upped the ante with mini-PCs by introducing their latest innovation, the ASRock DeskMini 110. The DeskMini 110 features the new Mini-STX form factor that brings full 65W CPU support into a tiny 5"x5" package. That means you can stuff a 65W Core i7 6700 Skylake-S CPU into the ASRock DeskMini 110. It also features a PCIe Gen3 x4 link for one of its M.2 ports, so you can have ultra-fast storage, too!

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Did I miss something or did you not mention what CPU was being used until the very end of the review?
 
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What kaidis said.
Also

2 degrees Celsius?
 
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Cool, I've been waiting for this board since the announcement back in April. The case is great too but my first Mini-STX project won't need it.
 

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Shame it has no PCI-e slot :(, no power consumption ? ( or did i miss it :p ).
 
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Con: Zero dust control with this wireframe.
 

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Did I miss something or did you not mention what CPU was being used until the very end of the review?
Also, what RAM and 2.5" SSD was used?
Probably because these aren't really part of the unit. This is a barebones unit. The SSDs, RAM, and CPU are all added by the end user.

However, I'd like to see a test setup mentioned before the testing/benchmarking to give the reader an idea of what specs were used in the testing.
 

cadaveca

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Probably because these aren't really part of the unit. This is a barebones unit. The SSDs, RAM, and CPU are all added by the end user.

However, I'd like to see a test setup mentioned before the testing/benchmarking to give the reader an idea of what specs were used in the testing.
Exactly.

Ram was Kingston HyperX DDR4-2133 MHZ C13 (HX421S13IBK2/16)
Drives were Crucial M4 128 GB and Samsung 950 PRO 256 GB
CPU was Intel i3-6320 w/ 65W Intel box fan.


Thanks for feedback; will adjust accordingly!

What kaidis said.
Also

2 degrees Celsius?
Adjusted graph to reflect Celcius, and actual temp, added system specs ;)
 
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This form factor and case feel similar to the X-chipset in mini-ITX form factor. CPU offers a lot more features that this small form factor can take advantage of. People who need mostly CPU power in small form factor will appreciate it even though it might get a bit loud with higher wattage CPUs.

Me I would go rather for mini-ITX motherboard and standard case or notebook (I consider them miniPCs with keyboard, screen and UPS).
 

cadaveca

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This form factor and case feel similar to the X-chipset in mini-ITX form factor. CPU offers a lot more features that this small form factor can take advantage of. People who need mostly CPU power in small form factor will appreciate it even though it might get a bit loud with higher wattage CPUs.

Me I would go rather for mini-ITX motherboard and standard case or notebook (I consider them miniPCs with keyboard, screen and UPS).
Stock Intel fans aren't that loud, and that's the only cooling here. There is also an option to use a different low-profile fan, but I am unsure of what noise levels it offers.

More info about optional items here:

http://www.asrock.com/nettop/intel/deskmini 110 Series/
 
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I was thinking about putting i7-6700 or a similar CPU into it and if that happened the low profile coolers would be noisy compared aftermarket coolers which are usually bigger. In that aspect it is similar to mini-ITX X99 motherboards, has a lot of CPU power and non-custom motherboard size but sacrifices a lot for this form factor. You would have to use those high efficiency CPUs which use less power but still you sacrifice enough to make you think why not just get a miniPC if it needs to be so small or something similar like those Shuttle PCs which come without CPU? Seems a bit pointless to me because it only differentiates from other custom small PCs by adhering to this new specifications for which I don't have a lot of hopes.
 

cadaveca

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I was thinking about putting i7-6700 or a similar CPU into it and if that happened the low profile coolers would be noisy compared aftermarket coolers which are usually bigger. In that aspect it is similar to mini-ITX X99 motherboards, has a lot of CPU power and non-custom motherboard size but sacrifices a lot for this form factor. You would have to use those high efficiency CPUs which use less power but still you sacrifice enough to make you think why not just get a miniPC if it needs to be so small or something similar like those Shuttle PCs which come without CPU? Seems a bit pointless to me because it only differentiates from other custom small PCs by adhering to this new specifications for which I don't have a lot of hopes.
I have four kids between the ages of 8 and 15. They do make use of this ASRock DeskMini PC; not for high-end gaming, but for casual games and web access. With minimal space in their rooms, they can still have their own PC but still have space left over for other stuff too. I do understand how this type of device isn't exactly for everyone, however, try telling my kids they don't need it. :p
 
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Nice review. My only complaint is the external power supply. Nearly all the tiny PC form factors are this way, compared to the Mac Mini which has an internal one and a light and flexible AC cable (non-proprietary too). I'm no Apple fanboy, but I really prefer their approach. The actual wattage of their internal power supply is in the same ballpark as the tiny PC ones.
 
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Great review! I looked at this system a week ago and liked it a lot, but after reading this review, I finally realized how small this thing is - almost exactly the size of an ATX power supply! That's amazing, considering the CPUs and fast storage drives this will run.
I was always a bit underwhelmed by the Intel NUC concept, but the Deskmini makes it a whole new ballgame. A $700 Deskmini build could easily relpace my $3000+ gaming rig, for everything except high-end gaming, without giving up the storage speed I've become spoiled by (Intel 750 boot drive in my main PC), and with a faster CPU than all other systems this size. I couldn't build ANY sized system with these specs for less money (Motherboard, case, and PSU for $140). Palm-sized systems have now become affordable and powerful...
 
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Nice review. My only complaint is the external power supply. Nearly all the tiny PC form factors are this way, compared to the Mac Mini which has an internal one and a light and flexible AC cable (non-proprietary too). I'm no Apple fanboy, but I really prefer their approach. The actual wattage of their internal power supply is in the same ballpark as the tiny PC ones.
Yeah, that's nice. A Mac Mini with these specs would cost you around $2000. Me, I'll save $1300 and just have to put up with the external power adapter (and the ability to run any OS I want)....If anyone feels that it's too much work having to make all those choices, then they can just pay Apple the big bucks to make all their choices for them.
 
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My only complaint is the external power supply. Nearly all the tiny PC form factors are this way, compared to the Mac Mini which has an internal one...
Just noticed the new Xbox One S also went internal. It's a beautiful design--120W, passively cooled, and easy to replace. SFX12V is too big... we need a new standard!

 
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Did I miss something or did you not mention what CPU was being used until the very end of the review?
What it does have is 2 M.2 slots. AKA pci-e X4

grab an adapter any you're in business. x4 is PLENTY for gaming

woops, this is what I intended to quote...

"Shame it has no PCI-e slot :(, no power consumption ? ( or did i miss it :p )."
 
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FrostyWinnipeg

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Where you able to plug in a display port cable cause the backplate or the MB is a lil off.
 

ragnar thron

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Shame it has no PCI-e slot :(, no power consumption ? ( or did i miss it :p ).
This is exactly the point with the mini-stx form factor: it has just a swappable CPU (unlike the NUC form); just the mini-itx form factor has a PCI-e slot.
For those who want to have a graphic card in a mini form factor (and I also hint to the author of this article who specified at CONS section the fact that it was not possible to add a graphic card on this mobo) they have to use a mini-itx form factor for this. The mini-stx form factor utilizes the graphics embedded in the CPU, that is, it has to use this kind of CPU only, with embedded graphics.
The mini-stx was conceived as an intermediary form factor between NUC (fixed CPU) and mini-itx (swappable CPU and PCI-e slot for graphics), reasons for which the cases for mini-itx mobos are larger. Actually it would have been impossible to add a graphic card in a box for mini-stx form factor, as ASrocks and also MSI created for this.
 
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Looks like a real value for the price. But without a dedicated graphics card the cpu has to work twice as hard, but still good stuff.
 

ragnar thron

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Looks like a real value for the price. But without a dedicated graphics card the cpu has to work twice as hard, but still good stuff.
One cannot not have a video card (for now at least) in a case of such dimensions: 155mm/155mm/80mm.
Mini-itx with the dedicated graphic card is for graphic/video users who want a small form factory but inevitably bigger than mini-stx due to the dimensions of a graphic card.
Therefore, this mini-stx form is not intended for gamers or for graphic/video applications; its name says it, containing the name 'desk' that hints to its (final) destination which also implies its main function: a (mini) desktop computer.
On the other hand, if it is not created for graphic/video users it can very well be used by users for music software: connected to an audio interface offers the same functionality as a big computer provided by its strong CPU, high speed memory and high speed SSD.
 
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