ASRock DeskMini GTX1060 (Z370) Review 12

ASRock DeskMini GTX1060 (Z370) Review

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Introduction

ASRock Logo

What could be better than a beefy, powerful custom system running the latest hardware Intel and NVIDIA have to offer? A TINY, powerful custom system running the latest hardware from Intel and NVIDIA. As last year has shown, six cores with twelve threads is a lot of power, and the Z370 platform has delivered on those power promises. Now, with the Z370 well into maturity, the inevitable has come to pass: miniaturization. The ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX has arrived to take Z370 to a new level, a new and very small level.

The STX motherboard that lies at the heart of the DeskMini GTX/RX is literally a fraction the size of its ATX counterparts. However, the Z370 chipset this tiny board runs is fully capable of delivering that six-core, twelve-thread performance of Intel's Coffee Lake. Boasting a case volume of just 2.7 liters, the ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX comes equipped with an MXM graphics card from NVIDIA, up to a GTX 1080. The model I am examining today is equipped with a GTX 1060.

Featuring a sleek matte black and brushed aluminum exterior, the ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX promises to fit in at the office just as neatly as at the LAN party. Indeed, the minimalist functionality of the ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX is a large part of what sets it apart from its small form factor competitors. The system comes equipped with the graphics card of your choice, the STX motherboard, power adapter, and M.2 WiFi card. You can drop in the SO-DIMMs of your choice, with two slots supporting up to 32 Gb. The ASRock DeskMini GTX/RX also features three M.2 slots and two SATA ports. That's right, there are more M.2 slots than SATA ports; a new and wonderful paradigm awaits. 2.7 liters is certainly an impressive metric, but can ASRock deliver the big performance promised in this tiny package?




ASRock ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060*
CPU:Intel Core i7-8700
Memory:2x DDR4 SO-DIMM (up to 32 GB)
Video Card:MXM GTX 1060 6 GB
Audio:Realtek ALC233
Networking:Intel WGI219V + Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
Storage:128 Gb 2.5" SATA 6 Gb/s+ 240 GB M.2 SSD
Ports:1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
5x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A
2x USB2.0
1x Mic in / 1x Headphone out
1x HDMI (Onboard iGPU)
1x HDMI
1x Displayport
1x Mini Displayport
1x RJ45
CPU Cooler:65 W Air Cooler
Dimensions:213 mm x 154.5 mm x 81.9 mm
Special Features:
  • Windows 10 64-bit compliant
  • Intel Optane ready
  • Compact, lightweight, easily transportable case
  • Extremely compact 2.7 liter case
  • Discrete MXM slot supports Type A/B/B+
  • Horizontal or Vertical Orientation
  • VR ready
  • Memory support for up to DDR4-3200+(oc)
  • Sleek, minimalist design
* Configuration as tested

Packaging


The outer shell of the box the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 comes in is best described as minimalist since it only features an image of the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 that is almost but not quite to scale. The back of the box features...an identical image. In fact, I'm not sure which is the front and which is the back. There is a small label on one side of the outer box that features the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 designation, but not much else.


When the outer shell is pulled off, the inner box reveals a graphic depicting the same image as on the outer box. This time though, the rear of the box shows the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 resting horizontally. As the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 is designed to function in both orientations, the duality in graphics makes sense.

I have to admire ASRock for the boldness of this box design. The strict adherence to absolute minimalism is a risky move. However, I think it works for the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060.


Opening the main box reveals the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 secure within its packing foam, along with the power adapter and cables. The TeamGroup Cardea Zero M.2 SSD ASRock provided for use in this review is also visible.


Contents


Underneath the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 and its packing foam is another small box containing all the small essentials needed to complete a build on the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060. While some of these items are standard, some are unique to the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060, or at least the STX platform. In total, the ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 I received arrived with:
  • 1x Quick installation guide and support DVD
  • 1x ASRock DeskMini GTX 1060 (with CPU, CPU cooler, and RAM pre-installed)
  • 1x Power unit and cabling
  • 2x SATA cables with integrated power
  • 4x Screws for M.2 sockets
  • 2x Screws for MXM slot
  • 1x Locking tab and mounting screw
  • 4x Adhesive rubber feet
  • 2x WIFI antenna
  • 1x M.2 WIFI card
  • 1x TeamGroup Cardea Zero M.2 SSD (not a standard inclusion)
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