ASRock DeskMini 110 25

ASRock DeskMini 110 Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusion

  • The ASRock DeskMini 110 mini PC is available starting at US$140.(barebones).
  • New Mini-STX form factor
  • PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 port connected directly to the CPU
  • Support for Skylake 65W CPUs and standard Intel "box fans"
  • Affordable pricing
  • Small size
  • Minimal LED lighting
  • Quiet operation
  • Front USB 3.1 Type-C
  • No PCIe slot for add-in graphics
  • Slightly limited USB connectivity (but more could potentially be added)
ASRock's collaboration with Intel to come up with the Mini-STX form factor puts most desktop features into a small 5" x 5" space. The result is high performance in a truly minimal footprint on your desk, and in a way like nothing else. Having support for 65W CPUs (in other words, any Intel Skylake desktop CPU with onboard video except the "K"-SKUs) while also including a high-speed 32 GB/s PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot connected directly to the CPU means that none of the main features of Intel's Skylake platform need to be sacrificed in order to get into a smaller form factor. No other device offers that. Some come close, but none match all the features, which includes support for dual 2.5-inch drives.

It is hard to review barebones while considering performance features at the same time. The ASRock DeskMini 110 sample I received came with an included CPU and memory. However, it did not come with the absolute best CPU you could put into this unit, which showed me that what ASRock was trying to do with this new design wasn't to just offer the highest possible performance without any consideration for cost; rather, they wanted to showcase the huge potential offered here with the ASRock DeskMini 110. They didn't include an i7 or an i5 CPU; instead, they offered the affordably priced 51W Core i3-6320. Since that CPU costs roughly as much as the barebones ASRock DeskMini 110, you can get a decent idea of what building your own ASRock DeskMini is going to cost: roughly $500 with an OS and a small SSD included. However, you can also go all out and install the Intel Core i7-6700, low-latency DDR4 SO-DIMMs, and an ultra-fast Samsung 950 PRO along with a couple 2.5-inch drives to end up with a true high performance mini-PC that only lacks the option to add in a videocard. That level of performance in such a small package is amazing!

The ASRock DeskMini 110 is not an expensive barebones unit. Priced at around US$150 while including the motherboard, case, and highly-efficient power supply, you get huge value for your money and the freedom to build the DeskMini to the exact specifications that meet both your compute needs and your budget. No matter what level of performance you are after, as long as you do not need to add in a discrete VGA, the ASRock DeskMini is ready for you. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the forums!
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