For such a small Computer, the DeskMini PC by Asrock looks to pack a lot of power in its punch. Based on the 8th Generation Intel processor, you can expect fast speed and reliability. This currently comes installed with Windows 10. I am excited about getting my hands on this one to check it out. It is one nice desktop computer.
Today we’re checking out Asrock’s latest DeskMini PC, a name that may ring a bell if you’ve read our previous coverage on the original entry to this compact computer. The latest version that we have on hand today looks exactly the same as the last DeskMini and has the same name as the previous two DeskMinis.
The first DeskMini — the DeskMini 110 — was released in 2016 and sported a tiny 1.92L case that housed an H110-based Micro-STX motherboard with support for 6th and then 7th generation Core processors. However, the DeskMini 110 was so small it couldn’t actually handle a discrete graphics card, so it was basically an office PC.
That situation changed last year as the series was updated with the DeskMini GTX/RX which features support for an MXM discrete mobile GPU that can be installed thanks to a beefier B250 or Z270-based Micro-STX motherboard, which increased the case capacity to 2.7L but still made for a very compact unit.
Now we have another new DeskMini GTX/RX, this time based on Intel’s 8th generation Core series. To get around this confusion, retailers have been putting the chipset in the product title to make it easier for shoppers to work out which system they’re actually buying.
The latest DeskMini Z370 comes with either an GTX 1060 or GTX 1080 in the MXM form-factor pre-installed. Alternatively, you can buy Asrock’s system without a discrete graphics card but be aware that securing a new MXM GPUs after the fact will be nearly impossible as they are not sold at retail as you can generally only get them from salvaged laptops.
Currently there doesn’t appear to be any DeskMini Z370 models on sale but Asrock says the MSRP for the GTX 1060 model is $850. The previous generation B250 DeskMinis are on sale and the GTX 1060 version costs a cool $800 with the GTX 1080 model priced at $1,500 , so while the new Z370 models aren’t that much more expensive, $850 is getting toward the pricier side of things for this little PC and we’re keen to see what more it offers over the previous versions.
Included in the package is the tiny 2.7L case and a 220w external power brick that is quite a large volume itself at 0.7L, or 26% of the DeskMini’s total size. Along with the case and power supply you also get a custom Z370M-STX MXM motherboard that’s 2″ longer than your typical Micro-STX motherboard and this extra real-estate has been used to squeeze in an MXM slot supporting up to Type B+ cards at 113mm long.
Because we have the GTX 1060 DeskMini, ours naturally came with a GTX 1060 MXM graphics card pre-installed. To get up and running you’ll need to bring your own Coffee Lake CPU as well as some DDR4 SO-DIMM memory and storage. Assuming you went with a Core i5-8400 ( $180 ), 16GB of DDR4-2400 ( $170 ) and a 512GB Samsung 960 Pro ( $300 ) for example then you’d be pitching in an extra $650 on top of the $850 for the DeskMini, bringing the total bill for the GTX 1060 model to at least $1,450.
That’s probably not too bad when you can expect to pay around $400 alone for a GTX 1060, but we’ll discuss pricing more at the end of the review. For now let’s take a look around the unit before checking out the hardware inside. Externally, the all-black case features a brushed aluminium front with clean lines. The circular power button blends in nicely as does the front I/O which […]