The ASRock DeskMini 110 is a barebone Mini-PC that uses a 5×5 (Mini-STX) motherboard, compatible with socket LGA1151 CPUs up to 65 W. Let’s take a look at it.
The Mini-STX, also known as 5×5, is a new motherboard form factor, smaller than Mini-ITX, intended to be used in ultra-SFF (small form factor) computers.
The DeskMini 110 is, like its name suggests, a desktop computer in a very small size. It is bigger than a typical NUC, but it has the advantage of using a regular desktop CPU, while NUCs usually come with soldered, low-TDP (and low performance) CPUs. The DeskMini 110 measures 6.1 x 6.1 x 3.1 inches (155 x 155 x 80 mm), which is aproximately the size of a typical desktop power supply.
There are three versions of the product: the DeskMini 110 (which we are analyzing), the DeskMini 110W (which comes with a Wi-Fi interface) and the DeskMini 110/COM (which comes with a legacy serial port).
The DeskMini 110 is a barebone PC, which means it comes with chassis, power supply, and motherboard, but you have to install a CPU, RAM, and a storage device. Its motherboard has an LGA1151 socket, being compatible with sixth- and the forthcoming seventh-generation Intel CPUs, with TDP up to 65 W. It has also two SODIMM DDR4 slots for RAM, and has two bays for 2.5 inches storage devices.
In Figure 1, you can see the box of the ASRock DeskMini 110.
Figure 1: box of the DeskMini 110
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: an external 120 W power supply, manual, drivers disk, two SATA cables, screws, and four rubber feet. You can purchase a VESA mount for installing it behind your video monitor.
Figure 2: package contents
Figure 3 unveils the front of the ASRock DeskMini. It has connectors for headphones and microphone, one USB 3.0 type-A port, one USB 3.0 type-C port, a power button, power and HDD activity LEDs.
Figure 3: the ASRock DeskMini 110
In the following pages, we will look at the DeskMini 110 in detail.
[nextpage title=”Overall view”]
In Figure 4, you can check the rear of the computer. At the rear panel, there is a 19 V power supply connector, one DisplayPort output, one HDMI output, one VGA output, one type A USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port.
Figure 4: rear panel
Figure 5 shows one of the sides of the DeskMini 110. You can stick the four rubber feet here if you want to use it in the vertical position.
Figure 5: side panel
At the bottom panel, there are other places for the feet (if you want to use it at horizontal position) and the holes for installing a VESA mount.
Figure 6: bottom panel
In the next page, let’s see the inside of the DeskMini 110.
[nextpage title=”Inside the DeskMini 110″]
Removing four screws, you can slide the motherboard tray from the case. There is a cable that connects the LEDs and the power button.
Figure 7: removing the tray
Figure 8 shows the ASRock H110M-STX motherboard. It uses the H110 chipset, and offers two SODIMM (“laptop RAM”) sockets, supporting a maximum of 32 GiB of memory, up to DDR4-2400.
There are also two M.2 slots, one type 2230 where you can install a Wi-Fi card (the DeskMini 110W comes with a card here), and one 2280 M.2 slot that supports PCI Express 3.0 x4 SSDs. This slot is not compatible with SATA SSDs.
The card uses an Intel i219V ethernet controller, and the audio codec used is the Realtek ALC283, which support two analog channels, so if you want to use more audio channels, you must use the digital signal on the HDMI or DisplayPort outputs.
Figure 8: mainboard
Under the motherboard tray, there are two 2.5 inches bays, for installing SSDs or 2.5 inches hard disk drives.
Figure 9: drive bays
Figure 10 shows the DeskMini 110 with CPU and memory installed. It is amazing that the product supports the standard box cooler. Thanks to the 65 W limit, you can even install a Core i7-6700 CPU (but not the Core i7-6700K, for example).
Figure 10: memory and CPU installed
Figure 11 shows one 2.5 inches hard disk drive installed. You must use the SATA cables that come with the kit.
Figure 11: drive installed
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the ASRock DeskMini 110 which we analyzed include:
- Dimensions: 6.1 x 6.1 x 3.1 inches (155 x 155 x 80 mm) (H x D x W)
- Processor: supports LGA1151 CPU up to 65 W
- Chipset: Intel H110
- Memory: maximum 32 GiB, DDR4-2400 SODIMM
- Graphics chip: integrated in the CPU
- Network: Intel i219V Gigabit Ethernet
- Wireless network: not included in this model
- Audio: produced by the chipset together with a Realtek ALC283 codec
- Ports: Three USB 3.0 (one type C) ports, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet
- Memory card reader: No
- Other features: slot for Kensington lock
- More information: http://www.asrock.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 140.00
We cannot talk about the DeskMini 110 Mini-PC’s performance because of its main feature: it can be whatever you want. You can build it with a cheap CPU like the Celeron G3900, 4 GiB of RAM and a simple HDD, or you can mount it as a high-end workstation with a Core i7-6700 CPU, 32 GiB of RAM, and three SSDs (one M.2 and two 2.5 inches). And it will perform like a regular full-size PC that uses these components.
The biggest drawback is that you are not able to install a video card in the DeskMini 110, so you cannot turn it into a gaming PC.
However, it is great to build an HTPC, office PC, home PC, or even a powerful workstation in a very compact size.
- Extremely compact for a desktop computer
- Supports regular desktop CPUs, even high-end ones, with box cooler
- Highly and easily upgradeable
- Supports one M.2 SSD plus two 2.5-inch storage devices
- Brings one type C USB 3.0 port
- Needs professional assembly, or at least an experienced user
- Doesn’t support video cards
- Offers only three Type A USB ports, which is too few
- Doesn’t offer rear audio connections