ASRock has introduced its new Mars series of ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) barebones PCs. The Intel Core-based PCs come in a 0.74-liter chassis and can house up to 32 GB of memory as well as two storage devices. Like other UCFF PCs, ASRock is positioning Mars for use both as a traditional office PC, as well as applications like digital signage.

ASRock’s Mars PCs are based on Intel’s 8th Generation quad-core Core i5 or dual-core Core i3/Celeron processors. They are accompanied by up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory (using two SO-DIMMs), an M.2-2280 SSD (featuring a PCIe 2.0/3.0 x4 or SATA interface), and a 2.5-inch storage device. The CPU is cooled using a proprietary active cooling system that ASRock says is designed to allow the laptop-grade chip to turbo as frequently as possible.

Featuring lavish connectivity, ASRock’s Mars systems come with a GbE adapter, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C connector, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, two display outputs (HDMI 1.4 supporting a 4Kp30 resolution, D-Sub), and two audio jacks. Furthermore, the machines can be equipped with an M.2-2230 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module.

ASRock's Mars Barebones UCFF PCs
Model Mars-i5-8265U
CPU Intel Core i5-8265U
(4C/8T, Turbo 3.9 GHz)
Intel Core i3-8145U
(2C/4T, Turbo 3.9 GHz)
Intel Celeron C4205U
(2C/2T, 1.8 GHz)
GPU UHD Graphics 620 UHD Graphics 610
Up to 32 GB of DDR4-2400 in dual-channel mode
Motherboard proprietary
Storage SSD M.2-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA) M.2-2280 (PCIe 2.0 x4 or SATA)
DFF 1 ×  2.5-inch/9.5-mm SATA 6 Gbps
  SD Card Reader
Wireless Optional M.2-2230 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module
Ethernet 1 × GbE port
USB Front 2 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
2 × USB 2.0 Type-A
Back 2 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
Display Outputs 1 × HDMI 1.4 (4Kp30)
1 × D-Sub
Audio 2 × 3.5mm audio jacks
PSU External 65 W
Warranty Typical, varies by country
Dimensions Length: 150 mm
Width: 26 mm
Height: 191 mm
MSRP ? ?

While ASRock’s Mars offers decent performance for office applications and media streaming/playback, its lack of a 4Kp60 output clearly makes it less competitive among demanding users with modern displays. On the other hand, presence of a D-Sub makes Mars compatible with legacy monitors.

Expect ASRock’s Mars UCFF PCs to hit the market in the near future. Pricing of actual systems will depend on their configurations.

Related Reading:

Source: ASRock  

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  • 1_rick - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Chart shows 2 USB Type-C but the picture only shows one.
  • Alistair - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    too bad not ice lake
  • azfacea - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    ice lake is a slide not a real CPU. you cant build a real PC using slides
  • surt - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Powerpoint is Turing complete. You sure as heck can build a real PC using slides.
  • yeeeeman - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    It is a slide you say? Ok, then I'll on Amazon and buy myself a dell XPS 13 slide notebook.
  • HideOut - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    I think the real issue is availabilty. So few are made right now they are mostly going to the largest OEMs for use in holiday releases right now. I would think it'd be far beter with a 10x series chip though.
  • nandnandnand - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Intel = no go
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Good logic /rolls eyes
  • Smell This - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    The woods are not quite full of SFF/UCFF PCs, but an AT **Deep Dive Smack-Down** between Chipzillah and DAAMIT could top 500 posts ...
  • Qasar - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    probably not enough ice lake cpus to go around still....

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