ASRock Reveals Mars UCFF PCs: 0.74-Liters With Intel Core Inside

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
Mars-i3-8145U
Mars-C4205U
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
DRAM Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots
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
2 × 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.

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Source: ASRock