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ASRock DeskMini GTX1080 (Intel Z370) SFFPC Review

By: Steven Bassiri | All-in-One PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Feb 4, 2018 4:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASRock

Here are key points about the ASRock DeskMini GTX1080.

 

What's Hot

 

GTX 1080 MXM: NVIDIA made a point to not totally neuter their mobile GPUs this round, and so we have seen notebooks and other devices with GTX 1080s that perform pretty much like their desktop equivalents. It does come down to the vendor to properly cool down the GPU so that it can perform, and in this case, ASRock has worked in a large heat sink to keep things cool enough, so the GPU isn't throttled down. The performance was awesome.

 

Z370 Chipset Motherboard: To run the latest and greatest Intel CPUs you will need a Z370 chipset motherboard, and in this case, ASRock has developed a really good one. The new motherboard uses high-quality VRM parts and PWM controller and even has tiny heat sinks to cool them down. It also supports a lot of features and takes full advantage of the Z370 chipset features.

 

More USB: The original DeskMini only had limited USB ports, but the new one supports many more. The front of the device offers one USB 3.0 type-A port and one USB 3.0 type-C port. The side of the device supports two USB 2.0 ports. The rear of the device offers up four more USB 3.0 ports. If that wasn't enough, the motherboard offers two USB 2.0 headers, but only one is used so that you can add two more USB 2.0 devices. The rear of the case has punched out spots for a COM port or another USB port so that you can add more features.

 

 

Tons of Storage Options: The motherboard offers three x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slots, and if that wasn't enough it also supports two 2.5" SATA drives. The chassis is designed to easily mount two 2.5" drives as well.

 

It can Overclock: With a K-SKU and higher speed RAM you can OC the system, but you cannot bypass a 65W TDP limit.

 

 

What's Not

 

SFFPC Limitations: SFFPCs are pretty awesome, but they also have their limitations. Larger systems are useful because they allow for easy expansion, easy setup, and more cooling capacity. SFFPCs can be harder to set up because of size constraints, don't really offer much upgrade or expansion capabilities. The DeskMini GTX1080 is fairly easy to setup if you follow the guide, but there isn't much in regards to an upgrade path, and the unit isn't quiet when you use the GPU.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The ASRock DeskMini GTX1080 is one of my favorite SFFPCs. It offers a solid amount of options, and I love the triple storage M.2 slots on the rear, and the support for two 2.5" SATA drives. The GPU is a beast, and the CPU we used (i7-8700) is also a real beast. Cooling is effective we didn't detect any throttling, but you are going to want to wear headphones if you don't change the default fan curve to silent when you game.

 

asrock-deskmini-gtx1080-intel-z370-sffpc-review_82

 

The unit's gaming performance is top notch, the unit stands up against some of the best systems in our charts, and it can pull off 4K gaming. I found a few surprises that lead me to believe even modders will like this unit. It has many unused features including an RGB LED header, an extra USB 2.0 internal header, an extra fan header, and an extra UART header.

 

The only thing that could make it better would be watercooling, which is a possibility with an external radiator since cooler mounting is pretty standard. So far, this is my favorite SFFPC, and I highly recommend it.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance97%
Quality95%
Features96%
Value85%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: ASRock's DeskMini GTX1080 just might pack more performance per square inch than any system we have ever tested, it's also loaded with features and customization options.

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