ASRock introduced a new compact mini PC, the MARS, which comes in Intel Core i3/i5 and Celeron variants. It packs up to 32GB DDR4 RAM and offers 7 USB slots in just 26mm thick 0.7 liter chassis. For storage options, it includes both SATA as well as a PCIe Gen3 M.2 slot that varies according to the configuration. You can also mount ASRock MARS behind your display monitor via VESA mount. Now let’s take a look at the specifications of each variant.
Intel Core i3 and i5 Variant
MARS offers two models of Intel Core-i series processors, Core i3 and Core i5. Apart from the CPU, both models share the exact same specifications. The i3 variant uses a dual-core Intel Core i3-8145U processor with turbo frequencies up to 3.9GHz. Whereas, the i5 variant uses a quad-core Intel Core i5-8265U processor with turbo frequencies up to 3.9GHz (same as i3).
Both models support 2400MHz 32GB DDR4 dual-channel RAM. In terms of Graphics, these models can output 4k resolution at 30Hz with HDMI and Full HD resolution at 60Hz via D-Sub connectivity. ASRock MARS uses Intel UHD Graphics 620 to drive these display outputs.
Along with a single 6Gb/s SATA 2.5-inch 7mm/9.5mm slot, there is also an option for an Ultra M.2 2280 slot using PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe interface. ASRock MARS incorporates a total of 7 USB ports, five of which utilizes USB 3.2 Gen1 speeds. On the front, there is also a USB Type C port along with two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A as well as two USB 2.0 Type-A ports. Rest of the two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports are present on the backside of this mini PC. Additionally, it also includes a dedicated SD card reader on the front just beside USB Type-C.
To utilize Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, you can use the optional Intel AC-3168 Wi-Fi card in the M.2 (key E 2230) Slot. For audio, it provides a single headphone and a microphone jack that uses Realtek ALC233-VB2. You also get one RJ45 Gigabit LAN port with this compact PC. ASRock MARS comes with a 65W/19V adapter and uses an integrated proprietary Fansink to keep the thermals under control. When idle, it will only produce up to 24dB of noise.
Intel Celeron Variant
Another variant of ASRock MARS uses the Intel Celeron C4205U processor that supports two cores with only two threads with 1.8GHz speed. Instead of PCIe Gen3, this variant uses a slower PCIe Gen2 x4 M.2 Type 2280 interface. With Intel UHD Graphics 610 integrated GPU, it falls a bit short in terms of graphics against the Intel Core variant. Moreover, the RAM speed is also limited to 2133MHz instead of 2400MHz. All of the other connectivity options remain the same.
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