The ASRock DeskMini line of computers are compact desktop PCs that typically support desktop-class 35- to 65-watt Intel or AMD processors. But the new ASRock DeskMini 4205 is powered by a 15-watt laptop chip instead… because it’s the first member of the DeskMini series to feature passive, fanless cooling.
What I don’t quite understand though, is why ASRock opted to equip its first fanless DeskMini with this particular laptop chip: it ships with an Celeron 4205U processor that was first released in four years ago.
The chip is a 1.8 GHz, 2-core, 2-thread processor based on Intel’s 8th-gen “Whiskey Lake” architecture and featuring Intel UHD 610 integrated graphics. It was already the lowest-performance Whiskey Lake chip when Intel launched the processor lineup in early 2019. And it’s even less impressive by 2023 standards.
ASRock’s product page does suggest that the company may also offer a model with a slightly more powerful Intel Core i3-8145U chip in the future, but 2.2 GHz, 2-core, 4-thread chip is still pretty old to use in a new computer released in 2023.
That said, the rest of the DeskMini 4205 specs look pretty decent. The system supports up to 64GB of DDR4 (non-ECC) memory and multiple storage devices thanks to:
- 2 x SATA drive bays for 2.5 inch hard drives or SSDs
- 1 x M.2 2280 socket with PCIe Gen 2×4 support
- 1 x M.2 2280 socket with PCIe Gen 2×2 support
There’s also an M.2 2230 socket that can be used for an optional WiFi & Bluetooth card. ASRock places a passive heat sink over the processor rather than a fan, which means that there are no moving parts to generate noise (unless you configure the system with hard dries). There are CPU fan connectors on the motherboard if you want to add active cooling.
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8111H)
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
- 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x 3.5mm audio combo
- 1 x DC power jack (for a 65W/19V power supply)
The computer measure 155 x 155 x 80mm (6.1″ x 6.1″ x 3.1″) and has an internal volume of 1.92 liters).
While the choice of older processors probably don’t make the ASRock DeskMini 4205 the best option for a general-purpose desktop computer, ASRock is positioning it as a solution for retail, industrial, or business applications. For example it could be used for a bar code scanner, digital signage or kiosk system, or controller for a projector, cameras, or automation systems, among other things.
The company also offers some additional configuration options including RGB lighting and optional serial COM ports.
Would be nice if the fitted this with a Intel N300 cpu.
“… may also offer … Intel Core i3-8145U chip in the future …” – I feel like stuck in a time loop 😉