We thought we’d seen the end of compact PCs when the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 turned out to be so big, but ASRock is here to soothe our worries. Small is still here, and it can be beautiful.
The most exciting thing about the Mars 4000U Series is rather given away in the name: the presence of AMD’s Ryzen 4000U APUs. They’re laptop chips really, but what else did you expect in a chassis that’s just 26 x 150 x 194mm.
There are three models, with the top end handled by the Mars 4800U with a Ryzen 7 APU sporting eight cores, twice that many threads, and a Turbo frequency of 4.2GHz. There are Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 variants too. You can stick in a maximum of 64GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, but you’re limited to the Radeon integrated graphics chip.
Storage is handled by one PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot, a SATA 6 socket with a bay for a 2.5-inch drive, and an SD card reader. There’s further connectivity via 2x USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.2 Type-A, a single Type-C port, and ethernet. Intel AX200 Wi-Fi is an optional extra slotting into an M.2 for Wi-Fi slot. There’s a 65W external power brick keeping it all juiced up.
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It all comes in a low-profile but good-looking case, with most of the USB ports on the front where they can be easily accessed, and the aforementioned ethernet, VGA and HDMI ports (which can be used simultaneously) can be around the back where they belong. It even comes with a little stand, or you can attach it to the VESA mount points on the back of a monitor. Pricing remains unknown, as despite ASRock giving a list of stockists we couldn’t find it available anywhere - they’re probably busy.