During Computex 2021, ASRock unveiled the latest series in its Mars mini-PC range, the Mars 5000U. ASRock claims it's the thinnest AMD mini PC globally and comes equipped with AMD's latest 5000 series APU. It features support for DDR4-3200 SO-DIMM memory, one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, a 2.5" SATA hard drive bay, and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 interface.

The ASRock Mars 5000U series comes in a svelte and very slimline black brushed aluminum chassis, with dimensions of 194 x 150 x 26 mm (W x D x H), making it a single mm thicker than a regular chassis fan. Due to there being very little wiggle room for space inside, at just 0.7 liters, ASRock uses a proprietary fan and heatsink combination to keep the AMD Ryzen 5000U APU cool. For memory, there's a pair of memory slots that can accommodate up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 SO-DIMM memory, while storage capabilities include one PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA M.2 slot and one 2.5" SATA hard drive bay.

It is powered by a 65 W/19 V adaptor akin to a laptop charger and includes a decent selection of I/O. Included are four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A (two rear, two front), one USB 3.2 G1 Type-C (front), and two USB 2.0 (front) ports. The Mars 5000G also includes a 3-in-1 card reader including SD, SDHC, and SDXC support and two video outputs consisting of an HDMI and D-Sub. Networking options include one unspecified Gigabit Ethernet port with an Intel AX200 wireless interface offering Wi-Fi and BT 5.0 connectivity. An unspecified audio solution also powers a 3.5 mm microphone and 3.5 mm headphone jack combination.

The ASRock Mars 5000U series looks very similar to the previous Mars 4000 series mini-PC series. The only difference is that the newer model supports the upcoming Ryzen 5000 APUs based on AMD's Zen 3 microarchitecture. ASRock hasn't stated which APUs it will offer. Pricing is currently unknown.

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  • mouqwi - Sunday, June 6, 2021 - link

    Two reasons: backward compatibility and cost:
    1. Adapters get easily misplaced/lost and there are still lots of USB-A pendrives and other hardware in use. Having USB-A port is just always more practical.
    2. USB-A does not support alternate modes and most often than not those are 5Gbit/s ports requiring less bandwidth, less supporting electronics. Those kind of mini pcs traditionaly use low end SFF chipsets (X300, A300 and alike) without any additional USB support above what is offered by SoC. No external controllers either.
    This directly translates to lower mfg cost.

    Heck - even full sized AMD motherboards lacks Thunderolt because this require external controllers.

    So don't hold your breath - all USB-C machines won't be coming to desktop soon. Sadly only the likes of Apple are able to push the trend no matter the cost and resistance from user base.
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