You can use a full-sized GPU with ASRock's new Mini PC — DeskMate X600 only for China, priced at roughly $193 USD

Official render of the ASRock DeskMate X600 connected via PCIe 4.0 x16 riser cable to a full eGPU.
Official render of the ASRock DeskMate X600 connected via PCIe 4.0 x16 riser cable to a full eGPU. (Image credit: ASRock (via ITHome.com))

ASRock's new DeskMate X600 Mini PC, for sale at Chinese retailer JD.com [h/t ITHome.com], rounds out the existing ASRock Mini PC lineup. It also comes with some interesting if questionable design decisions. We'll dive into that in a little bit, but the barebones kit includes just the case and a CPU cooler, starting at roughly $193 USD. A fully-specced version with a Ryzen 7 8700G will cost around $635 USD.

The three colors of the ASRock DeckMate X600.

(Image credit: ASRock (via ITHome.com))

ASRock DeskMate X600 Mini PC core specifications

  • Motherboard Chipset: AMD X600
  • Motherboard Socket: Supports AM5 Ryzen 7000- and 8000-series CPUs up to 65W
  • CPU Cooler: Includes low-profile 64mm CPU cooler
  • Display I/O: 2 DisplayPort 1.4 ports, 1 HDMI 2.1 port
  • Front I/O: 2 USB 3.2 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB Type-C port, 1 Audio Port
  • Rear I/O: 2 USB 3.2 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 2.5G Ethernet Port
  • Supported RAM: Up to 7200 MT/s and 192GB of DDR5 RAM, four slots
  • Storage Options: Two NVMe slots (Gen 3 and Gen 4), one 2.5-inch mount for SATA
  • Wireless Support: Optional Wi-Fi (depends on config)
  • Dimensions: 195 x 85 x 215 mm (roughly 3.5 liters)
  • Default OS: Not Listed, most likely Windows 11
  • Shell Colors: Obsidian Black, Starry Gray, and Moonlight Silver

With the basics of the ASRock DeskMate X600 established, let's focus on that top-mounted PCIe slot. Unlike the CWWK Magic Computer, the top-mounted PCIe slot here is intended for use with a PCIe riser cable and supports a separate full-bandwidth graphics card... but exactly how you're expected to dock and power that external GPU isn't quite clear. The DIY potential of powering a GPU with a separate PSU is always there, but then you'd need to short the power pins and that's not exactly an elegant solution.

And all of this beliest the fact that you'd then have a second PSU that might be as large as the Mini PC, plus cables, plus the honking RTX 4090 or whatever you want to stuff into the provided slot. That's a lot of extra desk space for a "Mini PC" that seems to defeat the point of having a small system in the first place.

Regardless, the maximum CPU spec that is a 65W TDP on socket AM5, which locks in the Ryzen 7 8700G as the best option right now, even if you plan on using an external GPU. Fortunately, the Ryzen 7 8700G is no slouch in either iGPU or discrete GPU performance, but once again, the intended eGPU use case here raises a lot of eyebrows. Of course, being socket AM5, we'd also expect the system to eventually get support for the upcoming AMD Zen 5 Ryzen 9000-series processors.

ASRock's advertising is correct in that a proper PCIe 4.0 x16 link to an external GPU will provide far better performance than Thunderbolt or even OCuLink, but this design decision unfortunately introduces plenty of its own problems. There aren't exactly any PCIe riser cable-compatible eGPU docking stations, and if you're going to have a bulky high-end graphics card, you'd probably want it properly supported and shielded from damage. A look at that top image makes us think it would be quite easy to accidentally knock over the GPU while the system is powered on, which could be a recipe for disaster.

Freelance News Writer
  • USAFRet
    "...but exactly how you're expected to dock and power that external GPU isn't quite clear..."
    Reply
  • chaz_music
    This is awesome, but you should be careful when trying to use it. I might pair this with an external RAID enclosure.

    USAFRet said:
    "...but exactly how you're expected to dock and power that external GPU isn't quite clear..."

    Oh yes, and if you did try to use an external PSU to power it, the common mode noise from the PSU will eat you alive unless you make a direct power common between the two systems as well as a housing ground strap/braid. I might also try adding common mode cores on the PCI bus cables if I have problems. Chose your PSU carefully and try to find one with low CM EMI to ground.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    chaz_music said:
    This is awesome, but you should be careful when trying to use it. I might pair this with an external RAID enclosure.



    Oh yes, and if you did try to use an external PSU to power it, the common mode noise from the PSU will eat you alive unless you make a direct power common between the two systems as well as a housing ground strap/braid. I might also try adding common mode cores on the PCI bus cables if I have problems. Chose your PSU carefully and try to find one with low CM EMI to ground.
    A solution in search of a problem.
    Reply
  • chaz_music
    USAFRet said:
    A solution in search of a problem.
    Well, could be the wrong solution for the right problem. Due to noise and other issues, it might be plain simpler to use Thunderbolt, especially if they ramp up the fiber optic version. Then the noise problems go away inherently. I think it was BitUser who pointed this out a year or so ago.
    Reply
  • Notton
    Asrock pulling a minisforum B550/B550 Pro, except they somehow managed to make it worse than the smaller company with less resources.

    I don't get it, did minisforum have a patent on that design or something?
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    Two psu IS BAD BAD BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!
    how to fry your system and the power bill eat you alive!
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    @chaz_music build an open frame with an matx board have some nice little chasis with a price tag of 38usd
    2.5 and 3.5 cages are five or six dollars
    something like that

    https://ibb.co/z4W3PpJhttps://ibb.co/xJSWTfWhttps://ibb.co/sbdssFm
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Conceptually it sounds great. But the fact that you will have a GPU and PSU that sticks outside the main system is going to take up a lot of space. I feel they should have design the Deskmate in a way that allows you install a SFX PSU.
    Reply