ASUS has introduced its first miniature workstation, the Mini PC ProArt PA90. The new system has Intel’s eight-core CPU, NVIDIA’s Quadro graphics, a high-performance storage subsystem, and has four display outputs. One of the interesting features of the Mini PC ProArt PA90 is its form-factor that loosely resembles that of Apple’s Mac Pro launched five years ago.

The ASUS Mini PC ProArt PA90 tiny workstation is based on Intel’s Z390 platform and can be equipped with eight-core Core i7-9700K or Core i9-9900K processor paired with NVIDIA’s Quadro P2000 (GP106GL, 1024 cores) or Quadro P4000 (GP104GL, 1792 cores) graphics. Using such components inside a miniature PC is tricky to say the least. The Core i9-9900K features a TDP of 95 W, but it can get higher under high loads when the CPU runs at Turbo clocks, unless ASUS is manually adjusting peak consumption (as other mini-PCs do). As for the GPU, the Quadro P4000 can dissipate up to 105 W. To ensure that the processor delivers consistent performance, it is equipped with a custom  designed all-in-one liquid cooler. When the CPU temperature exceeds 80°C, the PC automatically lifts its top cover to enable a better airflow. Meanwhile, keeping in mind that the system will come with a 180 W or a 230 W external PSU, cooling may not be the main bottleneck here.

Moving on to DRAM and storage. Memory subsystem of the machine is comprised of up to four SO-DIMMs supporting up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133 memory, which is standard for PCs of this class. As for storage subsystem, the Mini PC ProArt PA90 can be equipped with two M.2-2280 SSDs (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA) and one 2.5-inch storage device.

Being aimed at professionals, the small form-factor workstation from ASUS has an appropriate set of connectivity options. The PC is equipped with four DisplayPort 1.4 outputs (depending on the GPU), two Thunderbolt 3 connectors, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one GbE, and audio jacks.

Time to talk about the key selling point of the Mini PC ProArt PA90: its dimensions. The system is 365 mm tall, features a diameter of 176 mm, and weighs 5.8 kilograms. The SFF workstation is larger and heavier than Apple’s Mac Pro, though not dramatically. Furthermore, larger dimensions may mean that ASUS has managed to integrate a better cooling solution, which is clearly welcome in case of an SFF system.

General Specifications of ASUS SFF Workstation
  Mini PC ProArt PA90
CPU Options Intel Core i7-9700K (8C/8T, 3.6 - 4.9 GHz, 12 MB LLC)
Intel Core i9-9900K (8C/16T, 3.6 - 5 GHz, 16 MB LLC)
Graphics Options NVIDIA Quadro P2000 (GP106GL, 1024 cores)
NVIDIA Quadro P4000 (GP104GL, 1792 cores)
RAM 4 × DDR4 DDR4-2133/2666 SO-DIMMs
Up to 64 GB DDR4-2133 memory
Storage SSD 2 × M2-2280 SSDs (SATA or PCIe 3.0 x4)
HDD 1 × 2.5-inch 500 GB or 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi
Bluetooth ?
USB 4 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
Thunderbolt 3 2 × Thunderbolt 3
Display Outputs 4 × DisplayPort++ 1.4
GbE 1 × Gigabit Ethernet
Other I/O Audio out, Microphone in, Line In
PSU 19.5Vdc, 9.23A 180W
19.5Vdc, 11.8A 230W
External Power Bricks
Dimensions Width 176 mm
Depth 176 mm
Height 365 mm
Weight 5.8 kilograms
Price ?

ASUS plans to start sales of its in the coming months, but it has not announced when exactly. Pricing of the SFF workstation is something that remains to be seen as well, but keep in mind that we are talking about a workstation-class machine that will use appropriately-priced components.

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Source: ASUS

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  • lilkwarrior - Saturday, January 5, 2019 - link

    You don't need HDMI 2.0 if you have Thunderbolt 3. If they have the Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller, Displayport 1.4 is used that's way better than HDMI 2.0.

    HDMI 2.1 is the only thing that would necessitate adding a HDMI port; Thunderbolt 3 isn't fast enough for HDMI 2.1 and Thunderbolt 4 isn't yet ready since it seems Intel is waiting for PCIe4
    Reply
  • MrKomNTK - Friday, February 15, 2019 - link

    Official Website from ASUS said is 180W + 230W Power Adapter and so It's 410W in total. Reply
  • pixelstuff - Friday, January 4, 2019 - link

    Might have been nice if they had put a 5G or 10G ethernet adapter in there. Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, January 4, 2019 - link

    Xeon fail. Can't call it a workstation without Xeon (if Intel). And then why put a Quadro in there, when they can't even bother with a workstation-grade CPU? I mean, unlike Xeon, Quadro is truly just about branding. Most Quadro cards don't even have ECC memory. Reply
  • Mastadon - Saturday, January 5, 2019 - link

    Actually most Quadro cards do have ECC memory. I agree with your point about ECC memory. Not much of a workstation without ECC RAM. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Friday, January 4, 2019 - link

    I can't help but think that good airflow might be beneficial no matter the temperature. After all, the higher the temperature, the higher the voltage required; leaving it up it might use less power by staying at a lower temperature to begin with. Reply
  • DeepLearner - Saturday, January 5, 2019 - link

    What the hell am I buying a workstation with a 8 GB GPU in 2019 for? Like, paying workstation prices for that? No. Reply

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