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Can Asus’ Intel 9th gen ProArt PA90 mini PCs slay the Mac Mini?

Asus has announced a new line of ProArt PA90 mini PCs, all featuring Intel 9th gen CPUs and Nvidia Quadro GPUs.

Aimed at professional designers, video editors and content creators who’ll want a lightweight modular PC they can run and gun with between the office and home, the ProArt P90 range will start at £2499 when they go on sale this March.

CPU options include Core i7-9700K and Core i9-9900K processors and all models will feature an all-in-one CPU liquid cooler and a ventilation system that sees the top cover extending whenever the temperature exceeds 80°C, which apparently increases airflow by 38%.

Related: Intel Core i9-9900K review

All models come with one 1TB 2.5-inch 7200rpm hard drive and the option of a 256GB or 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD, as well as the option up to take two 512GB SSDs, if you need more storage, thanks to a triple-storage design.

You get 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM as standard, as well as the option to take up to 64GB.

Full pricing information for the range has yet to be published, but here’s what Asus has shared so far:

PA90-M7017ZN-OSS PA90-M7018ZN-OSS PA90-M9019ZN-OSS
Processor Intel i7-9700K Intel i7-9700K Intel i9-9900K
GPU Nvidia Quadro P2000 5GB Nvidia Quadro P4000 8GB Nvidia Quadro P4000 8GB
Memory 32GB DDR4 2666MHz 32GB DDR4 2666MHz 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
Storage 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD / 1TB 2.5-inch 7200rpm HDD 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD / 1TB 2.5-inch 7200rpm HDD 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD / 1TB 2.5-inch 7200rpm HDD
Motherboard Asus Z390 Asus Z390 Asus Z390
Ports 2 x USB ports supporting Thunderbolt 3 2 x USB ports supporting Thunderbolt 3 2 x USB ports supporting Thunderbolt 3
Connectivity Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
RRP £2499.99 £2,999.99 £3,199.99

At those prices, it appears to be a less competitive option on paper than Apple’s new Mac Mini offerings, which start at £799.

Although you’ll be able to daisy-chain multiple devices on the via a single port thanks to a reversible USB-C connector with the new ProArt PA90’s they’re perhaps not as peripheral-friendly as the four Thunderbolt 3 ports you get on the 2018 Mac Minis.

That said, the Mac Mini’s integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU doesn’t promise the same heft of a dedicated Nvidia Quadro P2000 graphics card. Of course, until we’ve reviewed them both we can’t say for sure which is the better value for money option.

What do you think about the new Asus ProArt PA90 range? Are these Mac Mini killers, or are they all filler? Let us know the sum of your thoughts in 280 characters or less @TrustedReviews.

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