When I first heard ASRock was going to launch a Mini-ITX X99 motherboard, I was a bit taken aback. Intel's X99 platform is an extreme high-end one; it eats power, produces a lot of heat, and tends to be very expensive. Mini-ITX is meant to be low power, silent, and cost effective and on paper these things disqualify the X99 chipset from being considered for a Mini-ITX motherboard.
However, not everything is black and white. In most cases Mini-ITX is found either in home theaters, offices, or industrial complexes, but there is a new movement aimed at miniaturizing powerful PCs. The movement wasn't very popular in the past because of the lack of Mini-ITX performance products and lack of Mini-ITX cases. Now when I search Newegg, there are 156 Mini-ITX cases, a wide variety for those who want to build a mobile LAN machine or a sleek yet elegant office box.
To build a quality Mini-ITX motherboard, you need experience in doing so. ASRock's long time experience in the motherboard industry coupled with their history of bringing Mini-ITX motherboards to the market, places them in a unique position to bring out a rebellious little motherboard.
For its tiny 17cm x 17cm size, this motherboard packs a lot of features. All of the latest features like USB 3.1, Ultra M.2, SATAExpress, dual Intel NICs, and even wireless AC are crammed into this little board. One feature is missing, that is quad-channel DDR4. With only two DIMMs, the X99E-ITX/ac can only run dual-channel, like the Z97 platform.
The ASRock X99E-ITX/ac is $290 on Newegg at the time of writing which puts it in the mid-range of X99 motherboards. It is by no means the least expensive X99 motherboard either.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the X99-Pro]
- Page 3 [X99E-ITX/ac Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 5 [Test Setup and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [Temperature and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]