If you have gone on YouTube lately, you might have seen a video of a bully getting beat up by a victim half his size, with the victim knocking out the bully with a single punch. In some sense, I think of the X99E-ITX/ac as the little underdog that packs a strong punch. This board's greatest advantage and its greatest disadvantage is its tiny size. The facts are that it only has two DIMMs, a U2 server socket, and a single PCI-E slot. There is no way to fit more DIMMs or PCI-E slots on a board of this size; it hasn't been done and it won't be anytime soon.
While these limitations are that of all Mini-ITX boards, they still need to be taken into consideration when purchasing an X99 motherboard. If you want more than two DIMMs and you want more than one GPU, then this board isn't for you. However, if you are willing to take an X99 system with a single PCI-E slot and DDR performance above that of DDR3, but below that of quad-channel DDR4, then the X99E-ITX/ac might be worth a look. You can see from the benchmarks that the memory difference doesn't really hurt overall performance.
This system is without a doubt the fastest Mini-ITX system to date, you just can't go higher in the Mini-ITX playing field than this board. It packs a ton of features including USB 3.1, wirelesses AC, SATA Express, and Ultra M.2 while providing the proper hardware for high overclocks. Its VRM has extremely high power density, and CPU cooling will hold you back before the VRM does on this board.
Sure, it's limited by its size, but that doesn't keep the X99E-ITX/ac from performing like any other X99 motherboard. I think that the price of the X99E-ITX/ac at $290 is a bit on the high side for a Mini-ITX motherboard, but comparing its feature set to other X99 motherboards, you can start to see why the board comes with such a price tag.
I really like that ASRock provides the CPU cooler, as most people would have to go buy a special one just for this board, which brings me to my final point. If you want the highest performance in the smallest form factor and are willing to make the needed sacrifices along the way, you want the ASRock X99E-ITX/ac.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Performance (including Overclocking)||91%|
|Quality including Design and Build||93%|
|Bundle and Packaging||94%|
|Value for Money||87%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||91%|
The Bottom Line: If you want the highest performance in the smallest form factor and are willing to make the needed sacrifices along the way, you want the ASRock X99E-ITX/ac.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- 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]
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