Packaging and Overview
Box and packaging are done well, and just like other ASRock Mini-ITX products. The motherboard is well protected, and the box resembles the color of the motherboard.
The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, three M.2 screws, IO shield, WIFI antenna, ASRock case badge, driver DVD, and manuals.
ASRock has three fan headers on the motherboard that are hybrid DC/PWM headers. The header in the top left corner doubles as a water pump header, so it should run full speed by default. The motherboard has two daughterboards that contain one of the M.2 slots, all SATA ports, a USB 3.0 internal header, and a USB 2.0 internal header. The daughterboard with the M.2 slot also has both Intel NICs and a USB 3.0 hub on it.
Since the Mini-ITX platform is so compact, and the socket is so large, there is almost no getting around adding extra PCB to take on the extra components. The motherboard features quad channel memory support, but you are going to need SO-DIMMs. The back of the motherboard is where you will find two more M.2 slots as well as a lot of circuitry.
The IO shield offers four USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, a clear CMOS/Power button, WIFI antenna outputs, as well as gold plated 7.1 audio jacks with S/PDIF out.
The PCI-E lane allotment is really easy to understand; the motherboard offers a single x16 slot that can be split all the way down to x8/x8 or x4/x4/x4/x4 with a riser card. The SO-DIMMs are vertical and offer overclocking support. The M.2 slot on the top of the motherboard is connected to the PCH and offers x4 PCI-E 3.0 or SATA connections. It sits in a modified SO-DIMM slot.
The two M.2 slots on the rear of the motherboard are both x4 PCI-E 3.0 and are directly connected to the CPU. They can only RAID with VROC technology, but that also means you can RAID 0 all three M.2 slots on the motherboard and not be bottlenecked by the PCH to CPU DMI bus.
We find six SATA6Gb/s ports, a USB 3.0 header, and a USB 2.0 header on the daughterboard above the CPU VRM heat sink. A VROC header is located at the top left corner of the motherboard, and a TPM module header is located right behind the WIFI card.
A front panel HD audio header is located above the PCH heat sink. A small switch located to the right of the PCH heat sink allows you to choose what the button of the IO panel does. You can have the button clear CMOS or act as a power button (clear CMOS is default). An RGB LED header sits above the 8-pin power connector. In between the CPU power connector and RGB header are your system headers.
The VRM heat sink screws into the "front" daughterboard, and you need to remove it if you are going to install the Bitspower waterblock. I installed the Bitspower waterblock, and I highly recommend buying it if you are going to overclock HCC CPUs.
The heat sinks on the motherboard cover the VRMs and the PCH. The VRM heat sink isn't that large, so I would try and ensure there is adequate airflow over it.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The ASRock X299E-ITX/ac Motherboard retails for $XXX at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X299E-ITX/ac Overview]
- Page 3 [ASRock X299E-ITX/ac Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASRock X299E-ITX/ac Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking With G.Skill 3800MHz SO-DIMMs]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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