MotherboardsReviews

ASRock’s Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac – A New Direction

For some time, ASRock has been using the Fatal1ty branding on their high end products – a tie back to the days of old, where Quake was king, and bright, flashy branding was cool. However, Fatal1ty has given way to ASRock’s “Phantom Gaming” brand, with a much more subtle aesthetic. All black? Yes please! Beefy heatsinks? Yessir! First sighted on ASRock’s limited availability (unfortunately) GPU line, the Phantom Gaming brand has come to motherboards – slowly taking over the performance space within ASRock’s lineup. This particular model uses the Intel Z390 chipset – what Z370 should have been, but I digress. …
MotherboardsReviews

ASRock’s B450M Pro4 – M-ATX, Fully Featured

Micro-ATX, the oft-ignored form factor, stuck between the expandability (and HUUUUGEness) of ATX and the size of M-ITX. For generations, the M-ATX market segment has been filled with mediocre boards from a cursory glance, leaving folks to go to one extreme or the other instead. In fact, I have mused publicly in the past on this, a sad perspective of the middle child of the PC world. ASRock has long been a stalwart of high density computing options, with the DeskMini range, insane Mini-ITX boards and the like – I was intrigued to see what their B450M Pro4 has to …
MotherboardsReviews

ASRock’s H370M-ITX/ac – Workstation Wonder

ASRock’s H370M-ITX/ac is a highly specced, mid-range board based on Intel’s H370 chipset. Offering near Z370 specs at a slight bump over the price of a B360 board, this new motherboard offers an interesting value proposition. Offering a strong complement of IO, as well as numerous display options from your Intel Coffee Lake integrated graphics, there are many use cases for such a product. This particular ASRock motherboard offers a great feature set for the dollar, but what makes this motherboard worth your consideration? Let’s find out. Z vs H vs B vs Q – Intel’s Chipset Confusion Selling for …
MotherboardsReviews

ASRock’s Fatal1ty X470-ITX/ac – Back to the Future

With the second generation of Ryzen processors on the market, it’s only fitting than a new, upgraded, chipset family is available. With this in mind, today we are looking at ASRock’s first AMD 400 series M-ITX board, the X470 Gaming-ITX/ac. This board is a younger brother to the previously reviewed X370 Gaming-ITX/ac, with a few changes to the layout, as well as the aesthetic. ASRock’s partnership with the Fatal1ty brand goes back some time, and has always been associated with bright, Gam3r-esque branding and design. Not any more it seems, with this new generation of motherboards taking on a much …
MotherboardsReviews

ASRock’s “Little Monster” X299E-ITX/ac Reviewed

Earlier this year, we previewed ASRock’s “Little Monster”, their X299E-ITX/ac motherboard, with a featureset longer than some motherboard’s manuals, and a board density to suit. The X299E-ITX/ac was shown with not one, but two daughterboards! The board was launched at Computex 2017, and we just so happened to be there, thanks to our community. After looking over the spec list, having a hands-on with a display unit, and passing on the news to the community, we waited.. and waited. Just like a kid waiting for Christmas, we waited. Well, the time has come, and here it is! The Moniker So, …
MotherboardsReviews

AMD’s AM4 on the M-ITX Platform – Round-up and VRM Temperature Investigation

So, over the past month, we have covered 4 of the 5 M-ITX AM4 offerings, with only BIOSTAR’s B350 variant un-tested. However, due to the fact that the X370 and B350 variants share the same PCB and expansion offerings, we decided that we had sufficient information to create a roundup review to make it easy to pick a board for your next build. The VRMs Firstly, let’s deal with the elephant in the room – VRM temperature issues. From early on, users have reported overly hot VRM heatsinks and temperatures, raising concerns as to the longevity of their boards under …
MotherboardsReviews

BIOSTAR Racing X370GTN – Zoom Zoom?

BIOSTAR – one of the older names in the PC industry – has recently been making inroads in the mainstream market, after being shunned to the outskirts for years. Back in the day, BIOSTAR was the mainstream motherboard market, alongside all the other big players. Within my group of high school friends, a few swore by BIOSTAR boards for overclocking – high praise indeed, considering we were pushing our systems to the limit. Around the time that DFI, BFG and the like faded into obscurity, BIOSTAR almost suffered the same fate – with their products all but disappearing from western …
MotherboardsReviews

Fatal1ty! ASRock’s X370 and AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboards Reviewed

History lesson time folks! Back in the early 2000’s, a FPS shooter player, Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel, was dominating the competitive gaming scene, earning attention from not only the gaming fraternity, but mainstream media also. Soon enough, a company, ABit, approached Fatal1ty with a brand deal. ABit would build Fatal1ty branded hardware, cementing his name in the minds of the gamers and hardware enthusiasts of the era. ABit unfortunately fell, along with DFI, BFG and a few other contemporaries. What once were glorious hardware manufacturers, became relegated to history. Some retreated to OEM only production, while others were stripped for any …
MotherboardsReviews

Gigabyte’s AB350N-Gaming WIFI – AM4 M-ITX, Finally!

When AMD released the new Ryzen processors back in March, the enthusiasts amongst us were pleasantly surprised by the capabilities and efficiencies introduced by the new platform. One major thing (well, two, if you count enthusiast M-ATX) missing from the launch, however, was any real M-ITX offering for the new chip. Months passed, and at CES 2017 we heard that M-ITX was indeed incoming, now that Ryzen had proven itself as a market player that had enough sales volume to placate board partners. We were told that three companies had boards incoming, but not who these companies would be. Eventually, …
MotherboardsReviews

Asus X99-M WS review – Worth the Wait?

On the bench today is the X99-M WS motherboard, Asus’s much anticipated foray into the world of microATX X99. But has it been worth the wait? This product is one I’ve been anxiously awaiting for quite some time now, since April of last year actually. Except back then I was expecting a Rampage V Gene (a hypothetical update to the X79-based Rampage IV Gene) but the launch of Intel’s X99 platform came and went with no sign of the Gene and then a few weeks later Raja from Asus confirmed that a Gene wasn’t in the plans at all. That was a huge disappointment …
MotherboardsReviews

EVGA X99 Micro2 Review – Second Time’s the Charm?

Welcome to this review of the EVGA X99 Micro2 motherboard, a much needed refresh of the X99 Micro, a board that EVGA had released last Fall with the launch of Intel’s X99 platform. The original Micro wasn’t a terrible product but it had several deficiencies that prevented it from being a great board. So does this sequel address the shortcomings of its predecessor? Let’s find out! First off, this is an Intel X99 motherboard in the microATX form factor. Like the original, the Micro2 features an Intel socket 2011-3, four DDR4 RAM slots, three PCIe slots, and a M.2 slot. Specifications …
Motherboards

ECS A960M-MV – M-DTX… or is it?

AMD’s AM3+ platform is great for value performance, but there’s one major market segment left unfilled by motherboard manufacturers with this socket – SFF. The board featured here today is the ECS A960M-MV, the smallest FX-Capable motherboard, but it has it’s caveats. Lets find them. Here are the specifications, note them, as we’ll come back to certain points here. Product link here. CPU º Supports AMD® AM3+ & AM3 socket for AMD® FX-Series and Phenom™ II processors º High Performance AMD HyperTransport 3.0 CPU Interface º Solid Capacitor for CPU side º Supports AMD® Cool ‘n’ Quiet™ º Please refer to CPU support list for details CHIPSET º AMD® 760G …