News ASRock Unveils the X299E-ITX/ac: Mini ITX + X299 + Quad-channel Memory

Mod edit:



Detailed overview of what we know about the X299E-ITX/ac thus far here: https://smallformfactor.net/news/asrock-x299e-itxac-little-monster-detailed

Original:

ASRock did it! Finally, there's an Intel HEDT platform motherboard with full quad-channel DDR4 memory. The new X299E-ITX/ac is for those who need up to 18 CPU cores and up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory in their SFF machines for reasons. The board manages its limited PCB real-estate by going vertical. It features two riser cards, one with a few onboard controllers, and a pair of 32 Gb/s M.2 slots), and the other riser with SATA 6 Gb/s ports, a third M.2 slot, and the headers such as USB 3.1. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the LGA2066 CPU using a 7-phase VRM. The lone expansion slot is a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, memory is handled by four DDR4 SO-DIMM slots. Connectivity includes two Intel I219-V driven gigabit Ethernet interfaces, 802.11ac WLAN, and Bluetooth 4.1.



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drunker

Trash Compacter
Apr 25, 2017
49
36
"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."

Read more here:

https://smallformfactor.net/reviews/motherboards/asrocks-little-monster-x299e-itxac-reviewed
Honestly, this is the best review of a motherboard I have ever seen, Thanks you! Now I got a couple ideas to make the board even more awesome.
 

Mortis Angelus

Airflow Optimizer
Bronze Supporter
Jun 22, 2017
279
275
First of all, I have to agree with everyone else here: Such a detailed review! Great job! Perhaps a bit of TLDR, but I prefer to have all the info, rather than something half-a$$ed. Really great job!

Secondly: This mobo is such a pure definition of PC-porn. Just wow! It is totally ridiculous and unnecessary, yet so incredible and I just want one. I tip my hat to AsRock's talented, yet crazy, engineering team for pulling this off. :D
 
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QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
Amazing thorough review, great job!!

Yes, they included a switch that turns the rear button into a power button!! I was asking for a rear power button when we first heard of the board. That was mainly for purposes of removing the daughter board, but I hope this becomes a standard feature, front power buttons are overrated.
 
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QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
A few questions -- the L12S seemed to fit with the slim fan under the heatsink in the pictures, I'm guessing it wasn't attached to the socket...? I didn't see how it couldn't fit, but I trust the measurements of course. It's a shame as it's the smallest air cooler that makes sense for that platform (barring Dynatron R15, but good luck getting airflow). However, I'm guessing an NF-A9 would work under the L12S as it does under the L12.

I wonder if a C14's heatpipes would clear the rear daughterboard. Speaking of which, if that rear daughterboard was removed, how much rear I/O functionality would you lose?
 

Testifier

Average Stuffer
Oct 16, 2017
55
103
Does ram speed matter on the X299 platform? I want to build one right now but the gskill kit won't come out until December
 

nox

Average Stuffer
Feb 10, 2017
81
52
real shame that very few mini itx boards support thuderbolt, and these are the boards most likely to need them. ie the ones where the case is so small you can't cram an array of disks in, or want an egpu, or...
 

vluft

programmer-at-arms
Silver Supporter
Jun 19, 2016
158
136
Dang, little concerned about the VRM now... We'll see how it does in practice, but the Tiki has a good airflow setup but no active cooling beyond the CPU AIO.
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,557
6,109
sff.network
A few questions -- the L12S seemed to fit with the slim fan under the heatsink in the pictures, I'm guessing it wasn't attached to the socket...? I didn't see how it couldn't fit, but I trust the measurements of course. It's a shame as it's the smallest air cooler that makes sense for that platform (barring Dynatron R15, but good luck getting airflow). However, I'm guessing an NF-A9 would work under the L12S as it does under the L12.

I wonder if a C14's heatpipes would clear the rear daughterboard. Speaking of which, if that rear daughterboard was removed, how much rear I/O functionality would you lose?

The L12S with the bottom fan is about 2mm too low to fit - the mounting screws wouldn't connect to the brackets. The fan is sitting on the daughterboards in those images!

Removing the rear daughterboard means both wired ethernet ports do not work, and all barring 2 of the USB ports on the boards.

Does ram speed matter on the X299 platform? I want to build one right now but the gskill kit won't come out until December

Skylake-X is less dependant on RAM speeds than say, the Ryzen platform. In all honesty though, a jump from DDR4-2133 to DDR4--2666 or even DDR4-2933 would only be noticeable in benchmarks, with only slight improvements in "seat of the pants" feel of the system.
 
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QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
The L12S with the bottom fan is about 2mm too low to fit - the mounting screws wouldn't connect to the brackets. The fan is sitting on the daughterboards in those images!

Removing the rear daughterboard means both wired ethernet ports do not work, and all barring 2 of the USB ports on the boards.

I see. That's where I was confused. I see no issue with the fan sitting on the daughterboards, but I suspected the cooler wasn't actually mounted in the pictures. So not possible to install the L12S with the fan under in any orientation with the SATA/USB daughterboard removed? (that's an awfully specific question).

Okay, so technically possible to plug in a mouse and a keyboard if you use Wi-Fi. Or you could use a dongle. But probably not worth it. I assume the USB 3.1 Gen2 ports are left?

Does the Type-C port support the USB 3.1 power standard? Would be awesome for fast charging your phone.

Finally, does the board still have a headphone amp? I use the one on my X99E-ITX/ac, though it only works with front audio for some reason.

Sorry for the deluge of questions!
 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,557
6,109
sff.network
I see. That's where I was confused. I see no issue with the fan sitting on the daughterboards, but I suspected the cooler wasn't actually mounted in the pictures. So not possible to install the L12S with the fan under in any orientation with the SATA/USB daughterboard removed? (that's an awfully specific question).

Okay, so technically possible to plug in a mouse and a keyboard if you use Wi-Fi. Or you could use a dongle. But probably not worth it. I assume the USB 3.1 Gen2 ports are left?

Does the Type-C port support the USB 3.1 power standard? Would be awesome for fast charging your phone.

Finally, does the board still have a headphone amp? I use the one on my X99E-ITX/ac, though it only works with front audio for some reason.

Sorry for the deluge of questions!

The cooler sat on both daughterboards, so it's a no go, unfortunately.

I was unable to get any rear USB working with the rear daughterboard removed, but that may have been an issue with my hardware rather than the board. It seems the USB3.1 Gen 2 ports are the only ones with a motherboard mounted controller, but I could be wrong. Without a block diagram from ASRock, it's hard to tell.

Not sure on the 3.1 power standard - I'd assume so as they are rated as USb 3.1 Gen 2, which means they must comply with all of the standard.

Headphone amp for front panel only it seems - "- 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier
- NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets)"
 
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QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
The cooler sat on both daughterboards, so it's a no go, unfortunately.

I was unable to get any rear USB working with the rear daughterboard removed, but that may have been an issue with my hardware rather than the board. It seems the USB3.1 Gen 2 ports are the only ones with a motherboard mounted controller, but I could be wrong. Without a block diagram from ASRock, it's hard to tell.

Not sure on the 3.1 power standard - I'd assume so as they are rated as USb 3.1 Gen 2, which means they must comply with all of the standard.

Headphone amp for front panel only it seems - "- 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier
- NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets)"

Thanks very much for the information!

I'm sure we'll get more data on the status of the USB 3.1 Gen2 ports with the rear daughterboard removed. I assume only a very small minority will deem it worth it to lose either daughterboard for better airflow/fitting a low-profile cooler.

Both great news that they kept the headphone amp and a shame it's limited to front audio only. I don't know why they couldn't wire it to both the front and rear. It's the same on my X99E-ITX/ac. I consider the amp to be an essential feature if you have headphones that can take advantage of it, and for some people the rear audio is more convenient, not to mention a lot of SFF cases don't have front audio connectors.

ASRock, if you're reading this, please fix this in your next HEDT board. ;)
 

pacmanwa

Chassis Packer
Aug 1, 2017
13
10
Riser cards - I suppose. If you can find a DDR4 SODIMM riser cable ;) - the rear daughterboard uses a physical DDR4 SODIMM slot, and the front one uses a M.2 physical slot.

This is slightly good news. I've already purchased some M.2 extension cable to make putting active cooling on my M.2 drives easier. Maybe I'll just relocate that daughterboard first.
 
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epithumia

Efficiency Noob
Oct 26, 2017
6
6
So I've been following this for some time. Newegg finally got some boards in stock and so I snagged one while they were still available. I haven't managed to find a source for that custom water block, though. I guess it's a bit too early.

So the question is... if I'm cramming this into a small case (Silverstone SG05 is probably too small, but I have an SG13 sitting around as well), how can I cool, say, an i9-7940x? I've done crazy things before (X99 ITX with a Xeon e5-1650 cooled by a Corsair H80i with two fans in an SG05 case without removing the optical drive) but that's only a 130W CPU and I still need to play with it a bit to keep it from occasionally throttling..

I wonder if, say, a Swiftech H140-X (or whatever just the radiator/pump combo part is) mated to the custom water block will do it. Noise is less of a concern so I can throw in one those Noctua industrial PWM fans (41dBA), I guess it's worth a try once I can actually get one of the blocks.
 

Phryq

Cable-Tie Ninja
Nov 13, 2016
217
71
www.AlbertMcKay.com
Probably been asked, but would it be possible to power this using an external laptop power brick? Maybe using a pico PSU?

Maybe something like this,

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/6dV48d/athena-power-power-supply-apmfatx25

And just wrap that in something to make it more... protected so I an use it external to the case and pretend it's a laptop brick? I like to keep it external to reduce heat-buildup, because I want things as quiet as possible.
 

Phryq

Cable-Tie Ninja
Nov 13, 2016
217
71
www.AlbertMcKay.com
A few questions -- the L12S seemed to fit with the slim fan under the heatsink in the pictures, I'm guessing it wasn't attached to the socket...? I didn't see how it couldn't fit, but I trust the measurements of course. It's a shame as it's the smallest air cooler that makes sense for that platform (barring Dynatron R15, but good luck getting airflow). However, I'm guessing an NF-A9 would work under the L12S as it does under the L12.

I wonder if a C14's heatpipes would clear the rear daughterboard. Speaking of which, if that rear daughterboard was removed, how much rear I/O functionality would you lose?

What about the Dynatron R15 with a 120+ fan on top?

Or SHADOW ROCK LP?

Or this, https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835242032

but cut a hole in the top of the case for that tall grill... so it'll stick out, but the case is still relatively small :p