ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s DeskMini A300 – Finally!

Around a year ago, AMD graced us with the Ryzen APU family, bringing higher logical core counts and the Vega GPU architecture to the APU platform. Unlike the rather.. limited.. FM1/2/2+ platform family, the new generation ran on the AM4 platform, allowing anyone to choose between CPUs and APUs for their builds. What the new Ryzen platform also offered is a chipset-less option – A300. Because Ryzen integrates so many controllers and devices into the die, it is possible to create a motherboard with no chipset at all, much like the ill-fated AM1 platform. SATA, PCIe, RAM, and more fed …
News

CES 2019: ASRock

I was looking forward to this one. ASRock has been a strong supporter of the SFF world for some time, let’s see what they have on show at CES 2019! AMD DeskMini and M-STX. Sorry, no ETA yet. (Soon please, ASRock!)   One new motherboard of interest – an Intel B365 (yes, B365) chipset M-ITX board.   Thanks to ASRock for inviting us to their suite at CES 2019!   Thoughts? Discuss them in the forum.
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. …
News

The first Intel Z390 board has been revealed, by ASRock

Dubbed the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac (edit: link doesn’t work anymore), ASRock is the first to officially launch an mITX Z390 board, Intel’s latest chipset supporting the 9th Gen Intel Core processors that are right around the corner. The stand-out features are the Thunderbolt 3 enabled USB Type-C connector, as well as the four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (10Gb/s per port) at the rear, with an additional two USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gb/s per port) at the rear as well, along with two more via the internal header for the case front panel. The M.2 heatsink stands out as well, with …
ReviewsSystems

ASRock’s DeskMini 310 – NUC Killer?

We’ve looked at ASRock’s DeskMini range in the past, with in depth analysis of the B250 and Z370 series DeskMini GTX/RX models – with GTX1080 and GTX1060 GPUs included. These cater for the high end, with prices to suit. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the DeskMini 110 and 310 – Mini-STX rather than Micro-STX, and integrated graphics only. The barebones market is an interesting one – DIY PC with less DIY, but better manufacturer support. Buy a barebones box, slap in a CPU, RAM and storage and you’re off – no power supply selection headaches, board …
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 …
News

ASRock Phantom Gaming Z390 Boards on the Horizon

Browsing the usual sources across the web, I came across a snippet from VideoCardz.com noting the emergence of ASRock’s new sub branding – “Phantom Gaming”. Whilst we have no confirmation that this brand will replace the Fatal1ty branding that currently adorns products, the article does give us one more bit of info that is worth looking in to – a motherboard list. I quote: Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI/ac Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Z390 Gaming K6 Z390 Gaming-ITXac Z390 Master SLI/ac Z390 Pro4 Z390 Taichi Ultimate Z390 Taichi Z390M Pro4 Z390M-ITXac Z390M-STX MXM Whilst a few of these …
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 …
News

ASRock Shares Details of First Foray into Graphics Cards!

With the SFF Network crew on-location at Computex 2018, one of the first booths we’ve visited is that of ASRock, a company we’ve covered and reviewed at length for their work in the realm of motherboards and pre-built systems. Well known for their mITX and (lately) STX boards in particular, ASRock recently announced their intent to expand into GPUs by launching a broad series of AMD-powered graphics cards, which is a first for the company. ASRock has dubbed their entire series of graphics cards the “Phantom Gaming” line, with aggressive aesthetics and cooling to match. Interestingly, although there is not …
News

ASRock DeskMini at Computex 2018

ASRock’s DeskMini line, the proponent of the STX and Micro-STX form factors, is undergoing a tonne more development. More layouts, new chipsets, and overall, a determined promise from the manufacturer to continue the STX family of form factors, something we are wholeheartedly behind. Lets see what ASRock had on display. Wait wait wait.. is that sign promising XL and Slim variants of the DeskMini? But first, ASRock has great taste in CPU cooling. Well, this looks a little different. ASRock has taken the original DeskMini chassis, cut off a significant portion of the base (where the 2.5″ drives used to …
Editorial

How STX Changed My View of SFF

This article marks a return to my editorial content – occasional articles entirely based on my personal opinion. These are part of a series focusing on issues in the SFF niche. All content is entirely opinion of myself, not of SmallFormFactor.net, and should not be taken as fact. For years, I was a Micro-ATX SFF stalwart. I never truly believed M-ITX could offer all I needed in a system, with lackluster networking, audio and storage solutions, as well as just poor physical design. CPU coolers sat too close to RAM or expansion slots, minimal drive expansion was available, and the …