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 …
News

Udoo at Computex 2018

SFF Network’s COMPUTEX 2018 coverage is sponsored by SilverStone, who’s celebrating 15 years of innovation in SFF and beyond. Click here to check out their website and to learn more about their latest products. The Udoo Bolt, an embedded board currently in the process of a Kickstarter campaign, was on show at Computex 2018! The board features an integrated AMD Ryzen V1000 APU, dual DDR4 support (with ECC if you desire!), three M.2 slots, and is Arduino compatible. At 12x12cm, this is even smaller than STX, albeit with the limitation of an embedded processor. Let’s see how this awesome piece …
News

ABIT Returns With a Folding @ Home Focused Motherboard

UPDATE: This is an April Fools joke :) Prank Release: When a news post is marked a such, the content is made up entirely, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Small Form Factor Network or Minutiae LLC. April 1, 2018, Taipei, Taiwan ABIT, one of the original stalwarts of the motherboard world, is returning to the consumer market! The ABIT [email protected] comes hot on the heels of the many GPGPU boards released on to the market recently, but with a twist. We believe that the scientific research programme, Folding @ Home, is doing great things, and feel that …
News

M-ATX’s Slow Decline Continues – EVGA Launches their Z370 Micro-ATX Motherboard

After MSI’s mediocre X299M-A Pro launch recently, I came to the conclusion in my view that M-ATX is dying a slow, painful death. Today that continues, with the oddity that is EVGA’s Z370 Micro. Selling for US$179.99 on EVGA’s own webstore, this Intel Z370 based board supports LGA1151 for Intel’s 8th generation Core Processors. The board is targeted at the enthusiast market, with angled power and IO connectors, SLI certification and claimed strong overclocking support. At the front of the board, the first thing we see is an angled ATX 24 pin power connector sitting in a PCB cutout, which …
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, …
News

MSI Introduces the X299M-A Pro

MSI has decided to target the “mid” level HEDT buyers with a new board, the X299M-A Pro. Limited to the Kaby Lake-X processors, namely the i7-7740X and i5-7640X, this motherboard sits in a really weird spot in the market. Thanks to Intel’s… unique… product lineup, this X299 based board is compatible with only two CPU SKUs. This LGA2066 board is in the Micro-ATX form factor, and features three physical PCIe x16 slots. However, Kaby Lake-X’s PCIe lane limitation means that the X299M-A Pro is limited to a total of 16 lanes across all three slots. These could be in x16/ x0/ x0, …
News

ASUS AM4 ITX revealed!

A few months ago, while I was at a tech show in NZ, an ASUS rep mentioned to me that they were working on Ryzen M-ITX. The first reveal as to what this would look like has appeared, courtesy of Swedish retailer Inet.se. Coming it at 1899 kr, or US$239, the ASUS ROG STRIX B350-I Gaming (from herein I will call it the ASUS B350-I, because this mouthful of a moniker is another in a long line of over-named products in the mainstream) motherboard is the first offering from ASUS for this product segment. For reference, the Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi …
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 …