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, …
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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, …
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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 …
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, …
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ASRock X299E-ITX/ac “The Little Monster” detailed

Now that Computex is over and I’ve had time to do some checking and clarify some questions, here is a more detailed rundown of the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac Mini-ITX motherboard. And the pictures are mostly in focus this time! ASRock has been strongly pushing SFF in recent years and at Computex they showed off a GTX 1080 MXM card working on Micro-STX (another ASRock innovation), two AMD AM4 Mini-ITX motherboards, and today’s subject: the X299E-ITX/ac. Backstory Feel free to skip this section if you either already know all this or don’t care. For years SFF enthusiasts have been clamoring for someone, anyone, to bring …