- Socket: AM4
- Chipset: AMD X370
- RAM Slots: 2 (Dual-channel)
- Memory: 3466/3400/3333/3200/3000/2933/2800/2667/2400/2133 MHz DDR4
- Ports: 1x PS/2, 1x Gigabit LAN, 2x HDMI, 2x Wireless Antenna, 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 3x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0, 5x Audio port, 1x Optical (SPDIF), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4x SATA 6Gb/s, 1x M.2
- Good overclocking potential
- Sufficient I/O despite size
- No heat-sink for power phases
- Benchmark Results
- PCMark Home 3,278 points
- PCMark Creative 4,980 points
- PCMark Work 3,263 points
Months have passed and AMD’s AM4 platform has matured a lot since it was first launched. As a result of that, board manufacturers have started to experiment with other form factors besides ATX. While there are many that wished for micro-ATX form factors, it seems mini-ITX are becoming more common – as evident with ASRock’s Fatality X370 Gaming-ITX/AC.
There are many who like the ITX form factor, be due to design, or a desire for a platform that can fit into smaller cases. Take this motherboard board, for example. It is simple, yet compact and looks sleek enough to attract gamers.
In terms of layout, ITX motherboards have to keep things compact due to space constraints. Case in point, it’s limited to two DDR4 DIMMs and a single PCIe x16 slot in the usual spots. Fortunately, the only PCIe slot is metal-reinforced, which is important because a motherboard of this size really needs it. The 8-pin for CPU is placed slightly different compared to normal ATX boards, but doesn’t pose any problems for any power supply units.
It also has four SATA ports, but that’s sufficient for most users. As far as spacing goes, the CPU socket should easily support any air or liquid cooler, though larger tower air coolers (for example, those with two fans) might obstruct the first DIMM slot.
For on-board headers, ASRock managed to squeeze a decent number in. In total, there are three fan headers – one of which can be controlled via the BIOS – and even one for a RGB LED strip. Flipping the board over, we found a M.2 slot that will support NVMe SSDs. For the back I/O, there’s enough for most users, including a Gigabit LAN port and a dual-band capable AC-WiFi that can be used with the WiFi receiver included in the box..
Interestingly enough, it comes with eight power phases, which helps deliver more stable overclocks. In practice, we couldn’t overclock it as much as we’d like, but we did get a stable 3.9 GHz on our Ryzen 7 1700X – slightly above the official maximum clock speed. Using a good AIO, we could push it to 4.0 GHz. However, note that if you use this in an ITX case as intended, airflow restriction in the tight spacing of such a build can easily affect temperatures and overclocking stability.
CHIP CONCLUDE: Plenty of features that help with overclocking, making this a great choice looking to build a powerful enthusiast-class PC.
(previously published in issue October 2017)