ASRock X370 Gaming ITX/AC


Introduction

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept.

 

Official product link:

https://www.asrock.com/MB/AMD/Fatal1ty%20X370%20Gaming-ITXac/index.asp

 

Packaging and accessories

The motherboard comes in a small box with the Fatal1ty red and black design. The front side of the packaging features the name of the motherboard alongside three main features of the motherboard.

 

The back of the box presents in detail the main features of the motherboard and its specifications. The lower side of the box is populated by a diagram of the I/O panel next to a list enumerating all the connecting ports of the motherboard. The right side of the packaging lists the full technical specifications of the product.

 

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
– 1x Manual
– 1x I/O Shield
– 1x M.2 SSD Screw
– 2x SATA III Cables
– 1x ASRock WiFi 2.4/5 GHz Antenna

 

Specifications

MODEL: Fatal1ty X370 Gaming ITX AC
CPU SUPPORT: AMD Socket AM4 A-Series APUs (Bristol Ridge) and Ryzen Series CPUs (Summit Ridge & Raven Ridge)
SOCKET: AM4
CHIPSET: AMD Promontory X370
POWER DESIGN: 8 Power Phase design
FORM FACTOR: Mini-ITX Form Factor: 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS: No
MEMORY: 2x DDR4 DIMM Slots
– Supports DDR4 3466+(OC) / 3200(OC) / 2933(OC) / 2667 / 2400 / 2133 ECC & non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB
BIOS: 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
Expansion Slots:
– 1x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1: x16 mode)*
– 1x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E) with the bundled WiFi-802.11ac module (on the rear I/O)
– 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE1)
STORAGE:
– 4x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug
– 1x Ultra M.2 Socket, supports M Key type 2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s) (with Ryzen Series CPU) or Gen3 x2 (16 Gb/s) (with A-Series APU)*
NETWORKING:
– 1x Intel® 802.11ac WiFi Module (Free Bundle)
– Supports Bluetooth 4.0 / 3.0 + High speed class II
– Supports Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz)
– Supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
PORTS:
– 2x Antenna Ports
– 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 2x HDMI Ports
– 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 2x USB 2.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A Port (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C Port (Supports ESD Protection)
– 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)
AUDIO: 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
FAN HEADERS: x 3-Pin

Features:

– Premium Power Choke: ASRock’s premium power chokes effectively make the saturation current up to three times better, thus providing enhanced and improved Vcore voltage to the motherboard.
– Dual-N MOSFET: Combining two silicon dies into one MOSFET, Dual-N MOSFET provides larger die area and lower Rds(on), so the power supply for the CPU Vcore is more efficient.
– Nichicon 12K Black Caps: Compared to other counterparts on high-end motherboards that merely have lifespans of around 10,000 hours, ASRock applied Nichicon 12K Black Caps that offer 20% longer lifespans and provide more stability and reliability.
– Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi: No one has time for weak WiFi signals and sluggish internet! That’s why this motherboard comes with a 802.11ac WiFi (2.4G / 5G WiFi) module which supports wireless networks and Bluetooth v4.2.
– Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3: Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3 is the latest software that is designed with SBX Pro Studio to deliver a holistic audio experience. Whether you’re gaming or watching a movie, Reality 3D technology lets you enable 5.1/7.1 surround sound for an additional layer of transience to your listening experience even with just a pair of headphones or stereo speakers.
– Intel® LAN: Intel® LAN provides the best throughput performance, lower CPU utilization, enhanced stability and is able to deliver ultimate network experience to users!
– PCI-E STEEL SLOTS: The advanced PCI-E Steel Slots packed with solid cover that prevent any signal interference with graphics cards. It also ensures the heavy graphics cards to be well-installed in the PCI-E slots safely.
– Ultra M.2 32 Gb/s (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3): The PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 interface pushes data transfer speeds up to 32Gb/s. In addition, it also supports SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules.

 

Visual inspection

The ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming ITX/AC maintains the format characteristic of ITX motherboards that are part of the Fatal1ty line, using a black-red color scheme and having the dimensions: 170x170mm. The Fatal1ty X370 benefits from all the options of a full fledge X370 chipset equipped motherboard, including one SATA M.2. In addition, this motherboard has no integrated LED illumination however it does offer a 4 Pin connector for LED strips.

 

The power delivery is a 8 phase type with a 6+2 configuration, the MOSFETs are model SM7341EHKP manufactured by Sinopower while for the power delivery control a single regulator is installed, model ISL95712 PWM manufactured by Intersil. 

 

The VRM heatsink in the case of the Fatal1ty X370 Gaming ITX/AC model is simple, it features no heatpipe or any other means of heat transfer. In the top left corner of the motherboard, there is the CPU 8-pin power connector. In addition, both the VRM and chipset heatsinks are held in place on the PCB with the help of two metallic screws each.

 

The motherboard features 3 (three) 4-pin fan connectors, two are in close proximity to the CPU Socket and the last one is on the lower side of the board next to the chipset heatsink.

 

On the right side, there are the board’s two DIMM slots that support DDR4 type memory with speeds up to 3466+(OC). The motherboard supports a maximum of 32GB of RAM.

 

Next to the DIMM slots there are the four SATA ports of the motherboard while lower there is an internal USB 3.0 connector.

 

The motherboard a single metal reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16, the reinforcement helps support the graphics card during shipping and use.

 

Below the CPU socket and next to the chipset heatsink we have the main chips of the motherboard, the Nuvoton NCT55620 PWM controller alongside the Intel WGI211AT Internet IC Controller.

 

The audio system has as its center point the Realtek ALC1220 codec while the capacitors used are made by Nichicon and are called Fine Gold.

 

The motherboard is equipped with one SATA M.2 slot for PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSDs, it is located on the back of the PCB and can support speeds up to 32Gb/s.

 

On the backside, we have the I/O panel.
The I/O panel is as follows (from left to right):
– 2 x Antenna Ports
– 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 2x HDMI Ports
– 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 2x USB 2.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A Port (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C Port (Supports ESD Protection)
– 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)

 

Bios

The bios utilizes a single simple interface, although most motherboards today use two Bios modes, the first one being the EZ Mode destined for casual users. The X370 Gaming ITX/AC offers no such mode, the bios being a classic style interface with all the functionalities and options available from the start.

 

Testing

The following system was used to test the motherboard:
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 1700X @ 3.6GHz
– RAM: Patriot Viper 4 8GB DDR4 @ 2400MHz
– GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition
– HDD: WD 1TB Blue
– SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
– PSU: FSP Dagger 600W
– CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4
– Display: AOC i2769VM
– Case: ASRock M8
– OS: Windows 10 64-Bit (After April Update)

 

The processor was used with the stock turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz
The RAM memory was used at its default frequency.

Software used for testing the motherboard:
– 3D Mark – FireStrike, CloudGate, IceStorm.
– CineBench r11.5
– SuperPi mod 1.5
– wPrime v1.55
– Grand Theft Auto V
– Deus Ex Mankind Divided
– The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

 

The test results are as follows:

 

3D Mark

Overall Score

 

Fire Strike

 

Cloud Gate

 

Ice Storm

 

CineBench r15

 

SuperPi mod 1.5

 

wPrime v1.55

 

Grand Theft Auto V

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

 

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

 

Final thoughts

The X370 Gaming-ITX/AC is aimed at the gaming market, using the Fatal1ty brand design. The X370 chipset offers the best features for the new AMD AM4 socket and processors available on the market, being also compatible with the new Ryzen 2 CPUs.

The power delivery system will handle even the high-end Ryzen chips available today, the 1700X CPU was handled with ease even at its turbo frequency of 3.9GHz. The 8-phase power delivery also helps in terms of overclocking, the board being capable of getting the 1700X to 4.0GHz at a voltage of 1.41V.

In conclusion, the X370 Gaming-ITX/ac is ASRock’s answer to the constant demand of ITX full-fledged gaming boards with overclocking capabilities. The memory compatibility is extensive and the motherboard can use both low and high frequency DDR4 memory while the AM4 socket combined with the X370 chipset offers great overclocking possibilities.

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