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ASRock H370M-ITX/ac

cadaveca

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One of ASRock's H370-based motherboards has hit our test lab, ready for general compute use for Intel's latest mainstream Coffee Lake CPUs. The H370 chipset does not support overclocking, so we take a foray into stock settings and usage with the ASRock H370M-ITX/ac, which is just $100.

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The power inductor near I219 Ethernet (that produces 0.9V for it's core) seems to be damaged...
 
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The power inductor near I219 Ethernet (that produces 0.9V for it's core) seems to be damaged...
It usually still works. The ferrite core is intact. But... usually...

Someone really cannot handle the screwdriver...
 

cadaveca

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The power inductor near I219 Ethernet (that produces 0.9V for it's core) seems to be damaged...
You are correct sir. That was my bad; removed CMOS battery and it didn't stick back on and then the board went for a 11-hour road trip getting thumped by bass the whole way. :p Still works fine.
 
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Good to see no DVI output, perhaps that dinosaur is finally actually on its way out.

I feel like the issues with the chipset heatsink heat output, in regards to the M.2 slot, could've been mitigated if ASRock had placed that slot on the reverse of the board.
 
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@Assimilator agreed. Though the reason why most vendors still solder the M.2 slot at the front is because for folks who want easy swapping or upgrading the drive without the need to disassemble the whole PC. Still, heat won't be a major issue once you have sufficient cooling.
 
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@Tsukiyomi91 Even better would be if M.2 drives were physically designed like DIMMs, i.e. the connector on a long edge that allows the drive to plug in vertically - would solve the space and heat problems in one fell swoop. Even better, it would mean motherboard manufacturers don't have to choose whether or not to include M.2 cooling solutions, as the drive manufacturers would be expected to ship hot drives with heatspreaders already attached, like RAM.

This could already be achieved by mounting the M.2 slot appropriately - in fact you could offer a pair of them this way in the same footprint that an M.2 drive takes in its current "flat" orientation.
 
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@Assimilator ASUS has such features but only limited to their higher end chipset products, like ROG lineup or certain PRIME lineups for HEDT CPUs.
 
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@Tsukiyomi91 Yeah, that's their "DIMM.2" solution on the Maximus IX Apex, which is a great solution (why is it lately only Asus that seems to come up with innovations like this?) - another bonus is that it allows dual 110mm M.2 drives. whereas most boards allow 1 at most while the other slots are only 80mm.. I don't like the fact that it needs an extra PCB, because that adds to manufacturing and hence end-user cost; my solutions (M.2 drives designed like memory modules, or a pair of M.2 slots mounted to the board in a single unit) would be cheaper.

I wish that motherboard manufacturers would get together every now and then, look at what is new and cool from the various standards committees, and then determine how best to implement that onto their boards at minimal cost/surface area used etc. All of the manufacturers have, at one time or another, done some crazy things that really should've caught on but didn't.
 
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@Assimilator big vendors aren't creative when it comes to designing their own boards. To be fair, all designs, especially on the higher end tier chipsets, looked very similar in terms of layout & features. Hopefully we'll see a new breed of boards where it can hold two 110mm M.2 drives without the need of using a daughterboard/dedicated adapter kit. As you said, those things are just adding unwanted value to the overall price tag.
 

mrmrmr

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Thanks for a great review!

I am wondering what configuration was used when idle power consumption of just 5 Watts was measured. As always with very low power measurements, consumption heavily depends on the configuration of the system.

Was the graphics card removed before testing? Were BIOS and the OS and drivers optimized for low power consumption? Was there a connected fan? Were a keyboard, mouse and monitor (in sleepmode) connected? Was the I219-LM LAN port connected and WiFi turned off?
 
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cadaveca

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Thanks for a great review!

I am wondering what configuration was used when idle power consumption of just 5 Watts was measured. As always with very low power measurements, consumption heavily depends on the configuration of the system.

Was the graphics card removed before testing? Were BIOS and the OS and drivers optimized for low power consumption? Was there a connected fan? Were a keyboard, mouse and monitor (in sleepmode) connected? Was the I219-LM LAN port connected and WiFi turned off?
CPU power use only sir. We re looking at the motherboard's power delivery here, so the power use is isolated, and it also why temperatures of the board's CPU VRM are reported as well.
 

mrmrmr

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Thanks for the quick response. Do you know how much the system uses at the wall while idle? Such information is important when the system is used as a server in areas where energy is expensive.
 

cadaveca

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Thanks for the quick response. Do you know how much the system uses at the wall while idle? Such information is important when the system is used as a server in areas where energy is expensive.
That number is highly variable depending on what other hardware is installed (as you suggested earlier), and is why it is not reported in our reviews. I do understand why it might be relevant, however, but have found over the years that disclosing such info leads to the wrong impression given overall so have switched to this format of comparison.
 
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@cadaveca any plans on reviewing the NZXT Z370?
 
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