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ASRock X99E-ITX/ac

cadaveca

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What do you do when you want a PC with a small footprint, but a powerful CPU? You buy an mITX motherboard. But what if you want EIGHTEEN CORES and THIRTY-SIX threads? You buy the ASRock X99E-ITX/ac. Doing the unexpected by bringing Intel's X99 Express to the mITX form-factor, the ASRock X99E-ITX/ac can push those 18-core Xeon chips and has an X-OC socket to push Intel's standard unlocked chips to the limit. And USB 3.1. And a CPU cooler is in the box.

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newtekie1

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Great review as always! I think it is bad ass that they managed to fit a X99 platform in mITX. Of course there will be sacrifices, but for someone that needs a mobile editing rig, I don't think anything will beat a mITX X99. I almost wish they had squeezed a 3rd memory slot in there for triple channel, but that's just wishful thinking seeing how cramped the board is already. Damn that socket is huge...
 
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Great review @cadaveca , its a cool board to say the least and I am glad to hear your thoughts on it. I would say that this is an awesome board and (I have said this many times before) makes me want to build a rig with the 5820K and something like the 295X2 on it for fun. The only complaint I really have is the mounting for the cooler on this board as it seems to limit what can be installed (Cooler wise) for the board.

Wonder how well with a proper cooler you could overclock on it?
 

cadaveca

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Great review @cadaveca , its a cool board to say the least and I am glad to hear your thoughts on it. I would say that this is an awesome board and (I have said this many times before) makes me want to build a rig with the 5820K and something like the 295X2 on it for fun. The only complaint I really have is the mounting for the cooler on this board as it seems to limit what can be installed (Cooler wise) for the board.

Wonder how well with a proper cooler you could overclock on it?
4.9 GHz @ 1.4V. ;) Should be able to push about 500W, methinks. 6x 60a phases is quite a bit of power.
 
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4.9 GHz @ 1.4V. ;) Should be able to push about 500W, methinks. 6x 60a phases is quite a bit of power.
Wow that good?!? Pretty impressive for such a small board! What cooler are you using to manage that (Or did I miss it somewhere)?
 

cadaveca

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Wow that good?!? Pretty impressive for such a small board! What cooler are you using to manage that (Or did I miss it somewhere)?
Using Corsair H110.

The board itself doesn't seem to limit OC. It does require some "advanced" adjustments to BIOS options, but they are in the BIOS, ready and waiting. They didn't put an X-OC Socket for no reason. :p
 
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Using Corsair H110.

The board itself doesn't seem to limit OC. It does require some "advanced" adjustments to BIOS options, but they are in the BIOS, ready and waiting. They didn't put an X-OC Socket for no reason. :p
True, but I still was curious if the board itself was limited in some way because of its size (Or temps of the VRM etc). I knew they would allow some especially with the OC socket attached but I have seen in the past a few times where boards have hard limits on the platform so I was curious if there was a voltage limit or if you hit a thermal wall on the board itself (One board recently though its a way different platform, the MSI A88X ITX board has no allowance of overclocking beyond changing the multiplier except on the low wattage chips).

Would love to get my hands on one of these, but if I rebuilt now I would probably do a MATX with two Dual GPU cards.
 

cadaveca

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True, but I still was curious if the board itself was limited in some way because of its size (Or temps of the VRM etc). I knew they would allow some especially with the OC socket attached but I have seen in the past a few times where boards have hard limits on the platform so I was curious if there was a voltage limit or if you hit a thermal wall on the board itself (One board recently though its a way different platform, the MSI A88X ITX board has no allowance of overclocking beyond changing the multiplier except on the low wattage chips).

Would love to get my hands on one of these, but if I rebuilt now I would probably do a MATX with two Dual GPU cards.
With the couple of CPUs I have, I did not find any unexpected limits. I remain impressed, and am currently trying to find the time to re-wire the PSU in the M8, or find which box has my other gear in it.

Just moved to a new city. Well, town. See-through boxes, or lol, labelling, would be schweet. ROFL.

I suppose for some CPUs, this board might pose some problems. if you are thinking about 5 GHz on 18 cores @ full load 24/7, I'd probably stay away from the mITX platform, but for most users this board is fit for the bill.
 
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With the couple of CPUs I have, I did not find any unexpected limits. I remain impressed, and am currently trying to find the time to re-wire the PSU in the M8, or find which box has my other gear in it.

Just moved to a new city. Well, town. See-through boxes, or lol, labelling, would be schweet. ROFL.

I suppose for some CPUs, this board might pose some problems. if you are thinking about 5 GHz on 18 cores @ full load 24/7, I'd probably stay away from the mITX platform, but for most users this board is fit for the bill.
I think if you managed to do that on any board I would probably be overly impressed LOL.

I would love to see it, I just wanna do something completely ridiculous with this board but my wallet says no because of other priorities :p
 
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Just ordered one of these a few days ago. Should be arriving early next week. Glad to see this review up and get a preview of what I'm up against. I've been looking to upgrade my Plex server to a 6-core chip on LGA2011 but nobody seemed to want to touch mITX for a long time. Finally ASRock stepped up! I don't care about quad-channel memory or tons of PCIe slots. I just want as many cores as I can get in my mITX machine. I'll never feasibly afford a high-core-count Xeon chip but $350 for an i7-5820K and $250 for this board is manageable. It will be a huge upgrade from the 4-core non-hyperthreaded i5-4440.

I grabbed a Noctua NH-U12DX i4 to cool it. I couldn't find any reviews with good info on the noise of the bundled cooler and there are few manufacturers making coolers that are compatible with the narrow mount for socket 2011-3 coolers. You can't go wrong with Noctua so I dropped it in the cart. The inclusion of a bracket to mount AIO coolers like the Corsair Hydro series is a nice touch for those who want to go that route. I'd love to see a picture with the block mounted to see what the clearance for tubes is like around that socket area.
 
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4.9 GHz @ 1.4V. ;) Should be able to push about 500W, methinks. 6x 60a phases is quite a bit of power.
What exact MOSFETs are they?
 
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I grabbed a Noctua NH-U12DX i4 to cool it. I couldn't find any reviews with good info on the noise of the bundled cooler and there are few manufacturers making coolers that are compatible with the narrow mount for socket 2011-3 coolers. You can't go wrong with Noctua so I dropped it in the cart. The inclusion of a bracket to mount AIO coolers like the Corsair Hydro series is a nice touch for those who want to go that route. I'd love to see a picture with the block mounted to see what the clearance for tubes is like around that socket area.
This just came out also, looks like it is perfect for iTx.
http://www.techpowerup.com/212574/ek-introduces-annihilator-series-1u-cpu-water-block.html#comments
 
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Would love to have an X99 ITX
 
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Limited platform functionality—only two ram slots and one PCIe slot

yea, its itx so it has limited space, you cant expect more like 4 ram slots and dual pciex
 
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Limited platform functionality—only two ram slots and one PCIe slot

yea, its itx so it has limited space, you cant expect more like 4 ram slots and dual pciex
Unless some genius wires them on the reverse of the board, a gpu of a riser maybe, and 4 so-dimm slots shouldn't be that hard.
 
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Nice boxes and cases
 
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My jaw just dropped and I drooled a bit seeing all those motherboards.
 
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Limited platform functionality—only two ram slots and one PCIe slot

yea, its itx so it has limited space, you cant expect more like 4 ram slots and dual pciex
You can get this if you want 4 ram slots:

http://www.techpowerup.com/212204/asrock-develops-mini-itx-lga2011v3-motherboard-with-quad-channel-memory.html

For 2 PCIe slots you'll need Mini-DTX, it's basically a Mini-ITX with one additional PCI slot.


It'll be interesting to see a LGA2011-3 Mini-DTX with 4 ram slots running two AMD card with a PCIe riser connect one card behind the board like A4 and one graphic card in traditional way, Nvidia cards need SLI bridge will be a problem unless you don't connect them with SLI bridge.
 
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Unless some genius wires them on the reverse of the board, a gpu of a riser maybe, and 4 so-dimm slots shouldn't be that hard.
I don't think anyone is selling DDR4 SO-DIMMs though. The only ones I could find were a 32GB (4x8GB) kit on Crucial's site for $550. ASRock did announce their EPC612D4I motherboard a few weeks ago which is a server-focused socket 2011-3 board that has 4 SO-DIMM slots like you're suggesting. It's a thin m-ITX board so it's a little more limited on connectivity along the back. Definitely a cool board though.
 

cadaveca

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I don't think anyone is selling DDR4 SO-DIMMs though. The only ones I could find were a 32GB (4x8GB) kit on Crucial's site for $550. ASRock did announce their EPC612D4I motherboard a few weeks ago which is a server-focused socket 2011-3 board that has 4 SO-DIMM slots like you're suggesting. It's a thin m-ITX board so it's a little more limited on connectivity along the back. Definitely a cool board though.
Right, but this will change. Since only one platform currently uses DDR4, it's not surprising that there is a lack of SODIMMs.

Just ordered one of these a few days ago. Should be arriving early next week. Glad to see this review up and get a preview of what I'm up against. I've been looking to upgrade my Plex server to a 6-core chip on LGA2011 but nobody seemed to want to touch mITX for a long time. Finally ASRock stepped up! I don't care about quad-channel memory or tons of PCIe slots. I just want as many cores as I can get in my mITX machine. I'll never feasibly afford a high-core-count Xeon chip but $350 for an i7-5820K and $250 for this board is manageable. It will be a huge upgrade from the 4-core non-hyperthreaded i5-4440.

I grabbed a Noctua NH-U12DX i4 to cool it. I couldn't find any reviews with good info on the noise of the bundled cooler and there are few manufacturers making coolers that are compatible with the narrow mount for socket 2011-3 coolers. You can't go wrong with Noctua so I dropped it in the cart. The inclusion of a bracket to mount AIO coolers like the Corsair Hydro series is a nice touch for those who want to go that route. I'd love to see a picture with the block mounted to see what the clearance for tubes is like around that socket area.
The one issue is that in order to OC to the max on the Intel X99 Express platform requires a substantial cooler. Under normal loading, the provided cooler is fairly quiet at stock clocks, but under max speed, the cooler is noisy for sure. I am pretty sure I saw over 5000 RPM, which might give you an idea of the noise produced, but even so, it's high pitched, not crazy loud, IMHO.

There isn't that much difference in real-world performance between dual and quad channel.
At the moment, sure. But I can definitely notice the difference with how I personally use my PCs. I have 4790K and 5930K main rigs right now, as well as the X99E-ITX/ac as a build in progress inside a BitFenix Prodigy, and even as a gamer, there are noticable differences for each platform. Yet, I mean, I have spent a long time investigating minute differences, so maybe I'm a bit sensitive to these things were others will not be.

What exact MOSFETs are they?
You know, ASRock is pretty open about this even on the product page:

 
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At the moment, sure. But I can definitely notice the difference with how I personally use my PCs. I have 4790K and 5930K main rigs right now, as well as the X99E-ITX/ac as a build in progress inside a BitFenix Prodigy, and even as a gamer, there are noticable differences for each platform. Yet, I mean, I have spent a long time investigating minute differences, so maybe I'm a bit sensitive to these things were others will not be.
But are the perceptible differences due to the platform change or the dual vs quad channel in particular?

I'd be curious if that was case, because the difference certainly shows in synthetics but I can't imagine anyone would notice it in normal use but maybe I'm just not sensitive enough.
 
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You know, ASRock is pretty open about this even on the product page:
There is no standard for MOSFET ratings so a 60A MOSFET might do 60A at 125C or 60A at 25C depending on the manufacturer. Also I looked up 60A fairchild MOSFETs there are many of them and not all of them do 60A output they do 55A out. Which is why I'm asking about model IDs.
 
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