There used to be a time when ASRock wasn't one of the premiere motherboard makers in the PC market. That was a long time ago. However, what ASRock did to get noticed was to build boards that didn't fit the norm and worked amazingly well. They showed off their engineering prowess, and it paid off. What helps them stay relevant even today is that they continue to create such products, and today, we are going to look at one of those, the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac.
It is easily understandable why mITX products are popular. Their small form factor eliminates the intrusion into your living space, making your PC's presence on your desk (or under your desk or wherever else) just that much less noticeable. In most instances, making your PC smaller means you have to give up a fair amount of functionality that might have otherwise been offered. That's really not the case with the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac. How fortunate for us!
ASRock's X299E-ITX/ac really does mITX X299 perfectly. If you want 18 cores of a CPU, lots of M.2 drives, maybe some normal SSDs or mechanical drives, they all fit in here. Dual LAN chips, Wi-Fi, and decent sound are all present as well. Support for some high-speed RAM? Yes, that's here too, and there are a decent number of USB ports all things considered. Obviously, you're giving up some RAM and PCIe slots, but not everyone needs eight memory sticks or multiple VGAs, and if you don't, then this is a board that should be on your shortlist of X299 board products you are interested in, if it is not the only one there...
But before we begin, I need to make a disclaimer: this is a mITX HEDT board. It crams a lot of functionality into a tiny space, and as such, does require good cooling. ASRock has partnered with Bitspower to ensure that a proper cooling solution is available in the form of a full-cover waterblock. ASRock requested this review be done using this cooling solution, which they provided with the board sample. Do keep that in mind.
|CPU Support:|| Supports Intel Core X-Series Processor Family for the LGA 2066 Socket|
(16 PCIe lane processors (4-core) are not supported)
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 7 phase |
Memory Power: 1 phase
|Memory:||4x SO-DIMM, Support Quad Channel DDR4-4000 (OC)+ Max. 64 GB|
|BIOS:||128Mb AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:||1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (x16 mode)|
|Storage:|| 6x SATA 6 Gb/s port (Intel X299)|
1x M.2 port (front, 2230/2242/2260/2280 devices, PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gb/s)
2x M.2 port (rear, 2280 devices and PCIe 3.0 x4 only)
|Networking:||1x Intel I219V, 1x Intel I211AT|
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (AC Wave 2 + BLE BT4.2)
|Rear Ports:|| 1x Clear CMOS button/Power button|
2x Antenna ports
2x LAN (RJ45) ports
4x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
5x Audio jacks
1x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
|Audio:||Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec|
|Fan Headers:||3x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||Mini-ITX Form Factor: 6.7-in x 6.7-in, 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm|