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ASRock X99E-ITX/ac Motherboard Review

Conclusion

We saw the huge bandwidth penalty of having only two DIMM slots on a four-channel memory controller, but we also saw how little effect that bandwidth reduction had on real-world applications. The X99E-ITX/ac even won some gaming benchmarks, though we probably could have gotten similar results by dropping any competing samples to a pair of DIMMs.

The biggest deficit of mini-ITX is indeed cooling, as we were forced to use lower core voltage to reach a non-throttled overclock that was about 150MHz lower than what we've seen from larger boards. But we might have been tempted to use lower voltage anyway to improve efficiency in a compact PC.

That brings us to the award discussion. Since the X99E-ITX/ac exceeded our expectations, we could give it our ordinary “Approved” recognition. Since it doesn’t have anything to compete directly against, it can’t win our comparative value “Recommended” award. Our top award, “Choice”, means that a product is best-in-class. There are no other motherboards directly competing with ASRock's X99-based mini-ITX offering. But even if there were, there's a good chance this would be our victor anyway. An impressive list of features (despite limited board space), performance  befitting a workstation-class platform and a reasonable price tag earn the X99E-ITX/ac the highest honor we bestow.

MORE: Best Motherboards

  • SoerenHedemand
    How about a test of the ASRock EPC612D4I. It has four memory slots.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15937166 said:
    How about a test of the ASRock EPC612D4I. It has four memory slots.
    Sorry, I don't have any DDR4 SODIMMs yet.

    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    Is it just me or does the lets compare to other boards bit not contain any other boards to to compare against?
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    Is it just me or does the lets compare to other boards bit not contain any other boards to to compare against?

    True. However, that section is pointless as it has no direct rivals - I think they're using a standard template and they had to fill something in there.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    For that socket/platform its almost a complete waste - all those unusable memory channels and pcie lanes that make the 2011 platform high end have been stripped away
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15937458 said:
    For that socket/platform its almost a complete waste - all those unusable memory channels and pcie lanes that make the 2011 platform high end have been stripped away
    it's really just for people who want more cores. So, feel free to ridicule anyone who tries to pair it with an E5-1620 :p
    Reply
  • Daniel Ladishew
    Testing this on the stock cooler is useful information, but this mobo will only shine when water cooled. I'd like to see the tests repeated with a closed loop cooler attached. Either the Cooler Master or Corsair H100 (which i've heard will work with that bracket as well). If the point is to pack lots of cores into a small form factor, not overcoming the thermal throttling seems like a weak test.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    While not as good as it's micro atx counterparts (obviously), I am very impressed by this motherboard.

    So if somebody that doesn't need all the PCIE lanes or memory lanes but just the pure power of a hexa/octo core CPU in a small package, then this is the best solution.
    Reply
  • Bossyfins
    The cooler bracket also seems to fit a Corsair H100i/h80i as seen in Linus's video.
    Reply
  • goinginstyle
    So other X99 boards get ripped for not being able to do 4-way SLI or 3-way with a PCIe RAID controller but this one gets a pass on those items plus numerous others (lower OC, lack of memory expansion, high price, etc) and receives an award. The board reviews here are just becoming a joke.
    Reply