The Budget Choice.
Price $ 179 www.asrock.com
is well known for its budget-oriented motherboards that offer value without sacrificing on key features. If you’re looking into a budget minded ITX system, ASRock is a very logical choice. We selected its H370M-ITX/ac as the foundation of a value-driven system. When paired with an Intel i3 or i5 processor, with their increased core counts, you’ll get a great balance of gaming performance while still having the multi-threaded grunt to take on more demanding tasks, all without breaking the bank.
ONE OF THE BEST VALUE MOTHERBOARDS ON THE MARKET
ASRock is one of the biggest supporters of the ITX form factor. At Computex this year, the company proudly displayed an entire wall of ITX motherboards. In fact it is the only manufacturer to produce an X299 ITX motherboard, the designing of which is no small engineering feat. As a value leader, ASRock consistently produce great value ITX boards, meaning you can build a powerful system without sacrificing much, if anything, in the way of key features.
As the H370 chipset does not allow overclocking, there is no need for a massively over engineered VRM system as there will never be a requirement to deliver extreme levels of power. With this in mind, the H370M-ITX/ac features a modest VRM, though even if you were to put a top spec 95w i78700K, there will never be any problems powering it. The included 8-pin power connector is more than adequate.
The ASRock H370M-ITX/ ac is a fantastic choice of motherboard for a budgetoriented ITX system.
SOME $400 BOARDS ARE NOT THIS FEATURE PACKED
The board features six SATA connectors and a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 connector so you can get all the benefits of the fastest storage technology. You also get dual Gigabit Ethernet powered by quality Intel I219v and I211AT controllers, Intel WiFi, and HD Audio, though the included Realtek ALC-892 is not a premium solution if audio quality is of utmost importance to you. ASRock boards typically have a really easy to navigate BIOS implementation and the H370MITX/ac continues this ease of use.
The rear I/O is particularly well equipped with a set of ports that would be commendable on a board costing twice as much. There’s the 802.11 AC WiFi antenna ports, a PS/2 port, as well as twin HDMI and a Display port - great for multi display functionality. The USB complement deserves extra praise, with four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and pair of USB 2.0 ports. Throw in those dual GbE ports and we’ve got I/O that puts some ‘gaming’ boards to shame.
The ASRock H370M-ITX/ac is a fantastic choice of motherboard for a budget-oriented ITX system. It lacks very few, if any, features a user could want, with the exception of overclocking. This is the kind of board you can plonk something like an i58400 in and put the extra couple of hundred towards a better GPU or SSD. This little board is definitely a smart buy and a supremely capable mini ITX choice. CHRIS SZEWCZYK