ASRock H370M-ITX/AC

The Bud­get Choice.

PCPOWERPLAY - - Pcpp Hardware & Tech Special -

Price $ 179 www.asrock.com

ASRock

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

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