ASRock H370M-ITX / ac motherboard review: a compact model for Coffee Lake

The assembly of a compact desktop always begins with the choice of the motherboard that determines the size and capabilities of the future system. Finding a model of the Mini-ITX format is much more difficult than determining the device for more common standards. Looking for a motherboard for a miniature system with processors of the Intel Coffee Lake family, you will have to choose from only a dozen or so different devices, and for the Socket AM4 from AMD, the choice is even more modest. A meager assortment only increases attention to each specific device. Today we have a review of the ASRock H370M-ITX / ac motherboard for current and future Intel chips for the LGA1151-v2 connector.

from 3,630 UAH

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Package Contents

Fee is offered in a compact cardboard box with a discreet exterior design.

The user manual, a driver and software CD, two SATA cables, a rear panel cover, two antennas and a screw for fixing the M.2-drive.

Design and layout

Motherboard with standard dimensions of 170 × 170 mm in dark colors. Black textolite base has a glossy finish. The manufacturer calls such a surface Sapphire Black. The gray radiators of the cooling system, the steel shells of the interface connectors and the PCI Express x16 slot, as well as the interspersing of the yellow from the specialized Nichicon capacities in the audio subsystem, stand out against the general background.

It's easy to guess by the name of the model that the device is based on the Intel H370 chipset. The model is ready to work with any processors with Intel Core 8-th generation architecture. ASRock H370M-ITX / ac is also guaranteed to work with the expected Core 9xxx chips. The manufacturer's website already has a BIOS version that adds support for the corresponding CPU. Judging by the specifications, the future 8-core Intel processors will remain within the thermal package of 95 W, so the VRM of the board will surely cope with such a load.

The ASRock H370M-ITX / ac uses a 6-phase power subsystem (4 + 2) s Controller Intersil ISL95866. Expected for a Mini-ITX format board, power packs are lined up in one line. For cooling VRM elements, an additional aluminum radiator is used. Chokes with maximum operating currents up to 60A and Nichicon 12K Black Caps (FP12K) are also used in the circuit.

The stability subsystem is sufficient for processors with TDP up to 95W. For the nominal CPU operating modes, the motherboard does not need anything supernatural, but 6/8-core Hyper-Threading chips can still create a good load, so the additional cooler will not hurt here.