BIOS

ASRock is using its Fatal1ty gaming themed BIOS (version P4.50) which fits in with the same red and black theme as the board. While the BIOS doesn’t have a basic or an advanced mode, everything can be found within one consistent and well laid out UEFI BIOS. Providing information about the different features and functions is a description panel located at the right-hand side, which includes a QR code for further information. The text is white in color and when each setting option, a red highlight is present to signify what’s currently selected.

Upon entering the BIOS, which can be done so by pressing either the F2 or Del keys on POST, the initial splash screen displays key details including the current BIOS version, the motherboard model, the installed processor as well as the speed and current microcode of the CPU. Also displayed is the total amount of installed memory including which memory mode the memoryis operating in: single or dual channel.

The next section across is the OC Tweaker which contains the overclocking options for frequency and voltages. To manually overclock the frequency, changing the CPU Frequency and Voltage Change option from automatic to manual opens up changeable CPU Frequency and CPU voltage options. Aside from this, further below the user can enable the X.M.P 2.0 profile on the memory, as well as offset adjustments on the CPU Vcore and SoC (VDDCR). Further below these options, the option to set memory voltage.

Note: While using this board with a Ryzen 2000 series APU, options to change GFX frequency were not present with the latest BIOS available (version P4.50), although there was an offset to add additional voltage to the SoC. You can however overclock the Vega cores on the iGPU with the AMD Ryzen Master overclocking utility.

The ASRock X370 Gaming-ITX/ac does not feature built-in LEDs, but a single RGB LED header is featured on this board and can be controlled without installing the ASRock software. Under the Tools sub-menu, the single LED channel offers different LED effects including the likes of static, breathing, cycling and even random color flashing.

With the ASRock FAN-Tastic tuning utility integrated into the UEFI BIOS, users can simultaneously customize the fan-temperature respone all of the headers together or individually. There is a manual adjustment option or the included pre-defined profiles such as silent, standard, performance or full speed can be used. The FANTuning function can automatically detect fan speeds when used which helps to optimize the right balance between temperatures and speed, which can help to reduce noise with fans operating in just DC mode. It is worth noting that the 4-pin CPU fan header is only enabled for PWM fans and does not support alternative options.

Just as was noted in the ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 review, ASRock could do more to augment the built-in RGB LED options for the included RGB header to make it easier to select the colors; the addition of a color wheel would be a much better alternative as opposed to defined set numeric values. The BIOS overall is very responsive, is simple to use and features everything (except sufficient iGPU frequency options for Ryzen 2000 series APUs).

Software

As with the rest of the ASRock Fatal1ty range of AM4 socketed motherboards, the software package on offer isn’t as comprehensive as the likes of MSI and ASUS in terms of sheer volume of applications, but what ASRock do offer is sufficient for a number of tasks. The key software on the disc includes the F-Stream overclocking utility, and the ASRock RGB LED software. We do recommended downloading the latest versions direct from the support section from the product page of ASRock website for an improved and better all-around experience.

Most of the following analysis in this section was taken from our ASRock B350 Gaming K4 motherboard review.

Probably the most notable of the supported software applications is the OEM Sound Blaster 3 utility from Creative. The software allows the use of functions such as SBX Surround, which is designed to increase the realistic nature of the audio played. It’s a pretty intuitive feature and aside from the ability to create your own custom sound profiles, they do include pre-sets for things like gaming, music, movies etc. Another smart feature is SBX smart volume which moderates the volume to avoid large spikes which can cause ear discomfort.

Another handy application for providing customizability is the ASRock RGB LED software. It does exactly what it says on the tin and allows the user to customize the single RGB LED strip implemented on the X370 Gaming-ITX/ac (non-addressable). Other than this, there are no other LEDs featured on the board.

While AMD does a fantastic piece of software for overclocking within the operating system (AMD Ryzen Master), ASRock, like most other vendors, has its own version. Options for fine tuning of voltages can be found here as well as increasing the CPU frequency on the fly. ASRock F-Stream is more suited towards overclockers who want to fine tune their overclocks within the operating system, and everything the software does can be done within the BIOS.



Board Features And Visual Inspection Test Bed and Setup
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  • Daedalus685 - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    I'm fairly certain you are correct. The board appears to have usb 3.1 (gen 1) ports only (formerly called USB 3.0), i.e. 5Gbps.

    The type C, and A ports are a different colour of blue, but all of the documentation refers to them as gen 1 ports.
    Reply
  • gavbon - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    Yeah, the board does lack USB 3.1 Gen2, it does make the B350 Gaming ITX-ac (B350 version of this board) seem like a great investment for a Mini-ITX system since you lose all the multi-GPU support benefits from X370 going small form factor. Reply
  • John_M - Saturday, April 28, 2018 - link

    The renaming of USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1 is a confusing mess and it only gets worse with USB 3.2. Just to emphasise, this board does _not_ have 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2. Even the colour of the ports is misleading. Colour and the presence of a Type C socket is no guarantee of 10 Gb/s operation. It is limited to 5 Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 1 (formerly known as USB 3.0). Reply
  • microking4u - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    Having built a B350 myself, would love for you guys to test using an M.2 NVME SSD as your OS boot drive and running 2 SATA SSD drives in RAID 0 for DATA storage (No need to reply about reliability please) and see how smooth that goes and dry to update RAID drivers?
    I have had no issues with Intel 8th Gen ITX boards with this setup, but its a complete headache and reliability/perfomance issue with AMD!
    Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    Wait, so the Biostar X370GTN gets called out for having a tiny heatsink, yet this board doesn't?

    Plus that board costs $50 less and has better I/O (4 rear USB 3.0 vs only 2 on this "high-end" offering). The only real sin the Biostar commits is using Realtek for networking, but at 50 less bucks, that's probably excusable.

    Not to say the Biostar isn't without faults - going with Realtek networking is vomit-inducing - but
    Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    One day, AnandTech will allow users to edit their comments. That day, is not this day. Reply
  • gavbon - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    The heatsink might be small, but it's definitely more adequate than the one on the Biostar X370GTN. I actually sat at my desk today while doing some write-ups thinking to myself which has the worst VRM heatsink of the ITX boards on my desk...The Gigabyte AB350-Gaming Wi-Fi, X370GTN and the ASRock X370 Gaming-ITX/ac - I haven't yet concluded, although I do intend to find out for my own benefit as I want to build a small Ryzen 2200G system and quality is everything to me!! Reply
  • 1_rick - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    I have this board. It does have 4 USB 3.0 ports on the back (3 type A and 1 type C). Reply
  • 1_rick - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    I've got a 1600X running 3.95GHz @ (IIRC) 1.375V stably. I haven't gotten it to run at anything higher, but I haven't done much testing, either. It crashed almost immediately running Prime95 at that voltage and the next up (1.38 something) and by that time I was getting tired of the testing.

    For some reason, the ethernet port on the back of mine quit working, which is obviously annoying, although the wifi works. (I upgraded the antenna because the one that's included is a little bit fragile, I pulled on it too hard once, and disconnected the wire from the socket, so that's probably more my fault than ASRock's.)
    Reply
  • gavbon - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - link

    You could have damaged the wiring, can you see any physical damage at all? Reply

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