ASRock M8 Mini-ITX Z87 Barebones System Review

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If there’s one thing that makes attending gaming events awkward, it’s lugging an awkwardly-sized, 15kg+ system from your home to the destination. Many Mini-ITX systems have aimed to solve the problem, but very few have managed to reduce size while maintaining high levels of gaming performance. And for the companies that have been able to shrink a powerful gaming machine into a Mini-ITX case, the system can still be quite a struggle to re-locate.

Is the M8, ASRock’s Mini-ITX Z87 system, the answer to those problems?

Compressing a specifically-designed Mini-ITX motherboard into a custom-built chassis that isn’t much larger than an Xbox 360, ASRock’s M8 has the power and capacity that provide the foundation for a formidable gaming system. 802.11ac WiFi, a Creative Sound Core3D audio chip, and space for graphics cards longer than 25cm give further indication that the M8 can form a powerful gaming machine.

With a 450W SFX power supply, space for up to five 2.5” hard drives, and an overclocking-capable Z87 motherboard, ASRock provides plenty of options for the M8’s target audience to build a powerful machine into its unique enclosure.

How will the ASRock M8’s compressed, Mini-ITX form factor and unique design fair when tasked with housing modern gaming components?

Main-Image

Features:

  • Intel Z87 Motherboard Inside
  • Supports 4th Gen Intel® Core Processor
  • A-Command with G-sensor Integrated
  • Creative SoundCore 3D 7.1 CH HD Audio
  • 2T2R WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0
  • XSplit 3 Months Premium License
  • Supports ASRock Key Master
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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
ASRock M8 Mini-ITX Z87 Barebones System Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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10 Comments
  • Ben
    September 27, 2013
    #1
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    I think that is really very cool – its a tad expensive, but I would buy it myself. fancy the idea and the design is great.

    Watercooling anyone? :)

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  • Harris
    September 27, 2013
    #2
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    I like it – wonder if STEAM OS would go on it well :)

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  • Leo
    September 27, 2013
    #3
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    I always wondered why other companies like MSI, ASUS etc didn’t do something like this.

    I will tell you this too for free – my ASROCK motherboard is better than my last GB or MSI boards.

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  • Rt23ds
    September 27, 2013
    #4
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    Wasnt expecting this – I think a 3570k would be better for temps, not sold on those Haswell cookers.

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  • allandnnn
    September 27, 2013
    #5
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    had me until I saw it was a intel cpu and only a 450 power supply and less than a 120mm fan space i would have liked to put a water pro 2.0 in it

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  • George
    September 29, 2013
    #6
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    What is the weight of the fully assembled system?
    That is a pretty important factor for a system designed to be carried around fairly frequently.

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  • Luke Hill
    October 3, 2013
    #7
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    George, thanks for pointing that out.

    The barebones system’s weight is just under 8kg (according to the packaging specs). With a system built inside the M8, the weight will vary depending on the components installed. For example, the GTX 760, Phanteks PH-TC90LS, and Samsung SSD that we used would probably add 1-2kg to the system. This will vary from system to system, especially if multiple mechanical drives or a bigger CPU (or VGA) cooler are installed.

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  • john
    October 23, 2013
    #8
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    The Silverstone SG05 is smaller and better in every way for $39

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  • Felix
    November 17, 2013
    #9
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    How much did they pay you to post this? Its a joke, maybe for 200-300 it would be reasonable.. >< almost as bad as Google's Nexus Q!!

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  • faith
    November 17, 2013
    #10
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    Reviews are free Felix :-)
    You raise an interesting question though, when it comes to value.
    Having built a lot of systems around products like the early SG01, we know what issues can be faced with these design restraints.
    If all you look at is the material cost, then you’d never buy anything nicer than a Hyundai – because why pay more than £10,000 for ’4 wheels and an engine’ – but life is not so simple.
    You really need to see this product in the flesh, and try a build with it, to see all of the advantages – in terms of physical design and aesthetics.
    If you get a chance, try and get your hands on a complete system, then come back and let us know if you still feel the same :-)

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