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ASRock H370M-ITX/ac Motherboard Review

Mini-ITX motherboards in the DIY PC market can often be more expensive than ATX equivalents as motherboard vendors cram in extensive connectivity and features in innovative ways, at significant production and R&D expense. Yet most system builders may not need such an extensive feature set and may prefer a more cost-effective and sensible option.

Enter the ASRock H370M-ITX/ac which uses Intel's second-tier chipset for 8th Generation Coffee Lake CPUs and a sensible feature set. ASRock knows the target market for this product and passes on the chipset cost-savings to the consumer, as well as trimming back features that are mostly unnecessary in this market segment.

Some of the deliberately omitted features, either because of cost or form factor, include: onboard RGB lighting and expandable RGB headers, Type-C ports, M.2 cooling, Realtek's newest ALC1220 codec with a headphone amplifier, onboard diagnostics and power/reset buttons.

ASRock has instead focused attention on connectivity by offering ample USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 ports as well as generous networking connectivity – no less than dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and onboard 802.11ac Dual-Band WiFi.

The power delivery system uses high quality components across the board and ASRock has tamed the Turbo behaviour of Intel's Core i7 Coffee Lake CPUs to keep VRM thermals in the ultra-reliable zone. That said, less power-hungry Core i5 and i3 models will be considerably less affected by the power restrictions, if at all.

That UEFI environment has multiple constraints aside from the reduce power limit including no vCore or LLC adjustments and no XMP profile support. Though, given the inherent H370 chipset limitations of no CPU or memory overclocking, ASRock is more than justified in missing these out.

For a compact desktop or HTPC build the ASRock H370M-ITX/ac is an ideal candidate for exploiting current Intel 8th Generation CPU performance and the benefits of the H370 platform, all while on a modest budget.

The ASRock H370M-ITX/ac has a retail price of £100.49 at Scan Computers UK and is sold with a 2 year warranty as standard. In the American market this motherboard can be found for $104.13 at Newegg with a 3 year warranty.

Pros:

  • Affordable price.
  • Excellent all round connectivity – USB 3.1, multiple display outputs, dual Gigabit, WiFi and M.2 NVMe.
  • Simple and clean design.
  • Good quality power components.

Cons:

  • Default CPU power limit restrictions affect CPU performance.
  • UEFI has no voltage adjustment or LLC options for the CPU.
  • Uses older Realtek audio codec (ALC892).
  • H370 chipset limitations.

KitGuru says: The ASRock H370M-ITX/ac is a cost-effective yet capable foundation for a budget small form factor system using Intel Coffee Lake CPUs.

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Rating: 8.0.

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