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ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Review

As far as automatic software influenced overclocking, the A-Tunning application brought our i7-4790K to a modest 4.3GHz under water.  With a manual transmission we were able to again bring our CPU to 4.7GHz stable (a 17.5% increase).  Pushing any further resulted in frequent crashing.

Having the ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac running in a small HTPC / Gamer, the motherboard has proven to be a stable performer.  The most attractive thing about this motherboard that hasn’t been mentioned yet in this review is the price.  This motherboard is selling for $104.99 at some popular retailers making this a pound for pound super star!

ASRock-Z97E-ITX-AC (62)

When it came to the benchmarks, this mobo didn’t set any world records; it did, however, pull its own weight.  After having been impressed by the performance in our most of the benchmarks, the ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac really let me down in our Ethernet speed benchmark.

The included software doesn’t look as trendy as that of ASUS, but I actually like the smooth and polished look better.  As far as function goes, I give the edge to ASRock for having a single utility that can tweak my system as well as make sure I have latest BIOS and drivers.  I do wish it would show me what changes there have been in firmware versions.

ASRock-Z97E-ITX-AC (58)

The mini ITX platform is flat-out fun.  Mini Cooper, Mini Fridge, Mini Me, Mini ITX.  I am becoming a huge fan of the platform and the ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac is really helping its cause.  The ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac packs all the features I want in a tiny package and wrapped it up with a price tag that just about anyone can afford ($104.99 USD).  This motherboard is a featherweight champion.  As with almost all the fighting sports, the heavy weights (ATX) get most of the attention, but the lower weight classes (ITX) are more fun.

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Review Overview

Performance - 9.5
Quality (Design & Build) - 9.5
Features - 9
Packaging & Extras - 8
Value - 9.5
User Rating: 4.5 ( 1 votes)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Board Layout & Features
  3. UEFI BIOS
  4. UEFI BIOS Cont.
  5. Included Software
  6. Test System Setup
  7. Benchmarking: Ethernet Performance
  8. Benchmarking: SATA Performance
  9. Benchmarking: AIDA64 Benchmark
  10. Benchmarking: PCMark 8
  11. Benchmarking: Handbrake
  12. Benchmarking: Cinibench R15
  13. Benchmarking: HyperPi
  14. Overclocking & Final Thoughts

About Joe DiFiglia

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.