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Pros: Has HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 and a M.2 for PCIe SSD.
8-pin CPU power header (most of these itx ones are 4...)
Cons: Bios freezes a lot. It seemed to be fixed when I upgraded to 1.5 bios, but now 1.6 is out and I upgraded to that and it's back to freezing in the bios. Mouse moves still but you can't click anything and the time "looks" frozen even, though the system isn't really froze... Takes me 30 seconds to reproduce this, how can you not catch in QA???
Why would you put an OLD PCIe mini half slot for the WiFi and use an old WiFi card also? I wanted a WiFi card that supports Wave 2 features so had to by an m.2 converter that JUST fit. I am probably taking some sort of performance hit doing this too I imagine. I also had to replace the antennas wires (but not antenna) because the newer M.2 style WiFi cards use different ones.
In all, I had to spend about $10 in adapter parts plus $50 for a different WiFi card to get something decent. I could have gotten a cheaper WiFi card like the newest Intel one but I wanted wave2 AC and that didn't leave many options so I put a killer 1535 in.
For the "premium" quality this board appears to be this is my MAIN complaint that they skimped out on. If this has a M.2 E key slot instead and like the intel wifi card this thing would be perfect... I wouldn't have bothered replacing the WiFi probably at that point.
Oh the m.2 ones also have the better and newer bluetooth so this results in this board being EOL as far as WiFi/BT card support. So while we may be able to upgrade RAM, CPU, GPU etc. your removable wifi card is EOL and old...
The funny part is all it required for them to do right is just a different plug, no different chips or anything, just the plastic plug and the leads...
Other Thoughts: My first one came with the antenna header bent back. Had to RMA it back to newegg which is a pain since they don't cross ship. They offer to refund and let you re-order but that would have resulted in me losing a promo I used...
I was looking for an ITX build for a while. I really wanted a board that had 2 network adapters and supported 4k @ 60Hz but no board with both exists. So that left me looking at ones with 4k @ 60Hz and other decent components. Well I thought I'd found one but turns out a lot of the other boards don't have the 8-pin power for the CPU and funny those are the same ones people are complaining about CPU throttle on, plus I wanted to use a good CPU, 6700k so wanted to to know it had good power... so I went with this one. First time with ASRock and I can say it looks like good quality.
Overall it's a decent board, especially if you don't care for the wifi which they really cheaped out on. The bios is a little buggy as well but the system seems stable and runs good. Hopefully bios update fixes buggy bios and the WiFi card, well I knew what I was getting into and didn't really have a choice end of the day for a good system that would take an m.2 ssd and have 8pin cpu power etc. Just annoying is all. The board seems soo good and high quality and they did that... It probably had 0 cost difference too considering m.2 E key and pcie mini can use adapters to use same cards even that are chipless lol.
Pros: They just worked, no issues. Set bios to XMP profile and all settings are correct.
Cons: The price dropped a good amount after I ordered them before I even got them. Newegg doesn't pricematch everything and hassle of return to re-buy is stupid so I just ate it.
Other Thoughts: These days you want the fastest ram you can afford but one thing people fail to pay much attention to is the voltage. Yes a few faster sticks may exist but they are 1.35v. The higher voltage on the ram is actually not good for the CPU.
I wanted stock ram voltage of 1.2v but also the best latency and speed I could get while doing that for a 16GB stick and these are perfect.
Every other stick had either slower MHz or worse latency at 1.2v.
I'm sure you can probably overclock these more and even run them up to the 1.35v okay like other sticks but I rather not put excess strain on the CPU and components. I am an overclocker but I like to push as far as I can on stock voltages for longevity and heat reduction.
I am running 2x16GB sticks in my itx build for a total of 32GB @ 15-15-15 2666MHz 1.2v and a 6700k running at stock voltage at 4.5GHz (it could go higher but no need).
Pros: Newegg had the best price.
They are comfortable and feel light on the head.
Cons: Not wireless but that would be hard to do and keep light with a battery and 8 speakers needing power lol.
No analog input surround options :( see "Other thoughts" for why this is a con...
I only play BF3 and the sound is great except for it seems like sometimes the sound (mainly the explosions) is almost like a hall/echo type unless I just am noticing the Dolby Digital compression. I set the enhanced stereo off as you should for surround and set to headphones and also tried home cinema but same. No idea if is sound card or headphones or the game or if I am just more picky vs. others. Don't do anything else with SS to care and only got these for the game. Guess will found out with BF4 comes out lol
I wish these offered DTS which supports higher quality due to increase bit rate over optical.
Wish the side green logo lights could be turned off. The cable has a power LED don't need more lights lol but not really a con, just don't care for them, maybe just make them glow in dark or leave them bright green with no light..
Non-refundable with Newegg so couldn't return (see other thoughts for why I would have returned, optical issue and no analog)
Other Thoughts: So got these for my computer and learned the hard way that 90% of the computers that come with optical out don't support 5.1 through them. To use Optical out with 5.1 on games you must have Dolby Digital Live. This is only supported on sound cards that have the proper hardware and licensing. I had to buy an USB sound card (this is a laptop) to get working which was another 50 bucks and also waste my last USB port and now have a no gadget on my desk :(
Movies that are Dolby Digital will be fine as they are already encoded so it's passive and will work but everything else needs something to encode it as games don't use Dolby Digital but use a raw format, thus needing an card that can encode :(
I would have returned and got a set that did USB or analog but I had an optical out and figured this was better but turns out not to really be the case. Analog surround sound outputs on a computer will offer highest quality as Dolby Digital uses audio compression which will reduce quality a little. If these offered both optical and analog SS input would have been perfect, could just plug in the few extra cables.